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The results of a survey of the opinions of Europeans on vocational education and training were presented at an experts’ workshop on February 23-24,2017 in Thessaloniki. European experts, including ReferNet representatives, discussed and analysed the results.

Cedefops’s survey, launched in 2016, was conducted among 35 000 EU Member State citizens aged 15 or older. Most Europeans (71%) know what VET is and two in three (68%) have a positive opinion about it, while almost nine in 10 (87%) VET graduates are satisfied with the work-related skills they attained. Finding a job is the primary reason Europeans choose a VET path.

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A conference summarising the results and achievements of the EU-funded Twinning Light Project “Support to the modernization of the system for post-secondary education” was conducted on Friday, February 24, 2017.

The project is being implemented as a bilateral cooperation between the Ministry of Education and Science and the Educational Research Institute from Poland, in cooperation with foreign experts.

The opening speeches within the conference were delivered by Mr Mauro di Veroli representing Delegation of European Union, Mr Pishtar Lutfiu, Minister of Education and Science and H. E. Mr Jacek Multanowski, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland. H. E. Ambassador stated that the Polish-Macedonian cooperation in the area of education and qualifications indeed developed in the course of past year during the implementation of the two twinning projects related to the national qualifications framework and post-secondary education development.

Read more: A conference “Postsecondary education - for your future”

The seventh article on the outcomes of the European skills and jobs (ESJ) survey, just published by Cedefop, analyses the determinants of EU employees’ underskilling .

ESJ survey data showed that employees with higher education seldom declare lower levels of skills than those required in their work place. Yet, there are differences within the group related to the subject they studied – graduates of mathematics indicate underskilling less often than the graduates of medical subjects.

The survey also indicated that women, young employees (24-39 years of age) and employees  working in sectors that hire persons with lower levels of education often declare lower levels of skills that those required by their employer.

More information is available at the Cedefop website

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Cedefop released a briefing note on the professional development of vocational teachers and trainers in Europe. The authors outline existing training systems and emphasise that in the coming years, this group will increasingly be called upon to support the process of developing quick and flexible responses to emerging needs, linked to both the integration of refugees and migrants in the labour market, as well as to developing basic digital and entrepreneurial skills.

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Edukacja Quarterly has published an article entitled „The practical vocational education of young workers from the perspective of employers”. Based on interviews with employers, the authors – Elzbieta Drogosz-Zabłocka and Jędrzej Stasiowski – analyse the conditions affecting the decision to accept young workers in companies  for practical vocational education.

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Cedefop, in cooperation with ReferNet partners, is developing a new tool that will allow the mechanisms promoting the mobility of VET learners to be compared among EU Member States, Norway and Island. Cedefop presented the results of this work, a prototype of the tool, on June 3, 2016. A full version of the tool will be officially launched during vocational education and training week in December of this year.

This new tool is directed primarily to decision-makers and stakeholders, as it will enable them to broadly assess the structure, policies and results of learners’ mobility. Maps, graphs and tables will allow comparisons to be made of the situation in all EU Member States.

More information is available at the Cedefop website

 

In May of this year, two ReferNet partners, ISFOL from Italy  and Eoppep from Greece, organised Partnership Forums. The two events focused on the VET policy questionnaire, Spotlight on VET, national news and VET in Europe reports. Additional important topics were: writing for an international audience, using common terminology and peer reviewing other partners' reports. Workshops on the survey of the international mobility of initial vocational education and training (IVET) learners were also organised this year.

ReferNet partners and Cedefop organise Partnership Forums each year to exchange views and experiences on vocational education and training and to elaborate a common understanding of tasks in the annual work plan.

More information is available at the Cedefop website.

The EQAVET (European Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training) Network met at the Educational Research Institute on April 14-15, 2016. This was another meeting in the cycle of Peer Learning Activities. The following topics were the main themes of the meeting:

  1. Quality assurance for defining qualifications and qualification standards based on the learning outcomes approach;
  2. Quality assurance for assessment and certification of learning outcomes.
Read more: EQAVET Peer Learning Activity

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Cedefop released a report in December 2015 summarising research on the role of in-company trainers in small and medium-sized enterprises. The study provides answers to basic questions on such issues as: who provides training in small and medium-sized enterprises, what kind of qualifications do trainers have, what are their main tasks and activities, how do they update their competences, how do employers support them, and do publicly support programmes exist for them?

254 enterprises participated in the study from eight countries (Belgium-Flanders, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Lithuania, Poland and Portugal) and four sectors (automotive, construction, IT and hotel and food). Both trainers and employers were respondents in the study.

More information is available at the Cedefop website.

The most recent issue of the quarterly Education focuses on vocational education. The articles on VET include Iga Magda’s analysis of the qualifications upgrading among adults with basic vocational education reported in the Determinants of Educational Decisions study (2013 and 2014) carried out by the Institute of Educational Research.

Read more: Vocational education in Education