United Nations Development Programme / Armenia
14 Petros Adamyan St., Yerevan 0010
Contact: Mr. Hovhannes Sarajyan, Communications Associate
Tel: +37410 566 073
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:

Empowering Vocational Education Schools for Better Training

Yerevan, 30 May 2012 - During the Soviet times, most of the vocational
education and training (VET) colleges in Armenia had well functioning
workshops and laboratories. However, after the Armenia's independence
and transition to a market-based economy most of the workshops became
dysfunctional, equipment obsolete and teaching in these colleges
mainly theoretical.

UNDP Armenia over the recent years has exercised a policy of supplying
new equipment to the selected VET colleges across the country based on
well established social partnership models along with introduction of
associated changes in state qualification standards, modular programs
and development of Armenian language professional manuals to display a
comprehensive approach to the ongoing reforms in the VET sector.

During the last six years, the UNDP "Vocational Education and
Training" project, thanks to bilateral donor assistance from Denmark
and Norway, has secured funding for refurbishment of 21 VET colleges
in Armenia. In order to make the learning process more attractive and
practice-based, and align professional trainings to employers'
requirements, UNDP procured state-of-art educational laboratory
equipment (31 technical VET labs addressing more than 11 different
professional occupations and 12 packages of modern IT equipment) for
VET colleges in Armenia, thus substantively contributing to the
upgrade of about 24 percent of the country's state VET schools.

Today, Dafina Gercheva, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident
Representative in Armenia, visited Vayots Dzor and Ararat Regional
State Colleges to get familiarized on the ground with the UNDP support
aimed at upgrade of facilities within VET institutions, as well as
overall rehabilitation of the country's VET system, making it
sustainable and market oriented.

Since the region of Vayots Dzor is well known for its wine production
and food-processing industry, UNDP VET project has procured wine
testing equipment for Vayots Dzor Regional State College in September
The College, founded in 1971, is the only state mid-career institution
in the region and has trained 3,000 alumni in 32 professions, playing
a unique role in the youth upbringing and education in Vayots Dzor

As part of the overall UNDP support, worth USD 200,000, in 2010 the
college has also received 5 other educational laboratories, such as
wood processing, wood curving, as well as vehicle driving and
maintenance, and IT labs for implementation of practical classes in
the premises of the college. Apart from enrichment of the college
facilities with modern industrial workshops, the UNDP VET project
fully involves the college faculty and administration in numerous
capacity development activities, introducing modern educational
technologies, methodological basics and transfer of international
know-how in the VET field.

"UNDP VET project has rapidly grown into one of the most ambitious
educational projects in Armenia. The upgrade of facilities within VET
institutions also gave an opportunity to impact community development
through enrichment of the specialization scope and provision with
necessary practices and knowledge aimed at training of more
professionals demanded by the labor market. Upgraded VET schools have
all the potential to make vocational education more attractive for
young generation and to ensure competitive employment opportunities in
urban and rural areas of Armenia," said Dafina Gercheva, UN RC/UNDP

Ararat Regional State College is one of the 12 multifunctional
regional educational centers that greatly benefits from targeted
support of the UNDP VET project. The college underwent a full scale
renovation and a technical upgrade of its facilities throughout
2010. The institution is now capable of holding classes aimed at
preparing wood processing specialists and providing them with a
thorough technical training. Wood processing covers a variety of needs
starting from production of paper and pulp for further processing into
timber, wood chips, cellulose and other prefabricated materials.
In 2011, the UNDP VET project also established a modern sewing
workshop to the college, which facilitates provision of professional
trainings not only for the students, but also for the adults, who want
to upgrade their skills through short-term training programs, in line
with the needs of the local labor market.

The VET project gradually but steadily is laying the foundation to
rebuild VET institutions' infrastructure in Armenia, facilitating a
partnership between VET institutions and employers, as well enhancing
cooperation between different actors involved in the modernization of
the VET system in Armenia.