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News from 2022-08-04 / KfW Development Bank

Modern vocational schools for Ukraine

KfW is committed to the future of education

Ukrainische Flagge

KfW is supporting the modernisation of vocational training in Ukraine on behalf of the German Federal Government. The EUR 20 million grant provided at the beginning of August will create centres of excellence at vocational schools to make vocational education and training in the country more attractive. This measure is also intended to contribute to offering Ukrainian youth prospects in their home country.

The war continues to dominate everyday life in many regions of Ukraine, but reconstruction is already being planned. The country's existing challenges continue to exist and are further exacerbated by the conflict. Overcoming them also requires modernising vocational trainings so that a qualified workforce can contribute to the reconstruction and revitalisation of the economy in the medium run.

A university degree is more popular than vocational training among most school graduates in Ukraine, although apprentices are more likely to find a job than young people with a bachelor's degree. Contributing to the poor image of vocational schools is the fact that many facilities date back to Soviet times. The buildings are in a correspondingly poor condition, and the equipment and curricula are outdated.

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), KfW provides a grant to modernise chosen vocational schools, which are to serve as models for other vocational training institutions in the form of centres of excellence. Marketing campaigns will accompany the project to show how attractive modern vocational training can be and what opportunities it offers.

Modern machines, new learning programmes

The comprehensive renovation of the vocational schools includes the refurbishment of buildings, whereby energy efficiency is increased through better insulation, for example. Modern machines are being purchased that reflect the current state of the art. Vocational school teachers are being trained on the new machines and given further pedagogical training, while new learning programmes and modern approaches are replacing the Soviet legacy. To ensure that the needs of future employers are taken into account, close cooperation with the business community is sought. To meet the challenges of war, apprenticeships are promoted to be important for the country's economic growth and reconstruction.

Foundation stone for development

"The centres of excellence are being created to the most modern standards, which meet the requirements of the labour market. We are confident that future apprentices will use their knowledge and skills to lay the foundation for Ukraine's development during and after the war," says KfW Head of Division Dr. Bianca Clausen.

Parts of the funds will be used for the modernised vocational schools to share their newly acquired pedagogical knowledge with other institutions in countries of the so-called Eastern Partnership. As a project of the European Neighbourhood Policy, the Eastern Partnership is aimed at countries such as Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.

The new BMZ-funded project to modernise the lighthouse schools complements an existing project with which KfW is already implementing EUR 21 million in Ukraine from the EU programme "EU4Skills: Better Skills for Modern Ukraine". The EU funds are flowing into smaller modernisation measures at several vocational schools in seven regions of Ukraine.