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.
In July 2018, 25 VET schools were chosen among 42 applicants to become the first centres of competence in Croatia.
Vocational colleges still face problems with recruitment and low completion rates. Important factors are the lack of focus in municipalities responsible for primary education, and the lower status and negative social value attributed to vocational education by parents and young people. Further, vocational institutions saw a decline of financial resources due to falling numbers of students, while cutting short education affects opportunities to develop and create new and more attractive learning environments.
In recent decades Denmark has been facing an ongoing challenge of increasing number of young people choosing general upper secondary school over VET. Different national initiatives are addressing this challenge, with a political agreement opening the way to new approaches in lower secondary schools.
The Digital Skills Partnership was established for public, private and charity sector bodies in England to develop and deliver training that improves the digital skills of individuals and organisations as a whole.
Strengthening European mobility is a priority at both national and European levels. The Agence Erasmus+ France/Education Formation aims to expand the benefits of the Erasmus+ programme. The French government has set a target of 15 000 apprentices in long-term mobility for 2022.
Around 75% of the economically active population are above 45 in Latvia. In the next 20 years, due to this ageing workforce, there will be a shortage of employees with medium-level vocational education and training (VET) qualifications, especially in engineering, manufacturing and construction.
On 1 September 2018, a new regulation on vocational guidance and counselling in Polish schools entered into force. Vocational guidance and counselling will be carried out in a systematic way in all types of school with the exception of art schools.
A new VET Act CXCII was adopted on 17 December 2017 by the Parliament. This amends certain acts on general education, vocational education and adult training and aims to support practical training in dual VET programmes.