The important role of learning providers as vocational education and training (VET) stakeholders was stressed at the first annual meeting of the European community of leaning providers on 13 and 14 March at Cedefop in Thessaloniki.
At an international conference on bringing together businesses and vocational education and training (VET) schools, organised under the auspices of the Polish Ministry of Education in Gdansk on 28 February, Cedefop Head of Department for VET Systems and Institutions Loukas Zahilas talked about the future of VET.
A comprehensive analysis of the Austrian private university sector was published for the first time in mid-2017. This sector is relatively young in Austria – the first private university was accredited in 2000 – and comparatively small: there are currently only 13 such universities with a total of 10 200 students.
Austria traditionally places great emphasis on qualifications acquired in formal education: in school-based and dual programmes as well as at tertiary level. However, learning increasingly takes place outside the formal system, such as in the non-formal adult education context, at the work place, and in voluntary work. The dynamics of the labour market – triggered by technological changes and globalisation – require continued learning after completing formal education to extend and deepen knowledge and skills.
In mid-2017, the Austrian National Council adopted far-reaching measures for the education sector, including a special focus on the extension of school autonomy which also applies to VET schools.
The chemical sector has invested billions in automation and information technology and this is set to continue in the future. The next level of productivity increases, in relation to Industry 4.0, will present the industry with major challenges. Increasing automation in industry requires qualified personnel: electronics technicians for automation technology are responsible for production systems and are important workers in this sector.
Demographic change, ongoing digitalisation of the world of work, the trend towards higher level school leaving qualifications and an increasingly heterogeneous group of learners: all these are challenges that dual vocational education and training (VET), including vocational schools, need to meet.
On International Women's Day (8 March), the European Union agencies, including Cedefop, stand together against sexual harassment in the workplace.
Since the millennium, the ratio of first year students has almost doubled to around 60 per cent in Germany. For some time now, policy makers in education and training have been advocating the maximum possible ratio of academics, with success. Public respect for VET has fallen; increasing numbers of parents believe that it is impossible to have a career without an academic degree. However, if a career is understood as being an occupational pathway which is intellectually, financially and individually satisfying, this is incorrect.
The Agency for VET and Adult Education has presented the results of the Survey on adult education in 2017 and the Strategic framework for promotion of lifelong learning 2017-21, developed within the ESF project Promotion of Lifelong Learning.
Croatia presented its ambitious PROMikro project which will use microcomputers to introduce digital literacy elements into various elementary school classes and extracurricular activities.
Croatia has a lot of experience of the impact of immigration. Two decades ago the country experienced a huge inflow of the immigrants from neighbouring countries (over a half of a million) affected by the war. Now, immigrant numbers are much lower and these are mostly refugees from non-EU countries.
A new version of the national standard of financial literacy has come into force in the 2017/18 school year.
The Swedish Government has recently published a memorandum proposing that courses providing basic eligibility for higher education should be included in all national programmes in upper secondary school.
In mid-2017, a new law was adopted foreseeing that each secondary school would develop its own guidance approach. Although national targets will be defined, secondary schools can now choose autonomously the best guidance practices, taking into account their learner populations and allowing students to make informed decisions with a view to their choice of training.
A new publication analyses Cedefop’s European skills and jobs (ESJ) survey, a data set covering about 49 000 EU-28 adult employees.
Knowledge centres are being appointed to help educate students in vocational education and training (VET) to handle technological development and match the competences that companies demand in a digital labour market. The centres will also support other VET schools in their work on the digitalisation of education, resulting from new technologies, and in developing and testing new teaching and training methods that all VET schools can use in their work with talents and educational development.
The second national student proficiency measurement in VET shows that students continue to thrive. Students in practical training in companies thrive more those in school practice. The same applies to students with an immigrant background compared to students with Danish descent and descendants.
In December 2017, the Czech national digital skills and jobs coalition (DIGI coalition) celebrated its first year in operation.