Number of students in Initial VETs (2021/2022): 6,761
Number of students in VETs (2021/2022): 31,159
Sources: Website of the RA Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the Republic of Armenia, RA Statistical Committee Yearbook of Armenia
The system of formal Vocational Education and Training in Armenia is mostly school-based and has two levels: Initial Vocational (Craftsmanship) Education and Middle Professional Vocational Education. According with the Law on Education (1998), the vocational education is “aimed at preparation of specialists with relevant qualifications, formation of competences and skills, expansion of the knowledge scope and qualification upgrade by means of succession of general and vocational levels of education’” Both Initial and Middle Professional VET can be implemented on the base of basic general (9-year) and secondary general (12-year) education. In the former case they better fit to ISCED 3 and in the latter – to ISCED 4. Initial Vocational (Craftsmanship) Education is implemented in vocational (craftsmanship) schools, other professional educational institutions, educational centres and penitentiary institutions.
Craftsmanship education may be provided also in the form of “Master training” as a ‘structured training when the direct and indirect instruction is implemented according with the individual training schedule, implemented at educational institution, at organisation or at the master’s workshop’. Graduates of Craftsmanship education are awarded Diploma on Initial Vocational (Craftsmanship) Education and the level (type) of the qualification “Craftsman”. The specific titles of qualifications, depending on the profession, can be e.g. “Forester”, “Butcher”, “Baker”, “Carpenter”, etc. Duration is three years on the base of basic general education and around one year on the base of secondary general education.
Middle Professional Vocational Education can be acquired at middle vocational educational institutions – Colleges, and in universities. Its duration depends on the base of education (basic or secondary general) and on the profession, and varies from 2 to 5 years. Graduates are awarded Diploma on Middle Professional Vocational Education with the level of qualification “Specialist”. Examples of specific qualifications are: “Accountant”, “Technologist of fermentation production and wine making”, “Technician of mechanisation of agricultural”, “Veterinarian”, etc. However, the titles of most of the awarded qualifications is “Technician” without specification of the professional field.
The Law on “On Initial Vocational (Craftsmanship) Middle Professional Vocational Education”, defines the Vocational (Craftsmanship) schools and the Colleges as organisations with the status of a legal person or a subdivision thereof, implementing a preliminary or middle vocational educational programme, respectively. At present, all public VET institutions have a status of State non-commercial organisations (SNCO), acting in accordance with the corresponding law. Within the National Qualifications Framework, VET occupies the levels 3-5.
In the Republic of Armenia Initial and Middle Professional Vocational Education and Training is carried out within the following educational programs:
with the initial vocational education program – leading to the qualification of a “Craftsman”
with a middle professional vocational educational program – leading to the qualification of a “Specialist”
with initial and middle Professional vocational additional educational programs for training, upskillimg and re-qualification of specialists
The duration of the initial VET program to obtain a “Craftsman “qualification degree is from 6 months to 3 years. The duration of the middle professional VET program leading to the qualification degree of a “Specialist” in secondary vocational education is from 2 years to 5 years. Educational programs of initial vocational and middle professional vocational education can be implemented in different forms of education: on-site (stationary), part-time, remote (distance), external, individual professional training (training with a craftsman).
The Law on Vocational Education and Training defines vocational schools and colleges as organizations with the status of a legal entity implementing initial or middle professional vocational education programs. Currently, all state VET educational institutions have the status of state non-profit organizations (SNPOs) and their activities are governed by the applicable law.
In the national education system VET occupies levels 3-5 of the Armenian National Qualifications Frameworks. Financial means to run VET institutions are generated mainly from the allocation of the state budget, the organization of paid training, as well as the implementation of entrepreneurial activities.
The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport (MESCS) of RA is responsible for public policy formulation and the coordination and implementation of the strategies and action plans particularly in the sphere of education, including VET. The Department of Preliminary (Craftsmanship) and Middle Vocational Education consists of 2 divisions: for VET Policy Development and Strategy, and for VET Provision.
The National Center for VET Development (NCVETD) participates in developing VET policies and strategies, medium- and long-term development programmes and action plans, carries out different types of research in the VET system, analyses and evaluates its performance; ensures communication between the VET system and the labour market institutions; organizes development and continuous updating of qualification (educational) standards and curricula; provides professional expertise; identifies and adapts international best practices in VET; supports development of NQF and compatibility with EQF, and introduction of credit accumulation and transfer system in VET.