On 13 July 2021, Slovakia’s Recovery and resilience plan (RRP) was approved by the EU economic and finance ministers. According to the RRP, funds will support reforming curricula at all education levels, improving schools’ digital infrastructure, and the greening of schools. After the first successful step has been taken, what remains to be done is defining how suggested reforms are going to be carried out and achieving active stakeholder support.
The school year 2021/22 sees the launch of new thematic and pilot institutes of vocational training (IEKs) to promote vocational excellence and innovation.
The Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), Malta’s leading VET provider, has concluded an extensive six-month consultation process about its Strategic plan 2022-27.
The Ministry of Education and Science pays great attention to the relevance of the vocational education programmes to labour market needs. This requires day-to-day cooperation between schools and industries, and a clear methodology that allows the strongest VET providers in each sector to take a leading role. According to the ministry, this approach will also help improve VET quality and coordination.
Of the 122 occupations and trades which secondary vocational training leads to, some make particular use of the latest technologies. These SMART professions are constantly evolving to create many interesting and innovative jobs. In June 2021, the education ministry launched the promotion campaign ‘The future is SMART’ to raise young learners’ awareness of these SMART vocational training programmes.
The National Skills Strategy, launched in June 2019, responds to a steadily changing world of work by promoting a new training culture, which sees occupational CVET as a lifelong necessity. Two years later, an implementation report looking into the measures taken so far finds that three quarters of the agreements have already been implemented or their implementation is underway.
The study System participation of trade unions in the area of apprenticeship: opportunities and threats in the time of digitalization, published at the end of 2020, outlines opportunities and threats of trade union participation in vocational education and training (VET).
Since the start of the implementation of the Flemish qualifications framework in 2011, over 500 professional qualifications have been developed. They form the basis for recognised vocational education, training, and recognition of acquired competences (RAC) pathways, providing a widely supported and unambiguous frame of reference for lifelong learning.
A new agreement was adopted to make the Swedish labour market more flexible; it includes significant funding for continuous professional development (CPD) and retraining for workers. ‘This is the largest labour market reform in modern times’, said Minister for Employment, Eva Nordmark when the proposals were presented in a press conference on 7 June 2021.
During her internship in Naturalis, the natural history museum in Leiden, 18-year-old VET student Noortje Looijenga discovered a new butterfly species. Noortje, a second-grade student in applied biology, has a long-standing interest in butterflies.