Developing the skills for stronger economies Stories

14 May, 2021

COVID-19 has accelerated the need for enterprises to adapt to unique challenges and face new realities. Emerging out of this pandemic as a greener, more inclusive, and resilient global economy have become the words of the day and tackling these ambitious development priorities will require a strong focus on education, skills and labour policies.

Cowater International works with the European Union to advance lifelong learning by improving access to education and training. Our expertise focuses on three major areas. First, we work with governments and stakeholders to improve vocational education and training (VET) systems through improved governance, financing, and qualification frameworks. Second, we support innovative approaches to promote employment and employability. Third, we invest in skills development to build more competitive economies.

One of our key European partners in the area of education and labour is the European Training Foundation (ETF). We support ETF’s mission to help countries develop their human capital through investments in education, training and labour market systems by mobilizing outstanding technical expertise.

In the Maghreb and Central Asia regions, as part of ETF’s  ”Skills for Enterprise Development“ program, Cowater International conducted an analysis to support enterprises better respond to and manage the impact of COVID-19. Moreover, the study provides recommendations towards building greener, more inclusive and innovative economies, by identifying needs for skills development, re-skilling and up-skilling in the enterprise sector.

In Tunisia, Cowater International provided support in promoting entrepreneurial learning and competences and piloted the methodology for “Entrepreneurial VET Centres”. In South-East Europe, we developed an analysis of teacher training needs in the area of digital skills to better understand the challenges faced by teachers in delivering online education in the context of COVID-19. Boosting the digital competences of teachers is critical to deliver quality education to students. Our team used the European Digital Competence Framework for Educators (DigCompEdu) to map the digital competences of a sample of teachers from Albania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia to support their continued professional development and assess the existing skills gap.

Finally, in Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia, we worked on the Governance for Employability in the Mediterranean (GEMM) project. GEMM focused on improving the multi-level governance of VET systems with the objective of enhancing the employability of young people and women in the Middle East and North Africa region. Pilot projects developed by Cowater International tackled female unemployment in Jordan, youth employment in Lebanon and strengthened the links between local priorities and national policy in Morocco to support stronger labour markets.

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