Tourism and construction are growing sectors in the Georgian economy; yet an inadequate supply of skilled labor inhibits employment prospects for Georgians, with concomitant negative consequences for improving productivity and income growth. Georgia’s future economic growth is dependent in part on the country’s ability to improve its workforce to meet labor market demand. The Vocational Education Project (VEP) in Georgia is designed to increase the capacities of Georgia’s construction and tourism sectors through specialized interventions in training and education.
The Vocational Education Project in Georgia (VEP) is designed to:
- Increase the supply of trained graduates in tourism and construction trades from four or more vocational education centers, certified to international standards or their equivalent.
- Increase the sustainability of the centers through public-private partnerships and the application of business models to their development.
- Facilitate public-private cooperation for the development of vocational standards and related curricula in the tourism and construction trades to ensure that the competencies created meet market needs.
VEP is working with the Government of Georgia to create models for effective and sustainable Vocational Education Centers (VECs) to meet market demand for certified and skilled labor in the tourism and construction industries. This activity is currently being implemented in five VECs: the Icarus Tourism VEC, Spektri construction VEC, Khidistavi VEC located near Gori, Kobuleti Tourism VEC, and the Kutaisi construction VEC. VEP provides training and technical assistance to the VECs to develop courses that are responsive to labor market demand for a skilled workforce in tourism and construction.
The VEP program focuses on training around ethics, entrepreneurship, presentation, and the interpersonal skills required for improved employability and business start up and management. In addition, VEP tracks graduates for a period of three months on the job, provides counseling services as needed, and works with employers to facilitate the graduates’ transition to stable employment.
VEP also targets teachers, center directors, and VEC governing boards with tailored training to address the specific needs of each group. Additionally, VEP involves private sector stakeholders in the development of training activities to ensure a direct link to the needs of the labor market.
VEP brings together the public and private sectors to develop and implement activities that utilize best international practices in vocational education and training standards. This collaborative approach breaks down barriers and builds trust between the public and private sectors and creates a joint cooperation model to support the ongoing reform process. Over the life of the project, VEP will assist the Vocational Education Centers to train and place qualified workers to meet the future needs of Georgia’s tourism and construction sectors.