In November 2016, following amendment of Law of National Education, a dual-based programme was introduced in initial VET. Since then, the National Centre for TVET Development (NCTVETD) has started to set out the necessary methodological framework for the organisation and implementation of the new IVET programme.
The dual-based IVET programme is a form of the existing school and work-based programme in Romania. It includes an important share of work-based learning with greater commitment and accountability for companies in the training of their future workforce.
It lasts three years, leads to a level 3 EQF qualification and is organised around the needs of companies interested in participating as practical training partners and potential future employers. It includes an official partnership agreement signed by the company, school and local authorities. Based on this agreement, students or their legal representatives are also invited to sign individual contracts for practical training with the company and the school. The companies take full responsibility for the practical training, offer scholarships and other support to students, and take part in school administrative boards.
Companies were invited to identify their future need for qualified graduates, which were registered and centralised nationally. The results indicated that 3 548 places were made available for the students enrolled in the 2017/18 school year. NCTVETD submitted these places for approval to the Ministry of National Education. A total of 227 companies concluded partnership agreements with IVET schools to be involved in the practical training of students enrolled in this new programme.
In April 2017 the admission calendar was set out by NCTVETD; this included a prior stage dedicated to the updated information for students on the options of initial education and training programmes. The change affected the technological high schools, work and school-based education and training and the new dual-based IVET programme.
According to the admission calendar for the dual-based IVET programme, there were two admission sessions organised in May-July and end of August to the beginning of September. Lower secondary graduates (eighth grade) had the opportunity to be informed on the new dual-based IVET programme and make their choice of education and training options; this lead to 2 568 students enrolling in the new IVET programme.
At the beginning of the school year 2017/18 70% of the the first generation with access to the dual-based IVET programme showed interest in this option. In three regions (South Muntenia, North-East, Centre) more than 74% of the places approved for dual-based IVET were filled by students; in the other five regions the shares were slightly less than 70%.