On 11 December 2018, the second edition of a vocational education and training status review was published for the general public and all parties concerned.
VET system reviews were started back in 2017 and will be prepared annually. The reviews intend to provide the most relevant and systematised information on the status of Lithuanian vocational education and training and help ensure that appropriate decisions are made using objective and evidence-based information. The 2018 edition was prepared by the Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre (MOSTA). As stipulated in the 2017 Law on VET, effective since 1 February 2018, MOSTA has an important role in supporting VET provision:
- monitoring vocational education and training delivery, as well as human resources (VET teachers in schools);
- providing strategic guidelines for training requirements of in-company trainers (apprenticeship tutors and practical training instructors) and monitoring implementation;
- carrying out skills forecasts and preparing strategic insights, taking into consideration the needs of the state, society and the national economy.
According to the authors, the 2018 review serves two purposes: to take stock of current needs and present-day challenges in the VET system. It analyses the demographic, social and economic context of vocational education and training delivery; presents changes in VET policy, discusses financing, teacher training, access to vocational education and training, quality, employability prospects of VET graduates, and vocational guidance. Key issues identified in the 2018 VET status review:
- vocational education and training is mainly evaluated according to how it satisfies business needs, with its contribution to reduction of social exclusion often ignored;
- the attractiveness of vocational education and training remains a great challenge;
- the existing per capita financing of vocational schools (the ‘student basket’ model) negatively affects the quality of vocational education and training and its relevance to labour market needs;
- the ageing community of VET students (a growing number of students is returning to initial VET after higher education) is a new challenge to the quality of vocational education and training; teaching methods and tools should be adapted to a different public.
- the impact of efforts to improve cooperation between vocational education and training and business is still small; employer representatives, involved in VET governance since 2012 (design of VET programmes, assessing the labour market relevant of qualifications), were actively involved in only in 15 of 70 VET schools in 2018. The new VET law (2017) stipulates active involvement of social partners in all VET institutions.
- data fragmentation is a great barrier to developing a strategic framework for evaluating (and monitoring) the efficiency of the vocational education and training system.