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Policies and Practices for Partnership


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Partner countries panel session

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Policies and Practices for Partnership

  1. 1. Policies and Practices for Partnership Karine Harutyunyan
  2. 2. Key Data About Armenia <ul><li>Population </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3.2 million </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Land area </li></ul><ul><ul><li>29,743 thousand square km </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Region </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eastern Europe and CIS </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Location </li></ul><ul><ul><li>South Caucasus </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Independence regained </li></ul><ul><ul><li>September 21, 1991 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>State System </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Democratic Presidential </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Capital city </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yerevan </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Administrative division </li></ul><ul><ul><li>11 regions (marzes) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ethnic Divisions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Armenians 96% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kurds 1.8% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Russians 1.2% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Others 1.0% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Languages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Armenian(official), Russian, others </li></ul></ul><ul><li>GDP </li></ul><ul><ul><li>8.14 US$ billion </li></ul></ul>
  3. 4. Social Inclusion and Partnership <ul><li>Policies for inclusion of different population groups (according to the poverty criteria) </li></ul><ul><li>Policies and strategies for establishment of closer links between education institutions and business </li></ul><ul><li>Polices for partnership of education and employment sector and social services </li></ul>
  4. 5. Poverty Dimensions <ul><li>The main correlates of poverty in Armenia </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the territorial dimension </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>household composition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>gender and age group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>employment status </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>human capital status (level of education) </li></ul></ul>
  5. 6. Territorial Dimension <ul><li>The poverty level significantly varies by rural and urban areas, which is explained both by the existing differences of economic development and by the specific features of geographical and infrastructural development. </li></ul><ul><li>In 2008 the poverty level in urban areas comprised 23.8%, in rural areas 22.9%; the extreme poverty comprised 3.9% and 1.7% respectively. Subsistence agriculture still plays an important role in protecting people from falling into extreme poverty. </li></ul><ul><li>Location is one of the main determinants of rural poverty-e.g. the poverty level is higher in settlements with altitude 1.700m above sea level and bordering settlements </li></ul><ul><li>Poverty incidence varies essentially across regions (marzes) –impact of economic growth on the poverty reduction was disproportional. </li></ul>
  6. 7. Household Composition <ul><li>Household composition affects the poverty level essentially. Larger households with many children are at higher risk. </li></ul><ul><li>The poverty level in 2008 in the households with </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 member comprised -18.6% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>7 members and more comprised -31.8% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The extreme poverty level in 2008 in the households with </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 member comprised -3.2%% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>7 members and more comprised -4.0% </li></ul></ul>
  7. 8. Gender & Age Group <ul><li>No significant gender differences in poverty levels: </li></ul><ul><li>Extreme poverty and poverty levels for woman are slightly higher than for men </li></ul><ul><li>The gender affects the poverty mainly in case of household with children. Female-headed households are at higher risk of poverty than man-headed ones (26.8% versus 22,4% in 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Poverty dynamics in terms of age groups : </li></ul><ul><li>The presence of children and elderly increases the incidence of poverty: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>children under 5; 21.7% of them were poor in 2008 (8.8% of poor population); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>overall children up to 19 (vulnerable age groups): their poverty is higher than the average poverty (25.6% to 27.1% compare to 23.5%); </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Working age adults face less risk of poverty: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the poverty rate is lower for wage employees – 7.6%; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>for self-employed & others – close to average participant poverty rate. