In the productive sector, considerable progress is taking place in the development of processes, machines and materials, requiring a permanent adjustment of skilled worker profiles. Further, limitations of natural resources, environment protection and the recycling of materials constitute main challenges for the industry, which has been investing for years in the development of new materials and efficient recycling structures. To respond to these changing needs, the vocational aptitude diploma programme ‘Specialised agent in smart materials’ was introduced in the school year 2020/21.
Cedefop’s ReferNet partners share how their countries responded to the unprecedented challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic on national education and training systems, including vocational education and training (VET), which typically takes place in schools and companies in the form of practical training or apprenticeships.
The Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) strategic plan, launched in May 2019, outlined seven strategic objectives aiming to stimulate inclusion, excellence and equity in VET.
On 5 February 2020, the Ministry for Education and Employment (MEDE), in collaboration with the health ministry, issued the first circular informing parents and legal custodians about Covid-19 with information on protection measures that minimise the spread of respiratory infections. A fortnight later, the MEDE issued a second circular.
The Covid-19 outbreak has had a huge impact on the Norwegian economy, working life and, not least, the education sector. The pandemic has completely changed the everyday lives of teachers, students and apprentices.
At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Croatian healthcare system faced a global shortage of medical supplies such as gloves, masks and disinfectants that protect healthcare workers against infection with SARS-CoV-2. In March 2020, numerous VET providers engaged with this shortage in a bottom-up initiative to produce face shields through 3D technology.
All activities requiring the physical presence of students in schools were suspended in all pre-university level schools, including vocational education and training (VET) from 11 March.
The Finnish Government decided on 30 March that restrictions on contact teaching at different levels of education would be continued until 13 May. Teaching continued mainly in the form of distance learning. Later, the Government updated the restrictions so that contact teaching could restart at all levels of education as of 14 May. However, it recommended that distance learning should continue until the end of the school year for all other than basic education. Nordic countries are closely following each other’s actions in meeting the challenge of Covid-19.
On 11 March the Danish government decided that all public institutions, including all education establishments, should be closed to physical attendance from 16 March.
Following the declaration of a state of emergency, the physical presence of students in basic, upper secondary and tertiary professional schools was prohibited by the Resolution of the Czech Government of 12 March 2020. The state of emergency was declared for 30 days and subsequently extended until 17 May 2020. From 12 March 2020 until the end of the school year, 30 June 2020, online forms of learning have been used.