International consultant to design and lead a review on the regulatory framework and provision of post-secondary vocational education and training


Location : Home based with two (potential) missions to Albania
Application Deadline :21-May-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Expected Duration of Assignment :20 working days during the period between early June and 31st of October 2021

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.

 

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. 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, the expert is expected to deliver the following:

  1. Prepare a summary of international best practices post-secondary level and research in the regulation and provisioning of vocational qualifications at the post-secondary and higher education levels, including pathways in post-secondary VET, permeability, financing mechanisms, and collaboration between the public and the private sector.
  2. Analyse the Economic Development and labour market context, including a) emerging challenges in the economic development and need for skills at higher levels; b) emerging skills due to COVID-19 and digitalization; c) relevance and absorption of the current skills produced by IVET in the labour market and identified gaps (occupations/economic sectors); d) potential areas of qualifications (selected industries).
  3. Support and backstop the national consultants to design the methodology and carry out a feasibility study on the potential for post-secondary and tertiary level vocational education programmes, based on the analysis of: a) 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; b) 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); c) context for private sector engagement, identifying possibilities and incentives for private sector engagement, in collaboration with the national experts.
  4. Propose concrete approaches and modalities how to introduce and implement 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. Present study results and milestones for the implementation of post-secondary and tertiary VET programmes in Albania.

 

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE ACTIVITIES

N° of WORKING DAYS

Prepare a summary of international best practices of post-secondary level and research in the regulation and provisioning of vocational qualifications at the post-secondary and higher education levels, including pathways in post-secondary VET, permeability, financing mechanisms, and collaboration between the public and the private sector.

5

Design methodology, guiding questions and tools for the feasibility study on opportunities for the diversification of VET programmes at the post-secondary and higher level in Albania

2

Backstopping support and guide to the national consultants during the Feasibility Study, during fact finding, field work and drafting of the main findings; Instruct concrete steps on how to design pathways for the provisioning of post-secondary (tertiary) vocational education programmes (with a significant participation of the private sector)

5

Prepare and chair consultation remote / on site meetings (with the support of the local consultants) with stakeholders.

3

Finalize the report, including milestones for post-secondary VET programmes, based on the results of the survey and analysis of the national context.

3

Prepare and present study findings and recommendations in the VET National Conference.

2

Total

20

 

Deliverable

 

Tasks

Timeline

1

Detailed plan, methodology for the feasibility study and summary report on international best practices of VET delivery at post-secondary and tertiary levels

June 30, 2021

2

Draft report including results and findings from the feasibility study carried out jointly with the two national experts

August 31, 2021

3

Presentation at the conference and final report and policy recommendations

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

Functional Competencies:

  • Solid experience in the field of vocational education and training at post-secondary and tertiary levels
  • 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

  • Advanced degree in education, international development, economics, social sciences or other relevant field

Work Experience

  • Minimum 15 years of professional experience in research of vocational education and training at different levels
  • Significant experience in leading similar assignments in vocational education and training and / or higher education
  • A good understanding of the VET system in the Albanian / regional context would be highly desirable

Language

  • Full working knowledge of English 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: Advanced degree in education, international development, economics, social sciences, or other relevant field is required – max 15 points

Criteria B: Minimum 15 years of professional experience in research of vocational education and training at different levels – max 15 points

Criteria C: A good understanding of the VET and education systems in the Albanian / regional context – max 15 points

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

Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation – max 30 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 & Financial Proposal Form - 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 USD*- specifying a Total Lump Sum in the United States Dollar for the tasks specified in this announcement. 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. 



If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact erecruit.helpdesk@undp.org.

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