Develop life skills and healthy behaviours of students in Vocational Education & Training for their development and job readiness
The intended impact of the project is: Vocational Education and Training (VET) students, in particular girls, have more opportunities for decent employment and reduced labour market transition time by being empowered to safe and healthy behaviours.
The project's expected outcome is: VET students (boys and girls, including vulnerable and with disabilities) practice safe reproductive health behaviours and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
The project's expected outputs are:
Output 1: VET institutions are enabled to sustainably deliver the Decisions for a Healthy Lifestyle course, based on available materials, teacher preparation and friendly learning infrastructure.
Output 2: VET institutions and business companies have capacities to support young people in their healthy development and safe behaviours.
Output 3: VET staff, students, parents and business companies understand and promote the youth right to life skills based health education and reproductive health services.
The project’s main target groups are: 12 VET institutions from the South, Center and North regions of Moldova. Among them there are 4 Centers of Excellence, 4 colleges and 4 professional schools.
9 business companies will also be targeted within the project. The companies are part of dual VET and have established partnerships with the 12 targeted VET institutions.
The project’s direct beneficiaries are:
• 6000 students (boys and girls, including 95 students with disabilities) from 12 targeted VET institutions;
• 25 teachers providing Decisions for a Healthy Lifestyle course in targeted VET institutions, which is 100% of teachers providing this course;
• 240 staff from targeted VET institutions: masters (VET trainers), administration, psychologists, medical and dormitories staff;
• 450 management and production staff from 9 business companies who work with the selected VET institutions within dual education;
• 300 parents of students from targeted VET institutions.
The planned activities will include:
Output 1: Conduct inception discussion in each targeted VET institution; development of innovative teaching materials and scaling-up materials already used in general education and/or other countries; development of pre- and post- evaluation tools to assess students’ knowledge; teachers’ training, including initial and refreshment trainings; refurbishment of edutainment classrooms; development and piloting of education training programme for teachers in 2 Centers of Excellence; conduct peer-to-peer education activities.
Output 2: Conduct information sessions for VET staff; conduct learning workshop for class teachers, masters, psychologists and medical assistant; organize study visit for targeted VET institutions in Estonia, which has successful experience in integrating the life skills based health education programme; establish partnership between targeted VET institutions, business companies with Youth Centers (YC) and Youth Klinics; conduct information sessions for targeted business companies.
Output 3: Organize project launching and closing conference; conduct a Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP) survey on healthy behaviours and life skills knowledge among students; develop and implement the Public Awareness and Communication Strategy; establish and maintain the “Network of VET Youth Peer Educators on Life Skills”; organize exhibitions and competitions for students; conduct information sessions for parents.
Graduates of Vocational Education and Training (VET) face various challenges with regards to their employment or self-employment. Based on the UNDP recent small data analysis the key challenges perceived by VET students are mainly related to mismatch in skills, including technical and soft skills, lack of working experience and discriminatory practices. The share of youth, not in employment, education or training (NEET) among young people aged 15–29 years is high. At the same time, the highest NEET rate is among women of this age category as a result of the large number of young women with inactive status, who devote themselves to family responsibilities, especially raising and caring for children, as well as due to gender inequality on the domestic labour market. Female VET students, who are from rural areas or vulnerable backgrounds, are more likely to drop out of school or enter the labour market later due to an unplanned pregnancy or experienced gender-based violence. The statistics show that every third young woman in Moldova has experienced at least one form of gender-based violence and the adolescent pregnancy rate in Moldova is still high, in particular among rural girls. To ensure the success of VET investments, this project proposes a concurrent investment in life skills based health education to ensure that boys and girls graduating VET can make full use of their education and transition to successful employment, with safe spaces for girls and boys at workplace, addressing gender stereotypes, gender based violence and promoting healthy behaviours.