The fourth industrial revolution is bringing a series of social, political, cultural and economic impacts that will unfold over the 21st century. It calls on the education community to be among the key players in developing VET curricula, ensuring that learners will graduate into a world equipped with the right skillset, to shape the world rather than solely address the skills gap challenge.
The current digitalisation and automation process taking place across business sectors has a major impact on skills and competences required on the labour market, and affects companies and trades to various degrees. In response, the Digital skills bridge pilot project was launched in May 2018, targeting employees whose positions are changing or are at risk due to the digital transformation. This preventive and proactive project anticipates the changes introduced by digital transformation and allows both companies and employees to adapt to this new environment.
The new dual learning (apprenticeship) system, focuses on innovation, digitalisation and (international) cooperation through different projects. The winners of the IdeaalDuaal competition are five apps in support of dual learning in Flanders.
The share of applicants to vocational programmes as first choice increased in the academic year 2017/18 for the first time since the 2011 reform, while the trend of a gradual decline continues.
Despite the rapid unemployment decrease and the continued increase in youth employment rates, Malta is currently experiencing labour supply shortages.
Cross-border apprenticeship is a concrete example of the European principle of free circulation, which opens up new chances and prospects for young people to broaden their professional and educational horizon, while helping to fight skill shortages. Luxembourg, France and Germany have recently been reinforcing cross-border apprenticeship by concluding bilateral agreements.
The State budget proposal for 2019, submitted to the Icelandic Parliament on 11 September, included several measures concerning VET-related issues, including a possible budget increase that would improve the potential of the ‘workplace training fund’ (Vinnustaðanámssjóður).
In an analysis of further education and training expenditure by Education Training Boards, the Irish Government Economic & Evaluation Service noted that, given the characteristics of the labour market and low basic skills among certain cohorts of unemployed people, it is necessary to equip individuals with the foundations to pursue more specific programmes and meet important education and social objectives. In this capacity, the Galway City Community Training Centre (CTC) (Galway CTC) aims to provide learners with basic skills to progress further in the labour market.
Over 80 partner and national representatives from ReferNet’s 30 countries took part in the Cedefop network’s 16th annual plenary meeting, a European vocational skills week event, in Thessaloniki from 21 to 23 November.
The government is increasingly focusing on vocational education in an effort to update it. A new structure for vocational subjects in upper secondary schools will be introduced in the autumn of 2020; this will be the biggest change in VET since 2006.