The Dutch Cabinet, in cooperation with social partners, sectoral training and development funds, educational institutions including VET schools, and other stakeholders, has proposed significant developments in lifelong learning. On 27 September 2018, Parliament was informed about the main lines of this approach in a policy letter.
Cedefop organised the second policy learning forum on apprenticeships, a European vocational skills week event, on 18 and 19 October in Thessaloniki.
In a recent letter to parliament, Minister for Education, Culture and Science Ingrid van Engelshoven shared her political vision of internationalisation of senior secondary VET and higher education. She advocated that internationalisation should become an objective of each vocational education and training (VET) programme and institution. Since 2017, one of the aims of the Confidence in the future coalition agreement has been to stimulate international mobility.
In a move to strengthen the relationship between schools and the labour market, Dutch senior secondary VET schools can apply to join the Making room for the region initiative, which aims to develop qualifications in cooperation with region-based enterprises. Although qualifications are created at national level, this initiative allows VET schools to define learning outcomes in cooperation with regional partners, and to design education programmes responsive to regional developments. The proposal, from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture initiative, was agreed in the Cabinet meeting on 9 May 2018.
Is Dutch senior secondary vocational education (middelbaar beroepsonderwijs - mbo) able to respond to rapid labour market changes? And are VET students well-equipped for a good start and lifelong sustainable employability? The report A calling for vocational training (Beroep op het mbo) published in autumn 2017 by the Institute for Social Research (SCP), presents the views of teachers, managers, intermediaries and learners on the responsiveness and flexibility of mbo.
The Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER) has published a report on VET, which emphasises the importance of intensifying cooperation between schools and enterprises. The aim is to be responsive to, and able to keep up with, the pace of innovation.
Low literacy rates are increasing in the Netherlands, despite policies by the Dutch Government to tackle the problem. Around two and a half million Dutch people currently have literacy and numeracy difficulties, according to the Court of Audit’s 2016 report Aanpak van laaggeletterdheid (Approach to illiteracy).
The September 2016 issue of Skillset and match, Cedefop’s magazine promoting learning for work, is now available to read and download. In this issue, we look at the New skills agenda for Europe and how it can boost employability, competitiveness and growth.