The Eurasian Development Programme: a multilevel system of full-cycle training

On July 11, an opening session dedicated to the start of the Eurasian Competition was held as part of the implementation of the Eurasian Skills Development Programme.

The key goals of the programme are to improve professional training systems, develop professional communities, and synchronise training standards for the most in-demand and promising applied professions, as well as to form an international system of independent assessment and recognition of skills in the Eurasian space.

The Eurasian Competition, organised by all participating countries, is one of the key stages in the implementation of the development programme.

Among the participants of the opening session were representatives of state authorities and development agencies in the countries of the region. During the videoconference, the experts discussed the concept of the Eurasian Competence Development Programme, as well as the stages and mechanisms for implementing its project initiatives in 2022.

Continuing the discussion at the state level on the implementation of the Greater Eurasian Partnership, Alina Doskanova, Deputy Director General of the Skill Development Agency, noted that many joint initiatives regarding the infrastructure development within the framework of this Eurasian partnership are in the works: the construction of roads and railway connections, the development of energy and digital projects. 'Human resources are of utmost importance when it comes to ensuring the success of these projects. We need to educate people and help them learn new standards and technologies. That's why our cross-cutting programme is designed to meet the human resource needs in important infrastructure collaborations,' she emphasised. — The programme is built on horizontal linkages, involving joint training and standards development, as well as joint implementation of these aspects into the educational process, which ultimately contributes to the transformation of the training system in all participating countries. In our hands is to improve the quality of national systems and, subsequently, to improve the quality of life and well-being of those who undergo practice-oriented training and start working on joint cooperative projects.'

Networking is also an important element of the programme, involving both expansion of the expert community and increase in the sites and centres for advanced training in the participating countries. Such centres undergo special accreditation in the process of implementing the programme and can later on train highly qualified specialists by advanced standards.

This is not the first year that the Republic of Belarus takes part in the activities of the Eurasian Development Programme. As a result, a significant number of experts that already passed the training are now sharing their experience within the country. 'The chief experts conduct refresher courses, seminars, and in-house training sessions. We are actively introducing this practice in our country and we welcome the opportunity of having such cooperation,' said Natalia Shevchenko, Head of the Centre for International Cooperation of the Republican Institute for Vocational Education of the Republic of Belarus.

Liu Zhenying, Chairman of the One Belt One Road International Alliance of Skills Development, also noted that this kind of cooperation is an opportunity for China to exchange experiences and develop competencies together with other countries. In November, the Chinese side is to hold the championship and will be happy to host participants from the countries of the Greater Eurasian Partnership at its site in the country.

One of the important directions in the Greater Eurasian Partnership is the development of human resources in the countries and joint sectoral development in terms of industrial and economic projects, as well as housing and utilities sector, which is among the most important sectors for improving the overall quality of life. The logical continuation of this strategy was the partnership between the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Armenia, the Housing and Communal Services Foundation and the Skills Development Agency, in the framework of which an agreement was reached to develop the 'Apartment Building Operation and Maintenance' skill in Armenia. Tatevik Gasparyan, Director of the National Centre for the Development of Vocational Education and Training of the Republic of Armenia, told about the country's readiness to participate in further activities of the programme, including full-time competitions to be held in Saransk in September.

The participants of this session also discussed the already established cooperation with the Kyrgyz Republic. Last year, a training programme on digital competencies was implemented and a joint Digital Skills championship was held in Kyrgyzstan. This year, the republic is taking part in the largest number of activities of the Eurasian Development Programme. 'Our country has developed a state programme for the development of education, which provides for the development of competencies and professional skills. That's why the development programme is such an important tool for us, which we plan to use to achieve our goals', — Eric Esentaev, Director of Independent Accreditation Agency 'Bilim-standard' noted in his speech.

Colleagues from Uzbekistan shared their experience in developing a network of sites: the country already has 15 monocentres and 4 professional training centres equipped with modern technology and equipment. All of this is the result of close cooperation with the Agency for the Development of Skills and Professions through the Eurasia Programme.

In addition, this year's programme is set to include a block on entrepreneurial initiatives, which is, in a way, an element of the management school programme in terms of increasing productivity and introducing new elements and technologies for production organisers to develop critical and engineering skills. This is what Abbas Karimi, Head of the UNEVOC Centre in Iran, believes.

The moderator of the session, Alexey Skornyakov, Deputy International Relations Director of Skills Development Agency, summarised that the Eurasian Skills Development Programme is a multilevel system of full-cycle training, forming a network of distributed platforms and assembly of advanced international industry standards, jobs and engineering skills necessary to create new jobs.

Eurasian Competition will be held in 27 competencies and will be divided into two stages. Distributed and face-to-face training and competitive scoring in a number of competencies will take place from June through September. The second stage of the championship will be held in September as part of the finals of the Young Professionals X National Championship in Saransk.

About 100 participants and representatives of the expert community from the Eurasian space are expected to come to Saransk. More than 200 foreign competitors and experts will take part in the championship remotely and will perform tasks in a distributed format.

At the end of the competition, all participants of the Eurasian Competition will receive a Skills Passport — a specialised document confirming the level of practical skills.