Modernising vocational education and training (VET) centres in Azerbaijan

Credits: UNDP Azerbaijan

Project Summary

Currently, the vocational education and training (VET) system of Azerbaijan faces many challenges in terms of management, financial support, staff, content of education, material and technical base and infrastructure. In the last decade, the Government of Azerbaijan has implemented a wide range of activities, state programs, strategies and concepts to address these issues. In addition, a Vocational Education Agency under the Ministry of Education was established in 2016 to increase the efficiency and relevance of vocational education and training system in Azerbaijan and to produce qualified workforce for the labour market. Nevertheless, certain problems remain. The infrastructures of the majority of VET centres have not been modernised for decades while educational resources, educational programs, teaching and learning materials used by VET centres are out of date or do not respond to the requirements of a modern VET system. Financial support from the state budget is not at the required level and VET centres are not currently able to generate income due to the challenges they face. Social partnership is also very weak. The rate of involvement of professional, administrative and management staff of VET centres in training courses on capacity building are low and quality of training courses are not satisfactory and legal and regulatory framework on VET need to be updated and adjusted accordingly. Moreover, these challenges and problems promote a negative perceprtion of VET centres among the prospective students. Statistical data shows that annually less than 11% of graduates are enrolled in VET institutions in Azerbaijan, while it is 40-60% in developed countries. Estimations show that each year approximately 50-60% of general education graduates enter the labour market without any qualification. This is one of the main reasons for the higher unemployment rate and low productivity among you

The Government of Azerbaijan has recognised the importance of developing the VET system in a number of policy documents, and emphasised the importance of reforming the VET system in Azerbaijan in achieving high results through an improvement in the infrastructures, the content of education, the professional capacity, the establishment of recognition of prior leaning, internal quality assurance and social partnership. The project will address the governance issues in all envisaged activities and use collected findings as evidences for model replication in other regions as well as use the results for improving policy framework in the area of VET.

Proposed Vocational Education programme will be implemented in two regions of the country, namely Ganja and Jalilabad. Both of the regions are top priority for The Ministry of Education and were selected due to many factors, such as labor market relevance, priority sectors for country development, private sector interest and required infrastructure in place. The project will be implemented according to CPD national priority to strengthen institutional capacities and effective public and social services, and UNAPF outcome 2 to enhance institutional capacities for transparent, evidence-based and gender-sensitive policy formulation and implementation. To this end, UNDP will employ a mix of strategies combining capacity-building measures in VET institutions in Ganja and Jalilabad with sector-specific interventions. The focus will be put on developing human capital as a necessary prerequisite for a diversified, competitive and knowledge-based economy. It will ensure that the most vulnerable sections of the workforce, including young people, women and persons with disabilities, have access to skills and resources that match labour market demand. UNDP will also provide support for national institutions in designing and rolling out new vocational education programmes in the non-oil sectors.

The project will act in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 4 to "Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all" and will primarily focus on the Target 4.4, "By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship".


Project Objectives

Overall objective: Specfifc objectives:
  • To contribute to the modernisation of the vocational education and training system in Azerbaijan, enhancing quality, equality, relevance and access in line with European standards and practices.
  • To improve quality of education for increasing attractiveness of VET in Ganja city and neighbouring regions, as well as adjust vocational education to the requirements of the industry.
  • To improve quality of education for establishing labour market oriented VET system in the Lankaran Economic Region. In this regard, operational capacity of Jalilabad Vocational Lyceum will be strengthened through the establishment of modern Regional VET Centre of Excellence for occupations in agriculture and industry (manufacturing) sectors.


Expected Results

Support to the establishment of Regional Industrial VET competence Centre in Ganja Establishment of Regional VET Centre of Excellence in the Lankaran Economic Region
  • Regional VET Competence Centre will be established 
  • Skills and employability of the graduates of VET Competence Centre wil be enhanced.
  • Partnerships with private sector will be established.
  • Mechanism for recognition/validation of prior learning (competences) will be developed and introduced.
  • Awareness on best EU practices in VET will be increased.
  • Regional VET Centre of Excellence will be operationalized and modernised
  • Skills and employability of the graduates of VET Lyceum will be enhanced.
  • Mechanisms for partnerships with employers will be established.


Project Accomplishments

2017 (VET Ganja) 2017 (VET Lankaran)
  • A labour market survey was conducted. The study mapped the largest public and private employers in the agricultural and manufacturing sector, identified their potential human resources needs, and determined specific skills and competences that are deficient at the labour market. The findings of the labour market study will be used for the planning and development of new curricula and modular training courses of the Ganja VET Centre.
  • The findings of the labour market study were used for the formulation and development of new curricula and modular training programmes of the Jalilabad VET Lyceum.
2018 (VET Ganja) 2018 (VET Lankaran)
  • “Exemplary regulation of Ganja Vocational Education Competence Center” was developed by local expert and submitted to the State Agency on VET for approval.
  • Curricula on HVAC specialist, Mining Specialist and Apartment turnover and maintenance specialist were developed and applied in selected the Ganja Centre for 2018-2019.
  • 15 modular training materials were developed on the three selected occupations- HVAC technician specialist, Mining specialist, Apartment turnover maintenance specialist.
  • A report on the recognition of competences acquired through informal and non-formal learning and the legal framework for recognition of prior learning, statues of Certification Centre have been developed and submitted to the State Agency.
  • An Extensive and documented desk review on the European and international experience and the best practices on the establishment of Competence Centre on VE was conducted. A one-day seminar was organised to present “best practices on German Vocational Education Centres”.
  • Curricula on Farmer, Grape and Wine making specialist and Crop production (tea and strawberry) specialist were developed and selected for the 2018-2019 academic tears in Jalilabad VE Lyceum.
  • Based on the LMA results, two additional modules and module specifications for strawberry and tea were developed and approved by the State Agency.
  • The Concept for Regional VET Centre of Excellence was developed and submitted for approval.
  • The workshops and classrooms for the Agro Service and cabinet maker occupations in Jalilabad were reconstructed.



Project start date:

August 2017

Estimated end date:

August 2020

Focus area:

  • eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions
  • Project office:

    UNDP in Azerbaijan

    Implementing partner:

    AZE - Ministry of Education

    Full project information  

    Funding Support by

    Donor name

  • United Nations Development Pro
  • European Commission
  • Amount contributed


    Delivery in previous fiscal year

    2020 $339,607

    2019 $857,847

    2018 $1,746,899

    2017 $199,531

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