Due to an amendment to the Vocational Training Act (BAG), since 1 May 2020 it has also been possible to complete apprenticeship training on a part-time basis. The aim is to make access to apprenticeship training easier for people for whom full-time training was previously difficult due to care obligations or health restrictions.
School closures and short-time work in companies as part of the measures to combat the corona pandemic also affect vocational education and training (VET). Even though schools have been gradually reopening since the beginning of May 2020 and apprenticeship-leave examinations are taking place again, the coming summer and autumn have further challenges in store.
Earlier this year, Slovakia’s Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, along with various partners, launched a new website, offering detailed data tracking of secondary and tertiary graduates.
The national qualifications framework (NQF) has not only led to more transparency in the qualifications landscape, but has also triggered several discussions on education policy in Austria. One of them concerns higher vocational education and training (HVET), which is to be made more visible by creating a separate education segment.
The qualification initiative Digital change Q 4.0 (Digitaler Wandel Q 4.0) aims to support and qualify teachers and trainers. It focuses on the development of specific qualification programmes primarily for in-company trainers, but also for VET school teachers and experts involved in apprenticeship examination.
A new social training project intends to provide inmates with digital skills to help them reintegrate into the labour market. It includes, in its initial phase, two basic courses carried out in the penal institution of Leiria (EPL). The courses are promoted by the Protocol centre for professional training for the justice sector (CPJ).
To improve the effectiveness of national guidance services, the law on vocational training, employment and social democracy assigned a leading role to the Regions. Since 2015, the public service of lifelong guidance has been provided jointly by the State (policy setting and implementation in public education) and the Regions (local implementation mostly in continuing training). The aim is to guarantee universal access to free, complete and objective information on jobs, training, qualifications, career opportunities and pay levels.
In response to the coronavirus threat and to help contain its spread, the Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus (HRDA) decided to promote the use of e-learning by subsidised training providers – a move also aiming at faster adoption of ICTs in vocational training. To this end, the HRDA prepared a Supplement to the relevant policy and procedures guides (titled Utilising e-Learning methods in training programmes), which entered into force on 26 March 2020.
In the upcoming school year (September 2020), VET students in Poland will be able to select among four new qualifications:
- welding technician (technik spawalnictwa), available in vocational upper secondary and second stage sectoral programmes;
- ceramic decorator (zdobnik ceramiki), available in first stage sectoral programmes;
- railway vehicle mechanic (mechanik pojazdów kolejowych), available in first stage sectoral programmes;
- railway vehicle technician (technik pojazdów kolejowych, available in vocational upper secondary and second stage sectoral programmes.
The five-year collaboration between the education ministries and other stakeholders in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia seeking common approaches to work-based learning (WBL) and WBL tutor training is bearing fruit.