As part of this discussion, on February 22, 2023, a regular meeting of the Donor Coordination Committee for projects in the field of vocational education and training (VET) in the Republic of Uzbekistan was held in Tashkent.
Vocational training and education (VET) remains a priority for Uzbekistan, with its high proportion of young people and structural features of the economy. According to the Ministry of Education of Uzbekistan, 40% of school graduates have the opportunity to enter higher educational institutions. However, the rest of the young people also need quality education. And here the role of VET is important as an appropriate alternative for those who cannot enter the university. Innovation is needed to keep VET in line with the changing demands of the volatile labor market. Ultimately, the goal of all education reforms is for the entire system to function on the basis of quality criteria and with a full focus on results.
As part of this discussion, on February 22, 2023, a regular meeting of the Donor Coordination Committee for projects in the field of vocational education and training (VET) in the Republic of Uzbekistan was held in Tashkent. This Donor Coordination Committee is co-chaired by the Deputy Minister of Higher Education , Science and Innovation and the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Switzerland in Uzbekistan, At the initiative of the SDC and with the support of the Swiss project “Support VET Reforms in Uzbekistan” (VET4UZ) as the Secretariat of the Donor Coordination Committee, more than 30 participants from various VET development projects and international organizations discussed the latest developments and research in the field of VET.
Welcoming the participants of the event, Komiljon Karimov, Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation of the Republic of Uzbekistan noted the importance of the Donor Coordination Committee, which presents the latest developments and research results in the field of vocational education.
The Deputy Minister stressed that despite the recent changes in the structure of the ministry, vocational education and training remains an important topic for the government of Uzbekistan, and government decisions will strengthen the priority in this direction, including work with international partners.
Co-chair, Rachel Bosch, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Switzerland in Uzbekistan, pointed out the complex nature of reforms in the field of VET, which increases the importance of regular interaction of all participants in this process, including through the mechanism of the Donor Coordination Committee.
Rachel Bosch stressed the need to move from completely input-oriented to output-oriented governance and prioritization of actions.
During the event, the participants were presented with the latest changes in the structure of management of vocational education in the ministry, goals and development indicators. Experts of the Asian Development Bank presented the results of a labor market study on the example of small and micro enterprises employed in the mining industry, the production of textiles and food, building materials.
Another important study was shared by Gabriela Damian Timoshenko, VET4UZ project manager, who spoke about the results of a survey of 646 different organizations that represent the main stakeholders of VET.
One of the results of the study is the identification of weak cooperation between professional organizations and employers. “Employers are overwhelmed with direct communication with the state, so we need intermediaries in the form of professional associations. And we, as development projects, should capacitate them,” said Gabriela Damian Timoshenko. The full results of the study can be read here https://www.research-collection.ethz.ch/handle/20.500.11850/586303.
At the end of the meeting, the participants were shown a digital platform for the coordination of VET projects, which will improve interaction between various government and non-governmental organizations and development partners.
The Swiss project VET4UZ is funded by the Swiss Government and implemented by Helvetas Uzbekistan. It contributes to improved access to the labor market and more profitable employment for VET graduates. The project uses a systemic approach, improving coordination within government structures, including between the government and economic actors, thus improving the overall quality of VET.