Economic Development and Employment
Swiss interventions under this domain is addressing three major gaps, related to labor demand (jobs gap), labor supply (skills gap), and the mismatch between them (labor market governance gap).
With regard to stimulating the creation of decent jobs and tackling the employment gap, SDC is working on improving the business environment through reducing regulatory obstacles, helping attract foreign investors, and facilitating employers’ access to relevant skills, capital and know-how. Among our partners are companies that are active in sectors in the automotive industry, agriculture and food production, clothing and footwear, electronics, information and communication technologies (ICTs), tourism, as well as the production of machinery and its parts.
With regard to the skills’ gap, SDC is working on making vocational education and training (VET), as well as lifelong learning (LLL) opportunities, increasingly demand-driven and practice-oriented, hence more consistent with the labor market needs. Interventions will contribute to strengthening the cooperation between the private sector and the VET system and enhancing the institutional and regulatory framework conditions for dual VET models.
To address the important topic of soft skills, a close coordination with civic education interventions planned in the LG domain is foreseen. As in all EDE interventions, the focus will be put on reaching out to the most vulnerable population in rural areas and small towns. SDC will encourage young women to choose non-traditional study fields and will seek adequate representation of ethnic minorities in VET programs. Specific interventions will target vulnerable groups, such as Roma, persons with disabilities, or prisoners.
With regard to the gap in labor market governance, to better match the existing employment opportunities with the relevant skills of job-seekers, SDC is working on improving the collection and analysis of data related to skills supply and demand and its use for steering purposes. SDC will also contribute to the development of more enabling labor market regulations and a more effective job intermediation system.
Unemployment and underemployment remain the most serious development problems facing partner countries of the SDC. Only if people have access to productive, reasonably paid employment that enables them to earn an income, can global poverty be sustainably reduced and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) be achieved.