Vocational training for the labour market insertion of vulnerable youth in Nicaragua. - «Skills for Success»

Projekt abgeschlossen

7’000 young people improve their employability and income through quality vocational skills training designed in partnership with the private sector. The project fosters a culture of entrepreneurship and promotes collaboration between training centres and the private sector in a challenging economic environment. In the context of this exit phase SDC furthermore consolidates its long-term effort to strengthen the national VST system through a final investment in gender sensitive teacher training and modern learning facilities.  

Land/Region Thema Periode Budget
Beschäftigung & Wirtschaftsentwicklung
Gewerbeunterstützung & Wirtschaftszugang
01.08.2020 - 31.12.2023
CHF  3’750’000

Skills for Success is being implemented in a challenging economic context. Young people, who represent 30%[1] of the Nicaraguan population[2], are the segment with the greatest difficulty in obtaining paid work. Due to the effects of the economic crisis resulting from the unresolved internal conflict youth unemployment doubled in the last two years to 13%[3]. A further 4% reduction in employment will result from COVID 19, according to economic analysts[4].

With this credit proposal, SDC consolidates its 20 yearlong commitment to improve vocational skills training for young people in Nicaragua. After many years of primarily working to strengthen the national VST-system in collaboration with the National Technological Institute the program saw a strategic shift in 2018: due to the internal conflict, the government-centred programme evolved towards a multi-stakeholder approach, increasing cooperation with private centres and fostering links with private enterprise as a provider of jobs and technical expertise. Due to SDC's exit from Latin America, the idea of launching a new follow-up programme focusing on labour market insertion and entrepreneurship had to be abandoned. In its place, a 5th phase will consolidate the old as well as the new work streams.

SDC’s strategic repositioning in 2018 allowed for a reinforced cooperation with the private sector - which is key for leveraging funds and adapting training supply to market demand - while maintaining a dialogue with the government on systemic VST issues. Furthermore, the programme promoted entrepreneurship skills – an alternative for youth and adults in times of crisis. "Skills for Success" will continue to stimulate entrepreneurship by providing training and advice to young people with promising business plans, as a response to the socio-economic crisis and the effects of COVID 19.

SDC completes its long standing methodological strengthening of the National Technical Institute (INATEC) with a final investment in gender sensitive teacher training and new learning facilities. With the modern facilities, established in coordination with the private sector, a progressive training model is validated with the national authorities – a model suitable to be scaled up and serve as a basis for establishing partnerships with other donors.


[1] INIDE, Statistical Yearbook 2017, population and vital facts section, p.44

[2] According to Law 392 on Integral Development of Nicaraguan Youth, youth refers to people between the ages of 18 and 29.

[3] Source: World Bank, under International Labour Organization statistics. 

[4] Fundación Nicaragüense para el Desarrollo Económico y Social, Situation report April 2020, p42.

Ziele Strengthen the employability of vulnerable urban and rural youth through the development of vocational skills relevant to the demands of the labour market. 

Technical training: Youth (50% female) at risk of exclusion from urban and rural areas in the Pacific and Central North.

Entrepreneurship: Young people with promising business plans in the Pacific and Central North with the capacity and creativity to launch and/or strengthen their businesses.

Teacher training: Instructors (40% women) from private and public centres.

Mittelfristige Wirkungen

1.    6'510 young people improve their employability and income on the basis of a better training offer in technical careers and entrepreneurship, designed in partnership with the private sector;

2.    The National Technical Institute’s methodological and innovative capacity is reinforced by gender sensitive training of 250 instructors and 480 youth as well as the provision of two modern learning facilities according to the demands of the private sector; 

3.    Vocational training centres and the private sector enhance the sustainability of the technical education subsystem by the virtue of strengthened knowledge management, coordination and  communication.


Erwartete Resultate:  

-    6'510 young people (50% women) from the Pacific and Central North with vocational skills and/or entrepreneurship training of which 40% are inserted into the labour market; 

-    250 (40% women) teachers and instructors from private and public centres trained to teach soft and entrepreneurial skills at the National Teacher Training Centre; 

-    10 alliances among actors of the private sector and public or private training centres established; 

-    480 young people trained in INATEC courses (result 2);

-    Virtual job fair operating and increasingly used;

-    Platform to monitor success of graduates operating in at least 80% of the partner centres; 

-    Knowledge management and communication products shared with local partners and SDC’s thematic networks.

Resultate von früheren Phasen:  

-    Scope: 4,960 young people (94% target) trained in public and private vocational training centres have skills for better employability and insertion into the labour market; 

-    1'740 young people in employment or self-employment (35% of the total number of trainees); 

-    737 trained teachers and instructors from public and private institutions improve the quality of training; 

-    10 suitable, modern learning facilities, 8 in partnership with the private sector, 2 with INATEC;

-    60% of supported private vocational training centres sell services to third parties;

-    21 updated curricula adapted to the needs of the private sector;

-    1 platform created to monitor success of graduates from private centres.

Verantwortliche Direktion/Bundesamt DEZA
Kreditbereich Entwicklungszusammenarbeit
Projektpartner Vertragspartner
Schweizerische Non-Profit-Organisation
  • Ausländischer Privatsektor Süden/Osten
  • Swisscontact

Andere Partner

Contract partner: 

Swisscontact, implementing partner, selected through international tender to implement phase III. Based on the exchange of letters with the Nicaraguan government, the OfCo proposes a direct assignment to capitalize on the established network and competencies and consolidate previous work in this final phase.


Other partners: 

-    National Technological Institute, governing body of the national system for technical education and vocational training; 

-    Private vocational training centres and entrepreneurship development organizations; 

-    Superior Council of Private Enterprise: main chamber of the private sector in Nicaragua.

Koordination mit anderen Projekten und Akteuren

1.    Aprendo y Emprendo project (USAID); 

2.    EMPUJE project (Canada);

3.    BID Lab - Innovation; 

4.    Private sector (prioritised economic branches); 

5.    SDC programmes/initiatives:

-    EDP-CA (Education for Displaced Populations in Central America)

-    PES LATAM (Promoting Social Entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Caribbean)

-    Multi-donor fund TVET

Budget Laufende Phase Schweizer Beitrag CHF    3’750’000 Bereits ausgegebenes Schweizer Budget CHF    3’213’259

Phase 5 01.08.2020 - 31.12.2023   (Completed)

Phase 4 01.04.2017 - 31.08.2020   (Completed) Phase 3 01.01.2013 - 30.06.2017   (Completed)