The Estonian National Audit Office (NAO) analysed the participation of adults in vocational education and training (VET) and the impact of VET on their labour market performance. The report, published in January 2016, indicates that vocational training generally has a positive impact on adult learner employability and reduces the risk of unemployment. Moreover, vocational training helps adults in Estonia engage in entrepreneurial activities.
Developing and promoting apprenticeship training is an important objective set out in the Estonian lifelong learning strategy for 2020.
Lifelong learning is a prerequisite to cope in today’s rapidly changing world. Therefore it is crucial to provide all people in Estonia with learning opportunities tailored to their needs and capabilities throughout their lifespans.
This autumn the Estonian Qualifications Authority will present new occupational qualification standards (OQS) for vocational teachers to be approved by the Sector Skills Council of Education.
A new Vocational Education Institutions Act came into force in September 2013. It aims to ensure greater consistency of vocational training to labour market needs, improve quality, flexibility and availability of vocational training, reduce dropout rates of students, reorganise VET school management, simplify regulations concerning VET teachers, deepen an outcome-based approach, and increase differentiation in funding. To implement the new law, a VET management and curricula reform was launched in 2013.
In 2013, a unique set of data was created by Statistics Estonia that allows evaluating the social success of vocational or higher education institution graduates of 2006-11.
Today everybody needs relevant competences to manage their working lives. Making informed choices and taking important decisions on education and employment is important not only in a transition phase (if moving from one education level to another or moving from school to the labour market) but throughout life.
The implementation of the key competences recommended by the European Parliament started in Estonia in 2010 and is now well underway. The recommendation of the European Parliament (2006) defines eight key competences: communication in one’s mother tongue, communication in foreign languages, mathematical and technological competence, digital competence, learning to learn, social and civic competences, sense of initiative and of entrepreneurship, and cultural awareness and expression.