Skills Development for Employment (SD4E)

Albania is reforming the vocational education and training as well as employment services to increase people’s employability, particularly of women, youth as well as people with disabilities and low-income. This final phase puts the focus on strengthening the capacities of the line ministry and its subordinated national agencies as well as on consolidating, upscaling and transferring the developed policies and regulations as well as best practices to complete the reform process. 

RegionCountry Topic Period Budget
Vocational training
Employment & economic development
Vocational training
Employment creation
Social protection
01.07.2023 - 30.06.2027
CHF  2’000’000
  • Albania’s population has witnessed contraction and aging in the recent years. The economy expanded in 2021 and labour force participation increased to 72%; with an unemployment rate of 12%. Long-term unemployment remains high.
  • VET has undergone foundational reforms, especially in its legal and quality assurance framework. Yet, VET attractiveness as an educational pathway remains modest. Private sector does not yet engage sufficiently to make the VET sector more labour market relevant.
  • There is momentum to improve the VET and employment sector. Building the capacities of the newly assigned staff of the line ministry and its national agencies is crucial. Based on the achievements of the previous phases, and in the Skills for Jobs project at provider level, Switzerland is very well positioned to support the positive change.
Target Young and adult women and men have increased employability due to improved attractiveness and labour market relevance of inclusive employment services and VET offer. 
Target group The project’s direct target group are the key national actors (Ministry of Finance and Economy and its subordinated national agencies) in charge of VET and employment promotion. All VET population (17’000 students and 11’000 adults) and Active Labour Market Measures beneficiaries (5.4% of the registered jobseekers) of Albania are expected to benefit from an improved VET offer driven by labour demand. Specific targeted measures are designed to increase the employability of women as well as people in low-income households and with disability.
  • National institutions effectively implement the sector’s policy framework and optimize delivery with innovative tools and financing instruments. 
  • National institutions deliver individualised and data-driven employment policies and ALMMs, in partnership with the labour market ecosystem. 
  • Public and private actors involved in the VET system use a standardised and harmonised quality assurance and development framework for self-assessment, accreditation, inspection, and monitoring.

Expected Results:  

  • Improved capacities of the national institutions to implement the strategic and regulatory package for VET/employ. promotion
  • A participatory approach governs the implementation of an optimized VET system.
  • Engaged labour market ecosystem promotes VET and employment at all levels.
  • Intelligence on skills develop. and employment is regularly available to policy makers
  • Credible model of Quality Assurance is transparently rolled-out. 
  • National institutions pilot and consolidate a credible model of Recognition of Prior Learning.

Results from previous phase:  

  • Phase 1: Local level responses for disadvantaged youth employment challenges in selected municipalities. Contribute to setting-up the public active labour market measures (ALMM) system.
  • Phase 2 and 3: Setting-up the legal framework and fostering the national VET reform (work-based learning and Quality Assurance in VET provision, decentralization of VET management), incl. a monitoring and evaluation framework. Diversification of ALMMs (labour market information system, skills needs analysis, self-employment programme for youth).
  • Capacity building and institutional strengthening have resulted in stronger and better governed national agencies as well as an accreditation system for all VET providers. 

Agency SDC
Project Partners Contract Partner
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • The implementing agency is the United Nations Development Program in Albania.

Projects Coordination Switzerland, together with the Ministry of Finance and Economy and EUD co-chair the relevant donor coordination group. SD4E will closely collaborate with its sister project Skills for Jobs, with a focus on reinforcing synergies. Furthermore, SD4E will engage the Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training to revise the Albanian frame VET curricula.
Budget Current Phase Swiss Budget CHF    2’000’000 Swiss Disbursement Till Know CHF    500’000
Project Phases Phase 4 01.07.2023 - 30.06.2027   (Current Phase) Phase 3 01.01.2019 - 31.12.2022   (Completed) Phase 2 15.12.2014 - 31.12.2020   (Completed) Phase 1 15.12.2011 - 30.09.2014   (Completed)