Increasing Europe’s competitiveness while preserving the European social model, coping with population ageing, reducing unemployment, tackling labour-market skill needs and shortages, and improving enterprises’ economic performance all exert pressures on VET, pushing for its modernisation. The search for models of good governance in VET is an effective policy response to the increasing degree of uncertainty for economies and individuals that characterise our times. It allows VET to become more responsive to changing labour-market and individual needs and flexible enough to address skills imbalances and shortages.
European and national policy has set high expectations for VET modernisation. VET should be an attractive option for young people and adults to foster the acquisition of professional qualifications and their updating throughout working life. Professional competences and skills delivered through VET should be a model of excellence, while being transparent to relevant parties at individual, company and State levels.
This fourth report on VET research in Europe analyses the above pressures for VET modernisation. Research, however, also underlines the key role of VET itself in addressing these socioeconomic challenges. VET, therefore, not only reacts to change, but is also a driver of success and competitiveness for European economies and societies. Throughout this publication, Cedefop has gathered evidence of the role VET plays in sustaining economic development, promoting active ageing, ensuring adequate skill supply, supporting corporate innovation capacity, growth and productivity, combating social exclusion and improving social cohesion. Synchronised and modern VET is not only an aim but also a means of addressing the challenges that lie ahead.