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National research expert to develop and carry out a review on the regulatory framework and provision of post-secondary vocational education and training
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Grade: Chief and Senior Professional
Job Expired 6 Jun 2021
Expired
Added 1 month ago
Job Description

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Background

The Skills Development for Employment (SD4E) programme, financed by the Swiss Government and implemented by UNDP Albania continues to support the Government of Albania in the national VET and Employment reform through a comprehensive approach of institutional capacity building on a macro/policy level, enabling key actors (Ministry of Finance and Economy (MFE), National Agency for Employment and Skills (NAES), National Agency for VET and Qualifications (NAVETQ), to deliver coordinated and demand-driven services. Responding to national priorities and the objectives of the National Employment and Skills Strategy, this Swiss funded intervention has the ambition to make a systemic contribution where the Albanian VET system and Employment Service supply the labour market with a skilled workforce that contributes to sustainable and inclusive economic development of the country.

To achieve the programme purpose and finally the programme goal, the programme focuses on strategic fields that aim to improve the governance and quality of service provision in VET and employment promotion in Albania.

  1. Outcome 1: The institutional capacity of key actors in VET and Employment (Ministry, NAVETQ, NAES) is strengthened
  2. Outcome 2: The employment service portfolio is based on a balanced demand-and supply-side oriented approach
  3. Outcome 3: A standardized Quality Assurance (QA) framework is in place that improves the image of VET and fosters linkages between school and world of work.
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The Albanian education system has long been struggling between increasing the levels of educational attainment and improving quality and relevance of education outcomes. This has concerned the entire system, especially vocational education and training (VET) and tertiary higher education.

Private sector engagement in skills development has been in the focus of several reform efforts in vocational education and training. Latest review conducted by UNDP in the frame of the SD4E programme highlighted that there is still a significant skills shortage and skills gap in the Albanian labour market, mainly due to insufficient collaboration between the world of education and the world of work. Private sector contribution towards the design of the governance structure has been low compared to the expected contribution in the training programme design and modernisation and delivery (work-based learning) as stipulated in the new VET law (15/2017). One reason is certainly the low level of institutional contribution of the private sector about VET.[1] Another obstacle to labour market responsive skills development are limited pathways and opportunities. The VET system relies heavily on the offer provided by public VET institutions, which provide only upper secondary vocational education and short-term vocational training for adults. VET offer at post-secondary level remains underdeveloped, although the need therefore is emphasized by several studies and some legal framework arrangements have been undertaken over the years. To date, only one vocational education programme in Fashion/Design at post-secondary level is offered by a public vocational school, with 18 students enrolled.

On the higher education account, as part of the tertiary cycle, universities have utilized the arrangements of the Law on Higher Education (Law 80/2015) to provide post-secondary vocational programmes. Respectively, some 3,000 students were enrolled in post-secondary vocational education programmes at universities in the academic year 2019-2020, compared to a total of 19,000 students enrolled in undergraduate programs.

In addition to expanding the offer of vocational education and training to post-secondary level, an unexplored path for skills and workforce development is vocational education at the tertiary level (bachelor’s and master’s programmes). The system of higher education in Albania consists of 15 public Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) and 26 non-public or private IHE. In total, about 131 thousand students were enrolled in higher education in the academic year 2019-2020, of which about 110 thousand at state universities.

In addition to expanding the offer of vocational education and training to post-secondary level, an unexplored path for skills and workforce development is vocational education at the tertiary level (bachelor’s and master’s programmes). The system of higher education in Albania consists of 15 public Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) and 26 non-public or private IHE. In total, about 131 thousand students were enrolled in higher education in the academic year 2019-2020, of which about 110 thousand at state universities. The quality of the study programmes remains questionable. Generally current curricula are classically structured and theoretical. Infrastructure for practical skills is lacking in most universities and cooperation between universities and the business community is poor. In addition, the transfer of university knowledge and technology toward business and enterprises is underdeveloped and not regulated.

The consequence of the current situation of the Albanian higher education is a still relatively high unemployment rate of university graduates, which means an inefficiency of the investment of the students themselves, student families and of the country in general, which does not support the long-term economic and social development of Albania.

This assignment is expected to be carried out by a team of experts, composed of one international expert and two national experts. The international expert will design the methodology and will bring in the international experience, one national policy expert will focus on national policy and regulatory framework analysis, and the other national research expert will carry out a study with key relevant employers in three selected sectors.

[1] Hilpert, Annett (2020): Review of the Albanian VET System, p.9, https://www.al.undp.org/content/albania/en/home/library/crisis_prevention_and_recovery/review-of-albania-s-vet-system-.html


Duties and Responsibilities

The objective of this assignment is to analyse needs and scope for extending the offer of vocational education and training to post-secondary levels (including VET at tertiary level), as well as to identify the potential for increased collaboration between education and training institutions at tertiary level and the private sector.

