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Key takeaways

The 2023 Torino Process system report for Moldova presents a mixed landscape of strengths and challenges of the vocational education and training (VET) system.  Overall, both initial and continuing VET are moderately accessible and appealing to learners, but continuing VET faces greater hurdles in attracting and adequately catering to the needs of adult learners.  Targeting the capacity limitation issues related to continuing VET will help address these challenges.

Moldova’s VET system is focused on facilitating a smooth and successful transition into work, with programmes showing a responsiveness to labour market needs, offering practical exposure to the world of work and providing accessible career guidance.  In light of this, participation and graduation is a system strength, with the majority of successful VET graduates typically choosing to move straight into work.

Yet despite these strengths, there is a contradiction in the system in terms of labour market outcomes.  While Moldova's VET system provides a quality education and boasts successful participation rates, it falls short in translating these achievements into improved labour market prospects for both youths and adults. The issue of widespread emigration of skilled workers compounds this problem, impacting the skills and competencies of the country’s remaining adult workforce. Furthermore, VET curricula, while aligned with immediate labour market needs, require enhancements to incorporate forward-focused themes such as the green and digital transitions.

Looking ahead, recent reforms and system innovations including the development of a network of Centres of Vocational Excellence should begin to have a positive impact in the near future.

Access to learning

Access and participation to learning is the area of monitoring that helps countries capture the extent to which initial VET, continuing VET and other learning opportunities are accessible and attractive for learners, irrespective of who they are and why they wish to participate in learning. It also indicates the success with which learners progress through, and graduate from, the VET system.

Opportunities for lifelong learning: access and participation

The Torino Process monitoring results for Moldova show that access and attractiveness to initial VET is a moderate system strength, while continuing VET struggles to attract and provide for the needs of adult learners.  

adult learners

Although a favorable regulatory framework is in place, the network of continuing VET providers remains small and lacks the capacity to deliver key services.  Beyond VET, however, Moldova provides lifelong learning opportunities for adults based on formal, non-formal and informal education and training.

learning opportunities

An area of system strength is the flexibility with which learners can switch between parallel general and vocational learning pathways.  Transitioning to successive levels of general education from VET is, however, difficult. As a result, the majority of VET students look directly towards employment upon graduation rather than continuing with their studies.

vocational learning

The Torino Process is a biennial review of vocational education and training systems (VET), designed to analyse the ways in which national VET systems address the challenges of human capital development.  It was established by the European Training Foundation (ETF) in 2010 and has been carried out in partner countries in South Eastern Europe, Turkey, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean ever since. 

Evaluating performance against a selection of national and international indicators, the Torino Process covers three major areas of lifelong learning: Access to Learning, Quality of Learning and System Organisation.

Quality of learning

Quality and relevance of learning is the area of monitoring that identifies the extent to which the VET system succeeds in providing basic skills and key competences to young and adult learners.  It highlights the relevance of VET programmes to the world of work and the success with which VET graduates enter the labour market.  Also monitored is the extent to which excellence is pursued in relation to programme content, delivery and social inclusion, as well as systemic innovation which helps the VET system to respond to the evolving needs of learners and labour markets.

Lifelong learning outcomes: quality and relevance, excellence and innovation

The quality and relevance of skills and competences provided by VET in Moldova are equal for both young and adult learners.  In line with its priority to improve the successful transition into work, the VET system performs better in addressing immediate labour market demands than incorporating forward-looking themes such as the green and digital transition.

labour market

While innovation in Moldova’s VET system is having a positive impact on the successful participation and graduation of learners, employability of learners is an area of system weakness.

Although learning programmes provide exposure to the world of work, up-to-date career guidance and strong links with labour market stakeholders, as yet this does not translate into better labour market prospects for youths and adults.

world of work

In terms of excellence, Moldova’s initiative to transform a number of VET providers into Centres of Excellence should help address the current weaknesses in the system regarding programme pedagogy, the professional development of teachers and VET governance. 

Moldova’s determination to build excellence into the system has resulted in the transition of a number of VET providers into Centres of Excellence, giving them broader roles beyond the mere delivery of education and training. These centres are making progress towards their goals, but best practices and excellence in teaching and training methods are not yet consistently spread throughout the VET system. Overall, systemic innovation is only a moderate strength although Moldova's VET system excels in promoting successful participation and graduation of learners on all levels.

System organisation

System organisation is the area of monitoring that captures performance in various domains of systems management and administration. It looks into whether practitioners and leaders can access data and evidence to support informed decision-making, the level of stakeholder involvement in the governance of VET,  the quality and capacity of staff in leadership positions, and the degree of internationalisation  Additionally, monitoring the human and financial resources allocated to the VET system helps assess if these resources support effective teaching, training, and learning.

System organisation: management and resourcing

System performance in the area of VET monitoring in Moldova is uneven.  While availability of national data is adequate, obtaining reliable and comparable international data for planning and decision-making is challenging.

national data

While external stakeholders are involved in the governance of the VET system, improving the active engagement of employers is a prioritised area of development and could have a positive impact on the employability of learners in the future.

active engagement of employers

The creation of a new Agency for Quality Assurance in Education and Research is helping boost system performance in the areas of quality assurance and public accountability which, in turn, should enhance the attractiveness of the VET system. 

Education and Research

The system’s performance in terms of financial, material and human resources indicate that there are no acute, systemic shortages of means or staff.  However, it is the quality of these resources and the way in which they are deployed that perhaps present the biggest challenge to the performance of VET in Moldova.

biggest challenge

Moldova's VET system is currently undergoing significant changes. While it doesn't appear to suffer from severe, systemic shortages of financial or human resources, the quality of learning materials and the capability of leadership personnel appear to affect their efficient utilisation and distribution. Recognising the importance of addressing these concerns and enhancing the system's quality assurance and public accountability, Moldova has established the forward-thinking Agency for Quality Assurance in Education and Research.

Promoting access and participation in opportunities for lifelong learning

Supporting quality and relevance of lifelong learning

Index of system performance

System performance

Torino process system monitoring report