In all DC dVET member countries, either additional funds have already been made available to alleviate the COVID 19 crisis in the partner countries or discussions are currently underway as to whether and how additional funds should be used for development cooperation. Vocational education and training (VET) is also taken into account here or is to be taken into account in the future. An overview of the concrete measures at different levels or reactions of the projects can be found below:

Austrian Development Agency (ADA): ADA’s current response is primarily to adapt projects and programmes quickly and flexibly to the new situation – also in the field of education and VET. The focus is on short-term flexibility in particular, since future developments are very difficult to predict and also depend heavily on the respective country and project context. In addition, ADA also allocates funds for specific COVID-19-related projects.

Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ): The BMZ is now funding a global Emergency COVID-19 Support Programme worth more than a billion euros, redirected from its own budget. Education is an important component of the programme and is systematically incorporated into various thematic areas: I.e. in the context of displacement and migration, where BMZ supports the continuation of education and the expansion of WASH measures in programmes promoting education and TVET. Moreover, German development cooperation strengthens existing TVET and employment promotion programmes making sure that trainees do not drop out of skills development due to the crisis. Via the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation BMZ helps to maintain jobs and investments and increasingly promotes digital measures to continue training and skills development in its partner countries.

Liechtenstein Development Service (LED): At the beginning of April, a series of newspaper articles (in German) in the Liechtenstein daily press described how the current crisis is affecting the work of the LED in the partner countries and how the coordination offices and projects in Bolivia, Moldova and Zimbabwe are dealing with the situation. Even though the starting points in the three countries are very different, priorities have changed everywhere, and projects need to be rescheduled. However, in the Republic of Moldova, where the LED’s focus is on education and VET, it is possible to build on the work of recent years: One of the projects supports the teachers in the meaningful use of digital instruments and is accordingly overrun with requests.

Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC): SDC, together with its implementing partners, is working to adapt its VET projects to the new circumstances and, if necessary, to reorient them in order to contribute to overcoming the crisis and its serious economic and social consequences. In addition, new projects and contributions are approved that directly address the crisis. To provide the best possible support for VET projects, the representations in the partner countries are in close contact with the thematic advisers at headquarters, as well as through mutual exchanges. In addition to a detailed thematic page on VET and COVID 19, which is constantly updated, various exchanges in the Employment and Income Network, consultations, as well as webinars are offered that are partly also open to external experts. Documentation of the webinars, as well as of the Community of Practice on ICT4VET, is also available on the same page. If you are interested in thematic exchange with the SDC’s community of practice and its partners, please register via the following link: https://dgroups.org/sdc/vocaskills/join.

DC dVET will send out a newsletter in due time on the topic “New Technologies & dual VET”. The use of new technologies is one of the key elements to continue training in the current crisis. We have asked projects and experts whether and how new technologies can be used, and which are particularly promising approaches. Register here to find out more.

We also held a series of webinars on various topics in dual VET in development cooperation in May. Although the focus of the webinars was not on questions related to COVID-19, the challenges in the current situation were still addressed. The documentation of the can be found here, with concrete answers to the COVID-19 topic from the webinar on “Financing of dual VET” and the webinar on “Cost-Benefit Analyses for Companies in dual VET” (Q&A Session).

In the coming weeks, we will be sharing with you more on approaches in the field of dual VET to overcome the COVID-19 Crisis.