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UNFPA extends the partnership with business companies in creating a friendly environment at workplace for youth from Vocational Education and Training

The opportunities for and the difficulties faced by private companies in the process of employment and work with youth from Technical, Vocational Education and Training institutions were discussed at the first coordination meeting conducted within the project Develop life skills and healthy behaviors of students in Vocational Education & Training for their development and job readiness today.


The meeting was attended by representative of the Ministry of Education and Research (MEC), Austrian Embassy in Moldova, Austrian Development Agency (ADA), representatives of 9 business companies and 12 VET institutions beneficiaries of the project, VET students, and project partners - Terre des homme, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, UN Women, German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).


“In the digital age, young people have very distinct perceptions and expectations regarding the workplace. The youth friendly environment at the workplace is no longer optional but it is crucial to attracting and retaining the best talent available today. Employers can play a critical role in helping young boys and girls to develop skills and create relationships that youth may not experience at school or at home” stated Latika Maskey-Pradhan, ad-interim Deputy-Director UNFPA, in the opening remarks.


Creating an enabling environment within business companies for students from TVET institutions comes along with another UNFPA regional initiative of implementing Gender-Responsive Family Polices for the private sector, both supported by Austrian Development Agency.


“A youth-friendly, equitable and inclusive environment can support young people in their positive development towards independence and success at the workplace. Related to their education, jointly with our reliable partners we achieved major progress in providing youth with access to quality life-skills health education, investing in curricula, continuous teachers’ training, ensuring youth friendly-spaces in educational institutions, enabling boys and girls to deal effectively with challenges of everyday life and preparing them for easier integration in the professional life” stated Stella Avallone, H.E. Ambassador of the Republic of Austria.


“We have always supported good initiatives in the field of technical vocational education. Through this dialogue with the private business sector initiated by UNFPA we will see and analyze what would be the potential development prospects and create those necessary conditions so that students can more easily enter the field of work " mentioned during the event Silviu Gîncu, Head of the TVET department within the MEC.


The main challenges of the companies related to better interaction with young employees coming from TVET system in order to support them and keep them on board were identified in an assessment of the situation within the 9 selected business companies. The main findings were discussed during the meeting, and also the joint efforts of education and business sectors in supporting young people integration into the labor market and their healthy development.


As a result of the assessment, beginning with November, UNFPA will start piloting a support program for business companies on implementation of a youth friendly workplace. Each of the 9 companies will benefit from an individual plan of training and coaching that will continue till April 2022. Also, the companies will benefit from international study-cases and experiences of companies implementing already youth friendly workplace model. Partnering with UN Women, the companies will be capacitated in preventing gender based violence at the workplace. 


The companies, half of them also participating in Dual-VET education are Combinatul de Pâine SA, Bălți, Panilino SRL, Codreanca SRL, S.A. "Reţelele Electrice de Distribuţie Nord", Artizana SRL, Cupcini-Cristal", S.A. Fabrica De Zahăr, Moltelecom SA, CET-NORD SA, Moldretail Group SRL.


According to the project study on knowledge, attitudes, practices regarding health and life-skills KAP study, students in VET institutions, especially in vocational schools, have poor social and employment skills. Only 1/5 (20.9%) of the respondents have well-developed interpersonal skills and only 11.3% have developed skills that can help them get hired, among which efficient communication, team working, critical thinking etc.


The project “Develop life skills and healthy behaviors of students in Vocational Education & Training (VET) for their development and job readiness” addresses various challenges faced by the young people engaged in the VET system concerning their employment or self-employment from the perspective of life skills-based health education. It proposes a concurrent investment in life skills education, in creation of safe spaces at school and at the workplace, and in empowering young people to develop healthy behaviors, address gender stereotypes and prevent gender-based violence. It focuses on twelve VET institutions including four in Chisinau and eight in Cahul, Nisporeni, Rezina, Orhei, Edinet, Rascani, Balti. 

The project is implemented by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) with funding support of Austrian Development Agency (ADA) from funds of Austrian Development Cooperation in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Research in the period of 2020 - 2022.