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 9. Employment Status <ul><li>The main determinant of poverty for working age population is the employment status. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of employment opportunities increases the poverty and more – the extreme poverty risk. </li></ul><ul><li>In 2008 the unemployed faced the highest poverty risk among labor force participants – 27.6%. </li></ul><ul><li>Only 22.2% of all eligible unemployed received unemployment benefits. </li></ul><ul><li>The poverty risk for unemployed in other cities is higher: (32.1% vs. 24.8% in Yerevan). </li></ul><ul><li>Elderly are also at higher risk of poverty: 24.4% (13.3 of poor population). </li></ul>
  9. 10. Human capital status (level of education) <ul><li>Highly educated people have the lowest poverty incidence. </li></ul><ul><li>The people with low educational attainment is another vulnerable to poverty group: </li></ul><ul><li>The poverty risk for people with elementary and incomplete education is much higher the national average – 30.1% and 34.5% respectively vis. 22.6% </li></ul>
  10. 11. Government Policy <ul><li>The main priority of human development strategy is the advanced development of fundamental social services, in particular education (general education as a priority direction) - through increase of their efficiency, quality and accessibility. </li></ul><ul><li>The Government policy aim is the poverty eradication rather than reducing the number of poor. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In 2001 - Government adopted interim PRSP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In 2003 full-fledged PRSP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In 2008 – “Sustainable Development Program” (SDP) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 12. Government Policy <ul><li>“ Sustainable Development Program” - envisaged targets: </li></ul><ul><li>in 2012 - to get the material poverty level to 8% (thus mostly overcoming it and bring the level of extreme poverty to 1.2% - practically eliminating it); </li></ul><ul><li>by 2018 - to establish a new poverty threshold for poverty measurement at the national level (be equal to the minimal consumption basket); </li></ul><ul><li>in 2021 - targeted territorial development policy (to lessen the territorial discrepancies in poverty levels and disproportions of poverty in the capital-city, small and medium-sized towns and rural areas); reduce the poverty levels (including extreme poverty) in Yerevan to 3.2% (0.4%), in other towns – to 8.1% (1.5%), in rural areas – to 9.1% (1.6%) respectively. </li></ul>
  12. 13. Government Policy <ul><li>Increase of public spending on social services </li></ul><ul><li>In comparison with 2006, the public expenditures in education, as % of GDP, are envisaged to increase by 1.8% point – by 2021 (getting them to 4.5% of GDP). In 2009 the public expenditure in education, as % of GDP, comprised 3.5%. </li></ul><ul><li>Increase of public spending on social services, in particular in education reduced the level of poverty from 34.6% in 2004 to 23.5% in 2008 and extreme poverty from 6.4% to 3.1%. </li></ul>
  13. 14. Government Strategies on the Social Dimension <ul><li>Goals: </li></ul><ul><li>to widen access to higher education for all groups in the society and providing equitable access through social benefits; </li></ul><ul><li>equal participation of social groups (women & men, socially vulnerable & rural population, people with disabilities & ethnic minorities); </li></ul>
  14. 15. Government Strategies on the Social Dimension <ul><li>Towards a more inclusive higher education system </li></ul><ul><li>The goals: </li></ul><ul><li>Improve legislation to implement social support policy in higher education system </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce efficient higher education financing system (to ensure equal social conditions for all groups in the society) </li></ul><ul><li>Create alternative financing schemes for provision of free higher education </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure equal start-up opportunities for access to higher education for all groups of the society </li></ul><ul><li>Implement programs to address social needs of learners </li></ul><ul><li>Enlarge and improve mechanisms of counseling & information provision </li></ul><ul><li>Increase cooperation between student organizations to improve social conditions of learners. </li></ul>
  15. 16. National Strategies on the Social Dimension <ul><li>Current situation: </li></ul><ul><li>There are no gender differences: </li></ul><ul><li>as of 2007/2008 the total number of students in higher education state & non-state institutions - 112244 (54.9% -women); </li></ul><ul><li>only the poor & extremely poor segment of population is substantially underrepresented in higher education sector, conditioned by yet limited state financial recourses. </li></ul>
