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Employment in the Western Balkans: Challenges of a Young Market Economy
Retrospective of the Conference: Films, Speeches, Video Clips, Photo Gallery and Media Release.
Vocational Skills Development - The key to employment and income
|Vocational skills development (VSD) can make a decisive contribution to and have a widespread impact on poverty reduction. The aim is to provide people with the skills they need to take part in economic life, and open up new opportunities for productive employment and access to appropriately paid work.|
|•||210 million people around the world are unemployed, predominantly women and young people.|
|•||Besides the formal labour market, more and more people work under precarious conditions in informal jobs.|
|•||Halving juvenile unemployment could increase the global gross national product by at least USD 2.2 billion.|
Vocational skills development – together with basic education – is one of the main preconditions for economic and social development. The poorest and most socially vulnerable segments of
population are usually excluded from economic life because they lack the necessary qualifications. Targeted offers and measures in the field of vocational skills development for young people and
adults are an important way of providing access to employment and income, and hence promote a self-determined way of life. For more than 30 years, the promotion of vocational skills development has
been one of the priorities of SDC's activities in developing countries and emerging economies.
In many developing countries, the range of vocational skills development opportunities is insufficient. Existing options are usually limited to urban areas. Apprenticeships tend to be designed for the formal sector and are not sufficiently geared to economic demand. Moreover, there are high formal access barriers to be overcome. Dynamic economic development necessitates flexible training and further education opportunities. These must enhance not only specific professional skills but also basic personal competences and social skills. The situation of poor and disadvantaged population groups also requires the development of appropriate opportunities accessible to people with low elementary schooling. They should enable the reintegration of unemployed persons in the job market, address the needs of the informal market as well as of persons living in rural regions, and in particular promote self-employment. It is also important to ensure a good level of basic education which vocational skills development can build on and consolidate, where necessary. Finally, appropriate opportunities of advancing to further studies in the formal system should also be promoted.
Swiss development cooperation has made adjustments to meet these challenges and now pursues a broad-based, flexible approach to promote the development of skills and competences which can be acquired through different pathways: through school-based and workplace-based education and training, within and outside the formal education system, e.g. practice in the workplace and self-learning.
|The SDC focus
SDC’s work is based on the concept of vocational skills development. Its activities are aimed at the poorest and most vulnerable sections of the population, with emphasis on young people and women as well as rural populations. By coordinating and integrating its activities with other education-related activities in a country, SDC endeavours to establish an efficient, flexible educational system that addresses local requirements and understands and supports the need for lifelong learning. The specific aims of SDC include:
Theme contact: Simon Junker
Additional themes in this area:
Gender and vocational skills development
Women suffer disproportionately from unemployment and underemployment. It is therefore all the more important to create employment and income opportunities for women by providing vocational skills development offers.
Additional Information and DocumentsDocuments
- Evaluation of SDCs Vocational Skills Development Activities
Download (PDF, 712 KB) : [en]
- Nepal: An innovative franchising model for practice oriented vocational training
Asia Brief - December 2011
Download (PDF, 932 KB) : [en]
- 12 theses for working on Skill Development in Rural Areas (SDRA)
Download (PDF, 450 KB) : [en] [es]
- VET programmes that benefit everyone - an SDC project in Uzbekistan shows how
Central Asia Project Briefing
Download (PDF, 742 KB) : [de] [en] [fr]
- Manual for Costing and Pricing of VET Products and Services
Support for VET practitioners in costing and pricing issues, by providing background information, experiences from case studies and an annexed toolkit comprising ready-to-use forms and checklists.
Download (PDF, 4280 KB) : [en]
- Employment and Income - Medium-Term Orientation 2009-2012
Download (PDF, 529 KB) : [en]
- Vocational Education in the Western Balkans
Education Opens up New Prospects
Download (PDF, 206 KB) : [de] [en] [fr]