09 novembre 2013

ReferNet plenary: Responsiveness key to improving visibility of VET

http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/EN/Images-UserInterface/bg_cedefopLogo.gifThe growing importance of cooperation and networking in improving visibility of vocational education and training (VET) was at the core of the 11th plenary annual meeting of ReferNet, Cedefop’s European network of VET, on 5 and 6 November. 
Opening the meeting, ReferNet coordinator Sylvie Bousquet said to the 70 participants from across Europe gathered in Thessaloniki that the plenary represented ‘not only a milestone but also momentum’ and that ‘striving for quality had inspired us.’ She added that the aim is to ‘strengthen the partnership with more inter-member activities throughout the year.’
In his speech, Cedefop Director James Calleja pointed out that ‘ReferNet has always been a very important network within Cedefop and the intention is to strengthen it in the years to come.’ More...

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05 septembre 2013

Value of vocational education ‘underestimated’ in Arab world

https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/2181527757/SG-logo_normal.jpgVocational education will be critical to building advanced economies in the Arab World, and needs to become a priority for regional governments looking to create high performance, global workforces, said Ramiz Haddadin, Pearson’s senior business development manager in the Middle East, who represented Pearson at the 7th Arab Human Resources Management and Training Conference held in Amman early this week under the auspices of Jordan’s Minister of Public Sector Development Dr Khlaif Al Khawaldeh.Haddadin noted that the value of vocational education has been traditionally overlooked by Arab students and their parents.
“Vocational training has often been seen as a lesser alternative to an academic education. Many people believe that vocational courses will lead to jobs that have lower wages and poorer conditions than their academic counterparts. Traditionally, a vocational qualification will not be considered as prestigious as a qualification from a university. However, this is actually no longer the case, as vocational qualifications are now recognized by prestigious international employers and learning institutions, and can lead to increasingly well paid positions with excellent prospects for career advancement.”
Employers in the Arab world have also called for more vocationally trained graduates, as the region faces a skills crisis in many industries, including the engineering, construction and hospitality sectors of the economy. Read more...

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17 août 2013

Torino Process 2012

http://www.etf.europa.eu/webatt.nsf/0/16AF4369C8DC42D8C1257B64004CB6C1/$File/TRP%202012%20cross-country.pngTorino Process 2012 - A Croos-Country Report Moving Skills Forward: From Common Challenges to Country-Specific Solutions.
The Torino Process is a participatory process leading to an evidence-based analysis of vocational education and training (VET) policies in a given country. It is carried out in order to build consensus on the possible ways forward for VET policy and system development, considering the contributions of VET to enhanced competitiveness, and sustainable and inclusive growth. This includes determining the state of the art and vision for VET in each country and an assessment of the progress that countries are making to achieve the desired results. More specifically, the Torino Process is a vehicle for:
- developing a common understanding of a medium/long-term vision, priorities and strategy for VET development, exploring possible options for implementing this vision and/or making further progress;
- designing and evaluating home-grown and affordable VET policies, based on evidence or knowledge and collaboration;
- updating the analyses and achievements at regular intervals;
- providing opportunities for capacity development and policy learning within and among partner countries and with the European Union (EU);
- empowering countries to better coordinate the contributions of donors to achieving agreed national priorities.
The European Training Foundation (ETF) launched the Torino Process in 2010 and the first round was concluded in May 2011 at an international conference entitled ‘The Torino Process – Learning from Evidence’. Among the outcomes of the conference was the establishment of the Torino Process as a biennial policy learning exercise founded on country ownership, participation, and a holistic, evidence-based policy analysis. The second round was launched in 2012. The Torino Process overall is open to all ETF partner countries. This report draws on the lessons learned by the ETF. Its overall objective is to present the progress that has been made in VET policy and system development, and identify constraints and future priorities for the further modernisation of VET policies and systems in ETF partner countries. It is addressed to policy makers and practitioners in the partner countries, but also to officials, researchers, experts and the donor community who are interested in learning more about the partner countries in the field of VET or related policy fields. This report was prepared by ManfredWallenborn, ETF expert, who analysed the information in the regional reports for the preparation of this document. Valuable support was provided by Doriana Monteleone, ETF statistical officer.
This report and the Torino Process are the result of a team effort. The ETF would like to take this opportunity to thank all the counterparts from the partner countries who contributed to the national reporting process in 2012, as well as the ETF country teams which facilitated the process in the countries. The ETF is also grateful to the statistical team and the internal peer reviewers who provided valuable input, comments and suggestions on the final draft of the document. Download Torino Process 2012 - A Croos-Country Report Moving Skills Forward: From Common Challenges to Country-Specific Solutions.
The other Reports
Torino Process 2012: Central Asia; Eastern Europe; Southern and Eastern Mediterranean; Western Balkans and Turkey; Uzbekistan; former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Kyrgyzstan; Azerbaijan; Armenia; Montenegro - Executive Summary; Kosovo - Executive Summary; Ukraine; Tunisie; Tajikistan; Serbia; Russia; Palestine; Moscow (Russia); Maroc; Montenegro; Moldova; Lebanon; Kosovo; Kazakhstan; Jordan; Israel; Georgia; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Belarus; Albania.

