Focusing on Ukraine
Ukraine is a priority partner for the European Union (EU). The EU supports Ukraine in ensuring a stable, prosperous and democratic future for its citizens. The main tool for this is the Association Agreement (AA), including its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) signed in 2014. It aims at promoting deeper political ties, stronger economic links and respect for common values. Ukraine has initiated an ambitious reform programme to accelerate economic growth and improve the livelihoods of its citizens. A key part of this is developing a modern vocational education and training system, which can respond to the needs of a changing economy, based on modern qualifications.
As the EU agency supporting the external action of the EU in the human capital development field, the European Training Foundation has been working closely over many years with Ukraine and with the EU external service to realise this ambition, as well as providing broader support to the Eastern Partnership, which aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union (EU), its Member States and its six Eastern neighbours. The ETF provides inputs to the relevant bilateral sub-committees, policy dialogue and monitoring, and the annual country progress reports on education, training and employment developments.
Ukraine is one of the neighbouring countries with the highest number of migrants entering the EU. The ETF’s approach to migration considers important interlinkages between migration, labour markets and skills development and we are working closely with Ukrainian stakeholders in education and labour market developments. We closely monitor reform efforts of VET systems and build skills intelligence through the Torino Process which includes the wider context of human capital development and inclusive economic growth. We are working on activities including the decentralisation of the VET system, smart specialisation, skills and migration, and developing the competences of learners and educators. See the brief outline of these activities below and stay tuned to all are social media channels this week to learn more.
Looking in depth..
Through the decentralisation project on VET, which the ETF has been working on together with the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science, several priority areas for steering systemic reforms in the country’s VET policies were identified, including: good multilevel governance (institutional, communication and financial aspects); optimisation and rationalisation of VET school networks; VET school autonomy and accountability; public–private partnerships (PPPs) for VET and skills development. Improving the effectiveness of regional VET networks has led to the development of centres of vocational excellence and innovation (CoVEs) in Ukraine which are now members of the ETF’s Network of Excellence.
Vocational education and training is an integral part of Ukraine’s smart specialisation which was made a part of Ukraine’s State Strategy of Regional Development 2020. The ETF is working with national counterparts to explore the impact of smart specialisation strategies on skills and human capital policies to successfully implement the strategy, for example ETF events have been held in 2021 for the Rivne and Kharkiv regions focusing on the manufacturing sector.
And as part of the ETF’s Creating New Learning initiative, EU conceptual approaches and related instruments have been applied and further advanced in Ukraine which has been introducing the entrepreneurship and digital key competences in the national curriculum as part of the New Ukrainian School initiative, with the support of the ETF.