A Consultative Council for Vocational Education and Training, reporting to the Minister of Education and Science, was established on 27 September 2018. It will support the Minister in VET policy design and with implementation of VET reform at school level. A particular focus will be on measures to increase participation in dual training.

Key VET stakeholders at national, regional and local levels are represented in the council: ministries, agencies, institutes, universities, NGOs, national employers’ associations and trade unions,  employers with experience in dual training, association of municipalities in Bulgaria, local authorities, regional education management units, and VET school representatives.

A resource working group has been set up within the council with the mandate to conduct research and to provide, recommendations and policy proposals for VET.

Support will focus on:

  • development of a plan for VET enrolment at secondary level;
  • adoption of a career guidance model  that will improve VET attractiveness;
  • encouragement of partnerships and encouraging employers to offer more positions for work-based learning in enterprises;
  • modernisation of VET: list of professions, State educational standards, curricula and programmes, institutional infrastructure;
  • elaboration of  a VET management model that will strengthen administrative capacity and institutionalise dual training;
  • update of existing and/or the promotion of  new VET legislation to support planned reforms at all focus areas

The fact that the working group has already begun producing policy and research papers for the council’s meetings suggests that VET reform in Bulgaria will be increasingly informed by concrete data. Additional to such evidence-based VET policy making, the participation of all interested parties in the design and formulation of VET policies is expected to ensure a close link between policy makers and society.