According to László Palkovics, Minister for Innovation and Technology, defining future development trends in upper secondary VET and the adult education system is a policy priority. A total of 38 professionals, representing main education and training actors, took part in the VET Innovation Council inaugural session, held on 7 September 2018:
- governmental bodies, VET institutions and school maintainers, including teachers;
- the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other chambers involved in practical training provision;
- employer/business associations, trade unions;
- representatives of large companies and advocacy bodies (strategic partners of the government on labour market needs);
- the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, scientific advisor on VET policies;
- representative bodies of students;
- representatives of the Roma integration (independent Roma case experts).
The VET Innovation Council is a debating and advisory body. In cooperation with the main VET advocacy bodies, it is expected to support demand-driven transformation of the VET system. It will formulate proposals for policy decision-making and support implementation of initiatives in VET and adult learning. According to the minister: ‘The fourth industrial revolution is a strategic challenge for VET as well, but if we use the potential of new technologies wisely, we will be able to meet the demands of the 21st century labour market’.
Priorities and activity fields
Gáborné Pölöskei, Deputy State Secretary for Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning, asked for a common, multidimensional approach to vocational training. The council members formed thematic working groups in priority areas and will meet regularly to monitor work progress. Six working sessions were held in 2018. Main challenges and possible responses are being examined to prepare well-founded proposals for legislative amendments. Topics cover the whole VET spectrum and are interlinked at several levels:
- reviewing the institutional management system to make it more responsive to labour market needs (introduction of a chancery system in VET centres foreseen by Act No CIV of 2018);
- reducing early school leaving from VET;
- expanding the Hungarian dual training system;
- aligning VET curricula with labour market needs and introducing career tracking in adult training (CVET);
- enhancing the role of sectoral skills councils in shaping VET and adult learning; the councils will monitor and ensure the alignment of the training offer and of vocational qualifications included in the national register with sectoral labour market needs; they will also be in charge of developing the so-called basic national vocational qualifications register (which will consist of the basic qualifications and basic skills).
- a new career model in school-based VET (VET 4.0) compatible with the industry revolution 4.0 national strategy (on attractive VET environment, career guidance for learners and supporting IVET teachers and trainers in developing their technical competences).
Setting up a chancellery system in VET
One of the first proposals of the council supported unanimously by all stakeholders/experts of the working group and adopted by the ministry is the establishment of a chancellery system in VET (a similar system is already in place in higher education). Implementation has started and the system is expected to be operational in early 2019.
The VET Innovation Council, through its chancellors, will support and advise the network of 44 VET centres (representing all State-owned VET schools and spread across country/sectors) on VET delivery. The chancellor at each VET centre will be responsible for:
- development-oriented management;
- sectors/economic areas linked to the VET centre;
- effective cooperation with companies; and
- establishing and developing effective relationships with businesses increasingly interested in dual training system.