December 3, 2021, Switzerland launched a long-term development project to assist Armenia in its efforts of modernizing its Vocational Education System in agriculture. The Swiss Development Cooperation approved in principle a support program to Armenia with a total amount of CHF 7 130 000 (about $7,7 million).
The project is carried by a unique alliance of international and local development actors, as well as public and private sectors, which will also mobilize additional funds. The reform will be implemented by the Swiss NGOHEKS, the Armenian NGO SDA as well as the German Corporation for International Cooperation GIZ, under the overall coordination of the Government of Armenia.
The intervention will assist the Government of Armenia to reform the vocational education in agriculture and to make it better matched with the market demand, leading to more economic development and more decent jobs. The project aims to improve employment opportunities of youth living in rural areas by the means of combining theoretical knowledge with practical training in a selected number of professions. Part of the reform is that along with receiving theoretical knowledge at vocational education collages, the students shall get an opportunity to improve their skills in local companies and farms. Their training paths will conclude with a state diploma.
The project started on December 3, 2021, with a preparatory phase of 9 months. After that, the phase of implementation will last at least for 8 years, with Swiss funds amounting in total to CHF 7’130’000. To increase the project’s impact and effectiveness, Switzerland cooperates with a wide range of partners: the Government of Armenia, international organizations, the public and private sectors, and academic institutions. Other funding partners, who add significant funds to the Swiss contribution, include the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development BMZ, the Austrian Development Agency ADA, the Armenian Izmirilian Foundation and some private companies in Armenia. Some of these contributions are subject to a final approval.
The project will be executed in the Southern Syunik and Vayots Dzor and several Northern regions. Implementing organizations are the Swiss NGO HEKS, the Armenian NGO SDA as well as the German Corporation for International Cooperation GIZ.
The project translates principles and objectives of Switzerland’s foreign policy and development cooperation into action. Switzerland supports the transition of Armenia towards a market economy and contributes to ensuring that the country’s population benefits from inclusive economic development. The project will benefit from the Swiss technical expertise on economic development in rural areas and its dual education system.