The Portuguese education and labour ministries together with the German education ministry signed a memorandum of understanding on 7 February reinforcing their cooperation in VET, which dates back to 1965.

The agreement focuses on several domains aiming to:

  • provide information regarding each other’s VET system, education tools and training structures;
  • set up tailor-made teacher, trainee and tutor training; 
  • develop training standards which will address VET policy priorities;
  • promote learner, trainee and VET professional exchanges, as well as cooperation among enterprises and institutional representatives;
  • set up VET projects supporting the integration of trainees of different sociocultural origin;
  • develop VET learners’ multilingual competences.

At the signing ceremony, the Portuguese Secretary of State for Employment stressed that it is worth investing in VET and that an important success factor in promoting VET in Portugal was linking VET providers with the labour market. He concluded that in Portugal, the greatest challenge is no longer mass unemployment but the shortage of skilled labour. The German Secretary for Education and Research emphasised the importance of working together in Europe and that young people need prospects to start their life independently.

Many other VET-related issues were discussed at the event.

Linking VET and industry

The representative of the Luso-German Chamber Of Commerce And Industry stated that training should generate employability, noting that the German model of dual VET can be adapted to the needs of VET in Portugal. An apprentice and the representatives of two companies highlighted the benefits that internships can provide to both sides.

Reinforcing VET professionals training

The representative of GOVET (German Office for International Cooperation in VET) presented a project which aims to identify the needs of in-company tutors, highlighting the difficulties of communicating with company representatives.

During the signing ceremony, the role of social partners, VET attractiveness and the validation of informally and non-formally acquired competences (an important topic in the cooperation between the two countries) were also discussed. The innovative nature of the Portuguese ‘recognition, validation and certification of competences process’ (RVCC) was highlighted, noting that this model can be adapted to the needs of the German VET system.