The British Council is committed to developing projects with high impact, long term benefits through its Skills for Employability programme. Lessons learnt from individual projects or programmes can be applied across a sector or region or can even contribute to a national reform programme. And, in some cases, by demonstrating longevity, projects may be eligible for EU funding.
One such project is the development of the Quality Assurance Framework for Vocational Education and Training (QAF for VET) recently launched in Bulgaria. This was delivered by the in-country British Council Skills for Employability team in partnership with Bulgaria’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Science. The two key objectives were to raise standards and modernise the curriculum in order to better meet the changing needs of the workplace.
The project kicked off with a two day national conference and workshops in Plovdiv, organised and facilitated by the British Council. Employers, including Microsoft Bulgaria, social partners, ministry experts and VET school directors discussed the existing practices, problems, national priorities, criteria and indicators for evaluation and quality assurance mechanisms. From these discussions came a blue print for reform.
The project achieved long term benefits Bulgaria’s VET system and employers, and so was able to attract more than 1.5 million Euros of EU Structural funds to further develop quality standards in the education system over the following three years.
Speaking of the British Council’s role in the programme, Valentina Deykova, Director of Policy Development, Analysis and Assessment Directorate at the Ministry of Education Youth and Science said: ‘We are very grateful that the British Council facilitated the beginning of the long delayed process of creating VET QA system in Bulgaria with the Skills for Employability project. ‘
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