International projects

Enhancements in the quality of education and training in South Eastern Europe (EQET SEE)

Donor: ADA, Implemented by: ERI SEEDuration: 2021- 2024. Participating economies: AL, BA, XK*, ME, MD, MK, RS. 

Contact: Tina Šarić, Project Manager: 

Project outputs: The EQET SEE project aims to contribute to the reduction of youth unemployment in South-eastern Europe by supporting the development of labour-market oriented, socially inclusive and high-quality education in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.

VET strand of the project – partners are VET national agencies/centers and Chambers of commerce, working on:

  • Regionally based occupational standards (OS) for:
    • Agricultural technician of organic and traditional production
    • Locksmith or Technician for CNC machines (CNC technician)
  • Regionally based qualification standard (QS) from these OS.

QA (External evaluation of institutions) strand of the project – partners are national agencies for quality assurance in pre-tertiary education, working on:

  • Regional standard of competences for external evaluators of schools
  • Training needs analysis for external evaluators
  • Recommendations for the external evaluation methodologies/tools.

Aligning Education and Training with Labour Market Needs – ALLED Phase II

Donor: EU and ADA, Implemented by: ADA. Duration:2019-2023. Participating economy: XK*.

Contact: Efka Heder, ALLED 2 Team Leader: 

The ALLED 2 aims to reduce poverty through increased labour market participation and improved employability for the population in Kosovo.

Project outputs:

  • Higher education connected with excellence in VET: cluster hub established with university, city of Prishtina and chamber of commerce; tool on how to improve efficiency of VET financing developed, as well as application for schools and Ministry of finance to follow the path of money; application on recognition on prior experience initiated.
  • Quality assurance at the level of policy, institutional umbrella and implementors level: support to schools in sectors: agriculture, food processing, energy production and energy supply, mechanical engineering and technicians; developed programme for QA coordinators in schools and VET centres. VET centres included in programmes in jails.
  • Support to VET: development of professional standards and curriculum and improvement of learning environment (12 standards developed, 4 curricula will be available early next year, collecting data with developed VET barometer, skills barometer and Kosovo* labour market barometer.
  • Enable a better understanding of international qualifications and further develop and modernize Kosovo framework for professional qualifications.
  • The link between vocational education and training and the business sector is more structured; certain planning tools for VET are sustainably put in place; incentives are identified and piloted.

The two other ADA projects in Kosovo* are the project Higher Education Research and Applied Science Plus – HERAS+ and QAIT – Quality, accountability, integrity and transparency in higher education in Kosovo*. Automatised diploma supplement developed for whole Kosovo*. Register of qualifications to be initiated in October.

Development of model of dual education in Serbia

Donor: ADA, Implemented by: WKO and Chamber of Commerce, Serbia. Duration: 2016-2021. Participating economy: RS. 

Contact: Ana Stojanović, Head of Department for Dual Education and Education Policies, Chamber of commerce of RS:

Main outputs: Two educational profiles developed for the needs of Austrian companies operating in Serbia. The Law on dual education was adopted with all the accompanying bylaws and the project contributed to establishing a modal education in Serbia and raising capacities of the Chamber of commerce for the implementation of the Law. The project established dual VET portal, digitalizing all procedures for VET education company might need. Dual education website was developed. Public registers of all certified companies, concluded contracts and licensed instructors were developed. Online platform for training and examination of instructors was developed, and master trainers selected, and instructors trained. 12 new curricula developed within the project. Extensive PR activities conducted. The next phase of project is being prepared, in which in addition to ADA the SDC will join.  

Techincal Vocational Education and Training (TVET)

Donor: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany (BMZ) and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Implemented by: GIZ. Duration: 2017-2023. Participating economy: BA. 

Contact: Isabel Rapp, Project Manager:; Majda Tolić, Advisor: 

Main project output: dual vocational education and training is embedded in the structures and processes of TVET actors. 

