Follow Us:

The Loose Loop between TVET and the Labour Market in Uzbekistan

Despite the rapid expansion of TVET in Uzbekistan, graduate employability has increasingly become a challenge. As part of the TVET series, Bakhtiyor Namazov from UNESCO’s Tashkent office shares his insights on the current state of TVET in Uzbekistan.

Bakhtiyor Namazov, UNESCO Tashkent

1. What is the current situation of TVET in Uzbekistan?

Secondary Specialized and Professional Education (SSPE), which is internationally known as technical and vocational education and training (TVET), takes place over three years after basic education in Uzbekistan. This was introduced by the Government of Uzbekistan as free and compulsory in 2008, with enrolment increasing from 31.2% in 2002 to 99.6% in 2013 – of which 48.5% are female (MDGs Report of Uzbekistan, 2015). There are currently 1583 professional and academic colleges nationwide with eight profile directions, 233 professions, 590 profiles and specializations – with the teacher-student ratio standing at just 1:13.

Although SSPE is universal and free in Uzbekistan, reports say that only 47% of graduates find jobs in their area of specialization (Education Sector Plan of Uzbekistan for 2013-2017), indicating the need for thorough evidence from the labour market as well as an improved system of professional orientation for students. As part of the formal education system, SSPE is less flexible in quickly responding to labour market needs and to the requirements of businesses. Indeed, more than 70% of instructional hours is taken up by theoretical aspects, at the expense of less hours allocated for vocational and professional training.

2. Who are the key state and non-state actors in TVET in the country?

Since SSPE is part of the formal education system, all SSPE institutions are public in Uzbekistan. There are also short-term vocational courses offered by the private sector in various vocational courses for those who wish to be trained in occupations. Such courses include skills development such as foreign languages, ICT literacy and mobile phone repair, accounting, driving, graphic design, cosmetology, tailoring, cooking, among others. At the same time a number of development partners in the country are actively supporting SSPE in Uzbekistan. These include partners such as GIZ (German Development Corporation), the Government of Switzerland, the European Union, and the British Council. 

3. What is UNESCO’s role in supporting TVET in Uzbekistan? 

Broadly speaking, UNESCO is well positioned in serving as a clearing house to share good practices, supporting the development of national action plans to adopt the global recommendations on TVET, and for improving the quality and relevance of SSPE in Uzbekistan.  

In particular, UNESCO is supporting ministries of education of Uzbekistan in the development of ICT competency standards for teachers of basic, SSPE and higher education, strengthening the Education Management Information System (EMIS), enhancing SSPE for preparedness and response to conflicts and disasters, as well as advocating and supporting in boosting the country’s potential for tourism through technical and vocational education.

As a coordinator, UNESCO is also facilitating the development of the UN Development Assistance Framework Uzbekistan for 2016-2020 to address the increased employability of SSPE graduates in their specializations. UNESCO will continue promoting the engagement of national and development partners in pursuing this goal through working with teachers, enhancing data collection and analytical capacity, strengthening SSPE curricula towards transversal competencies as well as aligning the national qualification framework with international standards.

For more information, please contact Bakhtiyor Namazov [b.namazov(at)], National Programme Officer in Education, UNESCO Tashkent Office or Barbara Trzmiel [b.trzmiel(at)], Research Assistant at the Education Policy and Reform Unit.

Edited by Aliénor Salmon [a.salmon(at)]

Related Links:   

• Millennium Development Goals Report, Uzbekistan, 2015
• Education Sector Plan of Uzbekistan for 2013-2017
• TVET Series - Myanmar
• TVET Series - Afghanistan
• Asia Pacific Conference on Education and Training (ACET)