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Torino Process 2012 - A Croos-Country Report Moving Skills Forward

http://www.etf.europa.eu/webatt.nsf/0/16AF4369C8DC42D8C1257B64004CB6C1/$File/TRP%202012%20cross-country.pngTorino Process 2012 - A Croos-Country Report Moving Skills Forward: From Common Challenges to Country-Specific Solutions.
Executive Summary
This report covers the Western Balkans and Turkey, the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The objective is to present the progress that has been made in vocational education and training (VET) policy and system development, highlight remaining obstacles in relation to the performance of VET systems, and deduce recommendations for future ETF priorities in the partner countries. In addition, the report presents the ETF’s opinion on how partner country VET systems could be further developed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of VET policies and systems from a lifelong learning perspective.
The report presents the lessons learnt by the ETF regarding the process of reform and modernisation of VET policies and systems thanks to the high level of commitment and substantial efforts made by the partner countries during the 2012 round of the Torino Process.
This report is addressed to policy makers and practitioners of VET systems in the partner countries, but also to officials, researchers, experts and the donor community who are interested in learning more about the partner countries in the field of VET or related policy fields.
There are positive key trends and areas of progress as well as remaining issues for the further development of VET within the four regions with which the ETF cooperates. The countries are inspired by the international debate among experts on VET: VET matters in both an educational and an economic context, being an instrument for short- and long-term employability. The countries are aware of the important contributions of VET to social inclusion and to socio-economic progress in terms of growth and competitiveness. Moreover, they know from their own experience of reforming other educational sub-systems that VET reforms must be in line with the national context, that they take time, and that there is a need for persistent efforts in a number of different areas of VET systems in order to convert VET into a valid instrument for skills development.
The countries and regions analysed in the Torino Process 2012 round vary greatly. However, there are many common issues on which substantial progress has been made since the Torino Process 2010 round, such as the further development of national VET strategies that are coherent with other sector policies, the adoption and implementation of new laws and instruments, such as qualification frameworks (including new professional standards and curricula), decentralisation, greater involvement on the part of the business sector, and the beginning of rationalisation of the VET school networks. This progress is consistent with the seven priorities for further action formulated by the participants in the 2011 Torino Process Conference.
Policy makers in the partner countries are aware that VET reforms must be designed in line with the specific socio-economic and cultural contexts of the countries concerned, and that VET reforms must be linked to capacity building for implementation. However, the main conclusions of the 2012 Torino Process round highlighted five key areas for further action, which are common to all partner countries, if VET is to contribute in an effective manner to economic development, the employability of individuals and their social integration:
- creating shared, long-term visions for the development of skills from a lifelong learning perspective which effectively integrate education, training and employment with economic and social development;
- enhancing the labour market relevance of VET through a closer integration of learning and work, in learning environments that either are already available or could be created in schools, post-secondary institutions and the workplace;
- reinforcing awareness of the contribution of VET to social cohesion, through greater attention to the needs of vulnerable groups, both in initial VET (IVET) and by enhancing access to adult education and training opportunities;
- improving the quality of IVET and continuing VET (CVET), supported by improvements to elements of VET systems, in particular teacher training, teaching methodologies, qualification frameworks and the innovation of educational infrastructure/rationalisation of school networks;
- strengthening the effectiveness of public policy by sharing responsibility for VET governance and delivery between the state, the business sector and other social actors.
This represents an integrated, innovative agenda for sustainable reform in effective and efficient VET policies and systems. In this context, the term ‘integrated’ comprises a joining up of policy measures bridging VET and national and local development; it embeds VET in lifelong learning; and actively involves key stakeholders in shared multilevel governance. ‘Innovative’ brings the sense that VET policy is at the state of art – anticipating, rather than reacting to change. It suggests a VET system with the capacity to adapt and which provides the learner with the creative competences that are fundamental for long-term employability. ‘Sustainable’ brings into the concept both the dimension of green skills serving green economies and communities, and the need for long-term incremental effort to connect vision with implementation.
While ‘effectiveness’ and ‘efficiency’ remain key principles for modern, accountable public policy. According to the five building blocks of the analytical framework for the 2012 Torino Process (vision, external efficiency and demographic trends/labour market needs, external efficiency and social demand/inclusion, quality/labour market relevance and governance) the main findings from the 2012 Torino Process can be summarised as follows. The country reports show that all countries are aware that visions and VET system reforms could make a considerable contribution to societal objectives such as increased competitiveness and employability, and inclusive growth if VET reform is part of integrated and holistic country policies. Hence, the countries have developed or are currently developing strategies for VET reform. In theWestern Balkans and Turkey these strategies are closely linked to EU standards and good practice, because the region comprises five candidate countries for EU accession.
The Southern and Eastern Mediterranean shows a more disparate picture in terms of the countries’ visions for the design and performance of VET systems. As a result of demographic pressure in many countries, the most important issue is employability for young graduates. However, political instability has generated short-term priorities other than VET reforms.