Other outputs:

  • Support exchange processes at the level of municipalities, cantons and entities for integrating dual organised TVET and streaming (through support to development of laws, bylaws, strategies etc.
  • Enable selected VET schools to implement labour market oriented dual organised education in selected professions (through curricula and occupational standard development and support of their implementation, development and implementation of school development plans, promotion of TVET (especially with the goal to attract young women) and teacher training on different topics, etc.)
  • Enable chambers of commerce and pedagogical institutes to organise dual organised VET and implement it (through development and improvement of their organizational and human capacities, establishing intersectoral working group for TVET, consultancy and certification of companies providing training, mediation in the provision of training placements, enrolment policy making, involvement in exams, improvement of VET image, quality assurance, analyses and research etc.)
  • Support companies in implementation of dual organised TVET (mobilisation of companies to participate in trainings and implement company training plans, through training of master trainers and their integration into the system and strengthening their further capacities, supporting organization of mentors training and additional capacity developments measures for mentors, awareness raising on benefits for companies on dual organized TVET etc.). 

Cross-cutting issues: gender and social inclusion.

Western Balkans School Exchange Scheme

Donor: EU and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany (BMZ), Implemented by: GIZ and RYCO. Duration: 2020-2022. Participating economy: AL, BA, XK*, ME, MK, RS. 

Contact: Aida Bojić, Administrative Manager: 

Supporting the peace-building and reconciliation process and intercultural learning and dialogue among schools, students, and their communities.

Project outputs:

  • Institutional and organizational capacities improvement
  • Schools’ capacities and other formal education structures on projects for youth exchange strengthened

School exchange scheme – Superschools, aiming to establish long-term school partnerships in the region (the first of three cycles is just finished, with 60 schools selected and 30 projects).

Fit for Jobs – Improving the quality of TVET through systematic involvement of the private sector in Kosovo*

Donor: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany (BMZ), Implemented by: GIZ. Duration: 2021-2024. Participating economy: XK*.

Contact: Sebastian Krull, Advisor:; Edona Nahi, Coordinator of project output II: 

Project outputs:

Addressing high youth unemployment (15-29 years old), taking into account the needs of labour market and specific needs of disadvantaged groups, return families, young people and girls.

  • Facilitating transition from lower secondary schools to VET by improving technical and life skills of lower secondary students
  • Promotion of systemic involvement of private sector in various aspects of VET, to better align VET system with labour market needs
  • Anchoring labour market orientation of VET in policies and strategies of ministries and subsidiaries

Improving the transition from VET or unemployment to labour market, by strengthening the capacities of the labour market institutions and providing more efficient and effective labour market measures. 

Dialogue on Employment Creation, Initiative and Dual Education (DECIDE)

Donor: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany (BMZ), Implemented by: GIZ. Duration: 2020 – 2022, extension expected by December 2023. Participating economy: RS. 

Contact: Ivan Stojanović, Team Leader:

Project outputs:

The project is establishing concept of VET schools as regional competence centers.
Activities are focused on supporting 6 selected secondary vocational schools, future regional centers of competence, to build their capacities and to
• provide high-quality formal education, primarily dual
• provide high-quality non-formal trainings
• set up local dialogues on youth employment.

The project is aiming at strengthening the role of VET schools in providing training for unemployed, starting from raising capacities of school principals and capacities of school for assessment of labour market needs, as well as supporting the Ministry of education to continue introduction of the system of prior learning and including the schools in this field as well (including legislation adjustments to enable this). With such a support and adoption of the new business model the schools will be able in the future to generate income for school infrastructure improvement and continuous professional development of their teachers and become more important stakeholder in the system. 

Regional Project “School Meets Business (SmB)” and project “Effective quality development in schools and colleges of vocational education and training through successful change management”

Donor: OeAD, Implemented by: OeAD. Participating economies in the project School Meets Business: AL, MK, XK*; participating economies in the project Effective quality development in schools: BA, RS, ME. 

Contact: Monika Mott, Head of Department:

Projects’ outputs: 

The two projects are looking more closely in how can the VET schools be more competent partners in work-based learning: in more concrete terms: (1) what are the process in the coordination and communication patterns between VET providers and businesses, what works, what doesn’t, how can these processes be optimized, standardized, and quality assured, and (2) how can coordination between two learning places: the company and VET provider be improved.

