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Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation
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Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC) is seeking to complement its support to Mongolia’s professional vocational education and training sector (VET) with a new project focusing on skills development. Beneficiaries of such a project are citizens who are not eligible or able to enrol in a formal VET programmes (e.g., small-scale herders or students completing grades 9 or 11). This intervention in skills development aims to be complementary to the VET Project by piloting needs-based short term training courses at TVET schools.

In this respect, the main purpose of the assignment was to define skills development and career guidance needs in  six western aimags and assess local counterparts’ (Local governance, local business, other project implementation organizations in world of work) possibilities to coordinate and influence synergies with SDC’s VET projects. Moreover, the study examined current economic structure and employment, economic activities and projects that will influence the future labour and market demand in the target area.

The main target groups of the project and survey were the following: 

  • Small-scale herders - young families branching off from herder parents, who on average own herds of 50-200 animals;
  • Former herders who lost their livestock due to such natural disasters as dzuds;
  • People completing grade 9 or 11 of secondary education; and
  • Stakeholders: (e.g., employers , VET schools, NGOs, government officials)

The survey mainly used questionnaire – structured interview were administered from eligible respondents; and desk review –relevant statistical data such as information on the current economic structure and employment data; information on economic activities and projects that will influence the future labour market demand in the target areas etc. A total of 600 citizens, 350 employers and 54 stakeholders were covered by the survey.

In short, the survey required extensive travel and high standards of data quality, analysis and report within a relatively short period of time.


  • IRIM team developed three types of survey instruments – questionnaires to be administered from adult respondents; students and stakeholders and conducted prompt pre-test of these instruments;
  • Developed a training manual for field researchers and supervisors and conducted training among researchers;
  • Organized and carried out on-site data collection within one week. All questionnaires were audio recorded by researchers and checked by monitoring staff for quality assurance;
  • The collected data were promptly entered, checked and cleaned by project support staff – IRIM carried out manual check for each entered questionnaire;
  • IRIM delivered draft report of the survey assessing existing skills development and career guidance support mechanisms, present and future skills development and career guidance needs from selected interviewees for males and females (gender disaggregated), each local geographical, traditional and industrial specific characteristic; advantages, disadvantages, resources and difficulties of  existing skills training activities provided  by other organizations in target area and identify potential synergies between the observed skills development needs and SDC’s VET Project and other related project activities;
  • Final report containing main findings on the main findings of the needs assessment and to provide recommendations for skills that can be addressed by the VET project and by short-term skills development training courses at VET schools was submitted;

A dissemination workshop was conducted among the key stakeholders. 

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