The Finnish government’s new budget proposal for 2019 includes plans to grant a learning material supplement to some upper secondary learners, including VET. Although upper secondary education is free of charge, students are required to buy their own learning materials.
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.
The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in education (NOKUT) has started recognising foreign vocational education and training (VET) certificates and diplomas, as of the end of 2016. These certificates are assessed according to scope, level and content of comparable Norwegian trade and journeyman certificates at NQF level 4. The assessment is carried out by experts, following the suggestion of vocational councils, and the process takes two months on average.
A longitudinal study, published in August 2018, measured the success rate (percentage of learners completing the programme in three years) of professional programmes, (cursos Profissionais). It examined the number of learners that failed to complete the programmes, the number of student transfers to other programmes, and the dropout rate. The study concluded that the success rate of professional programmes increased from 53% in 2014/15 to 60% in 2016/17.
In VET programmes with a low enrolment rate the market for textbooks and other learning materials is too small to be of interest to publishers. Therefore, students have to rely on other sources (their notes, teacher’s handouts, and the internet). To counter this, the education ministry has been systematically part financing the preparation of learning materials from budgetary funds for a number of years.
Following the publishing of the Learning Slovakia document, approved in 2017, the education ministry prepared the National programme for the development of education (NPDE), a 54-page document including 106 policy measures.
Portugal has developed the Exit profile of students leaving compulsory education (Order -Despacho No 6478/2017, de 26 de Julho). This profile is a frame of reference based on specific principles: freedom of choice, responsibility, work appraisal, self-awareness, family, community and social inclusion. A new decree-law (Decreto-lei No 55/2018, de 6 de Julho), issued by the education and labour ministries, relates explicitly the exit profile of students leaving compulsory education with the following VET programmes: professional, art education, and education and training programmes for young people.
Following successful public consultation, the government has approved a new decree-law (Decreto-lei no 55/2018, de 6 de julho), which defines the new organisational principles of primary and upper secondary education curricula. It covers specific VET programmes: professional, art education, and education and training programmes for young people. The government’s priority is to guarantee equal opportunities and success for learners both in general and vocational education.
Sweden has launched a new vocational qualification test, intending to match vocational education and labour market needs better, to support collaboration between schools and working life, and to try to identify what kind of job a certain vocational programme prepares for.
The new academic school year 2018/19 started in August and young people could choose among 326 recognised occupations in the dual VET system at EQF level 4. These qualifications include 24 updated and one newly developed qualification, the ‘merchant in e-commerce’ (Kaufmann/Kauffrau in E-Commerce), reflecting an increased change of skills needed in the German economy.