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Lithuania: new financing scheme in formal VET to support more skills for jobs

A new programme type ‘non-formal vocational training programmes for acquiring or developing skills for work’ (Neformaliojo profesinio mokymo programos), as well as State support for the implementation of such programmes from the State budget are being introduced. The new programme may consist of two sets of competences that can be recognised as part of a formal qualification.

Quality practical training in formal VET

The 2017 VET law pays particular attention to the quality of VET training and to improving the balance between skills supply and demand at national and regional levels; it also establishes new basic principles for funding VET. The 2019 regulation sets the implementing provisions regulating workplace-based training in school-based VET.

The number of apprenticeship placements in individual sectors of the economy is determined based on analysis of skill supply (data provided by the national human resources monitoring system) and skill demand (sectoral professional committees’ proposals on training opportunities available through apprenticeship). Formal VET is financed from the State budget based on per capita financing (the ‘student basket’). When a formal vocational training programme is delivered as apprenticeship, the amount of vocational training funding allocated per learner is increased by 25%; additional funds are used for apprenticeship organisation activities (such as guidance, assessment and mentoring services).

The 2019 regulation also introduces the principle for establishing slots (workplace experiences which are not State-funded) in public schools (which are State-funded). The measure aims to define the number of training places available based on VET schools’ capacity to provide quality training and qualifications, as well the local labour market needs.

Other possible sources of additional funding are also established, such as State-supported loans for VET learners. State loans or State-supported loans, as well as other support for vocational training, are administered centrally by the State Studies Foundation.

Completion clauses are also introduced. Learners enrolled but not completing a State-funded VET programme should pay back public funds allocated for the specific training place.

Training funds are calculated per person per module (new), depending on which area of education the specific programme a student is enrolled in is assigned to. The aim is to make rational, transparent use of funds and allow individuals to register for one or more modules.

The general provisions for basic enrolment numbers per module (number of learners per group) were reviewed and set at 15 persons, to allow for more and quality personalised training and personalised business solutions. The number of places per field of study may be restricted (e.g. eight for groups of blind or deaf students, visually impaired or hard-of-hearing and/or cochlear implant user groups; 12 for groups of students with mild to moderate intellectual disability), in line with the biannual admission plan which is based on short-, medium- and long-term forecasts, and specifies the number of publicly funded and non-funded seats for each VET public school.

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