In September 2010, five regional forums of vocational education “Support of EU Structural Funds to Vocational Education Modernization” were held across Latvia to inform vocational education establishments and institutions related to vocational education about issues concerning the support provided by EU Structural Funds to vocational education. The information given also included activities conducted and planned by the European Regional Development Fund concerning school infrastructure modernisation.

The forums are organised by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia in cooperation with the regional Information Centres of EU Structural Funds and local governments. Each event was held in a different planning region (there are five in total) – on September 7 in the central part of country (Jelgava City), on September 10 in the northern part of country (Valmiera City), on September 13 in the eastern part of country (Daugavpils City), on September 15 in the western part of country (Liepaja City), and on September 17 in the capital city Riga.

The key speakers in the forums are usually the representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science (including the Minister in one forum), local governments, regional planning agencies, sectoral organisations and graduates of vocational schools. The forums also ensure the possibility to have a discussion between the representatives of the ministry, local governments, employers, heads of vocational schools, teachers, students and other stakeholders. To promote the visibility of the events, live broadcast online via the website of the ministry ( has been ensured.

The ministry, in cooperation with social partners, continues to implement reforms regarding school network improvement and development, as outlined in The Guidelines for Optimisation of Vocational Education Establishments Network for 2010-2015 (January 2010). The Guidelines are aimed at providing further implementation of vocational education system structural reforms by optimising the number of vocational schools and their geographical distribution and by differentiating vocational schools according to functions provided; providing modern technical facilities and equipment for vocational schools; fostering more effective use of all resources, thus improving quality and availability of vocational education for various target groups.

Source: Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia

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