On December 18, 2013, ISET hosted the second event in a series of discussions on the topic of inclusive growth. The topic of the event was Modernization of Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Extension Systems related to agriculture in Georgia.
The event opened with a short presentation of the main lessons learned from previous donor-financed VET initiatives in other countries. Later UNDP representative Sophie Kemkhadze presented the SDC- financed project on VET in agriculture, which started this year in Georgia. She talked about the innovative development and delivery of high quality training and extension services to ordinary farmers; the establishment and strengthening of an institutional setup that will be capable of taking over responsibility for the delivery of these services; and setting up a system that ensures the availability of a high quality workforce to deliver these services to farmers.
The second half of the event was devoted to a live discussion. The panel of discussants consisted of representatives from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Labor, Health, and Social Affairs, the Georgian Farmers’ Association, ISET and the private sector, and the audience considered questions posed by moderator Giorgi Bakradze (ISET-PI). The main points discussed were the role of private sector involvement in the VET projects; challenges of the measurements/assessment of the economic impact of the VET projects; and the importance of the sustainability of the built system after the projects’ implementation.
The main goal of the project, funded by the Swiss Cooperation Office for the South Caucasus, is to provide a neutral platform for a regular discussion of Georgian government policies, donor programs, and civil society-driven initiatives to promote inclusive growth. All interested stakeholders will be engaged in a series of roundtable meetings and lectures complemented by follow up site visits, additional research and analysis. In the end, what we would like to do is share knowledge, learn from the experience of others, and come up with new ideas.