The Ministry of National Education is preparing the Integrated skills strategy (Zintegrowana Strategia Umiejętności - ZSU). Development of the strategy is funded by the ESF under the framework of the partnership agreement of the European Structural and Investment Funds. The strategy focuses on building, maintaining and using the country’s human capital to increase employment and economic growth and promote social inclusion. It covers general and vocational education, and initial, continuing and higher education; it also refers to non-formal and informal learning.
Production schools offer training that leads to a vocational qualification for young people who have dropped out of education. These schools achieve excellent results with their innovative ‘learning by doing’ teaching method. The Production schools’ network, which is growing, wishes to strengthen the institutional anchoring of this model.
According to figures from the Directorate of Education and Training, 20 800 vocational students received apprenticeship training in companies in 2017. This is 72% of all students who applied for it; it is the highest number and the largest proportion since measurements started in 2011 and is a 15% increase from 2013.
In March 2018, the Work-based Learning and Apprenticeship Act came into force, providing a framework for the development of effective work placements, apprenticeships and internships. It is based on research conducted by Cedefop, together with local learners, educators, employers and trade unions, after reviewing international legislation on traineeships and benchmarking good practices within countries leading in the field of VET.
On December 21 2017 the quality assurance framework, which is the national plan for education and training quality, was approved by the board of the Italian EQAVET reference point, in the conference of state and regions. Labour and education ministries, the regions, the social partners and VET providers were represented in the conference. The quality assurance framework was formally approved in 2012, partially implemented in 2015 and revised in 2017 prior to the conference.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) listed the Croatian e-Schools project among the top 12 introducing ICT in education in the world in 2017, in a competition among 143 projects from 79 countries. The UNESCO annual award is conferred on individuals and organisations that promote innovative use of new technologies in expanding access to high quality education and lifelong learning.
A pilot project Mistrovská zkouška (master craftsman examination) was launched by the National Institute for Education in November 2017 and will continue until 2021. The project will set the overall master craftsman examination model and prepare the comprehensive expertise needed for its implementation. Elements of the master exam system will be developed and reviewed for the different master qualifications: qualification and assessment standards, frameworks for the assignments of the master exams, training programme curricula, and textbooks. The project will develop the necessary methodologies and design the processes for organising the exams.
In May, the National Office of Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning (Novetal), Cedefop’s Hungarian ReferNet partner, and the State Foundation for Training in Employment (Fundae), Cedefop’s Spanish ReferNet partner, welcomed ReferNet colleagues and members to partnership forums jointly organised with Cedefop.
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.