  16. 17. Government Measures <ul><li>To increase the representation of the social groups in Higher Education </li></ul><ul><li>Social policy –provision by the state full scholarships to certain group of students, based on the principles approved by RA Government (27 July 2006 N 1183 resolution): </li></ul><ul><li>Merit based: according to the admission test results and further high achievements in learning </li></ul><ul><li>2. Social factors: complete compensation of scholarships for students of 5 social categories (not subject to rotation): </li></ul><ul><li>a) parentless students , </li></ul><ul><li>b) students with disabilities of 1 st and 2 nd category, </li></ul><ul><li>c) students whose parent were military servants (killed or injured), </li></ul><ul><li>d) students who got disabilities during the mandatory military service, </li></ul><ul><li>e) individuals dispatched for targeted education. </li></ul>
  17. 18. Government Measures <ul><li>Assist students with socio-economic problems to complete their studies without obstacles </li></ul><ul><li>Provision by the state and institutions: </li></ul><ul><li>tuitions discounts </li></ul><ul><li>lodging with less fees (for students from regions) </li></ul><ul><li>healthcare (medical points in institutions, student policlinic operating in Yerevan) </li></ul><ul><li>organization of leisure time at less fees </li></ul><ul><li>free counseling & information provision (information booklet for applicants, HEI management councils, HEI career centers etc.) </li></ul>
  18. 19. Partnerships of education institutions with businesses and social services <ul><li>The importance of cooperation between business and education has been increasing and it is recognised as a vital tool to make human resources development in line with the requirements of the society and of the economy. </li></ul>
  19. 20. National Policies and Strategies <ul><li>The main national policies and strategies that make reference to social dialogue through the establishment of closer links between education and business are: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Concept on the Development of Preliminary Professional (craftsmanship) and Middle Professional education in RA” with Action Plan for 2009-2011. It identifies the main objectives of VET development, the strategic approaches, priorities and major policy directions; </li></ul><ul><li>“ Concept of Lifelong Learning in Armenia”, adopted in October 2009. It defines the principles and concepts of LLL the main problems in the field and possible solutions; </li></ul><ul><li>“ Concept on Social Partnership in the Field of Preliminary Professional (craftsmanship) and Middle Professional Education” adopted in May 2009. Four levels of Social Partnership – National, Regional, Sectoral and Institutional – are foreseen with clearly defined responsibilities: </li></ul><ul><li>Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of VET signed between MoES, Republican Union of Employers of Armenia and RA Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Industry in September 2009. It defines the areas and the ways employers’ unions’ participation on VET provision and VET development on Armenia. </li></ul>
  20. 21. Structures of Partnership <ul><li>The main governance, support and implementation structures dealing with education and business cooperation are the following: </li></ul><ul><li>The Government - Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Economy, line ministries that have educational institutions under supervision (Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Ministry of Culture) </li></ul><ul><li>Multipartite bodies such as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The National Council for Vocational Education and Training Development (NCVD) - a tripartite consultative body and includes an equal number (7+7+7) of representatives from the three parties (public + employers + trade unions) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia - an independent entity founded through a partnership between the Government of Armenia and a group of leading representatives of the private sector from the US, Russia, the EU and the Middle East. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>State Agencies/institutes - intermediate structures linking the business and education spheres, such as the “State Employment Service” Agency and its regional (Marz) and local employment centres; the Youth Professional Orientation Centre; the National Institute of Labour and Social Researches; the National Centre for VET Development; the National Centre of Professional Education Quality Assurance. </li></ul>
  21. 22. <ul><li>S ocial partners - the Republican Union of Employers of Armenia, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its regional branches, sector-based unions of employers/entrepreneurs, as well as individual companies. </li></ul><ul><li>13 permanent Sectoral Committees established as per sectors of economy and social spheres with the objective to review and endorse the drafts of educational standards. </li></ul><ul><li>The Management Boards of around 120 vocational education institutions . Two-three employers have been invited to join the Boards, and the majority of Board Chairpersons have been selected from among employers. </li></ul><ul><li>Organisations providing education and training - state and private educational institutions (universities, colleges), commercial and non-commercial training providers. </li></ul><ul><li>In August 2006 in accordance with new Law “On Employment of the Population and Social Protection in the Case of Unemployment” Conciliation Committees were established at regional and national level. There are 51 conciliation committees, which provide guidance to the operations of local employment offices. </li></ul><ul><li>The Confederation of Trade Unions - has 24 member Trade Unions. Overall the trade unions have 300.000 members. Each sectoral trade union has its own constitution and the Trade Unions have good cooperation with the state and were actively involved in the development of the new Labour Code. </li></ul><ul><li>International organisations contribute to the establishment of education-business links through different programmes and projects such as UNDP, EU, ETF, ILO, USAID, DVV, and World Bank. </li></ul>
