Empowering Georgian Youth Through Educational Opportunities
The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) finalised an innovative initiative aimed at enhancing educational opportunities for Georgian youth, “Creating Better Life-Long Learning Opportunities Through Local Partnerships”. The impressive results of this transformative project include new educational programmes, digital learning tools, and tailored activities for NEET youth, young people not engaged in education, employment, or training.
Spanning from 2021 to 2023, the US$1.3 million project was co-funded by the EU and UNDP and implemented through a partnership with the Non-Formal Education Youth Centre “Sunny House” and Georgia’s Skills Agency.
H.E. Pawel Herczynski, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, emphasized the EU’s commitment to supporting Georgia in developing a modern education and training system, aligning the country with the path to European integration. “The EU supports diverse and inclusive educational opportunities, fostering skilled and empowered youth ready to contribute to Georgia’s development.”
Douglas Webb, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Georgia, highlighted the critical role of education in fostering success: “Over 25 percent of Georgian youth, one in four people aged 15-24, are currently disengaged from learning or employment (Source: PMCG. 2022). In response, UNDP is committed to working with the Government, civil society, the private sector, and educational institutions to introduce more diverse and tailored educational opportunities. By prioritizing informal education and vocational training, we aim to empower these young people, assisting them to shape their future and contribute to Georgia’s journey to success.”
The project’s key achievements were discussed during a series of events on 13-14 December 2023, organized by Georgia’s Skills Agency and the Non-Formal Education Youth Centre “Sunny House,” with support from the European Union and UNDP.
Some of the highlights include:
- Institutional Strengthening of Vocational Educational Institutions: Seven colleges in targeted regions – Ajara Autonomous Republic, Guria, Imereti, Kakheti, and Racha-Lechkhumi, received institutional support aimed at raising the quality of their programmes and services. This assistance provided included the introduction of an entrepreneurial college model through technical resources and capacity-building activities for administrative and teaching staff.
- Institutional Strengthening of Public Schools: Ten public schools in targeted regions – Ajara Autonomous Republic, Guria, Imereti, Kakheti, Racha-Lechkhumi, and Kvemo Svaneti, received support to launch vocational education programmes expanding access to vocational training for high school students and community members.
- Empowering NEET Youth: Catch-up courses focusing on finance and digital literacy were developed by the Skills Agency to create learning and employment opportunities for NEET youth. These courses, blended with capacity-building activities, were successfully piloted in two public schools and two colleges. Furthermore, NEET youth were encouraged to participate in youth clubs and other networking and extracurricular learning opportunities created by the Non-Formal Education Youth Centre “Sunny House”.
- New Vocational Programmes: Innovative vocational education programmes were introduced in the tourism and wellness sectors.
- Vocational Ecosystems and Networking Models: Networking models for sector-based colleges were successfully piloted in the personal services and health sectors. Sectoral Skills Organizations received support to make their work more effective.
- Career Management Services: The Career Education and Orientation Programme was launched to improve employment opportunities for vocational students, schoolchildren, and youth, including NEET youth and young people from disadvantaged communities.
- Career Orientation Services to Support Persons with Disabilities: A new Career Orientation Service for Persons with Disabilities was piloted in partner colleges, fostering an inclusive environment for learning and employment.
- Holistic Extracurricular Approach: Extra-curricular activities, focusing on entrepreneurial activities, art, sports, healthy lifestyle, and social inclusion, were introduced in VET colleges. Capacity-building activities for schools and colleges were implemented in partnership with the Non-Formal Education Youth Centre “Sunny House.”
- Partnerships: The project helped build partnerships between colleges, schools, municipal authorities, and the private sector aiming to foster collaboration on youth employment and NEET youth engagement.
- Digital Tools for Entrepreneurial and Digital Learning: The successful pilot of EntreComp and DigiComp tools in nine educational institutions paved the way for further enhancement. Gamification of modules was introduced to boost the effectiveness of teaching and self-paced entrepreneurship learning. The Skills Agency has successfully transformed key learning resources into digital content accessible via the Learning Management System (LMS) for students and interested individuals.
For media inquiries, please contact:
- Sophie Tchitchinadze, UNDP, +995 599 196907, email@example.com
- Teiko Kandelaki, UNDP, +995 599 103525, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tamar Mikadze, Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, +995 32 2364364, email@example.com