This short description contributes to a better understanding of vocational education and training (VET) in Latvia by providing an insight into its main features and by highlighting VET policy developments and current challenges.
Recent VET initiatives and reforms focus on strengthening cooperation between stakeholders, developing sectoral qualifications, and raising efficiency and quality of vocational education. The VET provider network is being optimised to respond to demographic trends and shrinking financial resources. At the same time, several policy measures aim to make VET more attractive, for instance by increasing support for learners and labour market relevance through stronger focus on new forms of work-based learning.
European countries’ joint work on vocational education and training (VET) shows clear signs of progress but there is more to do. In many countries, the Bruges communiqué of 2010 has inspired systemic reforms focusing on learning-outcomes-oriented standards and curricula. In several cases, these were triggered by the work on qualifications frameworks. In other countries, the main impact of the communiqué is reflected in their work on apprenticeships but there are challenges in securing its quality. The development of national qualifications frameworks (NQFs), measures to reduce early leaving, and policies to promote lifelong learning for low-skilled and other groups at risk have also been high on national policy agendas. Work on the European tools will need to ensure they interact better with and focus more on European citizens and employers to produce the intended benefit. Other challenges include better use of information on labour market outcomes of VET graduates, strengthening efforts to promote creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in VET, and ensuring professional development opportunities for VET teachers and trainers.
Quality assurance is important for accreditation and certification of studies and diplomas. But for continuous improvement, institutions must also set up effective internal quality management. This handbook focuses on the importance of internal quality management specifically for institutions involved in vocational education and training (VET).
The handbook is meant to guide VET providers through a quality journey, based on the PDCA (plan-do-check-act/review) cycle, which underlies any quality management system (QMS). The handbook’s guidelines, advice and practical examples are taken from 20 providers of initial, continuing or sector-based vocational training, all of which have successful and mature quality management in place.
The January issue of Cedefop’s magazine Skillset and Match, the first of our 40th anniversary year, is available to read and download. It is packed with exclusive messages and interviews, features, news from EU Member States and information on new publications.
A new Cedefop report draws attention to the mutual benefits to workers and organisations that arise when guidance is integrated in age management strategies. The report offers insights on how to develop guidance activities at the workplace.