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.

In February 2021, the ministry organised 18 sectoral discussions on methodological work in VET. Representatives of VET schools, sectoral expert councils, and industry and public VET authorities discussed how best to organise methodological work in each sector, and agreed on the roles and responsibilities (methodological tasks) of VET providers.

The key discussion points were cooperation, collaboration and responsibility. Each participant could express and defend their opinion. The roles were distributed in an open and transparent way considering the strengths, development opportunities and future trends of the labour market.

The main methodological tasks include:

  • developing cooperation and collaboration between VET providers and sectors;
  • organising discussions on the design of initial and continuing VET;
  • designing qualification modules and clusters according to labour market needs;
  • deciding on parts of professional qualifications that may be validated/recognised, and on their value;
  • designing VET curricula considering clusters of qualifications – mutually successive and linked professional qualifications and specialisations at EQF levels 2-4;
  • developing methodological materials for implementing VET curricula (teaching methods, linking theory and practice through work-based learning);
  • promoting excellence and best practices in VET, for example through seminars, labs, master classes, sectoral skills competitions and other events;
  • integrating general education curricula in VET;
  • promoting quality assurance in VET.

On 6 April 2021, the education ministry assigned all 18 vocational education competence centres (VEC) under its remit to perform methodical tasks: to supervise methodological work in at least one sector, and to be jointly responsible for methodological work in other sectors under the supervision of other VECs in the sectors these implement VET programmes. The sectors were decided by the ministry in cooperation with sectoral expert councils, the National Centre for Education, and VECs taking into account the results of the sectoral discussions.

Please cite as: ReferNet Latvia; Cedefop (2021). Latvia: vocational education excellence centres support other VET schools. National news on VET.