Dear Deputy Minister Sorensen;
Dear Ms. Mjeda.
Dear representatives of the private sector as well as practitioners of vocational education and training institutions,
It is my pleasure to be here today to discuss about the meaningful engagement of the private sector in the Vocational Education and Training system reform in Albania.
I have joined the UNDP in Albania recently and I am already taking note of the efforts of the Government of Albania and the support that UNDP is providing in addressing some of the key development challenges of the country.
The Sustainable Development Goals, that some of you may already know, set out to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities. This is reflected in SDG 8.On the other hand, the SDGs also commit to achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men through SDG4. It is crucial that the young generation is equipped with all the necessary and relevant skills, and that the systems in place are guided by principles of inclusion, fairness and empowerment.
Over the past years, the UNDP in Albania has increased its support to the respective ministries in the fields of employment promotion and skills development. We have worked together with institutions at the local and central level, engaged with young women and men and with the private sector, to understand the challenges of the labor market, to jointly design solutions, and to support national partners increase labor market relevance of the skills acquired in the VET system, these being: professional, soft and more recently, the digital skills.
The Swiss funded, UNDP’s Skills Development for Employment programme is supporting the Government of Albania in the national VET and Employment reform through a comprehensive approach of institutional capacity building on a macro and policy level, enabling key actors,like the Ministry of Finance and Economy, the National Employment and Skills Agency, as well as the National Agency on Vocational Education and Training, to deliver coordinated and demand-driven services.
Responding to national priorities and the objectives of the National Employment and Skills Strategy, this intervention has the ambition to make a systemic contribution where the Albanian VET system and Employment Service supply the labor market with a skilled workforce that contributes to the sustainable and inclusive economic development of the country.
However, this cannot be done without the significant contribution of the private sector. The VET system in Albania is largely school-based, with insufficient exchange between the private sector and VET providers. This disconnect is one of the main sources of the mismatch between skill supply and demand.
We are certain that if the aim of this reform is to bring the VET system closer to the needs to the private sector,itcannot be successful unless there is a meaningful participation of and engagement with the private sector in Albania.
I am very pleased to see that actors are willing to work together with the national institutions so that the next generation who graduate from the VET system in Albania contributes to increasing the productivity of the private sector.
I wish you all a very productive workshop and I look forward to working with you in advancing the employment and VET reform as well as pursuing new ideas and initiatives involving the private sector in Albania.
Mr. Nuno Queiros,
UNDP Deputy Resident Representative