Today, Piotr Antoni Świtalski, the EU Ambassador to Armenia announced the EU-funded programme of “Better Qualifications for Better Jobs”, with a budget of €15.2 million for the years 2017-2019.
Commenting on the programme the Ambassador said, “Our agenda is clear: we need to take action and work together in order to make sure that young people and their skills are at the heart of inclusive growth. With the right skills, young people are better prepared for active citizenship; they have a better chance of finding and keeping a good job; and they are better equipped to set up their own business – and in turn, to create jobs for others”.
The main implementers of the programme are the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as private sector organisations and social partners. This programme seeks to improve the efficiency of Armenia’s labour market and the employability of its workforce, with a particular emphasis on agricultural employment.
The announcement coincided with the official opening of a Social Enterprise printing house at Armavir State Art College within “Social Innovations for Vocational Education and Employability of Young People with Disabilities” (SIVEE) project financed by the European Union and implemented by Save the Children in Armenia. The SIVEE project has reported tangible results in creating equal employment opportunities for youth with disabilities through promoting social innovation in Armenia’s VET sector. Within this project 40 students with disabilities have received vocational training at the Armavir State Art College. Five of the alumni have already been employed at the printing house. Overall seven regional colleges and five social enterprises have been established where 25 young people with disabilities currently work. This sets an example of how vocational education, employability and inclusiveness can be achieved and practiced.
Both the VET Reform Forum and the Opening of the Social Enterprise took place as part of the “Learning is Cool” campaign initiated by the European Union Delegation to Armenia. Running from 9-13 October the campaign promotes the outcomes of the EU-Armenia cooperation in the sector of education and employability through a series of events and highlights the value of lifelong learning for the citizens of Armenia.