Torino Process 2018–2020 Georgia - National Report

Open Space Member • 17 October 2019
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2019

The national reporting framework

Building block A: Country and VET overview

A.1: Country background

A.1.1 Introduction

Georgia is a lower middle-income country with a growing gross domestic product (GDP) close to 5% per year. This development was determined by the strong external environment, higher private consumption and a consistent macro-fiscal policy framework. Services are the fastest growing sector, led by hospitality and financial services. Education contributed by around 3% to Gross Domestic Product in 2017 and for the first two quarters of 2018 these fugues stands at 3.6%. The Georgian economy is dominated by small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which make up 94% of enterprises. Most SMEs are concentrated in low value-added activities. Only 10% of SMEs are active in manufacturing6. According to the 2016 SME Policy Index, Georgia is a top reformer among the Eastern Partnership countries and it has improved the institutional framework for SMEs. 
    In recent years, Georgia has improved the business environment by simplifying administrative regulations, reducing the tax burden, fighting corruption, facilitating free trade, promoting privatisation and establishing a policy partnership platform to build a national lifelong entrepreneurial-learning concept. These efforts are recognised in the World Bank’s Doing business assessment, which ranked Georgia 6th out of 190 countries in 2018 .

Georgia is characterised by a natural decrease in population combined with adverse age structure and high migration . The population has decreased by 600,000 over the past 12 years (Geostat, 2016). The urban population has increased, while the youth population has decreased as a proportion of the population, from 16.3% in 2009 to 12.6% in 2016 (Geostat, 2016). Such changes in the population, together with migration trends, affect the deficiency of the workforce. Emigration is a significant phenomenon in Georgia. According to the Geostat data the flow of emigrants from Georgia is increasing in the recent years. The most striking aspect of emigration is that younger people leave Georgia the most, with the highest rates in the 25–29 age group, followed by 30–345.

Since the Torino process 2016-2017 important police document have been prepared. Such as a new Labour Market Strategy 2019-23 and Employment Service Act. The Law on Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) came into force in August 2018, enabling OHS legislation to be developed in line with EU directives and the EU-Georgia Association Agreement. In 2017 a new Unified Strategy of Education was approved which covers all staged of education starting from pre school to science. In September 2018, the parliament adopted a new Law on Vocational Education and Training (VET). 

In late 2017 and mid-2018, Georgia initiated two rounds of government restructuring. The first reduced the number of ministries and split up the former Ministry of Sport and YouthAffairs, merging responsibility for youth policy with the Ministry of Education and Science. In mid-2018, the Ministry of Culture and Sport was merged with the Ministry of Education and Science. Responsibility for policy on internally displaced persons was moved to the new Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs (MoIDPLHSA). The number of deputy ministersin the new Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport (MESCS) was reduced from seven to five, and changes were made to the senior management of the ministry’s subordinate agencies.  
In accordance with the information released by the MoF, in 2018 public spending for all levels of education in Georgia constituted 1.2 bln. GEL, which is 11.8% of total public expenditure. On average, in 2015-2018 years budget expenditure on education increased by 76%  and the education budget in 2018 reached 3.1% of GDP. The goal is to achieve 6% of GDP by 2022 that would imply around 25% of the state budget.  

Georgia developed SDGs National Document – Matrix that includes Global Targets,  Georgia Adjusted Targets and Adjusted Indicator  for 2020/2025/2030; In total Georgia has 16 goals and around 50 indicators.  
 

A.2: Overview of Vocational Education and Training

A.2.1 Overview of VET: set-up and regulatory framework

The VET Development Strategy for 2013–20 reflects the priority given to VET development at national level. It highlights the importance of ensure high quality and flexibility in VET. The strategic directions for VET development are further incorporated into the new unified education strategy. 

In September 2018, the Georgian parliament adopted the new VET law, which was an important milestone for skills development and VET in Georgia. The VET law is a framework law that allows the government to develop the VET system with a lifelong learning perspective, giving it the flexibility to adjust the legal provisions to the needs of the labour market, economic development and learners. Secondary legislation will need to be developed in order the law to be properly implemented; international development partners will support the drafting of bylaws and regulations in the coming years. The VET law  (2018) aims to introduce new pathways to the education ladder eliminating dead-ends and ensuring involvement of private sector through work-based learning and public-private partnership initiatives.  

 According to the VET Law Vocational education is defined as an education that ensures development of person’s competence / competences which is required for a specific profession and / or labor market and is directed towards the lifelong professional, social and personal development of a person; Vocational education institution / college  is a legal entity that pursuant to the rules of Georgian legislation is authorized to carry out vocational education programs, short cycle educational programs, professional training and retraining programs, as well as state language programs; Higher Educational Institutions and Schools aelso can implement VET programs if they meet the authorization requirements.  VET educational programs are presemted in table 3. 

Table 3. VET  educational programs, qualifications and entry requirements

Document certifying vocational education is a diploma and certificate.  Certificate – the document issued by the authorized institution, which certifies the vocational training or retraining of a person or achievement of the learning outcomes foreseen by the separate modules of professional development program; Upon completion of joint vocational education program/short-cycle education program, the joint diploma is granted. 
In 2018, the parliament adopted NQF-related amendment to the Law on Education Quality Development. Revised NQF have been approved in 2019 (MSCS, order 69/n); it consists of 8 levels and 3 types of levele discriptors: knowledge and understanding, ability and responsibility and autonomy.  it describes qualifications that already exist in Georgian education system and shows their interconnection at national and international levels. NQF includes the qualifications based on which it issues the diplomas (these diplomas then indicate the relevant qualifications). It is based on the principles of the European Qualifications Framework.

Table 4. Documents asserting the qualification

A.2.2 Institutional and governance arrangements

The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports (MESCS) is the main policy making body for education. The government develops national development policies and strategies, and holds complete responsibility for setting objectives for VET, following consultation with the its agencies, social partners, the government of the two autonomous republics (Ajaria, Abkhazia) and international partners. 
•    The Education Management Information System (EMIS), which is a legal entity under the MESCS, is responsible for collecting data and evidence on the entire education system. 
•    The NCEQE is responsible for quality assurance at all levels of education. It authorises educational institutions by issuing them with a licence, and accredits educational programmes. 11 sector committees have been created to validate occupational and educational standards under the NCEQE. 
•    The National Centre for Teachers’ Professional Development provides in-service training for secondary general and VET teachers and trainers.
•     The National Assessment and Examination Centre (NAEC), which is subordinate to the MESCS, aims to improve the quality of education through valid, fair and reliable assessment and research. It also conducts the PISA survey in Georgia. 
•    There is also the Educational and Scientific Infrastructure Development Agency which deal with school construction and facilities; 
VET governance is centralised though involvement of Social Partners is more supported; thus it is moving towards hybridisation model, which is characterised by increased involvement in policy implementation of social partners and VET providers. The National VET Council is the main tripartite consultative body on VET policy. It consists of an equal member of government and social partners. The ETF carried out a review of the council’s efficiency, effectiveness and current ways of working as part of the Torino Process in 2016. Feedback from the council members was positive but there is a  way to go to make it an affective platform for VET policy debate and formulation.
    Currently  Georgia seeks for different social partnership models at the system level that should support  more result oriented  and effective cooperation with SP.
    Social partners are also involved in Validation  of Occupational and Educational standards through SCs. At the sectoral level Georgia’s TVET system needs to become more demand-led and responsive to the needs of industry. Developments so far have mainly focused on the need to correct the mismatch between industry’s skill needs and much of the existing TVET provision by providing a provision of mechanisms to involve industry representatives in processes and initiatives intended to ensure that labour market needs are met. It is clear that there is a need for effective Sector Skills Councils in Georgia which should be empowered and resourced to play a key role in human capital and skills development, especially within economic sectors which are strategically important for economic development in Georgia. 

Social partners participate at VET colleges managements through supervisory boards; at the local level there ia an expectation that industry should be more involved in TVET provision, by providing work-based learning and a so-called “dual” type of apprenticeship provision, organised in partnership between enterprises and TVET institutions; In recent years,  Work-based Learning (WBL) and dual education has gained lots of attention;  sector bodies are assumed to have a potentially important intermediary role to play in the implementation of this approach.

Social partners  are also involved in the Adult Education system development, the  board which gives right  to the service providers is based on social partnership principal, the head of European Business Association  Georgia is the  head of the board. 
 

A.2.3 Basic statistics on VET

There are 119 VET providers among which 87 are VET colleges (20 public and 68 private), 23 are higher educational institutions (14 public and 9 private) and 9 general educational schools (all private) (EMIS, 2019). The public network covers all the regions of Georgia, while the biggest number  of Colleges are concentrated in Tbilisi, followed by the Adjara and Imereti regions. 

The total number of  institutions  implementing VET prigrams has increased in 2019 compared to 2018 by 4.  The number of VET institutions increased by  21, the number of  VET community colleges decreased by  5 and  HEI implementing VET programs by 2 while schools are the same. (see table 4).

Table 4.   Statistical Data on VET Providers in in 2018  and 2019 by August

The number of students in 2018 and 2019 by institutions is given in table 5.

Table 5.    Statistical Data on VET students  in 2018  and 2019 by August

Completion rate of the VET programs in 2018 was 68% (75% in private and 66 in public institutions), while a drop out rate 27% (21 in private institutions and 30% in public) (EMIS, 2018). 
In 2018, the ratio of VET funding to the total state budget allocations of the MoESCS (1.2 bln.GEL) makes up only 2.8% (41.4 mln. GEL). This includes spending on VET development support activities (94%), accessibility of VET education for prisoners (0.5%) and trainings and retraining for ethnical minorities (5.6%). Over 2015-2018 years, on average, VET funding increased from 23 mln. GEL (in 2015) to 41 mln. GEL (in 2018). Traditionally, on average, VET development support measures absorb the biggest portion among the VET implementation dimensions funded by the state.
    In 2017, the ratio of voucher financing constituted 51% of the total operational costs of the whole VET sector, while subsidy finance made 49% contribution to the operational costs category. 
    In this report, labor market outcomes for Vocational Education and Training (VET) graduates are studied using two administrative data sets, the Georgian Statistics Office (GEOSTAT) Labor Force Survey and the Ministry of Education, Science, and Sports (MoESCS) Tracer Study.  We examine the general outcomes of VET program graduates and present them below through each study independently as well as a combined analysis of both together.  The key findings are:
•    Employment rate of the VET graduates have slightly increased from 56% in 2016 to 60.0% in 2018;
•    A majority of VET graduates are males  as well as enrolled students. (table 6)  

Table 6.  Enrolment and completion rates by gender during 2014-18

•    VET attainment (as well as other forms of education) decrease from 2017 to 2018 in every region of Georgia.
•    About ¼ of all VET graduates are between the ages of 30 and 65.  People younger than 30 have been / are being educated after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  The original VET system collapsed and it is still transitioning into a stable state.
•    The unemployment rate is lower for VET graduates compared to higher education graduates.  For both men and women, unemployment decreased from 2017 to 2018; specifically by 1.7 % for male VET graduates and 0.6 % for female VET graduates.  People with higher education degrees are the most economically active, VET counterparts are in second place.  The overall economic activity rate decreased between 2017 and 2018 for all participants.
•    VET graduates, while similarly employed in some manner and working nearly the same number of hours per week as higher education graduates, are much more likely to be self-employed, while higher education graduates are much more likely to be a hired employee.  
•    Higher education graduates dominate in all earnings intervals from 600 GEL per month and up.
•    Males participate more than females in every form of market labor.  Education is positively correlated with economic activity and employment in general, except for self-employment.
•    The percent of respondents that said they would have chosen the same education attainment that they actually completed is positive and consistent.  Two odd outcomes are 1) that the national average earnings per month in 2016 and 2017 was about 700 GEL, but in both years all respondents claimed to be earning about half that amount; and 2) there is a very low amount of VET graduates that are actually working in an occupation that matches their specialization.
•    VET graduates predominantly work in the private sector.  Compared to the general population, the private sector figures are higher at a significant level.  
•    The number of dual VET programmes have increased from 3 in 2016 to 29 in 2019;
•    There is also an increase in the rate of students continuing studies to another level of education from 6% in 2016 to 8% in 2017
•    Participation in the adult education programmes have also increased from 0.42% in 2016 to 1.6% in 2017
    Also, assessment of public attitudes towards vocational education showed that 20% have positive attitude, 48% neutral, 27% negative and 5% did not have an answer . Thus more measures need to be implemented for raising awareness of population on the benefits of vocational education.
    Also, assessment of public attitudes towards vocational education showed that 20% have positive attitude, 48% neutral, 27% negative and 5% did not have an answer . Thus more measures need to be implemented for raising awareness of population on the benefits of vocational education.

A.2.4 Vision for VET and major reform undertakings

It is more than a decade that the reforms are underway in the education system of Georgia. The goal of the VET reforms is ambitios and broad, to support the country’s  Socio-Economic Development and Poverty Reduction over the coming decade by maximizing the national and individual potential of the country's human resources through  VET  that is quality oriented, relevant to current and future local and  international LM needs, inclusive, acessable to everyone within LLL context. The VET strategy is in colience with the  Socio-economic Development Strategy- “Georgia 2020” that stresses the importance of education sector for developing human capital and thus ensuring the robust economic development of the country. 

The strategy include an Action Plan  that is renewed on a yearly basis; the progress of its implementation is measured by means of the  systematic monitoring and evaluation processes  based on the specific indicators.  

In 2017 a unified strategy for Education and Science 2017-2021  was developed (Order# 533 07.12.2017), which is based on the comprehensive analysis of the education sector. The strategy encompasses all levels of education: Early Childhood, Preschool Education, General, VET, Higher Education, Adult Education, Science, and Research. The overall aim of the strategy is to develop an accessible and quality education and science system based on the principle of lifelong learning, which allows all citizens of the country to achieve high quality and sustainable results.

One of the specific goals of the strategy is to increase the number of VET students to support the socio-economic development of the country,  to ensure their competitiveness by developing professional and general skills. The strategy has the following  tasks in VET:
1. Ensure  relevance of VET to the labour market demands and internationalisation of the system;
2. Ensure access to VET  in the context of lifelong learning;
3. Promote VET and enhance its attractiveness.
    Implementation of the Unified Education  Strategy is also based on the relevant action plans 
    As mentined above in 2018 a new VET Law was approved that  aims to improve the quality and flexibility of the vocational education system; to develop a link between general, VET and higher education, introduce a general education component in VET, develop adult education system and etc. The law initiated, a new phase of the reform in the VET system. After completion of short-term professional training and retraining programs certificates recognised by the state will be issued. Apart from the institutions delivering VET programs private training centres will have a possibility to implement training and retraining programs.  

