On January 31, 2014, ISET hosted the third of a series of events concerning inclusive growth. The topic of the event was Vocational education and training (VET) in Georgia.
A short introductory presentation on the challenges of VET in Georgia was followed up by a video prepared specially for the dialogue, depicting a successful case of business-college collaboration.
Moderated by Giorgi Bakradze (senior research advisor at the ISET Policy Institute), the panel included representatives of business; the Ministry of Education and Science; the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs; the Georgian Employer Association; ISET Policy Institute and “Spektri” college. The central question addressed by the various stakeholders was how to collect and analyze relevant labor market data; how to involve the private sector in VET; how to keep VET colleges up-to-date and able to adapt to changing skills requirements; and how to use rigorous evaluations to monitor quality and inform policy design and implementation.
The dialogue continued with a question and answer session where the audience was able to state their own opinions on the topics discussed and pose questions to the panel of experts. The main points/problems underlined during the discussion included: the low quality of existent VET, especially the low skills of teachers working in VET colleges; the lack of training materials in the Georgian language; the inadequate perception of VET among youth; and the need for advertisement in order to attract more talented students.
Eric Livny, executive director of ISET, offered a conclusion to the discussion. He underlined the role of balanced cooperation between different stakeholders, particularly for those small businesses lacking professional workers.
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.