The services sector offers a promising opportunity for economic growth, reducing dependency on the automotive industry which is currently the biggest economic sector in Slovakia. Business service centres (BSCs) are establishing partnerships with training centres and universities to increase the employability of graduates and improve the relevance of education and training provision.
The initiative to reintroduce apprenticeship into the education system was included in the Social agreement in 2015 in accordance with the Coalition agreement.
In recent years, many EU countries have recognised apprenticeship as a valuable element of vocational education and training (VET). The Apprenticeship Act (2017) and the Guidelines for the preparation of the upper secondary VET programmes define the umbrella elements for the newly established apprenticeship path in Slovenian VET.
A unique agreement for regulating wages in Sweden has been reached between unions and employers (IFK Metall and Teknikföretagen, Kommunal and SKL/Pacta). Young people who are trained in school and in a work place will receive a salary during their three years on the scheme. The employer pays the salary; the school is responsible for the education and the National Agency for Education gives support and is in charge of the project.
An absence limit in upper secondary school was introduced in 2016-17. To receive their grades, learners’ absence per subject should not exceed 10%; in special cases, the school principal may adjust the limit to 15%. The absence limit applies to undocumented absence, not that due to documented illness, organisational work, or political assignment.
In 2017, the government decided on two measures that will extend the right to upper secondary education. Young people who leave education and training early were given a new right to continue their education, and more immigrants are entitled to attend upper secondary education.
Norway is in great need of skilled workers and makes efforts to encourage more people to choose vocational education and training (VET). This year more than 8 300 learners will choose to switch from their VET programme to a programme that prepares them for entrance to higher education.
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 Ministry of Economy, since March 2017, has provided companies with ample opportunities to invest quickly and easily in employee training, supporting employees to adapt faster to changing needs of the labour market.
In March 2017, the Irish Government launched a public consultation on a proposed exchequer-employer investment mechanism for education and training interventions in post-secondary education in Ireland. The consultation will examine the feasibility of an increase in the National Training Fund levy from 0.7% to1% by 2020, delivering up to €200 million in additional funding for education and training in the workplace from employers.