Vocational and education training (VET) reform in Finland (foreseen to be implemented in 2018) meets the demands of future skills and unifies VET steering and financing systems. The reform aims to strengthen the role of VET in society and support students’ growth holistically into well-rounded and balanced individuals, providing them with the knowledge and skills needed for further studies.
The main goal of the reform is to improve the status of VET in Finnish society. The funding system and structure will be renewed while keeping the various existing educational pathways. Preserving eligibility for further studies and ensuring a regionally comprehensive education network is an important aspect of the reform. It aims to strengthen the interaction between education institutions and working life, to remove barriers between young and adult students, and eliminate unnecessary overlaps in education. The key aspect of the reform is its competence-based approach.
The reform focuses on the idea of customer-oriented training, meaning that VET is designed to meet the needs of students and the labour market. One goal is to increase learning in workplaces and enable students to apply for training throughout the year. Apprenticeship training will be reformed by easing the administrative and financial burden on employers.
VET financing and associated legislation will be streamlined. Financing systems of upper secondary VET, continuing (nationally called ‘further’) VET, apprenticeship training and labour market courses will be organised into a single entity. The current legislation, which addresses VET for adults and young learners in different documents, will also be unified in joint legislation. The reform is being prepared and will be implemented in cooperation with experts and stakeholders.
Action plan for the implementation of the key project and reforms defined in the Strategic Government Programme, Government Publications 1/2016.