Education plays a central role in integrating refugees. More than half of the refugees arriving in Germany are younger than 25, an age when education is most needed. Many have gained a university entrance qualification in their home country, or had commenced or completed a degree programme there. With funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) has developed a set of targeted measures to enable universities to offer those refugees with sufficient academic qualification access to higher general and higher vocational education.
The Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER) has published a report on VET, which emphasises the importance of intensifying cooperation between schools and enterprises. The aim is to be responsive to, and able to keep up with, the pace of innovation.
One of the EU’s headline targets is increasing the number of tertiary graduates, focusing mainly on academic studies. The project Work-based learning programmes in the tertiary training sector - an international comparative analysis of models and functions published its results at the end of 2017, pointing out that this approach is too narrow. The growing importance of work-based learning programmes in tertiary education and training needs to be taken more into consideration.
Around 77.3% of the country’s companies offered some kind of training activity to their workers in 2015, an increase from 65% in 2010. The share of workers who attended a training course also rose from 45.4% in 2010 to 52.2% in 2015. These are the results of the continuing vocational training survey carried out every five years by the Ministry of Employment and Social Security among enterprises with five or more employees.
Resources for guidance, now available online, is a new project dedicated to managers of careers services, practitioners and policy-makers working in career development and activation policies.
In 2017 the Early School Leavers Unit (ESLU) published ‘A Study Focusing on Students dropping out from Post-Secondary Education in Malta in the Scholastic Year 2015-16’.
The Portuguese Government launched the Youth pass certificate in November 2017. This is a recognition and validation instrument for competences acquired by young people via non-formal education; it is also a personalised free-of-charge certificate that, over time, can be updated with new competences.
The Portuguese Directorate-General for Employment and Labour Relations (DGERT) and the ReferNet team had a meeting with representatives of VET-related national entities on 12 December 2017 at the premises of the Ministry of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security. The aim of the meeting was to establish a network of ReferNet Portugal and national entities to cooperate in carrying out the ReferNet’s 2018 work plan.
State of art 2016, a document on VET and employment for those with disabilities, was presented in public on 2 June 2017 at the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP). The event was attended by 42 VET providers from all over the country.
The Vocational Training Centre of the Metal Industry (CENFIM) coordinated and concluded in 2017 LearnIT: learning tools and routes for individual training. This Erasmus+ project was launched two years ago and was a partnership between Portugal, Germany, Spain and Finland.
The project Development of programmes for upskilling in continuing vocational education and training 2017–22 (the PINPIU project) began in 2017. PINPIU aims to develop new formal VET programmes for vocational upskilling of employees at the same level of education. The programmes will help individuals to acquire, improve and strengthen those competences that they and companies need to deal successfully with improved and new technologies, as well as with the changes in the nature of work.
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.