Urgent Need for Skilled Workers and Career Guidance Services
The Mongolian mineral resource sector as well as up- and down-stream industries are suffering from a high and further growing demand for skilled workers, particularly in the fields of electrical engineering, construction and mechanics. According to the Mongolian government, 40,000 additional skilled technical workers will be required by 2018. Qualifications of graduates from public and private vocational schools are often insufficient for employment in the formal sector. Therefore, many adolescents choose university education over vocational training, with currently about 170,000 university students compared to only about 45,000 vocational students.
The vocational education and training (VET) sector also lacks comprehensive further training programmes for older job-seekers without any formal vocational training. This group in particular includes a large proportion of marginalised people who are threatened by poverty or are already living in poverty. Furthermore, both school graduates as well as training applicants lack the relevant orientation for making informed career choices.
The overall goal of the project “Cooperative Vocational Training in the Mineral Resource Sector” (CVT) is to improve the institutional and human resources related conditions for a sustainable and inclusive economic growth based on mineral resources as well as to improve the employability of rural and urban population in Mongolia.
Since March 2013 the CVT project supports selected VET schools in Darkhan, Ulaanbaatar and Gobisumber in the establishment of a cooperative approach between government, private sector and civil society. Since 2014, with the co-financing by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the aim of targeting the formal technical vocational education and training was expanded and now also covers short-term skills training and career guidance as well as western Mongolia.
Since June 2014, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) funds the integration of the South Gobi province in all fields of activity. The training facilities at Dalanzadgad will enter into a twinnig partnership with an Australian TAFE institute for advice on technical training. In addition, the inclusion of students with disabilities will be emphasized.
The project implements a variety of need-orientated advisory and capacity development measures for various stakeholders at micro, meso and macro level like:
- Supporting the development of competency-based training curricula
- Providing complementary equipment for workshops
- Consulting on cooperation structures between educational institutions, private sector and civil society
- Training of vocational education and career guidance personnel
- Promoting the image of vocational education and training as well as supporting Mongolia in the context of the “WorldSkills International” competition
- Consulting on reform processes in the vocational education and training sector
Special attention is paid to the integration of girls and women in career guidance services and training, since technical training courses at vocational schools are mostly attended by young males.
With the nationwide introduction of the “Competency Based Training and Assessment“ (CBT) approach, the first project measures focused on the development of new curricula in the field of initial vocational education and training on the technician level with a high percentage of practical content. Five curricula for long- and short-term courses in industrial electronics, industrial mechanics, heating/air conditioning/sanitation, construction carpentry and structural engineering were developed in cooperation with companies, associations and vocational schools. Corresponding licensed modular teaching materials by the German publishing house “Christiani” are translated into Mongolian.
Twelve development advisors are consulting selected VET schools on the introduction of the newly designed training courses in cooperation with the industry using the newly provided complementary equipment. Moreover, advisory boards are established at the schools with representatives from the vocational schools, companies and civil society. With GIZ support, each partner VET school will have a local expert responsible for intensifying the cooperation with the private sector as well as providing gender-sensitive career guidance to applicants.
So far, over 100 Mongolian teachers and in-company instructors have received further education and practical training in Europe and Mongolia through qualification measures in the fields of electrics, electric welding, electro pneumatics, CNC simulation, mechanics, concrete construction, construction carpentry, and heating/air-conditioning/sanitation. The training also paid attention to methodical and didactic learning objectives and cooperated with training and education institutions, such as the Education and Technology Centre (BTZ) of the Chamber of Crafts at Leipzig and the Mongolian Builders’ Association.
In July 2013, a study tour for 30 Mongolian experts to the world championship “WorldSkills” in Leipzig was conducted. Among other things, the participants looked at the German dual vocational education system, visited selected companies and employment agencies, and learned about inclusion of students with disabilities.
Since then, the CVT project in cooperation with the Korean development agency (KOICA) supports the Mongolian Ministry of Labour in its objective of successful participation in the international “WorldSkills” competition in 2015 in Brazil. Already five students from CVT suppor-ted pilot schools made first places at the preliminary contest rounds for participation in the upcoming world championship. With supporting skills contests, the image of vocational education and training in Mongolia is improved.
Industry, state and civil society actors, at the national level, with assis-tance of the CVT project, founded the non-governmental organisation “Vocational Education and Training Partnership” (VETP). It promotes the harmonisation of activities of the partners and knowledge ma-nagement in the VET sector. The CVT project provides a development advisor for organisational development to secure longterm success.
The CVT project uses various GIZ personnel instruments according to the needs of the partners, like national and international short- and long-term experts, development advisors embedded in partner organisations and local experts for strengthening institutions and expanding services. Qualification measures, advisory services and personnel deployment, as well as provision of complementary equipment, are coordinated in a manner which is harmonised in its content, timing and space, thus creating synergy effects that significantly improve the impact of the technical cooperation measure.