Accrediting vocational skills to facilitate labour market integration

Initial vocational education and training, Labour market insertion
Vocational training and continuing education have been among Swisscontact’s main areas of focus for a long time. For such projects, the standard is for acquired skills to be certified so that people have a better chance at finding their way in the job market. In developing countries and emerging economies, many people do have the requisite vocational skills, but they do not have a document attesting to this experience. Swisscontact is engaged in various projects and initiatives for the accreditation and certification of vocational skills.

Nepal: initiative to accredit young people’s vocational skills

Prakash Kathri

As part of the Nepal Vocational Qualifications System (NVQS) project in Nepal, Swisscontact has been working together with various partners on an initiative to introduce assessment and accreditation of previously acquired vocational experience. The objective is to get accreditation for and certify skills acquired outside of the formal education system. This approach can be of immense benefit to young people working in the informal sector – for example as market vendors, as well as to migrants returning to their homeland – because with a certificate it will be easier for them to find a job or start their own business.

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This project is financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

"I worked for six years in Malaysia in the construction sector without any formal qualifications or training. Despite the considerable time spent in this work, I cannot produce a certificate documenting it. In this situation, the recognition of my skills offers me a great opportunity. If I get certified, then I will easily find a job in my home country."
Prakash Kathri, a participant in the certification programme for the construction sector in Nepal

Mozambique: new opportunities thanks to skills certification

The “Skills to Build” project aims to improve the possibilities for employment of young people and those with limited formal qualifications. Since 2017, more than 1,000 young people have completed introductory courses in the construction sector. As part of this project, Swisscontact has introduced a process whereby skills acquired outside of the formal education system as well as informal skills – acquired in everyday work but often without any formal intent – can be certified. For workers without a formal education, this accreditation is hugely important, as it helps them to secure income and a better chance at finding a job.

Video: building a better future – the story of Azarias & Ernesto Savangana

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The project is financed by the Medicor Foundation, Happel Foundation, U.W. LINSI Stiftung, among other donors. It forms part of Swisscontact’s Development Programme, which is co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Federal Department for Foreign Affairs (FDFA).

"Mozambique needs to understand that Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is not only important for the disadvantaged poor, but for all people who have acquired skills in a specific field."
Leopoldo dos Santos, a technician in the Qualifications Department at National Authority for Professional Education (ANEP), Mozambique
Leopoldo dos Santos

El Salvador and Guatemala: certification of work experience improves the situation for returning migrants

New and growing sectors demand a qualified labour force. Migrants who have either acquired or improved vocational skills abroad could cover that demand. In any case, those returning to Central America from the United States, where they had acquired work experience, face economic hurdles: there is no system in place that can certify the skills acquired. With the “Nuevas Opportunidades” (“New Opportunities”) project, Swisscontact is supporting the certification of their qualifications, thereby facilitating their reintegration into society. At the same time, companies also benefit from the comprehensive knowledge these people bring to the table. Thus, competitiveness in important economic sectors such as construction is enhanced.

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The project is financed by the Medicor Foundation, Green Leaves Education Foundation, among other donors. It forms part of Swisscontact’s Development Programme, which is co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Federal Department for Foreign Affairs (FDFA).

2020 - 2024
Initial vocational education and training
Nepal Vocational Qualifications System
500,000 young adults enter the labour market of Nepal yearly but most of them remain unemployed or underemployed. Through the programme, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology along with the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) will be supported to establish a National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) Framework...
2021 - 2024
Continuing Vocational Education and Training, Labour market insertion
Skills to Build
In close collaboration with the private sector, the project promotes improved competitiveness in the construction sector through specific training measures. In this way, the employment conditions and incomes of 470 already employed construction workers are to be improved or increased. In addition, 1 150 unskilled unemployed youth interested in...
2018 - 2024
El Salvador, Guatemala
Labour market insertion
Nuevas Oportunidades: productive reintegration of returned migrants
The project seeks the economic reintegration of returned migrants. It enables returned migrants to certify the skills they have acquired in the United States or Mexico. After certification, they are supported in finding a job or starting their own business.