The new VET Law created a legal basis for the validation of non-formal and informal learning. The final edition of the applicable act has been formulated. A small scale piloting of VNFIL in STEM and Agriculture sectors was implemented, methodological materials were developed.  Approval of the rule of VNFIL is planned in the second quarter of 2019. In the initial stage, validation will be carried out in two areas - construction and agriculture. 

The new VET Law opens the opportunity for integrating VET at the secondary stage of general education. The process will take into account the results of the piloting of 2 programs carried out during 2017-2019. Students will be admitted to the programs from autumn 2019.

For supporting private sector engagement in VET an implementation of dual education programs in selected sectors and development of the public-private partnership models will be continued. At present, 29 educational programs are implemented in 13 educational institutions with a dual approach. 51 private companies are engaged in dual programs. Also, since 2019 all VET programs are modularised; employers participate in the process of an educational program development. 

With the financial support of the British Good Governance Fund, technical assistance was provided in 2 diractons: to develop a PPP model in Managements Outsoursing in VET and  to introduce “short cycle" programs at the 5th level of NQF and the relevant concept. Introduction of the short-cycle programs will support harmonisation between VET and HE. 

Improvement of access to vocational education remains one of the priorities of vocational education. Among the initiatives are the establishment/development of vocational education institutions/ their branches and improve municipal coverage. 

Improvement of professional orientation and carrier guidance service is one of the main objectives of the reform. In order to address the abovementioned as well as increase the awareness rising among the school pupils, Minisry runs the special program under the name “Working Skills Development”, which started in 2017. 

It should be noticed that the employment rate of VET graduates has been improved. According to the Tracer Study in  2018, the Employment rate is 60%, which is 4% higher than the previous year’s rate. 

KfW support intablishment of  the a ‘Centre of Excellence’ with the primary objective to provide high quality TVET at international standards in the two priority economic sectors construction and logistics – training skills from crafts level up to engineering competencies. TVET offers shall be implemented in close cooperation with the private sector by responding to the actual and future labour market trends and by applying latest technologies. The offered TVET programmes shall comprise both, traditional as well as innovative occupations offered in a variety of long-term and short-term trainings. Training will be implemented   from level 1-5 on 3 grades: basic, advanced, applied training (simulation of real cases). Apart from its training function, it shall perform certain so-called ‘hub services’, which shall support industry responsiveness and the TVET system reform as a whole through facilitation of skills innovations in the selected sectors and the design of additional services, including sector cooperation and knowhow exchange.
 

A.3: The context of VET

A.3.1 Socioeconomic context

 Table 7. Georgia at a glance

Table 7. Georgia at a glance

Georgia as other Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries have been undergoing a transition process started about 20 years ago which has brought significant economic and social changes. Georgia is a lower middle-income country. Georgia was affected by a global recession in 2008-2009, regional slowdown in 2014 and by especially conflict with Russia. Georgia has recovered since then, with the growth of close to 5% per year; Though economic recovery poverty is still a challenge. 21.9% of Georgian population are under poverty line.  The main LM indicators are still below compared to the government’s targets defined  in the development strategy of 2014-2020 (Georgia 2020). Due to the socio-economic vulnerability of the regions, job-seekers started to migrate to the capital.

Georgia is experiencing a demographic transformation with a rapidly aging and shrinking society. The decline is seen mostly among the working age population and children, while the elderly population is growing slightly. The population of Georgia is 3,906,195 (2018). It is 15% less than the results of the previous census. The youth aged of 15-24 years also had decreased (from 15.3 in 2010 to 11.6%-2018)  which in the medium and long-term perspective will have a negative effect to the existing workforce in the country and the country's economic development.

 A migration balance declined in 2017 (- 30438 in 2010 and -2212 in 2017), although the decrease has been characterised by instability and turbulent nature  since 2013. The flow of emigrants from Georgia is high in the recent years. It should be noted that that younger people leave Georgia the most, with the highest rates in the 25–29 age group, followed by 30–34.  
 

A.3.2 Migration and refugee flows

Labor migration is one of the big challenges for the government of Georgia. According to official statistics, the number of the Georgian population in 1989-2014 has decreased by two million people because of migration. Not all of these people are labour immigrants, as among them are those  who live or study in other countries; but according to experts’ estimation at least 60% of people (1 mln 200 thousand) migrated to find jobs. The typical migrants are young males, but the number of female migrants is also significant. Analysing return migrants shows that emigrants are better educated than non-migrants, but as immigrants they often work in positions that do not correspond to their qualifications and level of experience.

Illegal labour emigration creates problems for recipient countries; that’s why there are frequent cases of deportation, readmission. The forced returns substantially aggravate immigrants' difficult economic situation. According to studies, more than half the emigrants from Georgia take a debt or sell their property to go abroad. The latter is risky when migrants have to return back to a homeland in case of unsuccessful emigration. Unfortunately, such statistics do not exist, although the practice proves that their number is not small; they become a part of the category of "homeless" that is an increasing tendency in Georgia. 

Labour immigration is also a challenge for Georgia. Legislation regulating labour immigration in Georgia is liberal and does not take into account any liability for non-compliance with its obligations. Thus, there is no comprehensive information on the activities of foreigners in Georgia, but it is well known that most of them are employed illegally and their rights need protection. Allowing these processes to be self-contained are risky from both economic and political perspective.

A.3.3 Education sector context

Education in Georgia is mandatory for all children aged 6–14 years; The country has a high gross rate of enrolment in upper secondary education (100.% in 2016) and a relatively low rate of early school leavers (8.9% in 2017);  illiteracy is minimal (around 0.4%). Early leavers from education aged 18-24 is 9.6 %. 

The educational attainment level of the labour force remains relatively high: in 2018 Tertiary education attainment for the age group aged 30-34 was 44.1%. However, the quality of education remains an issue in Georgia’s general education system. In the OECD 2019 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Georgian students scored below the OECD average in all fields. Only 38% of students were proficient in reading literacy, 34% were proficient in science, and only 31% were proficient in mathematics at or above the functional. Underachievement (% aged 15) for reading was 51.7%, Mathematics -57.1% and science 50.8% in 2015. 

 The school system is divided into 3 levels: elementary (six years; ages 6–12), basic (three years; ages 12–15) and secondary (three years; ages 15–18), or VET (two years). Until 2018 only students with a secondary school certificate had access to higher education, and they had to pass unified national examinations to enrol in a state-accredited higher education institution. With the adoption of the new VET Law in 2018,  it became possible to integrate general education subjects into the VET and enable the VET graduates to access the HE institutions.     Higher education consists of 3 levels: BA (240 ECTS), MA (120 ECTS) and Phd (180 ECTS). 

VET educational programs are being implemented at the levels of 3, 4, and 5 of NQF; training and retraining programs at the levels of 2-5. (see Fig. in the report in PDF p.18).

VET is provided by both public and private colleges. Universities and School also implement VET programsThe participation of the students in the VET education and its relevance for the labour market’s demands are also important problems in Georgia (ETF, 2017 p.5, UNICEF, 2014, pp.13-19). 

VET image has improved recently though VET is considered a second choice compared with academic pathways that lead to higher education. The share of Students in vocational programmes as a percentage of total upper secondary students (ISCED level 3) was 8.8% in 2016 (9.7 male and  7.8 female). The Net enrolment rate was 2.6 in 2017/2018.(table 8).

Table 8. Net enrolment rate in VET

A.3.4 Lifelong learning context

Georgia recognizes the importance of the development and implementation of LLL policy at least for some reasons such as: to support integration of Georgian Educational System with European System, to support social and economic development of the country through strengthening financial and material-technical capacities of the LLL institutions and development of human capital of the  country, to support  skills matching as well as closing gaps between supply and demand,  to support employability of adults and meeting local and regional  Labor Market (LM) needs. 

The Unified Education Strategy 2017-2021, defines all levels of education and science such as  early and pre-school education, general education, vocational education, higher education and research and development; it also defines the main directions for the development of education and science in the LLL context. LLL is a policy priority of Georgia but  participation rate in training/lifelong learning (% aged 25-64) in 2018 was 1%.

Research carried out in 2016 (Kitiashvili & Tasker, 2016) shows that a vast majority of surveyed adults (93.0%) had positive attitudes towards continuing education, though the survey revealed that about 80.0% of respondents had unmet continuing educational needs during the preceding year. (14.0%). 
  Respondents who had attended education programs during the preceding five years had learned social skills (teamwork, cooperation; 33.0%), IT expertise (33.0%), entrepreneurial skills (27.0%), communications (17.0%) and problem solving skills 7 (14.0%). No professionally oriented training was mentioned and most activities evoked were non-formal.

Barriers such as a lack of finances and information, as well as enough time required for commitment to study, exclude adults from educational opportunities. No professionally oriented training was mentioned and most activities evoked were non - formal.

One of the important dimensions of the VET Strategy is LLL; the Strategy Emphasizes the importance of   an  access to VET and development of Vocational and  key competences needed for adaptation to workplace as well as social and personal development of a person. Provide preventive and remedial measures that reduce early leaving from the VET system. 

LLL is an importan part of the following strategic documents: 
1.    Association Agreement (2014)
2.    National Qualifications Framework (2019)
3.    Signing of the Bologna Declaration in 2005
4.    VET law (2018)
5.    VET reform strategy 2013-2020
6.    Concept and Action Plan of Civil Integration and Tolerance of Government of Georgia 2009-2014
7.    E-Georgia Strategy and Action Plan 2014-2018
 

A.3.5 International cooperation context: partnerships and donor support

Since the Torio Process 2016-17 the main donor organisations contributing to the  VET sector development are: 

Since the Torio Process 2016-17 the main donor organisations contributing to the  VET sector development are: Since the Torio Process 2016-17 the main donor organisations contributing to the  VET sector development are: Since the Torio Process 2016-17 the main donor organisations contributing to the  VET sector development are:

 

Building block B: Economic and labour market environment

B.1: VET, economy, and labour markets

GDP increased by about 4.7% percent in 2018. According to the preliminary estimates, the nominal GDP was GEL 41,527.2 billion and 11,139 GEL per capita. According to the preliminary evaluations, in February 2019 the economy grew by 4.6%. Significant growth was observed in the following sectors: processing industry (24.8%),  construction  (12.9%), trade (12.4%) and transport  and sectors (9.2%). The private sector plays an important role in a country’s economic growth. Necessity of highly qualified personnel will emerge in these economic sectors; 

By the four quarters of the 2018 business turnover increased by 19.5% compared to last year and reached 85.5 billion GEL. Business sector output is 40.9 billion, which is 10.5% higher than the last year's indicator.

According to the statistics of the 4th quarter of 2018, the number of jobs in the business sector was 684 thousand, which is 3.7% higher (24.5 thousand more jobs) than the last year's figure. In Addition, compared to 2017, turnover of a business sector increased by 12%, output by 11.9% and employment by 6.2%.

Foreign direct investment, export and import.
During 2014-2018  more than $ 8 billion in foreign direct investment was invested in Georgia. The volume of direct foreign investments made in Georgia reached its  historic maximum 1 894.5 mln USD in 2017. It was increased by 21 percent (328.7 million US dollars) compared to the last year. 
In 2018, foreign direct investment decreased to 1,232.4 mln. US dollars. It was due, in part, to transferring of ownership from non-resident to resident units in some companies. It can also be traced to the decrease in debt liabilities to non-resident direct investors.

The largest foreign direct investment was made in the financial sector in 2018 that maintains the leading position (277.9 USD, 22.5% of total foreign direct investment). Transport and communications sector with 174.7 million USD Investments (14.2 percent) sits in the second position while the energy sector in the third position  with 157.2 million USD (12.8 percent). The greatest amount of FDI came from Azerbaijan (19.5 percent - 240 million USD), followed by the United Kingdom (16.5 percent - 203.7 million USD) and the Netherlands (13.6 percent - 167.9 million USD).

In the high's context planned investments and capital costs, which is planned to be implemented in the sectors mentined above will increase the demand for particular professions.    
In 2018 45 percent of the total FDI was reinvested, mainly caused by the profit tax reform, which allows the private sector to earn their earnings, make new investments and expand their business activities.

In 2018 the export record was the highest - 3.4 billion US dollars that are 22.9 percent  higher related to the last year. Since September 2016, the stable growth of export has been observed. In 2018, the export has exploded in these sectors: motor cars (75%), cargoes and cigarettes (4 times), copper ores and concentrates (19%), ferroalloys (15%), natural wines (15%) and nitrogenous fertilisers (20%) export. Import in 2018 increased by 14.9 percent (1183.1 million US dollars) and reached 9,122.3 million. USD. 

As an example how VET responses to the economic trends can be considered   Transport & Logistics sector that is one of the dynamic sectors with the high FDI; The table below shows the matching between Analysis skills demand and number of prepared students; though the educational sector prepares cadres within this sector the analysis has whows the discrepancy.

                   Table 9. An example of the analysis of skills demand and number of prepared students in the sector of transport and logistics

Identification of issues

B.1.1 Labour market situation

The country's economic growth and increased demand for work force through increased economic activity mainly caused the reduction of unemployment levels in recent years. This is confirmed by the fact that the average annual employment growth since 2010 was 1.4% and this evolution was mainly caused by the increase in hired employment. As a result, the unemployment rate in 2018 dropped to 12.7%, which is the lowest unemployment rate in the last 13 years. (see Graph.1 in the report in PDF p.23).

In addition, weak positive trends have been observed in terms of labour supply; In 2018 Compared to previous year the country's workforce decreased by 1.9 percent and the level of population activity decreased by 2.2 percentage consequently. (see Graph. 2 in the report in PDF p.23).

In 2018, the decline in the level of activity and workforce affected the employment level. In 2018, employment levels was 55.8% (1 706.6 thousand people), which is 0.4% lower than the previous  year's rate (1694.2 thousand employed). In 2018, contrasted to the previous year, employment levels in urban areas increased by 1.2%, while in rural areas decreased by 3.5%. 
In 2018, the number of wage employees increased by 2.5% that was more than  the number of self-employed population. In 2018, the share of wage employees and self-employed population made up 50.8% and 49.2% employment. (see Graph.3 in the report in PDF p.23).

