Important events took place during the last week of November 2018 on the occasion of the 18th Lifelong learning week, organised by the Association of Adult Education Institutions (AIVD). International experts were also attracted by the fifth international conference of the Programme for the international assessment of adult competencies (PIAAC), held in Bratislava from 27 to 29 November, after the meeting of the board of participating countries in PIAAC.
Amendments to the Vocational education (VET) Act, adopted in December 2017, came into effect in September 2018. They defined access to education for foreign citizens and student and mentor status.
On 11 December 2018, the second edition of a vocational education and training status review was published for the general public and all parties concerned.
In October 2018, the government approved a common list of occupational standards (EQF levels 2-7). The list comprises occupations required by the labour market and identified in sectoral qualifications frameworks.
More than a half of learners enrolling in vocational education and training (VET) have previously acquired an upper secondary or tertiary level qualification. This reflects the role on VET in lifelong learning in Finland.
In 2018 the Institute for Democracy & Economic Analysis, a think tank operating under Centre for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, published a study on the low-skilled (those with only primary or lower secondary education) in the Czech Republic. The authors determine from available data the characteristics, labour market conditions and labour market outcomes of this group. Based on this evidence, the most relevant policies to increase employment among the low-skilled are suggested.
With 70% of upper secondary students following vocational studies, vocational education and training (VET) is highly valued in Austria.
Promulgated on September 5th, 2018, the “Bill for the freedom to choose one’s professional future” aims to radically transform the French continuing vocational training system. Governance, actors’ role, financing and schemes are redefined.
The General Council for Vocational Training (Consejo General de Formación Profesional, CGFP) – an advisory body where education and labour authorities responsible for VET work together with trade unions and employers’ associations – has set up several working groups to boost the VET system. It has several objectives: improving productivity, competitiveness and business innovation; contributing to the employability of young people and adults; and reactivating the social lift towards attractive, well-paid intermediate qualifications.
The report Development of competences: adult learning and entities offering development services is part of the Human capital study (BKL) and was published in October 2018. The results show a level of adult participation in learning activities in Poland higher than usually reflected in the statistics. BKL has been managed by the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development in cooperation with the Jagiellonian University since 2009, and is financed by the European Social Fund.