About Future trends in VET systems and institutions

Vocationally oriented education and training in Europe, albeit different between countries, is changing in several fundamental ways. Not only is it becoming more diverse in its programmes and qualifications – for example addressing the needs of a growing service sector – but it is also expanding to higher levels. In some countries, this combination of diversification and expansion is a step towards making lifelong learning a reality, adapting VET to the needs of learners of all ages and at different stages in their careers and lives.  In many countries, vocationally oriented education and training at different levels of the European qualifications framework (EQF) is delivered by a widening range of institutions (for example VET schools, tertiary education institutions, companies, adult education and private providers, international bodies).

Cedefop’s research on the changing nature and role of VET in Europe paints a comprehensive picture of VET developments in Europe. Building on this analysis, our VET in Europe 1995-2035 report outlines a series of potential future paths of how VET could evolve in the decades ahead; these scenarios highlight the choices policy-makers and stakeholders will be faced with. Building directly on this project, our work on the future of VET combines a focus on institutional changes with a systematic analysis of VET-content developments. The work covers the 27 EU Member States Iceland, Norway and the UK, and contributes to better understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing European VET in the years ahead. It pays particular attention to the way the content and profile of vocational education and training is changing. In many countries we can see a broadening of profiles, while the overall number of qualifications (and thus specialisations) is reduced indicating that future VET skills may look different from what they do today, in line with fast changing labour market requirements.  The relevance and quality of future VET depends on its ability to respond to these changing demands.