For analysing the labour market supply side one of the important factors that are the remuneration of labour. One of the main challenges of employment is the earnings inequality by economic sectors, that shows low productivity in some sectors. Employers are better paid in the following sectors: financial activities, transport and communications, construction, electricity, gas and water production and distribution. There are lower salaries in the following sectors: education, hotels and restaurants, agriculture, hunting and forestry. The positive trend is the sharp increase of the average monthly nominal salaries of hired employees in recent years, which was equal  to 999.1 GEL in 2017. (see Graph.4 in the report in PDF p.24).

Employement opportunities varies by regions and a level of educaton. The unemployment rate is much lower in rural than in urban settlements. Creation of new jobs is closely linked with the investment projects available in the country. Unequal distribution of economic activity and direct foreign investments by regions affects internal migration, mobilisation of workforce in particular in the capital, which increases the level of unemployment in Tbilisi. The highest unemployment rate is in Tbilisi -  24.7% in  2017. (see Graph.5 in the report in PDF p.24).

Despite increasing trends in employment and participation rates, some groups are left out of employment, including youth and women. 
One of the biggest problems is a high levels of unemployment among young people. As usual, the highest rate of unemployment was within the age group of 20-24 years  in 2017 - (29.6%), which was 3.3 percent lower compared to  2016. The level of unemployment is also high in the age group of 15-19 years and corresponding to the data of 2016-2017 it is  34.7% and 27.1% respectively. This can be explained by the fact that  young people in Georgia mostly have higher education qualifications and after graduation they face two types of challenges: 1) The labour market demand is low for their qualifications and/or 2) their qualifications and work experience meet the employers’ requirements. In addition, a frictional unemployment should be taken into account as young people need more time to find the desired job. The unemployment rate is typically the lowest in the 65+ age group. The reason is that the 65+ is pension age and the large part of the population is not employed, this age group people do not look for work and most of them belong to the category of inactive population. (see Graph.6 in the report in PDF p.25).

The unemployment rate is characterised by the following trend: According to official statistics, 73.6% of men and 55.6% of women are in active employment, a difference is about 16.4 % (compared to 11.3% in the European Union). It is noteworthy that in 2018 the unemployment rate of women decreased by 1.5% and among men by 1.1 and reached 11.2% and 13.9% respectively. A proportion of women in tertiary education is higher (56% women versus 44% men). This means that women have fewer opportunities than men to realise the potential given to them by their education. Some occupations are traditionally regarded as more suitable for men or for women, which inevitably leads to horizontal segregation. The data point to significant employment differences in some sectors according to gender and type of activity. Typically, large pay and gender gaps are found in highly segregated labour markets where women are concentrated in certain sectors and occupations. (see Graph.7 in the report in PDF p.25).

Women's activity level in 2018 decreased compared to the  last year and reached 55.6%; the activity level in men was 73.6% in 2018. Below is the dynamics of activity level by gender.
 According to official statistics, just 55 people with disabilities worked in the public sector in 2017, out of 47,000 employees. A major bariers for  people with disabilities is that they would no longer qualify to receive state disability assistance. According to the SSA about 1502 people with disabilities are registered while only 25 people were employed in 2015.
According to the EU data, Georgia's labour market is in the 4th place with effectiveness among 144 countries; attracting  workforce  with low qualifications and maintaining their  long-term employment  may have a negative influence on dynamics of the labour market and on general economic condition of the country. There is a lack of more accurate data on informal labour market, non-formal education and employment. 
 Tables  10 and 11 reveal the spectrum of employment data by educational level, gender, and year.  It is clear that VET and higher education graduates, while similarly employed in some manner and working nearly the same number of hours per week, are quite opposite when it comes to self-employment versus working as a hired employee.  The employement in VET is a bit lower than in higher education (60.3% vs62.4) while it is higher than in secondary education (56.3%).  Self-employement is higher in VET (34.3%) compared to HE (15.4%)  and is  lower compared to  Secondory education (37.9%).  This is more true for men than women, where the largest differential seems to be with the very low number of women with higher education that are self employed.

Table 10 Population sample distribution by rate of employed and rate of hired people by gender, year, and educational attainment

B.1.2 Specific challenges and opportunities: skill mismatch

One of the main challenges of the Georgian labour market is the quantitative and qualitative mismatch between supply and demand. On the one hand, there is a high demand for the qualified workforce while the labour market is filled with low qualified workers. Most of the investors operating in Georgia consider low qualified workforce as a major impediment to business development. Big investors have often to spend extra resources, time and money for the development of skills of certified beneficiaries. In such cases, employers often employ foreign workforce, which negatively affect the dynamics of the country's labour market and contain certain discriminatory elements of local labour force. Based on the STEP survey 66% of workforce are well matched, 29% overeducated and 4% undereducated .  People invest in acquiring tertiary education while there is low demand for such labor force. Tough, the locally available workforce has irrelevant qualifications and irrelevant skills most to LM needs (Millennium Challenge Corporation, 2013). The skills mismatch is particularly evident in the case of youth, who seem to be overqualified and under skilled. Women and informal workers are more likely to be over-educated for their current jobs. The rate of over-education is highest for business graduates, Technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), information, communication, technology (ICT) and architecture graduates. Over-educated workers are the lowest for the humanities, social sciences, education, social services, law and health (World Bank, 2018). Women and the less skilled workers with the tertiary educated are more likely to take jobs that require lower levels of education.
 The unemployment rate is higher among higher education graduates (15.5%) than among vocational education graduates (12.2%) . Many less skilled jobs in Georgia do not require university-level skills, that shows am over education, vertical skills mismatch. The problem is not the lack of an educated work-force. Almost 40% of the population aged 25-34 have higher education (Bachelor, Master and Ph.D. degree). General education has about 42.2 of men and  31.2% of women. The ‘skills mismatch' in Georgia is a mismatch between excess supply of high educational qualifications and insufficient demand for such qualifications.
People invest in acquiring tertiary education while there is low demand for such labor force. Tough, the locally available workforce has irrelevant qualifications and irrelevant skills most to LM needs (Millennium Challenge Corporation, 2013). The skills mismatch is particularly evident in the case of youth, who seem to be overqualified and under skilled. 
Women and informal workers are more likely to be over-educated for their current jobs. The rate of over-education is highest for business graduates, Technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), information, communication, technology (ICT) and architecture graduates. Over-educated workers are the lowest for the following graduates: humanities, social sciences, education, social services, law and health (World Bank, 2018). Women and the less skilled workers among the tertiary educated are more likely to take jobs that require lower levels of education.

In 2018 beginning of 2019 some organisations (Iliauni, TSU, ART)  explored that the most "popular" -professions on the labour market are: financiers, credit experts - 20,1%; Sales Manager - 18,5%; Technical staff - 13,2%; Doctor, medical staff - 9,7%; Distribution, trade - 8%; Information Technology Manager - 7,4%; Manager of different spheres - 7,2%; Teacher, trainer, consultant - 6,4%; Tour operator-3,5%; Marketing specialist - 3,1%; Lawyer - 1.9%; Engineer 1%; (According to popularity rates), Georgia has traditionally the most highly paid jobs in  state governance and  in the financial sector, while the lowest-paid jobs are in education sector. 
     VET system challenges to respond to LM needs  can be summarised: 
•        Weak mediation systems for matching demand and supply at national while the capacity at local level varies from collage to college  
•    Lack of experience and traditions of WBL: employers do not always consider training as part of their responsibilities; With the absence of effective VET system, employer have to provide costly in-house training to reach the required level of skills; 
•    A few apprenticeship;
•    Lack of capacity and experience of Social Partners to get involved in planning, implementing and monitoring of WBL; 
•    Lack of tradition of schools and companies partnership.
 The mismatch between the supply and demand in transition economies like Georgia are caused by rapid economic restructuring, lack of relevance of the education system with labour market needs, and underdeveloped LLL and adult education systems. This mismatch results from the traditional employment structure; it is dominated by agriculture, low productivity service sector activities and the small size of the modern, high value-added sector of the economy. 
 

B.1.3 Specific challenges and opportunities: migration

Migration is a challenge for Georgia. Countries with relatively high income and better living conditions are attractive for the population of Georgia. Emigration in  general  is a prevalent trend in low-income countries. According to the 2015 Report of the United Nations, from 2010 to 2015, a total of 16 million people migrated from low and medium-income countries to high-income countries. The same Report depicts that a total of 296,323 people left Georgia  from 2010 to 2015.

Approximately 8-11% of the Georgian population has emigrated abroad for labour motives (Labadze & Tukhashvili, 2013). At present, remittances are one of the  key source of foreign earnings for Georgia as well as contributes to reducing poverty. Though remittance in like recipients worldwide spend a large share to cover everyday expenses, rather than making investments in various types of production – so called ‘productive’ investments (EBRD, 2007; IOM, 2009). A relatively small share of remitted capital is used for productive investment in Georgia (Gerber and Torosyan, 2010). 
Illegal labour emigration still is one of the biggest problems of Georgia. There is a risk that because of a visa-free regime with the EU Georgian citizens will try to migrate to EU countries and work there illegally (as it is known that the visa regime does not envisage legally employment in EU countries). EU member countries many times reported about increased number of migrants from Georgia (eg .: Germany, Switzerland, etc. edeti and so on). This process might lead to launching  the "suspension mechanism". Therefore, Georgian government should support effective management of migration processes that will make migration beneficiary for everyone involved.

Besides, the number of immigrants' to Georgia is increasing. For many years, the country has had an open border policy with visa-free travel for citizens of over 80 countries. The visa-free travel regime significantly increased illegal migration of citizens claiming for asylum. Georgia has the highly liberal immigration policies that together with economic and social attractiveness contributes to foreigners’ inflow into a country, including for employment, which might have a negative influence on unemployment and socio - economic processes in the country.  Though it can have a positive effect in terms of skills transfer.  

It should be mentioned that the most of the immigrants enumerated in the 2014 census were returning natives (79,630 men and 57,657 women). A smaller number (15,736 men and 30,881 women) were foreign-born. Returned migrants who are employed are paid higher salaries compared to non-migrants (Tchaidze & Torosyan, 2010), which might indicate the development of valuable skills.

It is important to develop mechanisms to deal with the high level migration by maximizing the benefits of internal and international migration; to reduce a gap on brain drain and returned migrants. 

 

B.1.4 Specific challenges and opportunities: digital transformation

The digital transformation is crucial for accelerating the fast economic growth, it ensures the transparency, simplifies procedures and increases country’s competitiveness. The digital transformation disrupts also some of the professions, therefore has high and useful impact on education. The educational reform has to follow the speed of digital transformation. All TVET providers have internet that is required through authorization standard. E- governance of TVET field and EMIS new database are used for better tracking the system and digitalization of the business processes. Newly established adult education system management is fully digitalized. 

In recent years, Government of Georgia has conducted successful reforms transforming the country in high-value-added, knowledge and digital economy. With the main aim to simplify procedures, government has digitalized the services, integrated blockchain in governmental services (land and property registration).

Computer, smartphone and internet penetration is pretty high and country is well connected to the internet. To enhance the network readiness of the country, Government initiation developing broadband for all project, through which the whole country will be connected to high-speed fiber optic internet connection.

In addition, Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency (GITA), with the support of the World Bank is developing digital literacy and e-commerce training program for regional households and SMEs to enhance their digital skills and ensure the effective use of internet. GITA is also promoting digital entrepreneurial activities, providing grants to digital startups and innovative firms, supporting R&D commercialization and ICT absorption. Government also imitated Education for Employment program whereas ICT skills is top priority and GITA is implementing IT education program, through which by 2021 country will have up to 3 000 advance level IT specialists, in globally highly demanded professions.
 

Description of policies

B.1.5 Strategic policy responses involving education and VET

Vocational education programs reform implies the introduction of competent and modular VET programs. The main characteristics of modular VET programs are compliance with labour market requirements, orientation on learning outcomes, a practical component and modern approaches to teaching and assessment. Employers, sector associations / unions are actively involved in the process of development of professional qualifications. Since 2019, the VET institutions have been fully transferred to the modular education programs. 

For the development of LM oriented VET system it is important to ensure an involvement of the private sector in the planning of practice, teaching and assessment as well as monitoring and certification processes. Development of PPP is one of the important priorities in VET.  The number of WBL programs and programs implementation within PPP format has increased. 
Some VET institutions have innovative labs (fablabs) for supporting entrepreneurship in their institutions. Students and graduates have established "start-ups" in some institutions. In addition, innovative teaching week of vocational education "Hakatoni", "Buster", were organized in partnership with the Innovations and Technologies Agency; the main topics were innovative teaching in VET  and the possibilities of integration of the fablabs in teaching process.

Taking into consideration the emerging labor market and existing socio-economic conditions, state institutions recognise the importance of VET in dealing with such challenges such as unemployment and poverty. The Department of Employment Support Services of Social Service Agency under the Ministry of IDPs from Occupied Territories, the Labor, Health and Social Affairs (in 2015 the labour market based on the research component), since 2015 has been implementing an employment-support state program.  The number of participants in the training and retraining programs of job-seekers during 2015 -2016 increased by 25% although the total number is not big, i.e. 2908 in 2018 (1138 youth). The goal of the programme is to train registered job seekers in the most demanded occupations and increase their employment. VET colleges provide courses for 3-4 months. The programme does not have a focus on young people, but it prioritizes disadvantaged groups of the population, i.e. people with special needs, ex-offenders,  etc.  Individual consultation service got 16 275 persons in 2018 and 4113 were youth among them. 1479 people received group consultation services and  585 were youthn among them.   
 

B.1.6 The role of VET in remedies through active labour market policies (ALMPs)

There is no passive LMP in Georgia  and ALMP is more preventive than proactive. Various ALMPs have been put in place since 2013. Continuous VET makes up the largest ALMP in Georgia, including services for job seekers, individual and group counselling, support employment for vulnerable groups, employment forums, a state program of training and retraining of job- seekers and  programs. (see Table 12).

Table 12. Active labour market programmes in Georgia (2018)

Job seekers can register at Portal Worknet.gov.ge while people with socially vulnerable status in Georgia are obliged to register at the portal. Worknet.gov.ge is a web portal that combines two sides of the labor market, job seekers and employer. Job seekers can create their own profile with the information of education work experience, skills, preferred employment field, etc. Employers registered on the Web site can view the data and evaluate whether candidates meet their vacant positions.

