In the upcoming school year (September 2020), VET students in Poland will be able to select among four new qualifications:
- welding technician (technik spawalnictwa), available in vocational upper secondary and second stage sectoral programmes;
- ceramic decorator (zdobnik ceramiki), available in first stage sectoral programmes;
- railway vehicle mechanic (mechanik pojazdów kolejowych), available in first stage sectoral programmes;
- railway vehicle technician (technik pojazdów kolejowych, available in vocational upper secondary and second stage sectoral programmes.
All occupations for which training and education is offered by VET programmes are included in the classification of occupations for vocational education which is related to the Polish qualifications framework (PQF). The classification of occupations lists professions in all sectors and defines, among others, the qualifications linked to an occupation, their PQF level, the ministry responsible for each occupation, the schools/programmes providing relevant education and training, and additional conditions/requirements relating to the given occupation or qualification. The PQF references Polish qualifications to the levels of the European qualifications framework (EQF) and through the EQF to the levels of qualifications in individual EU countries.
The classification of occupations can be adapted and updated according to identified labour market needs, such as employee shortages in particular professions, reported, for instance by employers and their organisations. The core curricula for the new occupations were prepared in accordance with the expectations of the labour market, in cooperation with employer representatives considering the sets of expected learning outcomes and their verification criteria. Regarding these new occupations, employers indicated such problems as generation gaps, low employee competences, and lack of opportunities to learn and attain qualifications.
The four new occupations were added to the classification in 2019 as a result. The curricula for these will be defined and included in the core curricula for occupations in the first months of 2020. Additional editorial amendments were proposed both for the regulation on the classification of occupations and for the regulation on the core curricula.
- Regulation of the Minister of National Education of 23 December 2019 changing the regulation on the general aims and tasks of vocational education and the classification of occupations for vocational education (Journal of Laws 2020, item 82).
- Proposal of a regulation changing the Regulation of the Minister of National Education on the core curricula for occupations in sectoral education and additional vocational skills for selected occupations in sectoral education.