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.
Research finds that periods of work experience have a positive impact on young people’s soft employability skills and confidence.
Low literacy rates are increasing in the Netherlands, despite policies by the Dutch Government to tackle the problem. Around two and a half million Dutch people currently have literacy and numeracy difficulties, according to the Court of Audit’s 2016 report Aanpak van laaggeletterdheid (Approach to illiteracy).
Cedefop expert Alena Zukersteinova represented the agency at the European Industry Day event in Brussels on 22-23 February. In the session on the role of skills in future employment, she presented some of the key facts and figures coming from Cedefop research and analysis on skills.
A far-reaching series of reforms to the training system was instituted by the Government in the last quarter of 2017, aimed at vocational training, apprenticeship and work-based training.
The French Government announced in late 2017 the launch of a skills investment plan, PIC (Plan d’investissement compétences) for 2018 to 2022. The aim of the five-year plan is to train a million low qualified job seekers and a million young people furthest from the labour market.
At the end of June 2017, the Finnish Parliament approved new legislation for vocational education and training. The reform is the most extensive in education legislation in almost twenty years. The new act will enter into force on 1 January 2018.
Cedefop's workshop on vocational education and training (VET) in the 21st century – future trends and priorities took place on 20 and 21 February in Thessaloniki.
Cedefop Director James Calleja presented the achievements and future work of the agency in an exchange of views at the European Parliament in Brussels with the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the directors of the European Training Foundation, EU-OSHA and Eurofound on 21 February.