  22. 23. Methodologies and Approaches for Partnership <ul><li>Involvement of employers in the process of development of state educational standards: working groups with participation of employers were established and developed 61 state educational standards for VET </li></ul><ul><li>Involvement of employers in the final attestation committee of schools/colleges: in both Universities and VET colleges the final attestation commissions (covering the overall assessment of graduates through Diploma projects or final exams) are chaired by employers representing the corresponding sectors of the economy. </li></ul><ul><li>Direct links between schools/colleges and companies: many educational institutions established direct long-term cooperation with individual companies with the perspective of creating job opportunities for their graduates. </li></ul>
  23. 24. Methodologies and Approaches for Partnership <ul><li>Short-term training courses provided by schools/colleges/training centres: implementation of short-term trainings of the unemployed organised by the “State Employment Service” and the training provided at the direct request of companies. </li></ul><ul><li>Student Internships: an average of 6-10 weeks of internships is implemented in appropriate organisations (including private companies). However there are problems in the organisation of students’ internship in the organisations, namely: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the number of students in almost all fields is much higher than what the companies can offer for the internship; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the students are rather poorly prepared to perform any practical work and that is why the companies do not usually allow them to participate in the production, so the students mainly play the role of observers; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the employers usually do not consider the internships as their future employees. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Education/training provided by the businesses for their own staff and/or for other companies </li></ul>
  24. 25. Good Examples <ul><li>Transnational companies such as Coca-Cola CJS Company (in 2008) and Orange Armenia (in 2009) : they applied to Yerevan State Engineering College and ordered 6-week trainings for 15 and 21 electricians respectively. The companies directly participated in the design of training courses and in the final exams of the trainees who were then employed. </li></ul><ul><li>Training Centre of the Union of Builders of Armenia organises 6-month trainings of 20 people per year for construction companies. </li></ul><ul><li>Union of Builders of Armenia organises lectures on various topics at Yerevan State University of Architecture and Construction and its Middle Vocational College and Yerevan State Engineering College, </li></ul><ul><li>Training Centre of “Beeline” Telecom Company provides trainings for its own staff but also for other companies, particularly from Georgia. The duration of those trainings is between 6 hours to 2 weeks. On average, 2.000 specialists are trained in a year. </li></ul>
  25. 26. Good Examples <ul><li>Cooperation between the Yerevan State University of Architecture and Construction (YSUAC) and the Union of Builders of Armenia (UBA) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The specialists of the Union are involved in the Scientific Council of YSUAC. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Rector of the YSUAC is a member of the UBA Board. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the specialists of UBA often deliver lectures and presentations on various topics at YSUAC. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UBA representatives organise counselling for students, young academics and specialists; they supervise projects and theses; support research activities, the publication of articles of graduates in the journal of the Union. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UBA helps organise student internships (200-300 students per year), providing construction sites, construction materials, ensuring the availability of appropriate specialists. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UBA pays for the tuition of 4-5 talented students per year. </li></ul></ul>
