Azerbaijan students

Tackling skills mismatches in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan’s ambition is to become a competitive diversified knowledge-based economy for the 21st century. A major obstacle in achieving this is the high level of mismatch between the needs of employers and the skills people acquire through education and training. Employers regularly report that people entering the labour market lack technical and professional competences, as well as the soft skills they look for in their recruits.

The European Training Foundation’s (ETF) efforts - in cooperation with the EU Delegation and other international donors - to support the country in addressing this challenge have borne fruit with the recent Government decree instituting a labour market observatory. Tasked with making analyses and forecasts to guide decision-making, the observatory will make an important contribution to adapting education and training provision to the needs of businesses.  

The need to reinforce the country’s mechanisms for matching the supply and demand for skills in the labour market emerged from national consultations in the course of the ETF’s periodic assessment of the state of human capital development in its partner countries, known as the Torino Process.

The ETF provided expert support on skills matching to the Azerbaijani Labour Ministry as part of the Make it Match project that it leads under the EU’s Eastern Partnership Platform 4 “Contacts between People”.  A series of workshops with ministry officials led to the development of a concept of a labour market observatory in November 2017. Work continued throughout 2018 on the structure, functions and mandate of the new body. The legislative process culminated with the signature in July 2019 by Azerbaijan’s President, Ilham Aliyev, of a decree instituting a National Observatory on Labour Market and Social Protection.

In parallel, the ETF has been working closely with the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan on the design of a €1.2 million EU project on skills matching to reinforce labour market information systems and support the roll-out of the observatory. This project is expected to start in the coming months.

Margareta Nikolovska, ETF country coordinator for Azerbaijan, said “This shows how the ETF works successfully at both technical and policy level and cooperates closely with the EU Delegations to support its partner countries in moving forward and improving opportunities for their citizens.”

In Azerbaijan, the ETF is also providing support in the form of content monitoring and advice on implementation for the EU’s €19 million Education Support Programme 2017-2019. Watch this video to know more.