National Policy Challenge | Private sector as an active contributor to the VET system

UNDP Albania

February 29, 2024

Introduction to the context

The essence of high-calibre VET lies in robust private sector participation—often the missing piece in the puzzle for countries in transition like Albania, where historically, VET has been a state-run endeavour. The goal? Integrating education seamlessly with the labour market's demands.

The National Employment and Skills Strategy 2023-2030 (NESS 2030) charts a course towards “Quality Jobs and Lifelong Skills for All” and puts a focus on systematic and systemic private sector engagement in the VET governance, development, and delivery. The revised VET law (15/2017) defines the “principle of cooperation between public and private entities in all levels of the VET” as one of the fundamentals for a reformed VET system in Albania. 

In the last years, many promising approaches of school-business cooperation were piloted to increase the labour market relevance of skills training in public secondary VET schools. These, mainly donor-initiated initiatives, are growing with great momentum. Although they produce considerable results, these good practices often remain “islands of success” with great, but unlocked, upscaling potential.

The VET system reality in Albania is still detached and far away from the optimum scenario outlined in the national strategic documents and laws. One reason is the lack of awareness and a general disorientation in the business community about how to get engaged in VET and what implication may arise from this. Umbrella organizations such as chambers, business associations and trade unions play a limited role in the Albania VET. Business engagement in VET is associated with expenses (e.g. time, personnel, equipment, training allowances) and the coverage of such expenses is not clearly defined nor communicated with the business sector. 

How to motivate, onboard and enable the private sector to become an active, powerful, and equal contributor in VET governance and provision in Albania? Currently, the government of Albania is working to design new policies in the area of VET financing and private sector engagement. Against this background, UNDP Albania, together with the Ministry of Economy, Culture, and Innovation, launches a national policy challenge named: “Private sector as an active contributor to the VET system”

This policy challenge aims to bring together academia, businesses and other private sector representatives, civil society, think tanks and experts to provide a fresh perspective and practice recommendations for some the challenges the VET sector currently faces.

What are the challenge prompts?

The national policy challenge aims to encapsulate the insights provided by various stakeholder on the following policy problems: 

How can we develop a comprehensive financial strategy to enhance innovation, efficiency, and sustainability within the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector? This strategy should creatively maximize and reallocate existing financial resources and identify innovative funding models to ensure long-term support for VET programmes. It can also devise mechanisms to boost private sector investment in VET, including the creation of incentives for businesses, the establishment of public-private partnerships, and frameworks that ensure accountability and measurable returns on investment.

Furthermore, the challenge could involve structuring the financing of dual VET forms in Albania to guarantee effective delivery and sustainability. This includes proposing financial models that not only facilitate private sector investment but also incorporate public-private cost-sharing mechanisms. These mechanisms should support the implementation of dual VET, apprenticeships, and traineeship programs, ensuring they are accessible, high-quality, and aligned with the labor market's needs.

The goal is to create a seamless, sustainable financial ecosystem for VET that leverages both public and private resources, encourages innovation, and meets the evolving demands of the workforce.

Submit and get your sit as presenter at the National VET conference 2024

After a thorough selection process to be carried out by UNDP and the Ministry of Economy, Culture, and Innovation, 3 proposals will be able to present their policy solutions at the National VET Conference, to be organised on the 26th – 27th of March 2024. 

Deadline for submission: 19th of March 2024 to the following email:

Challenging policies – Creative Solutions

Policy solutions should be concise and comprehensive, providing a clear and actionable roadmap for addressing specific issues within the themes of the conference.

Interested stakeholders can send max 3-page policy recommendations in Albanian or English language, outlined based on the following structure:

  1. Introduction: Brief overview of the policy area being addressed. Statement of the specific challenge or issue within that area.
  2. Analysis of Current Situation: Summary of the existing condition, including any relevant data or statistics. Identification of gaps or shortcomings in current policies or practices.
  3. Discussion of Best Practices: Overview of effective practices or policies implemented in other contexts (nationally or internationally) relevant to the theme. Analysis of why these practices are successful and how they can be adapted to the Albanian context.
  4. Policy Solution Proposal: Description of the proposed policy solution, tailored to address the identified issue. Explanation of how this solution aligns with or improves upon current practices.
  5. Potential Impact and Benefits: Analysis of the expected outcomes and benefits of the policy solution, including short-term and long-term impacts. Consideration of any potential challenges or risks associated with the proposal and how they might be mitigated.
  6. Conclusion: Summary of the key points made in the document. Call to action or recommendations for next steps.
  7. List of works cited

Who can submit a policy solution?

Private sector: business association, chamber of commerce and industry, companies, 

Academia: Universities, Think Tanks, Research institutes

Others: Independent experts, NGOs, youth

Join us in transforming VET into a beacon of collaborative education and economic growth.