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14 Dec 2015

EU to invest €11.5m in vocational education system in Belarus

MINSK, 14 December (BelTA) - The vocational education system has a big influence on the development of society, Belarus’ Education Minister Mikhail Zhuravkov said during a ceremony dedicated to the agreement between the European Union and the Government of Belarus on the financing of the program "Employment, vocational education and training in Belarus” which was held at the Education Ministry on 14 December, BelTA has learned.

According to the document, which was given to the head of the European Union Delegation to Belarus Andrea Wiktorin, the European Union will invest €11.5 million in the development of the vocational education system in Belarus.

"Over the years, Belarus has not destroyed the system of vocational education unlike many other countries. On the contrary the country has significantly enhanced it. However, the new requirements dictate new rules. New profession, skills and qualifications are needed today. It is essential to tackle the issues of employment and training of young people and adults. I have no doubt that within five years of the program, we will significantly advance in the implementation of the new system of qualifications, will create new resource centers and will be able to pass on our experience and training to other countries,” said Mikhail Zhuravkov. It is planned to create the centers in such areas as engineering, construction, and energy (renewable energy), environmental protection, services. There are plans to develop the relevant sectoral qualifications frameworks, professional and educational standards of competency format, a mechanism of certification of competencies and qualifications, a national strategy for the development of learning throughout life and effective mechanisms for financing vocational education system. The setting up of an intersectoral resource training center is also in the plans, the Minister added.

In turn, Andrea Wiktorin welcomed Belarus’ inclusion in the Bologna Process and stressed it as an important step in harmonizing education systems in Europe. “As the world practice shows, one qualification and one certificate is not enough today. It is necessary to develop a flexible system of receiving education throughout the life,” she said.

In this respect, the Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus stressed: “The needs of the modern labor market change very quickly. There is a constant need in new specialties and skills. It leads to the development of the education system, a more flexible system of training that will help young people and citizens of any age receive new knowledge,” she said.

According to the minister, Belarus plans to set up and upgrade 400,000 high-performance jobs, which requires training, retraining and enhancement of qualifications of more than 620,000 people, including 258,000 specialists for knowledge-intensive manufacturing. This, in turn, requires changes into the vocational training system and united efforts in training the personnel for the system of education, science and manufacturing. The program will also be focused on enhancing the attractiveness of vocational training among the youth and their parents.

Among the main partners of the program is the Education Ministry of the Republic of Belarus, the Labor and Social Security Ministry, the Economy Ministry, the National Statistics Committee. Partaking in the project will be various participants of the labor market such as employers’ unions, professional unions and public organizations.

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