Vocational training programmes have little effect on migration

vocational training programmes can affect several migration outcomes. By enhancing labour skills, people may find better jobs in the domestic labour market, thereby reducing the incentive to emigrate. On the other hand, vocational training can be a means to make would-be migrants more employable overseas. According to the comparative IPPMD study, migration intentions of employed and unemployed people who participated in vocational training are likely to be stronger than those who did not (OECD, 2017). While this is true at the descriptive level for Georgia, the difference is not statistically significant. Further analysis has found no significant relationship between vocational training programmes and households' migration experiences.

vocational training has become a key labour market strategy in Georgia, as in many other countries. In March 2007, the new law of Georgia on Professional Associations was passed, significantly changing the financing and infrastructure of the vocational education system in Georgia. vocational education in Georgia is managed by government structures, which develop national development policies and strategies and programmes. The Ministry of Education and Science enforces the regulatory framework and implements sector programmes through its agencies: the National Centre for Education Quality Enhancement, the National Centre for Teachers' Professional Development and the Information Management System. In 2013, the government adopted the vocational Education and Training Development Strategy for 2013-2020 (MoES 2013). For then there were 23 public and 76 private vocational education and training (vET) institutions, 25 higher educational institutions and 13 schools authorised by the government to provide vocational education programmes. In total, around 150 different vocational education programmes were taught at these institutions.

The strategy document identifies several important challenges facing vocational education in Georgia today. vocational education is not attractive to the population and is not required as a precondition for recruitment by employers, as the quality of vET qualifications awarded are often low, and are not recognised by employers and education institutions either locally or internationally. vET educators themselves lack the capacity and professional development to meet modern standards and requirements. Both public and private vET providers lack sufficient funding, good management and up-to- date and quality equipment. Most importantly, vET programmes are often not relevant to the current and future labour needs of Georgia's growing and diversifying economy.

Before the adoption of the strategy in 2013, vocational courses were focused on a number of key sectors, particularly construction, the hospitality sector, information technology (IT) and textiles. Sectors that employ large numbers of technical people - like utilities, rail, steel, food processing and logistics - were hardly covered by the VET system and had to provide almost all of their training in house. The strategy documented the problems such as the low quality of vocational education, the lack of professional skills of vET graduates, low awareness of vET programmes and the need to involving employers directly in the VET system.

The IPPMD survey found that about 4% of the labour force had participated in a vocational training programme in the past five years. The participation rate in vocational training programmes is higher for women than men; and higher in rural areas than in urban areas (Figure 4.8). The most common training programmes are computer and IT-related (31%), followed by languages (15%).

Figure 4.8. Women in rural areas have the highest participation rate in vocational

training programmes

Share of labour force who have participated in vocational training in the past five years (%)

Note: The difference between men and women in both urban and rural areas is statistically significant (99% significance level, using a chi-squared test).

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

statLink-^^^ http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888933457893

Both government employment agencies and vocational training programmes can serve as a reintegration channel for return migrants. As re-entry to the home labour market may require some return migrants to acquire new skills, training programmes can help returnees to develop these skills and find employment. However, the rate of use of such programmes by the return migrants in the survey is close to zero. Return migrants' lack of use of government employment agencies may partially explain their propensity to self-employment. In this case, they may have chosen to be self-employed as a last resort.

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