  26. 27. Good Examples <ul><li>Cooperation between the State Engineering University of Armenia (SEUA) and the “Synopsis-Armenia” CJV </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The SEUA &quot;Microelectronic Circuits and Systems&quot; became a member of the Synopsis Worldwide University Program thanks to a cooperation agreement signed between Synopsis Armenia CJSC and SEUA. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the first years of the Bachelor programme, students obtain a basic education in Mathematics, Physics, etc. By the 4th or 5th semester, the top-performing students are selected to continue their studies at Synopsis Armenia Educational Department (SAED) located at SEUA. Further education in the Bachelor’s programme, Master’s program and PhD studies is conducted on the basis of tailor made SAED curriculum This tailor-made curriculum is based on the requirements of leading industry and IT companies. Upon the successful completion of the SAED program, graduates are qualified to work for Synopsis Armenia as well as other IT companies. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Synopsis Armenia has employed 83 SEUA graduates. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Synopsis Armenia has made investments for this cooperation </li></ul></ul>
  27. 28. Good Examples <ul><li>Example of education and business co-operation from Yeghegnadzor State College (contracts have been signed with employers to help graduates to find jobs). </li></ul><ul><li>Yerevan State Trade and Service College (sending students for internship) </li></ul><ul><li>The Career Centre of the French University in Armenia (from the first years of their studies, students are trained in different companies) </li></ul><ul><li>The Alumni and Career Development Office of the American University in Armenia ( The Alumni and Career Development Office (ACDO) contributes to the establishment and development of the careers of AUA graduates). . </li></ul><ul><li>The Professional Orientation and Career Development Service of the Yerevan State College of Humanities (organised a systematic youth professional orientation service). </li></ul><ul><li>etc. </li></ul>
  28. 29. Constrains and Challenges <ul><li>In recent years positive tendencies have been registered in strengthening of ties with the business community. However, the process is still on-going and the following constraints can be mentioned: </li></ul><ul><li>the legal framework is rigid with unfavourable tax and customs policies; </li></ul><ul><li>existing policy documents aimed at promoting education and business cooperation are mainly expressing intentions but there is not action plan with timing and resources. No mechanism are in place to monitor the progress; </li></ul><ul><li>companies have other priorities; </li></ul><ul><li>still mistrusts between schools/colleges and companies, originating from the legacy of the past of mistrust between public/private sectors. </li></ul><ul><li>the professional qualification of the teachers and management of education institutions is not considered up-dated and, in addition to this, low wages have a negative impact in their commitment motivation to work; </li></ul><ul><li>weakness of the career centres at vocational institutions, which practically do not work and do not contribute at the improvement of the dialogue between education and business; </li></ul><ul><li>lack of quality of existing labour market analyses , which are not accurate. Social partners complain about the shortage of relevant research works; </li></ul><ul><li>VET offer is not organised in consultation with the employers, but it is centralised and mainly supply driven. </li></ul>
  29. 30. Constrains and Challenges <ul><li>To overcome the existing difficulties and challenges, the following recommendations can be made: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Supporting structures: policy level </li></ul><ul><li>Revise existing laws regulating the education sector that would contribute to the participation of social partners, defining shared tasks and responsibilities; </li></ul><ul><li>Get social partners playing an active role in increasing the attractiveness of VET system as a better access to employment opportunities; </li></ul><ul><li>Provide financial incentives to the employers willing to invest in the education sector; </li></ul><ul><li>Include promotion of Education-Business as key priority in strategic policy documents related to modernisation of vocational education and training and to the development of adult learning linked to labour market needs. Design an action plan, including timing resources and monitoring mechanism. </li></ul>
  30. 31. Constrains and Challenges <ul><li>2. Supporting structures: capacity development </li></ul><ul><li>Organise opportunities at colleges level for students to obtain information and professional orientation; </li></ul><ul><li>Organise seminars/events at central regional and local level where colleges and social partners could be invited to present their own experience; </li></ul><ul><li>Train staff in the Ministry of Education and Science and in the State Employment Service Agency on the issue of social partnership; </li></ul><ul><li>Organise competitions between schools and colleges to identify the best example to business and education co-operation. </li></ul><ul><li>Create a website dedicated to the “Business-Education Cooperation” where proposals from employers, the representatives of the education sector, and students will be posted, together with the latest news concerning the cooperation. </li></ul><ul><li>Make donors and the Ministries of Education and Labour more active in promoting social dialogue with implementation and monitoring mechanism </li></ul>