The need for new visions and reforms in Eastern Europe and Central Asia are currently being discussed intensively. In the early years of transition most of the countries dedicated more of their attention to general education and higher education. Meanwhile, the countries are convinced that a well-performing VET system strongly reinforces their position in a globalised economy and also supports regional mobility. Hence, visions and strategies have been formulated more coherently with other sector strategies, and many countries in Eastern Europe aim at placing more emphasis on the design of lifelong learning strategies, as a result of their ageing societies.
VET reforms that aim at greater efficiency, economic growth and competitiveness are underpinned and justified by socio-economic developments in the regions, such as the increasing numbers of young people looking for work opportunities in precarious labour markets in many of the countries.Whereas in the EU the proportion of the total population aged 15-24 is 11.7%, it ranges from 11.7% to 19.3% in theWestern Balkans and Turkey, from 14.7% to 21.4% in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, from 14.0% to 20.8% in Eastern Europe, and from 18.7% to 23.5% in Central Asia.
Demographic development is one driver of high unemployment rates. In the most recent years for which data are available, the average unemployment rate in the EU was 9.7%, while the corresponding figures were between 9.0% and 44.9% in theWestern Balkans and Turkey, between 5.4% and 18.7% in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (however, with extremely high youth unemployment rates in Egypt 30%, Jordan 30%, Palestine 36%, Syria 32% and Tunisia 42% in 2011), between 5.5% and 19.3% in Eastern Europe and between 5.4% and 11.6% in Central Asia.
In many countries the outcomes of different education levels are not always appropriate either for current demands or for the challenges of the future, including the successful social inclusion of all learners, which is more related to the labour market relevance rather than to the level of educational offers. The countries of the former Soviet Union are still characterised by a significant amount of formal education but not always with sound levels of employability for the learners. In the EU the proportion of the total population aged 15+ that has completed at least upper secondary education amounts to 67.5%; the same proportion is between 69.2% and 93.9% in the Eastern European countries and between 71.2% and 90.2% in the countries of Central Asia. However, in the countries of theWestern Balkan and Turkey region the proportion is lower, at between 28.8% and 70.1% and in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries between 17.0% and 74.7%.
The situation in the Western Balkan and Turkey, and Southern and Eastern Mediterranean regions is linked in part to low levels of educational expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), exacerbating the problems faced by those from vulnerable groups and ethnic minorities. In the EU the percentage of GDP is 5.4%, but between 3.5% and 4.3% in the Western Balkans and Turkey and between 1.8% and 5.8% in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean. The picture is more positive in Eastern Europe, where the percentages range from 3.2% to 9.1%, and in Central Asia, with percentages between 3.1% and 8.3%.
The quality and labour market relevance of VET programmes are key challenges for innovation and reform in all VET systems. This includes the acquisition of key competences as sound foundation skills and tools for adaption to future challenges – suitable for both short-term employment and longer-term employability. In this respect, the country reports describe policy improvements in particular in the field of entrepreneurial learning. This is seen by policy makers as having a high potential to generate a more dynamic culture among young people, business and communities and a fertile environment for job creation. The remaining problems are twofold: the need for improved employability and hence, inclusion, for learners is still a key priority, as is the need for increased competitiveness and sustainable growth. A great deal remains to be done through more effective practice-oriented modes of learning that are relevant to the labour market, and supported by better educational infrastructures in schools and enterprises, increased vocational guidance, improved training for teachers in new methodologies, updated textbooks and curricula, and more effective management on the part of school directors under the guidance of school boards with local community representation.
Such innovations in the elements of VET systems must be supported by new governance modes that involve all relevant social actors at different functional levels in future VET policy outlines. Ministries of education are also on their own transition pathway from bureaucratic administrators to intelligent moderators of social processes leading to improved VET system performance that is relevant to the labour market. A certain diversification of VET provision supports such trends: private training providers and enterprises that are working at the forefront of technology or dealing with international standards increasingly perceive VET to be an appropriate tool for business development through the updating of human capital. Traditional, publicly driven vocational schools are to some extent losing their prevailing position in human capital development in certain economic sectors, while private providers are gaining ground. Moreover, public schools have also started to cooperate with the business sector in order to better cover new learning outcomes and foster more work-based learning for increased employability.
Such processes imply the involvement of the social partners in VET policy development and implementation, and the support of additional modes of learning at the workplace in professions. These measures require capital-intensive learning environments, and are not generally available in vocational schools. A number of effective arrangements are already in place. However, the countries concerned still face challenges in installing new modes of governance according to their specific contexts.
The influence of EU policy is strongly felt across the partner countries in all education and training sub-systems. While theWestern Balkans and Turkey, and in particular the candidate countries, are engaged in Enhanced EU Cooperation in VET, in other regions the European influence on VET refers to national qualifications framework (NQF) development, quality-assurance procedures and European models of VET governance.