The number of registered jobseekers has increased cionsideravly  during the  last years. Among them females and + 29 years group are dominated as well as people with low education background.

Table 13. Registered jobseekers by age and Education

Taking into consideration the emerging labor market and existing socio-economic conditions, state institutions recognise the importance of VET in dealing with such challenges such as unemployment and poverty. The Department of Employment Support Services of Social Service Agency under the Ministry of IDPs from Occupied Territories, the Labor, Health and Social Affairs (in 2015 the labour market based on the research component), since 2015 has been implementing an employment-support state program.  The number of participants in the training and retraining programs of job-seekers during 2015 -2016 increased by 25% although the total number is not big, i.e. 2908 in 2018 (1138 youth). The goal of the programme is to train registered job seekers in the most demanded occupations and increase their employment. VET colleges provide courses for 3-4 months. The programme does not have a focus on young people, but it prioritizes disadvantaged groups of the population, i.e. people with special needs, ex-offenders,  etc.  Individual consultation service got 16 275 persons in 2018 and 4113 were youth among them. 1479 people received group consultation services and  585 were youthn among them.   
    According to the beneficiaries and employers involved in the program, though challenges the program is effective, especially the state internship component. The program is a small scale, though the number of program participants and the people employed after finishing the retraining programs has been increasing. 5/1/2019 file: ///tmp/tomcat8-tomcat8-tmp/4b9bd72a-a53f-49c4-a530-8abda69786b3.html 4/4 The reporting period from 2017 to March 2019: 2017-1775; 2018-1888; 2019-115; 

B.1.7 Identification of skills demand and its bearing on VET provision

Georgia analyzes current and future skills needs, however, its  effectiveness is not validated and use of this information by education systems is limited. In 2015 the Employment Promotion Unit under the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour Health and Social Affairs  started an annual labour market review in Georgia, qualitative and quantitative analyses of macroeconomic and labour force survey and employer survey. LMIS IT System is envisaged as “One Stop Shop” web portal that includes information about LM conditions, occupational profiles and Career Guidance. In 2017, Georgia conducted its first Skills Survey that covered 6 000 companies from all sectors.     

VET colleges carry out local labour market research to identify local skills needs and to develop relevant educational programs and short term pograms. MCA _G  ISWD project supported capacity developments  of the VET colleges to carry out local labour market research during 2016-2018. GIZ has supported  skills gap analysis in the sectors of ICT, Transport and Logistics and development of dual TVET and short-term programs based on the needs identified. VET colleges use LM research for development of training and retraining short-term programs or for the development of elective modules pf the TVET curricula.  

Working groups under NCEQE are responsible for the development of Occupational Standards by sectors. Occupational Standards  are developed in cooperation with employers. They define the duties and tasks that  employees should fulfil by occupations together with required skills. Occupational Standards are bases for the development of Educational Stanadards and Educational Programs. Assesment standards are being developed for assesing competencies  and skills of graduates according to the requirements of employers.
 

B.1.8 Supporting migrants and refugees through VET

The state program of training and retraining of job-seekers is available for refugee and  people with humanitarian status, and persons with stateless status in Georgia. Citizens of this category (migrants, refugees and other humanitarian status) refer to the program data as "IDPs".  During 2017 159 IDPs were ivolved  in the program while in 2018 226 participants.  691 had an acess to individual and group career councelling services in 2017 and 1995 in 2018. 
    Agency of Livelihood Sources Support – established in 2014 is focused on IDP people; it provides employment, self-employment, subsidize support services such as: 
•    Subsidies a VET IDP students travel  expenses; 
•    Grants to support purchasing equipment/tools for starting self-employment
•    Provides Grants in agriculture, such as for  greenhouses 
•    Grants for beneficiaries of the program “rural household beneficiaries”: Mini-tractor and moto block for land preparation; Seedlings of perennial crops; Primary production and processing of food;

 Agency provides permanent information campaigns through sms, face to face meetings, forums,  volunteers involvement and etc. 
During 2017 244 IDPs were enrolled in VET programs, while in 2018  about 257. 

The project EU4Youth aims to enhance the livelihoods of internally displaced and conflict-affected youth and foster their meaningful participation in society – targeting two regions (Shida Kartli, Samegrelo) in Georgia, and Donetsk oblasts in Eastern Ukraine. The duration of the project is 2018-2020 and the budget 1.58 Mln Euros. 
The project  covered various activities, such as Established and Operated 2 Entrepreneurship Schools in Georgia; VET training and retraining, business mentoring, coaching and consultations for young people.  Implementation of trainings  In Ukraine; start-up grants to young IDPs.  One of the activities is the development of capacities of Georgian and Ukrainian government institutions and conduct advocacy actions. NGOs in Georgia implement various employment and entrepreneurial support projects for IDP youth.
 

B.2: Entrepreneurial learning and entrepreneurship

Identification of issues

B.2.1 Job creation and VET

In geprgia jobless economic development has a negative influence on employment. In Georgia, the growth elasticity between 2005-2015 was 5%. Worldwide, the growth elasticity of jobs is 34 percent, meaning that for each percent of GDP growth, employment grows by 0.34 percent. For the Western Balkan countries this elasticity was 16% for 2000-2010, and for EU-CEE countries it was 32 % for the same period . There is a shortage of evidence that the improvement in the business environment is supported by job creation (World Bank 2017). Job destruction far exceeded job creation, so many people try to find their employment in the informal economy. 

It is essential to support innovation and youth entrepreneurship and compensate for a lack of job opportunities; Faced with high levels of youth unemployment entrepreneurship can bring important benefits.

Since 2015 entrepreneurial learning became obligatory module for VET Students. The  module includes different recommended and obligatory learning materials like student's book "Entrepreneurship", Teacher's Handbook "Entrepreneurship" and so on. Besides, in 2016 MOESCS established Industrial Innovation laboratories (FABLAB) in the 14 vocational colleges, where students can create innovative products. FabLab enhance entrepreneurial of thinking of vocational students.

There is an evidence that entrepreneurship learning promotes self-employement. According to the tracer study self-employment rate among 2017 year VET graduates has increased (11%) compare to 2016 year VET graduates (8%). It is noteworthy that more than half of self-employed graduates’ (56%) business is connected to their vocational specialization. 14% revealed partially connection between work specifics and their specialization. 30% notes that their specialization are not connected to their business. Business activities of VET graduates are quite diverse but main sectors  is  agriculture (27%). About 43% have up to 500 500 GEL, while 49% aboyt 500-900 Gel or more (Tracee Study, 2017).   a salary of 900 GEL or more has 28% of self-employed graduates, which is higher compared to  salary of  hired graduates.

In countries with similar levels of GDP per capita, about 5% of workers are entrepreneurs, but in Georgia only 1 %of total employment (World Bank, 2018). 

Social entrepreneurship education is being conducted through non-formal educational activities, mainly through civil society organizations. One of the main institutions supporting entrepreneurship is LEPL “Enterprise Georgia“(2014). It runs a state programme "Produce in Georgia", that provides grants (5 000- 15,000 GEL) and technical support to applicants. By January 2019 within the frames of this programme 466 businesses were supported, with total investment value amounting to more than GEL 1,11 billion and more than 17 000 new jobs were created. 45% of the applicants are women. Through the  “Entrepreneur and Small Business Loan Guarantee Program,” the State can provide loan guarantees in specified rural communities.  The Academy of the Ministry of Finance offers free training for women, and “Startup Georgia”. A new grant programme “A Step for a Better Future” was launched by the Office of State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality in Georgia in January 1, 2019 aimed to enhance economic relations and opportunities across dividing lines. The beneficiary of the programme may be a person who lives in the occupied territories of Abkhazia or Tskhinvali region, as well as a person from territory controlled by the government of Georgia.
 

Description of policies

B.2.2 VET policies to promote entrepreneurship

In 2017 Inter–agency working group was established for implementation LLL. The group incorporates leading government agencies and regularly holds a meeting and discussing about: creating entrepreneurship learning action plan, demonstration of Entre-Comp and related action plan to introduce entrepreneurial thinking in the national curricula.

Since 2012 Tracere Study of VET gradutes collects informationabout self-employement on a yearly bases. Since 2015 entrepreneurial learning became obligatory module for VET Students. With support of different donors associated learning materials were developed. At VET level the entrepreneurship module includes student's book "Entrepreneurship" and Teacher's Handbook "Entrepreneurship".

In 2017 Unified Strategy of Education and Science (2017-2021) have been elaborated and adopted. Following to this strategy, entrepreneurship key competence became part of the national education curricula and captures all level of education. The unified strategy of education and science has further increased coordination between private sector and MoESCS. In 2017 with the support of MCA Georgia the concept of flipped classroom was piloted in several VET schools of Georgia. In September 2018 with the support of US embassy Project-Based Learning Methodology have been introduced in Entrepreneurship of all VET Institutions in Georgia.  

In 2017 MoESCS within the cooperation of Innovation and Technology Agency established Industrial Innovation laboratories (FABLAB) throughout the vocational colleges. FabLab enhance entrepreneurial and innovative thinking of vocational students. In 2018 MoESCS started collaboration with Munich and Georgia Chamber of Commerce and on behalf of this collaboration all VET teachers have been trained in entrepreneurship, piloted entrepreneurship training module and facilitated it to 40 VET subject teachers. In 2018 amended authorization standards of higher education institutions approved. Following to this amendment students being systematically tracked after graduating. The tracking information including employment/self-employement rate with obtained qualification and academic development.

Freedom, Rapid Development and Welfare program 2018-2020. The GoG has launched the program, which emphasizes education, innovation, and youth as drivers of future growth. Since 2016, at least 7 countrywide awarding event takes place anually organised by international donors with MoESCS and other government institutions: Hackathons and Makaton, teachers awards, ECOFactors, TVET, Makehaton, The National Awards of Professional Education etc. in 2018 the new  brand of VET was established, one of the main message of the brand is that VET is an opportunity for people to develop  entrepreneurial skills.  Georgian universities are also organizing events aimed at promoting entrepreneurial learning through various courses, web-sites  etc. 

Since 2016, government financing of education system has been increased by 40%. Additional fund served mainly to increased teachers’ salaries and training. 
 

Summary and analytical conclusions

The analysais has shown that the main achievement in this section can be summarised as follows:
•    VET becomes more relevant to the LM needs, but there are still challenges; Employers evaluate relevance of VET to LM on 10 point scale as 6.4 in Tbilisi (minimum 5 and maximum 7.5) and  5.9 in the regions (minimum 3 and maximum 7.5)
•    VET graduates employment rate improved; the rate of hired  employment increased in general 
•    Entrepreneurial skills development  approach improved as well as  entrepreneurial culture in the institutions and among the students is slowly enhancing; self-employment increased  during 2017 
•    ALMP programs expanded and they contribute to the employment of job-seekers i 

In this section there are discussed the following important policy challenges together with factors, progress with implementing and Recommendations: 
1.    High level of unemployment 
2.    Migration to abroad including of young people 
3.    A mismatch between supply and demand 
 

policy challenges together with factors, progress with implementing and Recommendations:

policy challenges together with factors, progress with implementing and Recommendations:

policy challenges together with factors, progress with implementing and Recommendations:

important policy challenges together with factors, progress with implementing and Recommendations:

 

Building block C: Social environment and individual demand for VET

C.1: Participation in VET and lifelong learning

Identification of issues

C.1.1 Participation

Compared to 2012/13 the rate of enrolement in VET within the age category of 15-19 has increased  more than 1%. (see table 14).

Table 14. Enrollement rate within the age category 15-19

Note: age group 15 - 19, year 2012/2013 is taken from year 2012; Data refer to academic year - September to August except for 2017/2018 which refers to the period of September - June; high share on enrolled students is older - 20 years old and more, which leads to the overestimation of the rates.

The rates of registration, enrolment and graduation by age group is given in the table 14 and 15. It can be explained by some factors such as: 
•    The duration of subject-based  programs was shorter than modular programs;  the duration of modular programs  is at least a year and  a half;  thus colleges could get more students on subject-based programs than on modular programs; 
•    The enrolment of the students was less regulated than now. The educational institutions had a whole quota of students and institutions could  distribute the number of students by programs.  According on the new authorization standards each program has a quota that depends on the material resources that the institution needs for implementation of theoretical and practical components of the concrete educational programs. The new standard defines exactly what kind of equipment, how much resources and how many students  can be enrolled  in a given program. The institutions could implement VET qualification that were not  demanded on the LM and could have students on such programs;  Now institutions  do not implement qualification that are not required by the LM that caused decrease of the number of the students.   
•    There is a discrepancy between the choice of the students and LM demand. Consequently, students  do not often choose  demanding professions. For example, the demanding professions like, carpenters, locksmiths and others are not selected by the stusents and institution cannot fill in all places. To sum up  it is important to be defined quota of the students on each educational programs depending on the LM need and resources available.  The number of students will increase  together with expanding the network  of the VET institutions. MES advertise VET profession among the students  that are market oriented but might be less favourite for the applicants.
•    The deadens also caused a decrease in the number of VET students. This challenged will be overcome under the new law.

