The support of the private sector through the years has been important for Icelandic VET schools. The variety of education offered in each school has often taken into account private sector needs in the specific location. Dialogue between stakeholders has resulted in agreement that, when needed, local schools could receive help and assistance from companies in the area.
At the beginning of 2016, the European Commission launched a series of ‘country visit’ initiatives aimed at assessing the different national classifications of occupations, skills and qualifications in the labour market.
A recent Malta Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) initiative, in collaboration with Haaga Helia University of Applied Sciences (Finland), will help build the professional capital of its lecturing staff. Academic staff competences are crucial to ensuring that vocational learners are equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and competences for the future.
The Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) is Malta’s leading vocational education and training institution. It offers 185 full-time and over 300 part-time vocational courses, ranging from certificates to degrees (MQF/EQF Level 1 to Level 7).
In November 2016 the OECD presented an in-depth analysis of Sweden’s system for skills assessment, anticipation and response. Even though Sweden has become a leader among OECD countries in collecting information on current and future skills needs, several areas of improvement have been identified to tackle skills mismatch.
In October 2016, the Academic Information Centre – EQF national coordination point – launched a national qualifications database. It contains data on all qualifications at EQF levels 1-8 acquired in state-recognised formal education programmes.
At the end of 2016 the project Promotion of entrepreneurship in secondary education was introduced by the Education Minister and the Secretary of State for Economy. It involves promoting the emergence of 'entrepreneurial schools' in the Grand Duchy, meaning secondary schools that encourage their students to develop multidisciplinary skills enabling them to succeed in future entrepreneurial challenges.
The Employment programme for 2017-20, revised by the government in autumn 2016, stipulates a package of new measures for workers at risk of unemployment. The goal of the additional continuous training and retraining measures is to prevent unemployment, also supporting structural changes in the economy.
Year 2017 has been declared the Year of skills, aiming to developing a mind-set that craftsmanship and skills are appreciated in society and on the labour market.
The Estonian qualifications authority has completed the pilot of a new labour market needs monitoring and forecasting system (known by its Estonian acronym OSKA). OSKA is a strong analytical tool for enhancing the employability of graduates and, in the longer term, for contributing to productivity and economic growth. The first three OSKA reports on ICT, accounting, and the forestry and timber industry were published in 2016 alongside a general overview of global and domestic trends influencing the supply and demand of labour in Estonia. An additional 20 reports will cover all major sectors.