An introductory workshop on financing a market-oriented and quality vocational education and training in the Republic of Northern Macedonia was organized on December 11th in Skopje by the Ministry of Education and Science, the Education for Employment in North of Macedonia project (E4E@mk) and the European Training Foundation (ETF).
The introductory workshop marked the beginning of operation of the expert group on financing vocational education and training, and the aim of the workshop was to provide an equal understanding of the current situation, its strengths and challenges. The Expert Financing Group consists of representatives from state institutions, social partners and experts, and its task is to develop and propose improvements to the current or develop new models of financing the vocational education and training. The basis of the proposed models will be to increase the quality of education, strengthen the vocational skills of the young people and enhance inclusion and cooperation between the educational institutions and the private sector.
The workshop was addressed by the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Switzerland, Mr. Stefan Tomajan, the Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Ms. Elizabeta Naumovska and the Coordinator of the European Training Foundation for North of Macedonia, Mr. Filippo Del Nino.
“One very important part of an efficient VET system is its financing model. Research conducted within our Education for Employment project shows that in North Macedonia, the vocational education and training system is mainly state-financed, while in Switzerland, the private sector is involved in all key elements of the system, including its financing. We strongly believe that the a closer involvement of the private sector will lead to a more effective VET system in North Macedonia and eventually a more competitive labor force and economy., ” said the Swiss Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Stefan Tomajan.
The Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Ms. Elizabeta Naumovska, believes that “Quality vocational education and training requires financial resources and good equipment in the schools, but also involvement of the private sector, as the private sector also needs trained staff with knowledge, skills and competencies needed for the labor market”.
The Financial Expert Group will work to raise the awareness for the need of improving the VET financing system, with particular emphasis on setting priorities and realistic needs, identifying opportunities, involvement of institutions, as well as key processes for sustainable VET financing.
Having a mandate of 18 months, the financial expert group will develop and propose a model for financing the vocational education and training that needs to meet three key success criteria:
- Availability / accessibility,
- Relevance (vocational education and training programs are market oriented and attractive to the demands/needs of society, youth and companies) and
- Cost-effectiveness (public and private sectors can cover the costs for vocational education and training), which is also related to quality.