The government supports Estonian as a second language and foreign language learning by learners in VET and higher education, to ensure better career opportunities and mobility.
The government aims to reduce the share of adults aged 25 to 64 without professional or vocational education from 28.5% in 2016 to less than 25% by 2020, and to increase their participation in lifelong learning. An obstacle for achieving this goal is low motivation and lack of key competences.
Vocational education and training (VET) in Croatia has been receiving much attention recently. Specifically in dual vocational education, it is a focus for policy-makers and stakeholders, recognising a need to increase the employability of VET school graduates for whom current indicators are low. Consequently, VET is a key reform measure in the 2016 National reform programme. The Croatian Government work programme 2016-20 foresees the introduction of dual vocational education. Government support is ensured through regular monthly meetings, with the topic of VET and dual education headed by the deputy prime minister and the minister of education, along with stakeholders.
In January 2016 the Danish Ministry of Education established an expert group with eight central members from the education and research and from the labour market. The group is to provide recommendations on how to tailor the Danish system to meet the needs of young people better, so that more of them begin and complete post compulsory education within seven years of completing compulsory schooling: currently about 20% do not.
On 1 January 2016, the Centre for Education and Training (ZAWM) in Eupen set up the two-year ESF project Vocational integration through training guidance in dual education (BIDA) for Belgium’s German-speaking community. BIDA’s goal is to support apprentices who are at risk of breaking their training contract or who have already dropped out of training, with the aim of getting them back into the dual vocational education and training (VET) system. This project is meant as a response to the increasing drop-out rate among apprentices in the first year of training (around 15% currently leave prematurely).
The first tertiary professional schools (VOŠ) came into operation 20 years ago based on legislation adopted at that time. The Association of Tertiary Professional Schools, representing most tertiary professional schools, celebrated this anniversary in 2016 by organising the Skills for practice conference: recalled the important milestones and efforts to foster further functioning of tertiary professional education within the Czech education system as a vocation-oriented branch.
From 1 January 2017 apprentices must be included in all public building and construction projects and services.
The white paper Skilled workers for the future (Fagfolk for fremtiden) presented by the Norwegian Government in December 2016 contains close to 50 measures. Its purpose is to make post-secondary vocational education more attractive as a fully equivalent profession-oriented alternative to university and university college education. It will make it easier for students at post-secondary vocational colleges (ISCED level 4) to continue their education at a university college or university.
In 2015, the Flemish government made a decision to develop new procedures for finding an apprenticeship place, with the purpose of elaborating a high-quality, fully-fledged alternative to existing 'classic' education systems. This reform had an impact on all stakeholders and related fields; significant developments are already visible.
The education ministry has entrusted the Directorate of Education with the creation of a database containing general job descriptions and their requirements. The objective is to provide access for those who might have interest in the great amount of data that exists on legally certified professions. Stakeholders that might be interested to this database include vocational upper secondary schools, employers, career counsellors, students and parents.