This synthesis report summarises the findings of the Cedefop project “The changing nature and role of vocational education and training in Europe (2016-18)”.
The aim of this research is to take a step back and paint a comprehensive picture of VET developments in Europe, identifying challenges as well as opportunities. Two major steps were taken to achieve this. First, a detailed analysis of VET developments since 1995 was performed. Looking at developments from different perspectives (institutional, pedagogical and socioeconomic) allowed for an in-depth analysis of trends. Second, building on the analysis of developments since 1995, a series of potential future paths were developed. Seeking to identify plausible and consistent pictures of how VET could evolve in the coming decades, these scenarios highlight the choices policy-makers and stakeholders face in this area. While not pretending to be predictions of the future, these scenarios and the methodology they build on can be used by national authorities and stakeholders to identify the challenges and opportunities ahead.
The summary shows that European VET varies among countries and is changing in various fundamental ways. It is becoming more diverse in its programmes and qualifications and also expanding into higher levels, challenging the perception of higher education as exclusively academically oriented.