The components of the projects are: analysis, development of quality criteria and stakeholder involvement.

Improvement of the quality and relevance of vocational education and training in Bosnia and Herzegovina 2021 – 2030 based on the Riga recommendations 

Donor: OeAD, Implemented by: OeAD. Participating economy: BA. 

Contact: Monika Mott, Head of Department:

Project outputs: 

The OeAD has supported the development the document “Improvement of the quality and relevance of vocational education and training in Bosnia and Herzegovina 2021 – 2030 based on the Riga recommendations”  by the ETF, as assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina VET system to implement the objectives of the Riga conclusions.

AL-VET – Quality for All

Donor: OeAD, Implemented by: OeAD. Participating economy: AL. 

Contact: Monika Mott, Head of Department:

The project aims at:

  • Increasing the quality of vocational training offers for tourism/hospitality and IT
  • Increasing access to vocational training for disadvantaged groups, especially girls from rural areas, and strengthening girls’ access to atypical training
  • Improving the quality of dormitories and enhancing the image of dormitories and VET in general.

From Education to Employment E2E

Donor: SDC, Implemented by: NIRAS – IP Consult. Duration: 2015-2023. Participating economy: RS. 

Contact: Jovana Mihajlović, National Programme Officer:

Project outputs: 

Since 2018 the E2E has supported Ministry of labour in the development of the National Standard Classification of Occupations. In Q2 2021 the draft methodology for the development of occupational standards was completed, and piloting of the draft methodology for development of occupational standards organised for 10 most frequent occupations in E2E Program (locksmith, machines locksmith, welding technician, universal welder, metalworking operator on numerically controlled machines, cook, head chef, waiter, bartender, hotel receptionist). Based on the results and recommendations from the piloting process, the draft methodology will be finalized and prepared for adoption by the Ministry in the period that follows.

It is planned that the final versions of these 10 occupational standards will be completed by the end of August. In the following period, it is planned to create up to 30 new occupational standards that are the most important for the economy till the end of 2023.

Additionally, the SDC will join supporting dual education in the upcoming period. The SDC will continue to support the Ministry of education along the ETH Zurich for legislation improvement and monitoring of law implementation and providing research for evidence based policy making. The second project component is related to digitalization and business processes for registrations of occupations and improvement of the introduction of publicly recognized service providers of different trainings. The SDC will support also lifelong learning and adult training and systemic changes related to these topics in Serbia.

Education for Employment

Donor: SDC, Implemented by: HELVETAS North Macedonia, the Macedonian Civic Education Center and the Economic Chamber of North Macedonia. Duration: 2017-2025. The first phase of project has just ended, whereas the second is about to start. 

Contact: Kurt Wüthrich, Representative of HELVETAS North Macedonia:

Project outputs:

The project advocates for market-oriented, dual VET system, starting from advocacy at the policy level and promotion of dual VET, as well as supporting ministries of education and labour in adapting relevant laws.

With the Ministry of labour and National employment service agency the project worked at improving active labour measures for young people so they can have easier access to labour market.

In the upcoming period from the national level the project will go to more implementation level, with focus on including private sector.

Skills for Jobs (S4J) project

Donor: SDC, Implemented by: Swisscontact. Duration: 2019-2023. Participating economy: AL. 

Contact: Erka Caro, Deputy Project Manager:; Eltjana Plaku, Monitoring and Results Measurement Specialist: 

Project outputs:

The project is in the phase II, with the goal of improving VET system in Albania, through supporting VET institution, and then the whole system from the next year on.

Its intervention lines deal with:

  • Private sector engagement
  • Relevance of VET
  • New ways of learning and teaching
  • Work-based learning
  • Organisational development.

In the upcoming period the project will remain focused on further VET digitalization, enhancement of private sector quality engagement and strengthening organizational development.

Donor: SDC, Implemented by: N/A. Participating economy: BA. Contact person: Isabelle Wyss, Junior Programme Officer:

The next two projects are planned in the following areas of work:

  • Jobs and the green economy
  • Two potential areas: quality of teacher training, training of mentors, teachers and trainers and the other one is focused on TVET systems, especially financing of TVET.