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Good multilevel governance for vocational education and training

http://www.etf.europa.eu/webatt.nsf/0/5C7D921532B7F216C1257BBE0053F962/$File/Multilevel%20governance%20x%20VET.pngGood multilevel governance for vocational education and learning - Working paper
The present working paper is based on analytical work conducted by the ETF in 2012 and broad consultation with ETF partner countries that included a pilot study (the study) on good multilevel governance in VET. The study was conducted in six partner countries, namely Azerbaijan, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Tunisia and Ukraine, and its purpose was to map and assess the involvement of VET stakeholders across different functions of their national VET systems. The partner countries’ performance was then compared against a set of principles and indicators of good multilevel governance developed by the ETF1. The study was coordinated by the ETF Community of Practice on Governance, Partnerships and Regional Development. The results of the study, presented here, incorporate the key conclusions of the ETF corporate conference ‘Multilevel governance in education and training: challenges and opportunities’ that took place at the EU Committee of the Regions in Brussels from 31 May to 1 June 2012. During the conference the findings of the study were presented, and multilevel governance, including stakeholder participation as a means to enhance performance in VET, was discussed. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the key concepts and terminology related to governance, the rationale for ETF support of partner countries in good multilevel governance in VET, and the methodology adopted for the study. Chapter 2 presents the main findings of the pilot study on VET governance in the selected partner countries. Within the different policy areas investigated and based on cross-country analysis, the successes and gaps in both vertical and horizontal cooperation as well as the strengths and weaknesses in VET management are highlighted. In addition, this chapter introduces the key pilot results of testing ETF-proposed principles and indicators for good multilevel governance in VET. It is important to underline that this pilot study was essentially a reporting exercise with a limited scope, and that while the findings may provide a useful stimulus for further analysis and debate, they should not be seen as definitive research results. Nevertheless, the study offers useful in-depth information in a number of areas, leading to some preliminary conclusions. Chapter 3 suggests a number of areas on which policy makers and stakeholders could usefully focus, particularly the development of good multilevel governance to improve the effectiveness of VET. The conclusion summarises the key findings while identifying some trends, coordination mechanisms and ETF actions for building good multilevel governance in VET with partner countries. Finally, Annex 1 gives examples of successes and gaps in horizontal and vertical partnerships; Annex 2 introduces a roadmap for the development of good multilevel governance practice; and Annexes 3 and 4 reproduce the questionnaire used in the pilot study with a related glossary of terms used in the management of public policies in education and training. In summary, this report puts forward a number of questions and lines of action for policy makers to consider in ensuring that the governance of VET is fit for purpose.
1 For detailed information on the 2012 Torino Process, see the analytical framework for vocational education and training system reviews (ETF, 2012e).
Download Good multilevel governance for vocational education and learning.

