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USAID Officially Launches New Program to Engage Private Sector in Developing the Skills of Local Workforce, Reducing Unemployment

Thursday, August 5
Tbilisi, Georgia, August 4, 2021 - USAID/Georgia Mission Director Peter Wiebler joined Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Georgia Tamar Kitiashvili to officially launch the USAID Industry-led Skills Development Program, a new, $24 million program that will partner with the private sector to create effective skills training programs that reduce unemployment and contribute to sustainable economic growth. Following opening remarks, the event included a panel discussion with experts, industry leaders, and private sector actors, who discussed how the private sector can contribute to effective industry-relevant skills development programs that provide job seekers with the skills they need to obtain high-value employment.

The USAID-funded Industry-led Skills Development Program is a five-year initiative designed to create pathways between skills training and high-value employment opportunities, reducing unemployment and catalyzing sustainable economic growth across Georgia. Implemented by the International Executive Service Corps (IESC), the Program will work to incentivize businesses in high growth industries to systematically engage in innovative skills development, and skills training providers to implement high quality training programs aligned with labor market demand and extend access to their offerings throughout Georgia. Training programs will target underrepresented members of society, including residents of rural communities, women, and ethnic minorities.

USAID Mission Director Peter Wiebler: “Through this initiative, we will empower Georgians to not only find employment, but to thrive in a dynamic economy. At the same time, we will transform how we work with businesses and industry groups, partnering to establish new programs that connect Georgian workers with today and tomorrow’s job opportunities, and Georgia’s businesses with the highly-skilled candidates they need.”

Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Georgia Tamar Kitiashvili: “The broader private sector engagement is of critical importance at the current stage of the vocational education system development, especially with regard to strengthening sector policies across country’s economy. The new USAID Program will accelerate the ongoing process with an aim to ultimately create vocational education system steered by public-private sector partnership. In parallel, the objective should be establishing the international standards across the qualifications offered in Georgia”.

The Program anticipates benefitting 4,800 individuals who will complete workforce programs, with over 3,800 receiving new or better employment. The Program will ensure 35% of trainees are from rural areas and ethnic minorities and at least 45% are women. The Program will incentivize 30 businesses to develop long-term partnerships with training providers and leave behind a network of training providers with scalable and replicable partnership models for private sector engagement in skills development.