C.1.2 VET opportunities for vulnerable and marginalised groups

In Georgia, the focus of inclusive education is mainly on the access for students from vulnerable backgrounds and the institutional adaptation including learning equipments. Vulnerability is related to the regional and economic factors as well as the individual or social characteristics of people. In 2015, a situational analysis was prepared – “availability of VET to the vulnerable groups in Georgia”. The report states that due to the social and economic conditions vulnerable groups are becoming more widespread and include: elderly people, lonely families, disabled people IDPs, refugees, long-term unemployed people, veterans, ethnic minorities and so on. Based on the recommendations of the analysis, different services /models have been introduced to the VET system.
    Since 2016, representatives of ethnic minorities are enrolled in the state VET institutions based on Azeri, Armenian and Russian language tests; after enrolment they can learn Georgian language and continue their studies on vocational education.
    The transportation expenses are covered for IDP students that supports IDPs' access to VET; Also, grant competition is being conducted periodically to support entrepreneurship activities of IDPs. There are various short-term vocational courses for different target groups includig job seekers, convicts and former prisoners. VET is funded by the state including refugees, asylum seekers and persons with humanitarian status.
     Since 2019, adult education system has been developed in VET, which aims at a formalisation of professional training and retraining programs for adults. Within the program framework the state financing will be invested in the priority sectors; private providers also can deliver programs. 
    Significant changes have been introduced in terms of financing vocational education. From 2019, state voucher funding scheme will be applicable for the private educational institutions implementing professional programs in the priority sectors. 
    Persons with disabilities and educational needs are one of the vulnerable groups.  According to the VET Law of a person with special educational need is defined as: " A person with expressed difficulties in the learning process and requiring adaptation to the learning process, envisaging a modification of vocational educational programs/vocational training/vocational retraining and Georgian language training programs and/or changing of learning environment and conditions without entering amendments to the learning outcomes and /or additional educational service”
    Although inclusive education was introduced to the VET system much later (in 2013) than in general education, (in 2006) it has achieved some visible outcomes. Persons with special educational needs also get additional quarterly voucher funding (Decree of the Government of Georgia N244. 19.09.2013 "Determination of the rules and conditions of vocational education financing and vocational education programs On the approval of the maximum amount of tuition fees in the educational institutions founded by the State "); students can use the voucher according to their   individual needs. This is one of the most important contributing factor for providing VET to vulnerable groups based on their individual needs. The multidisciplinary team of the Ministry monthly monitors the implementation process of inclusive education in VET, that is  important for the quality of services. 
     
 

Description of policies

C.1.4 Promoting VET access and participation for vulnerable and marginalised

Taking into account the social and economic situation in 2013 the Government of Georgia made decision  to fully fund vocational education in state educational institutions. In 2019, the state will fund the private VET  institutions within the priority directions. However, some difficulties remain in terms of availability of vocational education, especially for vulnerable groups. That's why one of the priority is increasing a geographical access and to improve municipal coverage, that includes establishment of new institutions, branches, development of student dormitories, adaptation of buildings.  In addition, programs and materials are  being adapted for  students with special needs. 

One mechanism for improving access to vocational education is also a program for professional skills development in school pupils, which extends gradually. Within the framework of the professional orientation component the program is implemented since 2017; From 2017 year with the initiative from 31 colleges (21 public and 11 private) 433 courses in more than 250 public schools of Georgia were implemented. According to the data for the end of 2018 the program covered all regions of Georgia and more than 10 000 pupils from 8th and 9th grades passed courses from more than 40 different vocational fields. From 2019 the program also provides for professional training courses for students of X-XII grades. These courses will prepare students to perform individual tasks and responsibilities related to a particular profession.
 

C.1.5 Flexible VET provision in support of participation in VET

Until 2019 vocational educational programs were created according to two schemes. 1) There were a number of professional standards developed at the central level, based on which educational institutions developed educational programs. In this case the process was decentralized; 2) Since 2013, modular programs are beeing  based on professional and educational  standards. In this case, the educational standards are created centrally at the state level, and educational institutions can develop their educational programs based on the educational standards. Professional and Educatioal stadards have been developed with the employers participations. VET intittions can change 20% of elective courses based on the local needs.  Since January 1, 2019, the Law of Georgia envisages teaching only modular programs . There are some advantages of the modular programs: 
•    Enhanced compliance of curricula with labour market requirements;
•    Flexibility towards planning and implementing the educational process;
•    Better compliance with the requirements of students with different needs, granting more freedom to young and adult students in terms of choosing and planning their own educational programme;
•    Ease of entering the job market and returning to the educational system for continuing education or to gain additional qualifications and thus promoting lifelong learning;
•    Supporting vertical and horizontal mobility
•     In all Modular prpgrams consisnt of general and enterprenewrasl skills that improves employability of VET graduates.
             In addition, based on the Moual Programs can identify separate moduel/modules and develop short term [programs according to the lcal employers’ needs. 
         The new VET Law has created an opportunity for vocational education institutions to implement short-term training  and retraining programs, after which the state awardes certificates. This approach support implementation of  LLL in Georgia. The educational institutions can add short-term programs to their training / retraining programs without extra QA process if they have authorized TVET programs. 
 

C.1.6 Validation of non-formal and informal learning

The aim of validation is to confirm and make transparent the knowledge, skills and achievements of the individual through a range of mechanisms and processes involving identification, documentation, assessment and certification of a person’s learning experiences. 

The ground for the recognition of non-formal education was prepared in the Law on Vocational Education in 2010 and the Order of the Minister of Education and Science, which determined the general principles and the recognition process within the third leve qualifications. With the initiative of the NCEQE the MCA-G Project was developed by the "Concept of Recognition of Non-formal Informal Learning". Based on this conception, the relevant methodology and materials were prepared taking into account the international experience, and the main European principles adopted by the Council in May 2004 tohether with funding options. In addition A Job description for the new role of VNFIL advisor was developed, defining required skills and competences as well as their duties and responsibilities; With Cooperation of NCEQE MCA implemented Capcity Bulding Activities for the VET intitutions, assications involved in VNFIL, cinsultants. This methodology was piloted by MCA_G project in STEM occupations and by UNDP in agriculture.  
    The VET Law allows recognition not only  third-level qualifications but 4th and 5 th too.   The Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport approved a rule for VNFIL that was revised in 2019.
    VNFIL processes and procedures involve four stages: 
•    IDENTIFICATION of the individual’s competences (i.e. learning outcomes) gained through non-formal and informal learning, 
•    DOCUMENTATION of the individual’s learning outcomes from non-formal and informal learning together with supporting evidence, 
•    ASSESSMENT of the individual’s learning outcomes through an evaluation of the evidence presented, 
•    CERTIFICATION confirming the individual’s achievement of the learning outcomes in question.

 The new VET Law created a legal basis for the validation of non-formal and informal learning. The final edition of the applicable act has been formulated. A small scale piloting of VNFIL in STEM and Agriculture sectors was implemented, methodological materials were developed.  Approval of the rule of VNFIL is planned in the second quarter of 2019. In the initial stage, validation will be carried out in two areas - construction and agriculture include all four VNFIL stages, fully based on the VNFIL Manual and including quality assurance of VNFIL assessment using the internal and external verification procedures of the TVET QAF;
 

C.2: Equity and equal opportunity in VET

Identification of issues

C.2.1 Success of learners in VET

Enrolment and Graduates rates for secondary vocational education for 2012/13-2016/2017 is given in table 16. Graduation rate has decreased compared to 2012/13. One of the reason is that a drop-out rate was high for adults with the modular programs as the duration of such programs is at least 1.5 years.

Table 16. Enrolement and Graduates rates for secondary vocational education 2012/13-2016/2017

Drop out rates shows that 20-24 years old males and females are the most vulnerable groups for drop-out. In general youth aged 15-29 have higher rate of drop-out than older people.

Table 17. Drop out rate by age group 2017

C.2.2 VET learners in need of additional learning and training support

Each enrollment in vocational education (reception is carried out twice a year - in spring and autumn), at least 10% of the seats are defined for applicants with special needs / disabilities, who needs extended support  during getting education. 

Experience shows that the biggest challenge for vocational institutions is to develop individual curriculum/programs for the students with special needs   as well as  provide qualified specialists, especially in the regions. Respondents’ interest towards inclusive education is very important. Needs assessment of VET Teachers (2016) need competence development in the direction of inclusive education. Teachers’ capacity development in this direction  is highly important for further development of inclusive education in VET. 

Another challenge is related to providing quality practical training;  It is not always possible to adapt the practice place according to the individual program  needs and provide professional support in the process of entrepreneurial practice.

VET colleges still have challenges to provide quality career guidance to applicants/ students with special needs that is the most important precondition for successful professional choices and future career progression.  
 

Description of policies

C.2.3 Measures in support of equity in VET

Inclusive education is one of the main priorities of the Georgian education system, which is strengthened by the relevant legislative base and practical supports. Inclusive education and related issues are reflected in the Law of Georgia on Vocational Education. In addition, the work on the development of the rule on inclusive VET has started. 

The aim of the  VET Strategy is to ensure the full and equal inclusion of all segments of the population in VET; Particularly relevant is the inclusion of the disadvantaged and vulnerable in the social and economic development of Georgia regardless of social status, geographical location, gender, physical or mental condition of a person. The Strategy  identifies some measures that should support improved  access of VET to various groups, such as ensuring the provision and learning environment relevant to various groups, development of  VET network for improving geographical access and etc. 

Since 2013, implementation of inclusive education has started  VET system. There are various measures that makes VET more accessible to the people with special educational needs and disabilities. Some of the measures are VET specific while others common for all levels of education. 

In most VET institutions, the pandus and special bathrooms are provided. 4 VET colleges have  adapted physical environment  according to the  universal design principles.

Ethnic minorities have possibility to   pass professional tests in Armenian, Russian or Azeri languages and get state funding in the public VET educational institutions. Initially they study the Georgian language module and then can continue studying according to the educational program.

The professional tests for persons with special educational needs / disabilities is designed according to their individual needs.  In addition, individual curriculum is developed for the students with special/educational needs. Various types of special education services are provided for vulnerable students based on tier individual needs, such as inclusive education specialist, a special needs an assistant, sign language interpreter, mobility and orientation trainers, providing transport, caregivers and other services.

Various learning materials were developed for the students with special educational needs, such as an electronic bank of Georgian Sign Language (which is located on a special web page) and a relevant telephone application, audio versions of textbooks, guidelines; various  technical equipment (portable video magnets, Braille displays) were purchased. Teachers and specialists involved in inclusive VET have access to professional development activities.   

Since 2017, students with special educational needs of getting additional funding quarterly voucher amount of 1000.0 (Government Resolution N244. 19.09.2013. The voucher is used according to the student's individual needs in the learning process.
         
 

C.3: Active support to employment

Identification of issues

C.3.1 Employability of VET graduates

According to the 2014 census 26.7% of the population have higher education, 17.4% professional  and 36.7% general education. 8,4% indicated the basic level of general education and the primary level - 5,7% of the population. Data on the level of education varies by types of settlements. For example, 78.0 percent of the population with higher education live in urban areas and 22.0 percent in rural areas. 47.2 percent of total general education live in urban areas, and 52.8 percent - in rural.

One of the important indicators of the outcome of education reforms is employment. VET graduates have a better employments indicator than those with higher education (source). Unemployed in 2015 was relatively higher among the higher education graduates (14.4%) than the vocational  educational graduates (11%). However, the unemployment rate for the age group of 15-24 is much higher for VET  (36%) and general education graduates (33%) or higher education (30.8%).

One of the important indicators of a positive impact on the ongoing reforms on the Vocational Education System is the Employment of VET graduates. Vocational Education Development Department carries out a regular tracer studies of VET graduates since 2014. (see Graph.8 in the report in PDF p.40).

According to the results of the tracer study results, the employment status of the VET graduates during 2015-2017 is very similar.  The vast majority of VET program graduates are employed (employed and self-employed), but almost every third of the respondents are unemployed. 

It should be noted that an employment rate is increasing among VET graduates. In 2017 employment grew by 4% compared to 2015 and it reached to 60%. 

The employment rate for VET graduates varies by gender, that significantly increased in 2018. Over 10% of men showed that were employed compared to female respondents. According to the Tracer study in 2017  64% of male and 55% of female respondents were employed. According to the results of  2016–2017  the employment rate is especially high for the following directions: 
•    Agricultural Sciences
•    Engineering
•    Intergovernmental sectors or specialties
•    Business Administration

More graduates say that the VET speciality is relevant to their job, that shows the positive trends of closing a skills mismatch. The most of the unemployed VET  graduates actively seeking employment. The most important barriers for their employment are (tracer study  2016 - 2017): 
•    Low salaries  
•    A lack of demand for their professions and qualifications 
•    Difficulties of meeting demand on experience 

The survey shows that the VET institutions have to improve cooperation with the private sector, support their involvement in the career planning process and improve cooperation with them for the supply of the workforce. The absolute majority of the VET graduates are satisfied with the chosen profession (82%) and educational institution (93%). However, only ¼ in 2016 and about 1/5 in 2017  of the respondents say they received advice on employment from the educational institution; the majority noted that that they got none advice.
 

C.3.2 Economic factors with an impact on transition

There can be identified the following barriers that could impede the entry of VET graduates into the labour market that  
1. Lack of jobs - jobless economic development has a negative influence on youth   employment. In Georgia the growth elasticity between 2005-15 was 5%. Worldwide, the growth elasticity of jobs is 34 percent, meaning that for each percent of GDP growth, employment grows by 0.34 percent. For the Western Balkan countries  this elasticity was 16% for 2000-2010, and for EU-CEE countries it was 32 % for the same period . There is a shortage of evidence that the improvement in the business environment is supported from job creation (World Bank 2017, Bertrand and Kramarz 2002). Job destruction exceedes job creation, so many people try to find employment in the informal economy. 
2. Skills mismatch In Georgia there is a mismatch for high educational qualifications. It is related to a slowly evolving economic structure that is dominated by agriculture and low productivity sector activities.      

Description of policies

C.3.3 Overview of policies in support of employability and transition to employment

About 40% of young people in Georgia found their first job after 6 months of graduation (Youth Employment Study, MoLHSA, 2016) that is the shortest period of transition. The transition periods for another 40% is longer, 1-5 years. On average, the transition period lasts 1-2 years. 

Young people often try to find jobs by informal ways, through personal connections. Many young people also use a proactive approach, such as job search on the internet (www.jobs.ge, www.hr.gov.ge and www.hr.ge in Georgia), contacting employers or attending job fairs. Less often, young people use Public Employment Service (PES) and private employment agencies in both countries. According to the tracer study (2016) only 1% of the graduates found a job with the assistance of the PES in Georgia and 12% through the VET college, while 62% found job themselves.

The employment indicator of the of the state program – training and retraining of job seekers- shows its efficiency that is increasing every year. Vocational education institutions and entrepreneurs in the state program also provider oriented on providing working experience and employment to young personnel. At least 40% of all VET programs are allocated to practise. 

Lack of support during the transition from an education system to the labour market. The skills of competent job search, negotiating with employers are often absent; youth is insufficiently informed about the requirements of a labour market. Young people are more concentrated in certain economic sectors, such as service, tourism, and many of them hold part-time jobs and temporary contracts. They are also more affected by periods of economic crisis and are often among the first to lose their jobs.

