Reaching the Poorest or Targeting VSD for Innovation. Is There a Trade-off Between These Two Goals?
This paper develops a quality and inclusive system for Vocational Skills Development (VSD). Therefore, it analyses current policies of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and differentiates between aid for the poor and aid for innovation. Additionally, the Swiss tradition of vocational education will be pointed out, to highlight the importance and value of VSD in Switzerland. Amongst other things, the paper urges to spread the idea of the successful education system of Switzerland. In a first step, this paper looks at several existing VSD projects from the SDC and other institutions, which display various effects, both successes and challenges. It evaluates the outcomes of these projects to understand which factors are most decisive for a successful VSD project. Hence, the paper eventuates an unavoidable trade-off between VSD for the poor and VSD for innovation. In a second step, a recommendation for a quality and inclusive VSD system will be developed. This happens through a thorough assessment for a designated region and a multi-step strategy to approach and conduct a successful VSD project. The main target of the approach will initially include only the young people who already have enjoyed basic primary, secondary or vocational education and are committed to work and to bring change for the better to their region. In a second step, we start to include the poorest social group to execute merit-based and low-skilled work. Eventually, a market-led and demand-driven development and a change of the mindset of the people concerning vocational education is expected. This includes the social appreciation of VSD and the constant transfer of skills on all levels. These plans will be reflected in fictive examples to demonstrate how the approach on VSD could work in real life. Eventually, this approach aims for long-living, self-sustaining and re-iterating processes within VSD projects designated for innovation as well as for the poor to improve the situation of young and unemployed, the entire community and coming generations.