The European Union (EU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Education have signed a new project worth EUR 5.6 million to strengthen the quality of the vocational education system (VET) in Azerbaijan and to improve its image and attractiveness among young people.
The four-year project, funded by the EU and implemented by UNDP, will support the State Agency on Vocational Education in modernizing VET institutions to deliver competence-based training that is tailored to the current needs of the labour market.
“The EU is continuously supporting Azerbaijan to move to a new economic structure driven by a diversified, efficient and innovative non-oil sector,” explains EU Ambassador to Azerbaijan Kestutis Jankauskas, “A skilled and competent workforce is critical to achieving this goal.”
The new project aims to promote innovation and update the infrastructure and equipment of seven selected providers of vocational education, as well as to help develop the capacities of all VET providers throughout Azerbaijan. More than 5,000 students will directly benefit from the modernisation of these institutions.
The project will also cover several different areas, such as career guidance services, skills development through digitalization, cooperation with the private sector and the procurement of equipment and supplies to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
The Director of the State Agency on Vocational Education, Parviz Yusifov, stressed the importance of the partnership: “This initiative will help create a sustainable platform for collaboration, bringing together all key stakeholders to change the attitude and the discourse around vocational education and provide market-driven and future-focused changes in education provision.”
UNDP’s Resident Representative Alessandro Fracassetti added: “Ensuring quality education will prepare Azerbaijan’s skilled youth for the future of work and will contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by promoting inclusive and quality learning opportunities for all.”
This project is fully funded by the EU under its ‘Education for Employment’ Programme.