A proposal for a Council Recommendation on vocational education and training (VET)

News from Anatoly Garmash on https://openspace.etf.europa.eu/resources/new-vision-modernised-vet#comment-1112

On 1 July 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Council Recommendation on vocational education and training (VET) for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience.

The Commission proposes to replace the recommendations of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of a European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (2009 ECVET Recommendation) and on the establishment of a European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for Vocational Education and Training (2009 EQAVET Recommendation).

The ECVET provisions and principles will be taken forward:

  • The principle that qualifications are made of units of learning outcomes (modularisation) will be integrated and reinforced.
  • The mobility tools (e.g. learning agreement and memorandum of understanding) supporting mobility of VET learners will be further developed and linked to the further development of Europass;
  • The credit points introduced by the 2009 Recommendation will be discontinued. For vocational qualifications at post-secondary and tertiary level, the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) already in use may be applied.

The work on quality assurance in VET will:

  • Integrate the 2009 EQAVET framework adding elements about the quality of learning outcomes, certification and assessment, stakeholders’ consultation, the role of teachers and trainers, work-based learning and flexibility of vocational education and training.
  • Include the aspect of the digital readiness of VET systems and institutions;
  • Introduce peer reviews of quality assurance at the VET system level;
  • Maintain the mission and functions of EQAVET national reference points.

The proposal defines a number of principles to be followed at national level which are structured around the following thematic objectives:

  1. Vocational education and training is agile in adapting to dynamic labour market changes

Better skills anticipation and graduate tracking mechanisms to respond to the changes in economic sectors and occupations and to adapt accordingly the content of vocational education and training.

Granting VET providers a level of autonomy to allow them to react quickly to skills challenges, offer fast reskilling programmes and work in close partnerships with employers from both public and private sectors

Learning content for both young and adults offers a balanced mix of key competences and more occupation-specific skills.

Vocational education and training programmes at all levels comprise work-based learning components to ensure labour market relevance of VET.

  1. Flexibility and progression opportunities are at the core of vocational education and training

Ensuring that VET programmes are personalised and learner-centred.

Modularising VET programmes and expanding them to higher levels of qualifications and micro-credentials.

  1. Vocational education and training is a driver for innovation and growth and prepares for the digital and green transitions and occupations in high demand

Linking VET to forward-looking economic strategies and innovation systems.

Development of VET at higher qualification levels and supporting entrepreneurship and start-ups.

Promoting Centres of Vocational Excellence linked to smart specialisation strategies and offering innovative services.

Embedding environmental and social sustainability into VET curricula and organisational management including linking the environmental aspect to other fields.

  1. Vocational education and training is attractive and based on modern and digitalised provision of training/skills

Increasing attractiveness of VET by innovating and modernising VET, notably in terms of new learning environments, tools and pedagogies, with a special focus on digitalisation.

Ensuring better permeability between the systems of education and training. Higher VET programmes should be further expanded to support increased needs for advanced vocational skills.

Internationalisation and increased opportunities for mobility of learners and staff.

Well-trained and motivated teachers and trainers.

Ensuring high-quality lifelong guidance services.

  1. Vocational education and training promotes equality of opportunities

Supporting diversity and inclusiveness and addressing gender bias and gender-stereotypical choices.

  1. Vocational education and training is underpinned by a culture of quality assurance
  2. Implementation at the national level

Sustainable partnerships between all relevant stakeholders and including public-private partnerships to achieve effective governance in VET.

Making best use of existing European tools, such as Europass, EQF or ESCO and maximising synergies among them also with a view to promoting automatic mutual recognition of vocational education and training qualifications/ diplomas and the outcomes of learning periods abroad.