Lack of working expeience- In Georgia, there is an absence of a regulatory framework for the development of internships (ETF, 2018d). The Internship in Public Service programme was launched in 2015 in Georgia. Internships are subsidised by the state – up to a maximum of 3 months and with a grant of GEL 150 per month. The program had 47 beneficiaries in 2016. A Share of youth was 40%. Among the 193 beneficieries in 2018 about 92 are youth.  SSA also provides subsidized employment to Job seekers with disabilities since 2015. It provides 50% wage subsidy (max 460 GEL) for up to 4 months. In 2018 about 26 people have been engaged in the subsidized program, 4 of them were young. University students and graduates have Internships in public service since 2014. Up to 100 students get this service each year. 

The concept of youth volunteering is new and under development in Georgia. This might be explained by the inheritance from the Soviet past where volunteering did not exist. Though youth have  positive attitudes towards volunteering, their involvement in  volunteering activities is low in Georgia. The main reasons are a lack of information or time and motivation, a lack of volunteering activities . In 2015 the Parliament of Georgia adopted the Law on Volunteering that regulates the relationship between volunteer and the organization.  

Though beneficiaries of ALMP  evaluate positively, all components of the state program the "internship component"  is especially popular that is oriented towards acquiring practical skills in real working environment. (For information on youth involvement in the components of the program).

C.3.4 Career guidance

The development of publicly available lifelong vocational counselling and career planning services in Georgia is outlined by government decree #721 (2014) and the Action Plan for 2015-2017. Career guidance services were introduced in in 2015, that are provided by the MoLHSA, MoES and ex-MoSYA, SSA. 
    Although an essential element in the country’s education and training system, CEG in Georgia remains at a basic level.Students at school have limited access to counselling services and they often have to make uninformed decisions .  This service is not mandatory, so only a part of schools offer professional orientation; Career council is available in all public VET colleges, though its aim is to attract students to their college and work with exiting students . The most of the universities also have career guidance services. 

Georgia has developed an online career guidance platform (http://myprofession.gov.ge/). The portal contains self-assessment tests, description of professions (text and videos) and etc. links to education institutions.

MCA Project provided support capacity developmen of Career Managers in TVET colleges and career coordinators in secondary schools, development and implementation of training modules, development of materials, development of Model job descriptions for college careers managers, with an accompanying self-assessment questionnaire and guidelines for use in staff development;  Piloting of student destination statistics collection and analysis.

PES provide individual and group career guidance services to registered unemployed people at worknet.edu.ge
 
 

‘Open floor’

It is important to enalyse the transition regimes of the graduates from Education to Employement and to develop relevant mechanism based on the international  best practice. 

Summary and analytical conclusions

The system has become more inclusive for the students with disabilities, though as the stakeholders point pout VET should have a broader vision regarding the vulnerability. The system has started working with NEETs bit there are many challenges.

                This section covers  two very important policy challenges, such as:

1. Low enrolment rate in VET

2. High rate of Neets

Though it is an increasing trend the  enrolment rate in  VET is still low

Though it is an increasing trend the  enrolment rate in  VET is still low

Building block D: Internal efficiency and operation of the VET system

D.1: Teaching and learning environment

Identification of issues

D.1.1 Teaching and learning methods, including work-based learning

In Georgia, in all VET educational programs 40% is compulsory practice. Apart school based VET in recent years, the importance of Work-based Learning (WBL) and dual education has gained lots of attention.  While work-based learning is foremost a learning concept that integrates theoretical knowledge with hands-on experiences in learning processes, dual TVET as the most advanced form of WBL, is particularly responsive to the job market, goes much beyond the design of learning processes and is particularly concerned with a systemic cooperation between state, business sector and civil society. One of the basic principles of Dual TVET is learning of theory and practice in two learning locations, mostly a company and a vocational school. Modularization of VET programs together with Competence-based teaching and assessment is a relatively new approach in VET. 

In 2016, with the support of MCA project “Industry led workforce development” a self-assessment questionnaire for VET teachers was developed, which filled  in 831 teachers. The research report enabled TPDC to analyses training needs of VET teachers on teaching and assessment issues various issues related to professional activities on the basis of which the course of training and training. Relevant activities were prepared based on the findings are in full compliance with the Concept Action Plan; Special interest has been revealed towards teaching Modular programs and development of  subject-related  and general competences; teachers need enhancing knowledge and skills in both directions. The teachers’ comments make it clear that they still have questions regarding the modular program  teaching and assessment  methods. This result confirms that planning of assessment, development of assessment criteria, competence-based assessment is still a challenge for teachers. Despite the fact that teachers’ training regarding the modular program has been carrying out since 2015 it is important to continue working in this direction together with other stakeholders. 55% of teachers have already passed the pedagogical course based on analysis of self-assessment questionnaires of vocational education. 

In 2016, with the support of the UNDP Program, the policy document for preparation of teacher training, start of activity and professional development. The document defines preparation of teachers entry prerequisites into a profession and their continues professional development possibilities.  

Piloting of the different Work-Based Learning schemes in agriculture is supported by United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and facilitated by sectorial association Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA).

Since 2016, the number of regions (Regional Location: Samegrelo/Zugdidi, Senaki, Kakheti/Dedoplistskaro, Kachreti, Alvani, Mtskheta-Mianeti/Tsinamdzgvriantkari, Adjara/Kobuleti, Racha-Lechkhumi Kvemo Svaneti/Abrolauri, Shida Kartli/Gori and Samtskhe-Javakheti/Ambrolauri) involved in WBL increased from 4 to 2016) to 10 (2019). 

In implementing WBL, an amendment in the students’ selection rule of enrolment was made and the students’ alternative selection methodology was elaborated. The WBL providing companies/farms are selecting the students together with sectorial association and the college, consequently, the motivation of companies to become WBL partner, rises. There are 164 WBL students (including 5 students with special education needs) enrolled on Fruit Growing, Animal Husbandry, Beekeeping, Fishery and Meat Processing programs. The duration of the programs is 1.5-3 years. There are  11 WBL students since 2016 (6 from Animal Husbandry and 5 from Beekeepers’ programs).

26 private sector representatives were engaged in WBL and up to 35 instructors were trained based on the capacity building module developed in the framed of the project. The monitoring and coaching assistance schemes are available. WBL Students are provided transportation and health and liability insurance services if required. All students are provided with WBL uniforms for practical part.

By taking into consideration the types of WBL, there are different schemes of dual like WBL models considering its implementation modality:

Types of Dual WBL

P.S. In some cases, companies also offer students supplementary services such as meals, extra transportation, accommodation and other services.

A dual approach to TVET implementation was introduced by the German-Georgian Programme “Private Sector Development and Technical Vocational Education and Training Caucasus (PSD TVET)”, supported by the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ GmbH) on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ). The Programme is focused on the reform of the current TVET system by introducing elements of dual education and training or apprenticeship programme in labour market-relevant sectors like construction, tourism, viniculture, information and communication technologies (ICT), transport and logistics. The programme supports the government of Georgia in a) developing guidelines for better management of the system and higher growth with employment impact in the relevant sectors; b) awareness-raising and provision of advisory services to entrepreneurs for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs); c) development of position papers for improving policy-making procedures in TVET and employment sectors; d) development of labour-market relevant training courses and programmes. As a result of PSD TVET intervention, three key outputs will be achieved by the beginning of 2020: 1 Labour market relevant regulations of vocational training including occupational profiles, curricula, training and examination/certification etc.; 2. Capacity-building and awareness raising of teaching and management personnel on implementing the new vocational training regulations with a special focus on gender balance and 3. Authorized TVET programmes and further training courses with a focus on dual-oriented approach including development of a graduate programme for universities in dual TVET. Presently,  the number of companies involved in dual TVET increased from 5 to more than 50  since 2016 and almost all public VET colleges implement specific programmes according to dual approach.”

D.1.2 Teaching and learning environment

Learning and training environment requirements are defined in authorization standards; all education establishments must meet these requirements in order to be able to carry out educational activities. VET institutions are encouraged to establish partnerships with private enterprises for improvement of infrastructure and VET programs. Minimum technical equipment standards define necessary equipment and devices. During the authorisation process these requirements are checked by experts. The authorization standards also require that all educational establishments must be adapted for persons with disabilities. So in Georgia 100% of VET institutions are wheelchair accessible.  

Table 19. Activities implemented by ESIDA in VET during 2017-2018

Description of policies

D.1.3 Policies to improve training/teaching and learning methods in VET

According to the strategy a systemic approach to teacher professional development is essential to ensure that teachers’ knowledge and skills are maintained and updated throughout their teaching career. Considering that VET curricula and teaching needs to be continuously aligned with the changing skill demands of the private sector, the need for regularly updating the skills of VET teachers adds an additional dimension of importance to VET teacher development compared to that of teachers in general education. To achieve this systematic approach, there is a need to strengthen coordination of current activities at the system level; develop a continuous professional development framework, which includes the development of diversified training modules and learning opportunities both in pedagogy and field-specific incorporating modern technologies and approaches; to develop recruitment schemes and incentives to attract qualified practitioners from the field; and to support exchange programs and joint programs with foreign VET institutions to build adequate capacity.

With the support of the World Bank  MoESCS started woring 2019 on the model of training of VET teachers and their professional development, including the relevant regulation and orders, modification of professional standards and an ethic code. 

During 2015-2016-2017, the European Union's technical support "Technical Support for Employment and Vocational Education Reforms" (EUVEGE) coordinated  VET teacher professional development TWG working. Within the thematic group the following documents were developed:
•    Career Start, Professional Development and Career Advancement of VET Teachers 
•    Order of Remuneration and Qualification Allowances of VET Teachers of VET Institutions in Public Provision.
•    Teacher Professional Development Rule
•    Teacher registration procedure
    With the support of the UNDP Rural Development Program – poicy document on the preparation of the teacher entering the profession and professional development was approved by the National VET Council. Based on the document preparation of professional education teachers and their professional development process was defined. With the support of UNDP the  training-module - "Modular teaching for Beginner  and existing Teachers in the System" was prepared; 144 beginner teachers got trainings on modular teaching. 
 

D.1.4 Improving the training and learning environment

School facility infrastructure is critical to excellence in teaching and learning process in the VET system. Classrooms, gymnasiums, playfields, play equipment and structures are the physical learning environments - which Operate and Maintain management are responsible for. 

VET provision facility Operations and Maintenance encompasses all the traditional trades (carpentry, plumbing, electrical, grounds etc.) as well as building operations (energy management, heating, ventilation, air conditioning etc.) and custodial services (caretaking, cleaning, mowing etc.) and many others in modern VET infrastructure. The complexity of the VET provision environment demands a high degree of knowledge and professionalism. For example, VET providers may have learners ranging in age from 15 to 70 years as well as special needs learners. 
    Traditionally, 5 types of maintenance have been distinguished in the reaserch of  GGF , which are differentiated by the nature of the tasks:
1.    Corrective maintenance: The set of tasks is destined to correct the defects to be found in the different equipment and that are communicated to the maintenance department by users of the same equipment.
2.    Preventive Maintenance: Its mission is to maintain a level of certain service on equipment, programming theinterventions of their vulnerabilities in the most opportune time. It is used to be a systematic character, that is, the equipment is inspected even if it has not given any symptoms of having a problem.
3.    Predictive Maintenance: It pursues constantly know and report the status and operational capacity of the installations by knowing the values of certain variables, which represent such state and operational ability. To apply this maintenance, it is necessary to identify physical variables (temperature, vibration, power consumption, etc.). Which variation is indicative of problems that may be appearing on the equipment? This maintenance is the most technical, since it requires advanced technical resources, and at times of strong mathematical, physical and / or technical knowledge.
4.    Zero Hours Maintenance (Overhaul): The set of tasks whose goal is to review the equipment at scheduled intervals before appearing any failure, either when the reliability of the equipment has decreased considerably so it is risky to make forecasts of production capacity. This review is based on leaving the equipment to zero hours of operation, that is, as if the equipment were new. These reviews will replace or repair all items subject to wear. The aim is to ensure, with high probability, a good working time fixed in advance.
5.    Periodic maintenance (Time Based Maintenance: The basic maintenance of equipment made by the users of it. It consists of a series of elementary tasks (data collections, visual inspections, cleaning, lubrication, retightening screws,) for which no extensive training is necessary, but perhaps only a brief training. This type of maintenance is based on Total Productive Maintenance.

For the public TVET providers, TVET capital and infrastructure investment is made through ESIDA - the education infrastructure agency. The administrative costs of public TVET colleges are met from the MESCS Budget. Authorisation fees charged by NCEQE must be met by the TVET institutions themselves. 

NCEQE has revised authorization standards by support of MCA _G and EUVEGE projects; the aim of the revision is to enhance VET quality; One of the important criteria is providing relevant learning environment for theoretical and practical learning. 

Institutions are required to meet the specific requirements for implementing training and retraining programs as well. 
 

D.2: Teachers and trainers

Table 20. VET teacher distribution

 

Identification of issues

D.2.2 Entering the teaching profession in VET

In 2016 in collaboration with stakeholders, the policy document about training of VET teachers, entering a profession and the National VET Council approved professional development. The document defines the process of preparation of VET teachers and their entering the profession. The document also identifies the professional development opportunities of VET teachers. The VET Law envisages elaboration of Occupational Standards for VET teachers and approval by the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia.

The VET Law of envisages elaboration and approval of Occupational Standard of VET teacher, which should be approved by the act issued by the MESCS. 

Vocational colleges select VET teachers under the internal regulations that defines relevant requirements for the candidate. This rule has been developed on the basis of the Georgian Labor Code, the old version of the VET Law, the regulations of the Colleges and the regulatory legislation of Georgia. The rule regulates teacher’s selection based on the transparency, equality and fair competition. The college conducts a contract with a vocational education teacher for a year (from the beginning of the year to the end of the year). As regards the teacher who coordinates the enterprise practice of an institution develop a contract for the term of the enterprise practice. For implementation of the dual education programs   a specialist  from the partner company is  involved in the teaching process, but VET institution neither takes part in a selection process not has  a contract with him/her. 

VET Reform Strategy 2013-20 stresses importance of career Start, Professional Development and Career Advancement of VET Teachers. The aim of the VET Teacher Development Program is  to provide training and continues professional development of VET teachers in accordance with the needs and contemporary developments. With the support of the World Bank  MoESCS started working 2019 on the model of training of VET teachers and their professional development, including the relevant regulation and orders, modification of professional standards and an ethic code. The system will be in place after a year once the WB completes its work. So the part regarding VET teacher professional development is a bit fragmentized. 

