Hard to find work - not any more

Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) only makes sense if it prepares young people properly for the world of work. For a long time, TVET in Kosovo did not do that, but now things are changing.

For 13 years, Almir Abdurrahmani has been teaching food technology at Abdyl Frasheri High School for Agriculture and Technology in Kosovo’s capital, Pristina. During this time, he has seen some changes, because the Kosovan TVET system has been undergoing radical reform for some years now.

Failing to meet needs

Up to now, pupils have received training that has had little to do with labour-market demands. This is changing now and it is exactly what the reforms are about, as the only way for graduates to find a job and for companies to find qualified personnel.

School of the future

The 520 students at the Abdyl Frasheri High School will also be able to do this. Founded in 1946, the TVET institute has a long tradition. It is now on the way to becoming a school of the future, with help from the European Union and Austrian Development Cooperation.

Top teachers and…

“I am astonished at how far we have already got. Today, I am a better teacher and can pass on my knowledge to my students in a more understandable way, in theory and practice,” Almir Abdurrahmani is pleased to say.

…modern curricula

He has learnt, for example, how to design teaching and training courses for teaching staff and pupils. The young man and his colleagues have also been instructed in didactics and pedagogics and have been provided with new teaching materials. Curricula in food technology and agriculture have also been modernised.

Practical lessons

In collaboration with Pristina Municipality, a training workshop has been set up and fitted out with modern technology, where students learn at first hand how to process fruit, vegetables and milk.

Bright prospects

Things are going in the right direction, as the figures show: In 2019, about 30 per cent of graduates from the Abdyl Frasheri High School found a job straight away. “For students of food technology, the figure amounts to as much as 60 per cent,” school head Bekë Mulaj proudly reports.

The task now is to adapt legislation in the education sector to the needs of the labour market, for facilitating collaborations between businesses and schools and allocating finance for TVET along strategic lines, for example. Because in the long term, young people will only have a chance of finding a good job and then be able to lead a good life if policymakers, business and industry and the education sector work together.