Vocational education and training (VET) reform is a priority of education policy in Latvia. It aims at high quality standards, flexible provision and better cooperation between stakeholders. The recent national education strategy 2014-20 foresees introduction of a modular approach and development of work-based learning in VET.
The modular approach will divide programmes into modules based on learning outcomes. Each module will represent a part of a qualification. It will enable programmes/providers to adapt faster to changing needs of the labour market. A study of economic sectors has provided policy-makers with data on qualifications, skills and competences in demand, including those that could be acquired in separate modules. The modules include sector-specific and general competences. Complementary specialisation modules help learners acquire specific competences within a sector. Modules for adult learners have been identified as well, thus, supporting interaction between initial and continuing VET. The modular approach can help make VET more flexible and reduce numbers of early leavers form education. It will also ease student mobility and promote ECVET.
Work-based learning (WBL) was introduced into traditional school-based VET to make it more attractive and better integrate VET graduates into the labour market. In 2013, the first WBL pilot project started in six VET schools in cooperation with 29 enterprises. The pilot project aims to reveal a suitable WBL model for Latvia and change legislation to implement WBL. Students, teachers and other stakeholders welcome and support the pilot project.