In the Netherlands, recent efforts to develop public-private partnerships (PPPs) in VET led to creation of centres of expertise in higher vocational education (HBO) and centres for innovative craftsmanship (Centra voor Innovatieve Vakmanschap) in senior secondary vocational education (MBO).

There are now more than 40 centres actively working on PPP in VET across the Netherlands. Substantial funds, both public (EUR 250 million) and private, have been invested in these centres over the past few years, and additional money for their development is foreseen, such as through regional investment funds as announced in the recent technology pact 2020.

The 2014 mid-term review conducted by Platform Bèta Techniek (PBT) of seven pilot centres established in 2011 (three in HBO and four in MBO sector) show that investments have already led to significant positive results:

  • more students enrolling in study programmes linked to the centres in both HBO and MBO, as well as in the flow through (doorstroom) from MBOs to HBOs;
  • development of contract research financed by associated businesses, mainly in the HBO centres of excellence;
  • launch of innovative initiatives in further education and training, such as  between Nedcar and the Centrum voor Innovatief Vakmanschap voor Onderhoud in Mobiliteit (CIVOM);
  • growth in cofinanced investments by businesses and local/regional authorities, again mainly in HBO centres;
  • steady progress in institutional development of both types of centres as they move into implementation and validation phases of their business plans.


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