The introduction of work-based learning was the main goal of the legal changes that came into force in September 2015, introducing dual vocational education and training (VET) in Poland.

The new provision aims to enable closer cooperation between schools and employers. Previously, VET learners have had only limited contact with the real work environment and practical training was usually organised in school.

The revised legislation sets the required number of hours of work-based learning in the dual system. In basic VET, it covers the whole period of practical education (970 hours over three years of learning), while in upper-secondary and post-secondary VET, it cannot be less than 30% of practical education (not less than 220 hours over four years of learning).

Employers can now request VET curricula changes directly from the VET school.

The new law was introduced as a result of the European Commission’s recommendations to broaden access to work-based learning and also to strengthen and intensify the collaboration of VET schools with employers. The new legislation aims to increase the effectiveness of VET, facilitate school-to-work transition, and keep youth unemployment low.

Forms of cooperation between schools and employers in Poland

Source:  Own elaboration based on: Fila, J., (ed.) Współpraca szkół zawodowych z przedsiębiorcami na przykładzie Działania 9.2 PO KL. Analiza projektów realizowanych w latach 2008-2011, Instytut Badań Edukacyjnych, Warszawa 2014 and Zaręba, P., Kępczyk, R., Misztal, J., Hadrian, M., Biernat, A., Współpraca szkół zawodowych z  pracodawcami – przykładowe rozwiązania, KOWEZIU, Warszawa 2013.