A delegation from the Ukrainian Ministry of Education VET (vocational education and training) Directorate, led by Iryna Shumik, is currently in Finland on a study visit hosted by the Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI). Omnia Education Partnerships (OEP) is the technical partner to EDUFI in implementing the Finnish activities in EU4SKILLS, an EU funded project to modernize vocational education in Ukraine. Prior to the war, OEP and EDUFI focused on vocational standards and curriculum development, as well as vocational school manager and teacher training courses. Since spring 2022 the focus has strongly been on supporting rebuilding related skills. 

During the study visit to Finland, OEP and the Ukrainian Ministry of Education representatives agreed to expedite the launch of the rebuilding focused online courses, developed by Finnish vocational education experts. The courses offer opportunities for diverse skills development, ranging from construction, food hygiene, to ICT skills, cyber security and greening of VET. The 33 online courses will be released between December 2022 and February 2023 through the Ukrainian Ministry’s website. The courses will be openly available to all vocational schools as well as adult learners. OEP has worked closely with Ukrainian experts to ensure that the courses are relevant and applicable to the Ukrainian context. EDUFI experts have cross referenced the courses with Ukrainian Education Standards to further support the teachers in utilizing the courses as a part of vocational education and training in Ukraine. 

The implementation period for EU4Skills will end in March 2023, but Iryna Shumik hopes that the vocational education sector cooperation with Finland will continue: “On the second day of our visit, a delegation of educators from Ukraine had the opportunity to visit Finland’s leading vocational education institution – OMNIA. Of course, we were impressed by the scale of the institution. It is interesting to see how much vocational education is in demand in Finland. It was extremely useful for us to see with our own eyes Finnish organizational processes and learning environments. We would like to build our further cooperation with Finland on teacher professional development and modular vocational programs.”