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Moldova Flag

Basic country data
Total population: 3,559,497
(Last available year: 2013, National Bureau of Statistics of the Republic of Moldova - on line database)
Young dependency ratio: 22.98 %
(Last available year: 2013, World Bank)

The overall economic situation of Moldova improved in 2013, mainly due good harvests in agriculture but also due to increased consumption based primarily on remittances. The trade balance continued a trend of higher imports than exports and regional disparities continue to persist with more than half of GDP produced in Chisinau. SMEs contribute about one third to GDP, although representing 97.5% of all active companies.
The active population continued to decrease, falling to under two fifths of the total population. About one third of the population is employed in agriculture and just under half in services. Unemployment is relatively low, but reflects a high level of underemployment in various economic sectors (especially agriculture and services). Growing emigration combined with demographic decline challenge the myth that the Moldovan pool of labour is plentiful, skilled and cheap. There are substantial imbalances between supply and demand in the labour market and a shortage of skilled workers.

VET and employment policy progress since 2012
Progress in VET in Moldova since 2010 is significant. It is first on the government’s policy agenda and first preliminary reform steps have been implemented.

The adopted Strategy for the Development of Technical Vocational Education 2013-2020 presents a coherent vision on VET system and financial and technical (assistance) resources have been assured. The Strategy is part of a broader package of programmes and strategies that establish medium- and long-term objectives for the development of technical vocational education, defining guidelines and priorities from the lifelong learning and European integration perspectives. It aims that by 2020 VET will be more attractive, of better quality, relevant to labour market needs, affordable, career-oriented and flexible, and, moreover, allowing recognition of diplomas and validation of non-formal and informal learning fostering mobility in Europe.
The new Education Code reflects the new socioeconomic conditions in Moldova and is now the legal basis for the institutionalisation of VET reforms.

The labour market information system was enriched with the skill needs assessment both at national and two sectors level (agriculture and constructions). Social partner have contributed in four sector skills committees to the development of methodologies for occupational standards and qualifications. They also cooperated in the identification of training needs and the recognition of prior learning. The Classification of Occupations has been revised based on ISCO 08 which impacted on the nomenclature of qualifications.

An overall concept of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) was designed aiming at integrating VET and Higher education qualifications. A concept paper for the national validation system for non-formal and informal learning has been drafted.

Profound reforms of the VET system started, with EU support, in 2014, with a mapping of VET institutions in order to increase efficiency of the system by developing a restructuring plan/Master plan.

Starting in the 2013/14 academic year, all VET institutions in Moldova have implemented entrepreneurship education as a compulsory subject based on a modular curriculum. A further six modular curricula have already been designed for secondary vocational schools, with three of them already being implemented.

With the entry into force of the Education Code, the technical vocational education route after gymnasium offers two options: secondary technical vocational education (vocational school) and post-secondary technical vocational education (college). The trade schools that existed under the previous system will cease to exist. From 2018 education will be compulsory up to the age of 18 years.

Country priorities for VET and employment reforms
For the coming years, the priorities identified by the Torino Process are:

  1. To continue reform and restructuring of the VET network in accordance with the socioeconomic requirements of Moldova;
  2. To build and strengthen the quality assurance system in the VET system;
  3. To strengthen cooperation and partnerships with enterprises and to increase the relevance of VET provision in relation to the demands of society.

ETF interventions
Under the ETF strategic perspective 2014-2017 for Moldova the following main policy areas are considered:

  • the governance approach that values the contribution of social partners in order to align VET to the demand side; the beneficiaries are the relevant actors (Gov., social partners, education institutions and civil society) who have the capacity to take roles and responsibilities in modernizing the VET provision and making it more relevant to LM needs.
  • a clearer orientation to lifelong learning in the VET system, through outcome-based qualifications and transparent pathways, the validation of non-formal and informal learning, the recognition for the work-based learning, the diversification of supply in order to easy access to learning at any age, etc. the beneficiaries are all interested parties (ministries, education and training providers, social partners, individuals, etc.) for a clearer, trustful and transparent qualifications system.
  • continue support and expertize to the EUD for the implementation /monitoring of the TA, budget support or any related VET issues; the beneficiaries are EUD and Ministry of Education Moldova as main actors in implementing the reforms for VET in a coherent and relevant way.

Moldova will also participate in the regional project on work-based learning, where peer learning will follow a mapping of work-based learning policies and practice. The outcomes of the peer learning will lead to policy recommendations and follow-up.

Moldova participates in the Small Business Act assessment 2014-15, in which ETF coordinates the areas of entrepreneurial learning and skills for business. This will lead to a country report and a regional report for the eastern Partnership region.

ETF will continue to support the EU-Moldovan Mobility Partnership in the area of skills.

Support to the EU Delegation

EU projects Period Budget ETF role
Financing Agreement (FA) for the ENPI/2013/ 024-404 and its Technical and Administrative Provisions within the Sector Policy Support Programme “Support to the Implementation of the VET Strategy” 2014-2017 € 25 M Observer
Support for VET Sector
in the Republic of Moldova
Project Identification No. EuropeAid /133700 /C /SER/MD/12 Contract N0: ENPI/2013/333‐798
2014-2016 € 3.5 M  Observer

Key donors in VET

  • Strengthening the Vocational Training System in Moldova (CONCEPT I and II) - LED-(Liechtenstein Development Service). Project developed new occupational standards and curricula for selected occupations; further strengthens the Centre for Continuing Training of the Technical from University Moldova to become a general centre of competence on VET; and support to (up to) 14 VET schools in provision of training according to the new curricula as developed under the project.  
  •  Education for Agriculture (EdAgri), first stage (ends 2015)-LED. It aims at curriculum development and training provision in fruit and vegetable growing and processing                                              
  •  Advancing quality in ICT vocational education in Moldova “ADA  -  Educational Centre PRO DIDACTICA. (ends 2015) It aims at qualitative improvement of content and process of ICT professional education in 5 institutions.                   
  • “Consolidate the capacity of VET providers in water and sanity sector, (stage II) - ADA. (ends 2016). It aims at modernization of curriculum, adult training and teacher training in the sector ; update the infrastructure for delivery the curriculum.

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