Below is discussed some of the activities implemented previously in the system.   

Trainings of VET teachers are conducted in the educational institution (except for trainings, workshops in the enterprise); teachers improve their knowledge and skills in the educational institution without additional travelling. The pedagogic course is a combination of training, practical instructions and individual counselling.

The TPDC hires experts of the field, facilitators responsible for the development of teacher competencies in the enterprise. Experts study training needs of teachers, select relevant medium and large size enterprises where teachers update their practical skills for modular teaching. Experts are responsible for conducting the training. Trainings are fully covered by the state budget.

In the training's framework of VET Teachers, starting the profession and continues professional development TPDC implemented training in pedagogical course which comprises five different subcomponents: Modular training; inclusive professional education; Teacher training in the enterprises; entrepreneurship. 

Description of policies

D.2.5 Attracting and retaining teachers and trainers in VET

VET Reform Strategy 2013-20 stressesimportance of career Start, Professional Development and Career Advancement of VET Teachers. The aim of the VET Teacher Development Program is to provide training and continues professional development of VET teachers in accordance with the needs and contemporary developments. With the support of the World Bank MoESCS started working 2019 on the model of training of VET teachers and their professional development, including the relevant regulation and orders, modification of professional standards and an ethic code. The system will be in place after a year once the WB completes its work. So the part regarding VET teacher professional development is a bit fragmentized. Below is discussed some of the activities implemented previously in the system. Trainings of VET teachers are conducted in the educational institution (except for trainings, workshops in the enterprise); teachers improve their knowledge and skills in the educational institution without additional travelling. The pedagogic course is a combination of training, practical instructions and individual counselling. The TPDC hires experts of the field, facilitators responsible for the development of teacher competencies in the enterprise. Experts study training needs of teachers, select relevant medium and large size enterprises where teachers update their practical skills for modular teaching. Experts are responsible for conducting the training. Trainings are fully covered by the state budget. In the training's framework of VET Teachers, starting the profession and continues professional development TPDC implemented training in pedagogical course which comprises five different subcomponents: Modular training; inclusive professional education; Teacher training in the enterprises; entrepreneurship. Teachers of vocational education were trained in the following directions:

Table 24. Pedagogical trainings of VET teachers

Table 24. Pedagogical trainings of VET teachers

D.3: Quality and quality assurance

Identification of issues

D.3.1 Quality and relevance of education and training content in VET

Quality assessment is verified in compliance with the authorisation standards in the process of external quality assurance.  In 2018,  NCEQE launched the pilot project of the verification system based on the method and instruments prepared within the MCA projects “industry –lead workforce development”. External verification  checks the assessment instruments, evidences and assessment decisions. In 2018 piloting was conducted in 6 institutions within 3 VET educational programs. In 2019 the piloting is planned in 21 institutions. Because of analysis of two-year pilot process, the system will decide whether to implement an external verification process as one of the external mechanisms of quality assurance.

D.3.2 Defining the quality of learning outcomes

Quality of IVET education in Georgia is carried out through internal and external mechanisms. External mechanisms of quality assurance are the authorization and accreditation implemented by the National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement (hereinafter referred to as the Center); It also includes addition of educational programs, increasing student quota and planning and ad-hoc monitoring.

The internal QA mechanisms are determined and implemented by the educational institution.  specified in the standards of authorization and implies that the institution should have an elaboration of an educational program evaluation system that results in improving the quality of the learning process. Educational institutions are obliged to submit a self-assessment report at least once in three years.

The external quality assurance  is mainly carried out through the authorization process, which is based on authorisation standards and regulation  by the Minister of Education and Science of Georgia. These standards have played an important role in improving quality of VET, but due ti the challenges in the vocational education field revise / renew of these standards are planned. The work on this issue started in 2015 with the  Quality Management Thematic  Working Group coordinated by the MCA project “Industry-lead workforce development”.  TWG prepared recommendations on the improvement of quality assurance framework . Since 2017 the authorisation standards have been revised. Local and foreign practices have been analysed in the preparation of the recommendation  including recommendations of EQARF  , for Vocational Education;  the guide of the Authorisation prepared within MCA-G Project "Industry-lead workforce development” has been reviewed. The draft standards were discussed with all stakeholders.

Because of the amendment, the 3 standards (program, human and material resources) of authorisation has been modified by 5 standards  as ended 2 more standards related to the missin and strategic development of the institution. Addition of these standards made it possible to stimulate institutional development and the standards became more result-oriented. These amendments were reflected in the Revised Law of Georgia on Education Quality Enhancement" and on the new VET Las in 2018 . Starting from 2019, introducing new standards is planned.

It is noteworthy that quality assurance in Georgia is not only controlling but also supports development. The Center constantly cares about strengthening the capacity of institutions in terms of internal QA; it implements trainings for the institution's representatives. In 2017-2018, the first two phases of the training seminar ("Planning", "Implementation") were held in 2019, and the trainings are scheduled for the next two phases ("Evaluation", "Revision / Improvement"). 

In Georgia there is a similar understanding of "quality assurance" in initial and continues There are no differences.

D.3.3 Quality assurance processes in VET

During 2017-18 important changes were made in the document related to  QA . As a result of the reforms, the process has become more transparent and the involvement of the parties in the process has increased. For comparison, until 2017, external quality assurance included the following process: submission of an application by the institution, examining the issue by experts and development of the report/conclusion, and discussion of the documents by authorisation Board. After the amendments, the institutions are allowed to get draft version of the expert's report and to provide their comments; only after introducing the above-mentioned argument, authorisation experts can develop a final report/conclusion. Members of the Board get both documents in advance before the authorisation meeting takes place.

For a selected external QA support provisions, such as an increasing number of vocational student and adding an educational program, increased the timeframe from 30 to 90 days, which significantly supported  the implementation of the processes.

In 2018 Expert assessment system was developed and implemented , that was based on the assessment of the center representative,  and chairman of the expert team. The evaluation results are used for management and further development of the panel of experts.

 Among the challenges related to QA is the assessment of the institution according to the two-dimensional  Authorisation scale: "Standard is met " or "standard is not met".  According to the current regulation, if one standard is not met the institutions loses authorisation. Such a rigid approach is not focused on the development of the institution. The center has started working on the issue. A draft amendment has been developed, which states that the institution should be evaluated according to the four-dimensional scales: In “fully compliance” with the standard ",Mostly compliance”, "Partially compliance” "not compliant”. In case  the institution with Mostly compliance”,  and "partial compliance" will be given some time to fix the gaps. This initiative makes the assessment process fair and effective    Regarding the quality of qualifications, there are two approaches:  In case of modular programs, qualification is awarded if the student confirms all the outcomes of the program. Qualification exams are not conducted at the state level. In case of dual programs implementation, it is necessary to pass the intermediate and final qualification exam which is the basis for granting qualification for a vocational student.
 

Description of policies

D.3.4 Creating and updating VET content

Vocational Educational Standard are developed centrally under the rules and procedures established by LEPL - National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement, but its elaboration can be done within the framework of external initiative.

The Educational  standard should be based on the "Rule of  The Developpement of Vocational Educational Standard  and Module " and the methodology developed by the NCEQE. It must meet the requirements set out in the occupational standard and the additional criteria if such exist.

Learning Outcomes of  Educational Standards and qualifications are defined according to the level descriptors of the National Qualifications Framework (QF-EHEA) and the "European Framework of Qualifications for LL " (EQF-LLL).

Representatives of Employers  and educational institutions  experts are involved in the process of Educational Standards development started by the NCEQE  and external initiative (be any physical or legal person). and processing of the educational standard both in the center and at the initiative, are involved in the field of employment and educational institutions.

Professional Educational standard is the basis for granting qualification. Educational standard can be defined by one or more qualifications / learning fields. Each qualification has individual learning outcomes, employment positions, and duration  of study, a different level and prerequisites. 

The process of development of national educational standards includes the following stage:
•    Prepare an analysis paper  including analysis of ISCO, ISCED, identification of a specific qualification / qualification area in this field, sharing international experience at least based on 3 countries, identification of  relevant positions in  National Classification of Georgia,  sharing of international experience - studying of other programs; To define titles of qualifications, level, career opportunities and etc. 
•    Review the paper of  analysis- by the Center's Qualifications Development Division,  Correction of the Analysis Document if necessary,  the public hearing of the Document and othe relevant activities. 
•    Development of the project of professional educational standards the involvement of employers and educational institutions.
•    Public discussion of professional educational standards and  modules- Any interested person can participate in the discussion
•    Discussion of  vocational education standard/modules  by Sector Councill that validates the standard. 
•    Approval of educational standard / module and referencing in the registry- educational standards approved by the Director of the Center should be posted on the web-site www.vet.ge and www.eqe.ge. The center provides the registry of approved documents.
Based on the vocational educational standard, an educational institution develops an educational program. A professional student is awarded with a qualification after achieving the learning outcomes defined by the Vocational Education Program
 

D.3.5 EU key competences

The Vocational Educational Standard ensures development of eight key competences by different ways:
1. Key competences can be integrated into modules as learning outcomes and / or performance criteria;
2. Key competences may be partially integrated into professional modules and the other part is presented as an independent general module (already developed general modules - foreign language, entrepreneurship, information literacy, quantitative literacy, intrinsic communication, civil education);
3. Key competences are fully presented in independent general modules. 

In development of key competences, recommendations of the European Parliament and the European Council - key competences for lifelong learning are used. 

At the stage of development / processing of vocational educational standards, the assessment questionnaire (in the professional educational standard, integrating key competences in modules) evaluates 8 key competences in concrete educational standards. 
 

D.3.6 Policies to strengthen quality assurance

Quality assurance exyernally controls are monitoring and self-assessment report presented by the institution. Self-reports should be evidence based –information collected from the main stakeholders.  NCEQE imposes educational institutions obligation to submit self-assessment report once in 3 years. In 2019 it is planned to change the form of self-evaluation, to become more oriented on quality development. In this SA report, the institution reflects its compliance with standards and achievements achieved over the last 3 years as well as existing challenges.

In addition, the Center is conducting periodic surveys of institutions in order to improve the quality of the issues in which institutions need assistance. For instance, in the end of 2018, the Institutions survey was conducted, which aimed at assessing the institutional self-assessment of the major challenges and weaknesses that constrain obstacles in the process of meeting the requirements of the new standard. Results of the survey were analyzed and appropriate measures were implemented in 2019; provideers were provided information to the issues they are interested in.

     
 

Summary and analytical conclusions

Among the achivements can be identified: 
•    New NQF was adopted in 2019
•    QAF in VET has been developed together with relevant methodologies, tools, capacity development activities; 
•    Authorization standards have been revised  which will be introduced in 2019 to become more outcome oriented ; during the same year the piloting of internal and external verification will be implemented together with Self - Assessment   
•    VET is in the process of  curriculum reform, including  VET qualification modernization, modularization of VET curriculum, WBL and Dual education, diversification of programs for youth and adults (training and retraining programs)

There are cinidered 2 important Policy challenges, such as : 
1. Quality of VET qualifications
2. A lack of skills of VET graduates
 
Policy challenges	Quality of VET qualifications

Building block E: Governance and financing of VET

E.1: Institutional arrangements

Identification of issues

E.1.1 Effectiveness of institutional and governance arrangements

Effective governance with the relevant capacity development initiatives is important to make the VET system effective and relevant to the needs of the economy, labour market and society; it is also crucial  for   implementing new functions introduced in the new VET law 2018, such as WBL coordination, integrated VET program implementation (general education component), adult education, validation of non-formal education and etc.

Research shows (IBF, 2016; MCA 2016) that there are gaps, and conflict of interests in the system such as during development and approval of qualifications’ standards and the authorisation of such standards by the same body (NCEQE). In addition, the internal and external quality assurance is supervised by the same entity.  

The Ria analysis carried out within EUVEGE project in 2016 provides arguments that the optimization of VET functions need to consider scenarios for further development of institutional arrangements. 

Though the RIA report provides comprehensive analysis it was drafted within the context of the previous VET Law and thus needs revision and analysis taking into account of new initiatives of the New VET Law. 

By support of UNDP MoESCS is planning to analyze the current system governance and coordination setup and to develop scenarios for a more efficient and all-inclusive future setup is in line with the VET reform and the new VET law. 
 

E.1.2 Accountability, leadership and control

The main body in the governance of VET policy and skills development is the Ministry of Education, Science, culture and Sport of Georgia with other state institutions; though the significant role in governance is assigned to state institutions, the government recognises the importance of inclusion of social partners in VET system. The recent trends show that the interest related to VET is increasing among state entities, employers and civil society. The various mechanisms and cooperation forms are developed in order to ensure participation of all the stakeholders in the whole cycle of vocational education - planning, implementation and evaluation. 

The partnership with stakeholders in VET is defined in the framework of social partnership that reflects international experience; The partnership model in Georgia has three levels – macro, mezzo and micro. The framework emphases that the involvement of stakeholders should be ensured at each level of VET governance;  in additiona, all the actors of horizontal dimension (of multilevel governance) should be involve in the process of policy making while  flexibility and openness should beprovided at ministerial/central level. 

The concrete steps taken by the state are expected (Sectoral Coordination Council, Framework for Enhanced Social Partnership in VET, Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding, National VET council, sector committees and etc.) to have positive influence  on the further development of the system. The challenges related to employers’s engagement in VET governance still exists, but with promising trend. Georgian Trade Unions Confederation, Employer Association of Georgia and the civil society organisations are the recognised partners of the Ministry and their engagement in VET is guaranteed at policymaking process. The micro/institutional level of partnership implies a direct involvement of stakeholders in the management process of institutions through supervisory boards.  The representatives of the local governance are also the members of the VET institution boards. As the engagement of civil society and employers in the management of VET institution is still weak, the Ministry is working to simplify engagement of stakeholders in VET and to define stimulating mechanisms for them. Public VET institutions are accountable towards Advisory boards. 

In terms of Quality Assurance Vocational education institutions, are accountable to the NCEQE.  They need to meet the authorisation standards for delivery VET and also they are also obliged to submit annual self-assessment reports. The state VET institutions are accountable to the Ministry.
 

