Just over three years after the signing of the Berlin memorandum on cooperation in vocational education and training (VET) in Europe, representatives from Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, and Slovakia convened to review progress. The main focuses were implementation of dual or workplace-based training, increasing the attractiveness and quality of vocational education, modernisation of training systems, and integration of the social partners into the respective VET system.
The Integration Act was adopted on the 25 May 2016 and intends to facilitate refugee integration into society. The guiding principle on which the new legislation is based is that of ‘support and challenge’. Refugees who have good prospects of being allowed to stay permanently will be eligible to take integration courses and to take advantage of job and training opportunities sooner than before. However, they will also be required to work on their own integration. Those asylum seekers who refuse to take part in an integration course or who do not meet their duties to cooperate will have their benefits curtailed.
What can we do to promote sustainable development when we are standing at the work bench, sitting in the office or working behind the counter? Which vocational competences are needed to enable us to focus on the sustainability principle when at work? What should a learning location look like to make this a reality? The Federal Institute for VET, on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, has 12 pilot projects aiming to embed sustainability within the structure of vocational education and training (VET). Six million EUR has been provided for these projects.From learning German to help with vocational and educational training: the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is supporting the integration of refugees with an extensive package of measures.
The first, hugely successful, year of Brussels-based project Electrogirl, aiming to train women as industrial electricians, came to an end in December 2016. This initiative appeals to businesses intending to increase diversity within traditionally male occupations. The programme has already been recommissioned for 2017.
In recent years, apprenticeship has been recognised as a valuable part of vocational education and training (VET). It strengthens cooperation between schools and companies and links the labour market with the education system.
Formal education is just one of several ways of acquiring knowledge, with many individual skills acquired through other paths such as working in a profession, voluntary work, or leisure activities. At the same time, the labour market today is changing rapidly and new professions are emerging, for which individuals acquire knowledge on their own or while working in a company.
Norway has new measures in place to ensure that refugees are integrated as soon as possible. VISKA (Visible skills for adults), a European cooperation project with funding from Erasmus+ KA3 (Support for policy), is an important part of the effort.
Croatia has participated in promotion and application of the European credit system in VET (ECVET) from January 2012 as a part of European Commission project National teams of experts for ECVET.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MŠMT) has prepared its reform of regional education funding, which is currently waiting the approval by the Parliament of the Czech Republic. The reform applies to schools governed by regions and municipalities (more than 90% of primary schools, 70% of secondary schools ()), including public VET schools. The reform does not apply to the funding of private and church schools.
() Source: MŠMT: Statistical Yearbook of Education 2015/2016
Young Danish athletes in swimming or handball choose mainstream secondary education rather than vocational training. The reason is probably to be found in the fact that secondary education has a more extensive system of special programmes for approved Team Denmark students (elite athletes) than vocational training. They give Team Denmark students more flexibility and time to practice sport.