With the guidance of the Programme Specialist, under the supervision of the Programme Coordinator, in close collaboration with the other experts, the expert is expected to deliver the following:

  1. Provide information and data and contribute to the analysis of the economic and labour market development context:
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  1. Emerging challenges in the economic development and need for skills at higher levels
  2. emerging skills due to COVID-19 and digitalization
  3. relevance and absorption of the current skills produced by VET in the labour market and identified gaps (occupations/economic sectors)
  4. Which are the potential areas of qualifications (selected industries)
  1. Develop instruments and tools (questionnaires, interviews, etc.,) that will facilitate the implementation of the feasibility study, based on the analysis of:
  1. current national legal and institutional framework on the provisioning of post-secondary and tertiary level vocational programmes (development and implementation of the AQF, legislation regulating the activity of the private sector, labour legislation, financial arrangements, cooperation between public and private sector,
  2. potential target groups (pathways for graduates of upper secondary programme to obtain technical skills at higher levels of specialization; pathways for graduates of general education; adults already in the labour market in need of reskilling and upskilling opportunities)
  1. Carry out the assessment of the context for private sector engagement, identifying possibilities and incentives for private sector engagement, focused in the sectors of construction, ICT, and tourism.
  2. Conduct a survey with around 100 enterprises in the three sectors, as well as in-depth interviews with selected employers, to identify their readiness and willingness to engage in delivery of VET programmes at post-secondary and tertiary levels.
  3. Contribute to the proposal for the implementation of VET programmes at post-secondary and higher education that are in line with a national policy orientation for workforce development at all ages and through diversified pathways.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ACTIVITIES

N° of WORKING DAYS

Contribute to the analysis of the economic and labour market context, as well as to the analysis of the institutional and regulatory framework

7

Jointly with the policy national consultant develop instruments and tools to support implementation of the feasibility study based on the methodology designed by the international consultant.

10

Conduct the employers’ survey and interviews with key stakeholders

15

  • Analyse the data from the survey and prepare preliminary findings

8

  • Prepare and organize meetings with key stakeholders to validate survey preliminary findings

5

  • Prepare contributions to the to the proposal for the implementation of VET programmes at post-secondary and higher education that are in line with a national policy orientation for workforce development at all ages and through diversified pathways

5

Total

50

Deliverable

Tasks

Timeline

1

Instruments and tools develop in line with the methodology for the implementation of the feasibility study, and a detailed plan for the implementation of the employers’ survey.

June 15, 2021

2

Written contributions to the context analysis of the socio-economic / labour market context and the legal and institutional framework for post-secondary / tertiary VET

August 15, 2021

3

Findings from the employers’ survey validated with key stakeholders

September 15, 2021

4

Contributions to the final report and the presentation of results at the National VET Conference

October 31, 2021


Competencies

Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity
  • Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgement
  • Self-development, initiative-taking
  • Act as a team player and facilitate teamwork
  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively
  • Creating synergies through self-control
  • Managing conflict
  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others
  • Informed and transparent decision-making
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Functional Competencies:

  • Experience in the field of vocational and / or tertiary education and collaboration with the private sector
  • Strong communication skills (written, spoken, composing, presentation) and ability to share expertise for capacity building
  • Political and cultural sensitivity and commitment to UNDP’s development objectives in the country.


Required Skills and Experience
  • Post-graduate degree in education, economics, social sciences or in any other relevant field

Work Experience

  • Minimum 10 years of professional experience in vocational education and training and / or higher education
  • Previous experience in research in vocational education and training and / or higher education.

Language

  • Full working knowledge of English and Albanian is essential.

Evaluation Procedure

UNDP applies a fair and transparent selection process that would consider both the technical qualification of Individual Consultants as well as their financial proposals. The contract will be awarded to the candidate whose offer:

  • Is deemed technically responsive / compliant / acceptable (only technically responsive applications / candidates will be considered for the financial evaluation)
  • And has obtained the highest combined technical and financial scores.

Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation – max points: 70

Criteria A: Post-graduate degree in education, economics, social sciences, or any other relevant field – max 15 points

Criteria B: Minimum 10 years of professional experience in vocational education and training and / or higher education – max 15 points

Criteria C: Previous experience in research in vocational education and training and / or higher education – max 15 points

Criteria D: Technical Proposal outlining a methodology and tools for carrying out the assignment - max 25 points

Application Procedure

Interested applicants are advised to carefully study all sections of this ToRs and ensure that they meet the general requirements as well as specific qualifications described. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials.

The application should contain:

  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position. Please paste the letter into the "Resume and Motivation" section of the electronic application.
  • Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability & Detailed Financial Proposal - please fill in the attached form. Download Here (kindly use Firefox browser)
  • Filled P11 form including past experience in similar projects and contact details of referees, please upload the P11 instead of your CV. Download Here (kindly use Firefox browser)
  • Financial Proposal in ALL*- specifying a total lump sum in Albanian Lek for the tasks specified in this announcement. The attached template may be used - Download Here (kindly use Firefox browser) Please note that the financial proposal is all-inclusive and shall take into account various expenses incurred by the consultant during the contract period (e.g. fee and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services).
  • Copy of Diplomas and copy of Passport.
  • Technical proposal – specifying the methodology which the consultant will employ to conduct this assignment.

*Kindly note that Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability and Financial Proposal are two separate documents and should be both part of your application.

How to Submit the Application:

To submit your application online, please follow the steps below:

  • Download and complete the UN Personal History Form (P11) for Service Contracts (SCs) and Individual Contracts (ICs);
  • Merge your UN Personal History Form (P11) for Service Contracts (SCs) and Individual Contracts (ICs), Financial Proposal Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability and cover letter into a single file. The system does not allow for more than one attachment to be uploaded;
  • Click on the Job Title (job vacancy announcement);
  • Click “Apply Now” button, fill in necessary information on the first page, and then click “Submit Application;”
  • Upload your application/single file as indicated above with the merged documents (underlined above);
  • You will receive an automatic response to your email confirming receipt of your application by the system.

Due to large number of applications we receive, we are able to inform only the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

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