Review of Albania's VET system
Review of Albania's VET system
September 30, 2020
REVIEW OF ALBANIA’S VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING SYSTEM, including a comparative analysis with selected countries from Central and Western Europe and the Balkan Region
Systemic private sector engagement is a key feature of every quality VET system and probably the biggest challenge for transition countries such as Albania, where VET has always been considered a state responsibility: initiated and designed at central government level with a focus on educational attainment rather than responding to the labour market needs. Albania’s VET system is still driven more by general education than understood as demand-based professional training aiming at employability of the graduates. The Vocational State Matura is the central element for teaching and learning and the ultimate goal of secondary VET since it is still the only way to get access to higher education. A key question to be answered by Albanian decision makers and stakeholders in this regard is How dual should the system be? It asks whether VET should remain just another vehicle to higher education or become an own, self-standing career path that generates a workforce that is skilled and agile, to boost productivity and economic growth. The reasoning behind this is that the economic actors—employers—will hesitate to support a VET system that is VET only in name, but in reality rather a disguised general education programme. Businesses need to see the value and benefits of being engaged in training, i.e. the availability of a qualified workforce. VET needs to be understood as a collaborative task of the state and the private sector to deploy its full potential. This can only be realised if the private sector and the representative bodies become equal, responsible and informed collaborators in the governance and implementation of VET.
The present report presents the findings of a study undertaken by the Swiss funded “Skills Development for Employment“(SD4E) programme, conducted between May 2019 and May 2020. The study took a detailed look into the system of VET governance and provision in Albania and aimed to identify the challenges that hamper the system from responding effectively to the skill demand of the labour market. As part of this VET review, the key features of the Albanian VET system and the results from the outcome analysis were benchmarked with selected VET systems in Central and Western Europe (Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands) for successful good practices that could provide fresh impetus for Albanian decision makers to fine-tune and improve the national VET model. Throughout the review the focus was put on how to establish a collaborative partnership between the key actors in VET, namely the state (ministries, agencies), private sector (training, and prospective training, companies), VET providers (VET schools, and Vocational Training Centres, VTCs) and social partners (employer associations and trades unions).