Description of policies

E.1.3 Governance reforms

In September 2018 a new VET Law entered into force. The goal of the law is to promote the country's VET system development and implementation of the state policy. To achieve these goals, the law determines the responsibilities of the state in vocational education, including the strengthening of the role of local self-government. According to the new law, municipalities are authorised to establish a legal entity of public law or non-profit legal entity of private law under the Organic Law of Georgia "Local Self-Government Code" in agreement with the Ministry for the VET delivery. Also, the law, emphesied the role of local self-government in  VET financing. Namely, municipalities can also finance vocational education.

The Ria analysis carried out within EUVEGE project in 2016 provides arguments that the optimization of VET functions need to consider scenarios for further development of institutional arrangements. The report suggests two alternative solutions, i.e. improvements to be made (1) within the frame of the existing resources through partial redistribution of functions across agencies and actors without introducing radical structural changes, or (2) by establishing the new institution, such as a VET Development Agency. 
    The first option includes: 
1.    Separate the key roles for the development of NQF (level 3, 4 and 5), and respective occupational and educational standards from the process of their approval and authorization
2.    Separate the supervision of internal quality of VET provision from the external quality verification of VET provision
3.    Separate the function of capacity building in management and administration at VET providers from continuous professional development (CPD) of teachers
4.    Increase the performance capacities for continuous professional development  of VET teachers on extended Entrepreneurial modules assigned to all VET programmes
5.    Establish additional capacities for performance excellence of newly assigned functions of EMIS
6.    Distribute operational functions of VEDD at MoES more efficiently and decentralize the VET sector management

Recommendations for the second option are: 
There are multiple overlaps, gaps and conflict of interest in existing distribution of functions. One subject should bring everything together and organise functions more effectively; 
1.    Establishment of a new structural unit – Skills’ Development Agency, or VET Development Agency  
2.    Transfer the roles and functions related to the development of NQF (level 3, 4 and 5), and respective qualifications’ standards (professional and educational), and supervision of internal quality of VET provision from NCEQE to the New Agency 
3.    Transfer the functions of capacity building in management and administration at VET providers from the TPDC to the New Agency.
7.    Transfer of operational functions (administration and supply level) of VEDD at MoES to the new Agency.

MCA report (2015)  also emphasises that this is important to distinguish between the internal and external QA mechanisms. Though the RIA report provides comprehensive analysis it was drafted within the context of the previous VET Law and thus needs revision and analysis taking into account of new initiatives of the New VET Law. 
 

E.2: Involvement of non-state actors

Identification of issues

E.2.1 Distribution of responsibilities between state and non-state actors in VET

As described above there are institutionalised social partnerships at the system, sectoral and local levels. Social partners are members of the NVETC,  while employers of  Sectoral councils and advisory boards. 

The system is on the process of searching a more effective model of NVETC council and improving sectoral councils capacity and a mandate. 
 

Description of policies

E.2.2 Policies in support of participation of non-state actors

Public-Private Partnerships are increasingly perceived as an appropriate policy option to provide education for all in many different contexts. Key education stakeholders suggest that, by partnering with the private sector, governments can expand their education systems in a more efficient and effective way.

Based on international good practice and experience to date in Georgia, the following policy options are available for implementation to achieve the declared intent of PPPs in VET. These are:

1. Infrastructure Partnerships (IP)
Partnerships with the private sector for the construction of school facilities and related infrastructures, generally known as:
•    Design, Build, Operate and Maintain (DBOM)
•    Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Maintain (DBFOM)
•    Design, Build, Finance and Maintain (DBFM)
•    Design, Build and Finance (DBF)
•    Operate and Maintain (O&M), which is usually an integral part of the above, but can be a stand-alone PPP.
2. Education-Industry Partnerships (EIP)
EIPs can have several types of agreements, but the most common ones are apprenticeship, work-based, dual VET type of agreements.
3. By support of GGF the feasibility srudy  was carried out for the third option – management outsourcing PPP.

E.3: VET budget

Financing of VET in Georgia is defined by the Givermental Decree #244. The decree outlines the details of voucher and programme financing. Voucher covers the study processes and for remuneration of teachers in public VET collages, from 2019 it will be provided for private collages in priority areas. The programme financing is allocated for staff remuneration and for other running costs. During 2013-2016 funding for VET increased by 173% that shows that VET is a prioritety of the Giverment. Another source of the fundig is donor funding, with the EU and the USA  (MCA) the biggest contributors.

In 2017, the VET budget represents 3.1% of the overall MoES budget (Table 25). The projections indicate an increase of 22% of the VET budget from 2017 to 2020 which will increase its share of the overall budget to 4%.

Table 25: Budget of VET, 2013-2018 (millions of GEL)

Table 26: Budget of Ministry of Education and Science (MoES), 2017-2020 (thousands of GEL)

The VET strategy is financially sustainable, particularly given ever-greater involvement of the private sector in service delivery and work-place training initiatives prioritised by the new VET Law. However, still underdeveloped costing method and the voucher system that is not based on thorough calculation of operational costs for individual VET institutions might become an issue of concern. In 2019, it was planned to extend the voucher system to the private providers, however, the new funding model has not been elaborated yet and this initiative had been postponed for the upcoming years. 

Identification of issues

E.3.1 Expenditure planning, VET budget formation and execution

The MoESCS monitors, updates, assesses and publishes on its website a relevant and credible medium-term VET reform strategy together with the annually costed Action Plan; it is reflected in the Ministry’s annual budget proposal to be submitted to the Ministry of Finance, and subsequently as part of the Basic Data and Directions  (BDD) Document to the Government of Georgia and in the annual budget law to the Parliament. For the continued credibility and relevance of the Strategy  it is important the action plans to be medium term in perspective and to relate to the budget cycle, including the four year BDD and programme budgets.
    The Georgian authorities (the Government, the Parliament and the State Audit Office) are responsible to maintain and/or progress with regard to the public availability of accessible, timely, comprehensive, and sound budgetary information.
    Government has shown itself committed to the VET reforms as evidenced by the Strategy. Several statements, including that of the Prime Minister in March 2016 have reinforced the idea that VET represents an important pathway to realise both economic and social objectives. This commitment was reiterated in the 2017-2020 BDD, which for VET states the policy priorities as to
•    Meet the vocational training needs of population; support the professional development and career growth of individuals;
•    Establish a common, superior quality and effective system of vocational education;
•    Implement the Strategy and Action Plan of Vocational Education for 2013–2020;
•    Facilitate the improvement of vocational education quality; 
•    Increase the access to vocational education; and
•    Retrain administrative staff at local authorities and public schools in regions densely populated by ethnic minorities for the improvement of their skills and literacy in the official language of the country and development of their qualifications.

    As for the financial autonomy, MoES  is the entity that is authorized to allocate funding for state VET institutions; allocation of the funds aims at supporting development of VET, maintaining the potential of VET institutions and widening the directions of educational activities, enhancement of access to VET and quality improvement, preparation of VET students for professional activities that require the use of practical knowledge and skills and increasing of economic activeness and employment rates in the country. 

Public VET institutions receive voucher and program based funding. VET institutions receive voucher-based funding for covering costs that are necessary for conducting the learning process (including VET teacher remuneration); as for programmatic funding, it is allocated for remuneration of general internal and external staff of VET institutions, covering various costs necessary for the functioning of the institution and other current costs. Besides, state VET institutions may get their incomes from state contracts, which are reflected in those institutions’ budgets. Voucher-based funding does not cover learning process in private colleges.

From 2019 private VET colleges can get voucher funding in priority areas. 

The government funds short-term training programs. In addition to the educational institution, a short-term training-retraining program may be implemented by a legal entity of private law that will meet the established standards. After authorised, the organization is entitled to receive state funding in certain priority areas.

Description of policies

E.3.2 Policies to improve expenditure planning and budgeting in VET

EU has been instrumental in promoting Public Finance Management (PFM) reforms across the whole spectrum of the PFM system: budget planning and preparation (including fiscal forecasting), budget expenditure and accountability, cash flow and debt management, procurement, revenue mobilisation, internal audit and financial control, and external audit. A new EU Public Finance Policy Reform Programme (under ENP AAP2013) was agreed in 2014 to be implemented over three years from January 2015 through 2017.

Thus, there are  five Public PFM policy areas that have influence on financial management including in Education: policy-based budgeting; external scrutiny and accountability of the Government; public internal financial control; external audit; and public oversight over the executive by the Parliament.

 As a result  the State Audit Office (SAO) has been strengthened in terms of independence, procedures, financial and human resources, and the quality of its audit services and auditors enhanced (with EU technical assistance ). SAO actions now largely conform to International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) standards.
 

E.4: Mobilisation of resources for VET

Identification of issues

E.4.1 Sources and mechanisms of funding for VET

VET in Georgia is financed by the government and compared to the state funding, contributions by the private sector/employers, donors or the learners themselves is fairly limited.

VET financing framework in Georgia is regulated by the Government Resolution #244 (dated on September 19, 2013) on “Defining the Rule of VET Financing for Public Education Institutions”. The Resolution creates a framework for two types of funding: 1) voucher and 2) programme financing (also referred as subsidy budgeting).

Voucher financing covers the basic expenditures of learning process, including teachers’ salaries and costs supporting the learning process of students with disabilities and special needs, while on modular programmes, the voucher funding allocates the expenditures on learning materials.

Programme budgeting entails: a) the salaries of personnel (including administration) and contracted staff of the educational institutions, b) operational costs, and c) all other running costs of the facility.

The analysis showed that throughout 2016-2018 years, out of six surveyed colleges (PPP, GGF) , state funding increased in Modusi, Ikarosi and Mermisi VET colleges, while Phazisi College had 7% increase only in 2017 compared to the previous year. Since Gudauri Adventure Tourism School and Railway Transport College were established in 2017, budget allocations are not available for 2016 year.

Funding analysis of the surveyed VET colleges revealed that mainly, the voucher funding is the major source of recourse mobilisation for the institutions and subsidy allocations are fairly less - compared to the ratio of voucher funding. However, in some VET colleges (e.g. Modusi, Railway Transport College), the volume of subsidy funding is higher compared to voucher.

Based on the analysis of the data provided by the Economic Department of the MoESCS, in 2016-2017 total operational costs 30 of public VET institutions in Georgia increased by 13%. In 2017, the portion of the total O&M costs (4.1mln. GEL) comprised 24% of the total operational costs of the whole VET sector (17.1 mln. GEL). Distribution of voucher (8.7 mln. GEL) and subsidy financing (8.3 mln. GEL) across total allocations on operational costs were 51% and 49% respectively

Description of policies

E.4.2 Diversification and mobilisation of funding for VET

Public-Private Partnerships are increasingly perceived as an appropriate policy option to provide education for all in many different contexts. Key education stakeholders suggest that, by partnering with the private sector, governments can expand their education systems in a more efficient and effective way.

E.5: Allocation and use of resources in VET

Minimum technical equipment standards define necessary equipment and devices. Legal entity of public law Education and Science Infrastructure Development Agency (ESIDA) has rehabilitates and equips public VET  colleges.

Having educational resources  for every educational programs is a requirement of the Authorizations; Every institution has a library or el. Library of the educational resources. 

Various el. resources are placed on www.vet.ge, tha vet sector can use, such as educational resources, audio resources.  Educational resources consents of resources for inclusive education, teachers, students, for career-guidance, Georgian language module. Audio resources are available for 19 programs/modules. The website  also consist of  various  reports of research  and analysis carried out in VET. 

Summary and analytical conclusions

Among the positive  developments can be identified 
•    Georgia Started working  on the development of  more efficient and all-inclusive governance  setup is in line with the VET reform and the new VET law;   
•    Started working on new funding models, that should be outcome-based.

Among the policy challenges there is considered a lack of SP at the system level (NVETC)

 Policy challenges

Summary of main findings and recommendations

Annexes

Summary of Findings

Summary of Findings

Summary of Findings

Summary of Findings

 

Annex 3: Benchmarking annex
 
Benchmarking is not something new, it was already included within the Torino Process 2014 and 2016 to encourage the Candidate countries to use more of evidence in policy-making in the field of education and training. 
These topics are also included in the overall objectives of raising the quality of VET, following the Riga Conclusions, and this is where the link with the monitoring of the progress on VET and the MTDs will come into the picture. The analytical framework includes specific information (quantitative and qualitative) which can be used to monitor progress of countries in each of the five areas. 
The benchmarking and the monitoring of the MTDs remain indicative and based on voluntary participation. It will be primarily up to the countries to take action and to follow up the conclusions of the monitoring and benchmarking exercise. 
Which benchmarks will be used in the Torino Process 2018-2020? 

A few indicators related to Education and Training 2020 Framework have been selected for benchmarking of the Candidate and potential candidate Countries within the Torino Process 2018-20 round: 

INDICATORS USED FOR BENCHMARKING

Early leaving from education illustrate the difficulties young people face in today’s world, as well as the economic and social consequences of their finding themselves outside both the labour market and the education system. They also underline the importance of keeping young people in education and training. 
Tertiary educational attainment. A highly skilled workforce is fundamental to global competitiveness and a driver of economic growth and prosperity. It is expected that in the future most new jobs will require high levels of skills. Older cohorts of workers with low educational attainment should be steadily leaving the workforce to be replaced by better educated younger generations. 
Underachievement in reading mathematics and science. In the context of high youth unemployment and a deteriorating labour market situation, building the foundation skills is seen as a key outcome of initial education. Gaining these competences is crucial in building the foundations for long-term economic growth and ensuring individuals’ social inclusion. It should also be pointed out that socio-economic status is still by far the most important determinant for gaining key basic competences. 
Adult participation in lifelong learning. Evidence shows that those most in need of upgrading their skills are barely represented in continued learning. Same patterns could be observed in adult participation in lifelong learning which holds true both for EU Member States and also for the ETF partner countries: is negligible among the low skilled or unemployed. The lack of lifelong learning opportunities creates a low-skills trap, especially for adults without an upper secondary education (a large proportion of the population in the partner countries, see above), who are most in need of up-skilling. 
Employment rate. This indicator is used at the EU level for monitoring at a glance the developments and challenges in the field of employment for the EU and each Member State. The EU has set itself the target of reaching an employment rate of 75% by 2020. This target should be seen in relation to the EU’s agenda for increasing overall employability. It is complemented by a specific benchmark on employability of recent graduates from upper secondary to tertiary education aged 20–34. This benchmark is mainly used to illustrate a labour-market rigidity that is disproportionately affecting new entrants to the workforce. It also highlights the need to raise the employability of graduates through strengthening the quality and relevance of their education and training, which is also a goal shared by the partner countries.  
 

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