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ETF - European Training Foundation

http://www.etf.europa.eu/web.nsf/Images/etf-logo.gifThe European Training Foundation is a decentralised agency of the European Union based in Turin, Italy. It was established by Council Regulation No. 1360 in 1990 recast No. 1339 in 2008 to contribute to the development of the education and training systems of the EU partner countries. It became operational in 1994 in its premises of Villa Gualino. The ETF currently employs approximately 130 staff and has an annual budget of about 18 million €. Madlen Serban is Director of the ETF since 1 July 2009.
Our mission is to help transition and developing countries to harness the potential of their human capital through the reform of education, training and labour market systems in the context of the Eu's external relations policy.
We base our work on the conviction that human capital development in a lifelong learning perspective can make a fundamental contribution to increasing prosperity, creating sustainable growth and encouraging social inclusion in transition and developing countries.
We recruit and deploy experts from multiple disciplines to handle complex and multidimensional topics in a team environment, in order to create new knowledge, insight and solutions.

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16 août 2013

Continuing vocational training -Two thirds of enterprises in the EU27 provided vocational training in 2010

http://ec.europa.eu/education/news/images/image3170.jpgContinuing vocational training -Two thirds of enterprises in the EU27 provided vocational training in 2010 - Ranged from 23% in Poland to 87% in Austria and Sweden.
In the EU27, two thirds (66%) of all enterprises with ten or more employees provided vocational training to their staff in 2010, compared with 60% in 2005.
The highest proportions of enterprises providing training were observed in Austria and Sweden (both 87%) the United Kingdom (80%), the Netherlands (79%), Belgium (78%) and France (76%), and the lowest in Poland (23%), Romania (24%), Bulgaria (31%), Latvia (40%) and Hungary (49%).
These data, published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, come from the Continuing Vocational Training Survey (CVTS), which is carried out every five years. The news release presents data from the fourth and latest survey, referring to the year 2010, which covered the 27 Member States and Croatia.
To know more
Continuing vocational training statistics.

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Two thirds of enterprises in the EU27 provided vocational training in 2010

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ-0WeoSNcEGwPvi9SswnxcwAzEbah9mfTNUvQEdOwvw8oxAfONIuBuvG2uIn the EU27, two thirds (66%) of all enterprises with ten or more employees provided vocational training to their staff in 2010, compared with 60% in 2005. The highest proportions of enterprises providing training were observed in Austria and Sweden (both 87%) the United Kingdom (80%), the Netherlands (79%), Belgium (78%) and France (76%), and the lowest in Poland (23%), Romania (24%), Bulgaria (31%), Latvia (40%) and Hungary (49%).
These data, published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, come from the Continuing Vocational Training Survey (CVTS), which is carried out every five years. This News Release presents data from the fourth and latest survey, referring to the year 2010, which covered the 27 Member States and Croatia.


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Benefits of vocational education and training in Europe for people, organisations and countries

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ-0WeoSNcEGwPvi9SswnxcwAzEbah9mfTNUvQEdOwvw8oxAfONIuBuvG2uPeople, organisations and governments invest in vocational education and training (VET) because of its positive outcomes, such as higher wages, improved productivity and economic growth. But VET also brings non-economic benefits, such as lower absenteeism and less crime. Research on VET’s benefits has focused on specific relationships, such its impact on productivity or health. Insufficient attention has been given how VET’s benefits interact in organisations. VET contributes directly to higher productivity by increasing skill levels, but also indirectly by increasing job satisfaction and lowering absenteeism. Using existing and new research covering more European countries, Cedefop’s publication argues that some of VET’s most important benefits are difficult to express in monetary terms. Organisations, individuals and governments, consequently, may not take full account of VET’s benefits when deciding to invest in it. A better understanding all of its benefits may not only influence the likelihood of investing in VET, but is important for organisations competing on the basis of high quality goods and services where skills and attitudes need to combine to bring success. Download Benefits of vocational education and training in Europe for people, organisations and countries.

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13 juillet 2013

Cedefop publishes statistics on VET and lifelong learning policies

http://www.eaea.org/kuvat/EAEA-logo-2010.gifWhat do statistical data say about your country's vocational education and training (VET) and lifelong learning policies? How does your country compare with the European Union average and other Member States?
European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training - Cedefop
- has published statistical overviews that provide a snapshot of VET and lifelong learning in European countries. Supplemented by a short commentary highlighting key points, the overviews comprise 31 selected indicators based on international statistics enabling comparisons between countries and EU statistical averages.
Overviews are available for each of the 28 EU Member States, including Croatia and, where data are available, for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.

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