European cooperation in vocational education and training: towards a common ambition

Irene Psifidou, Antonio Ranieri

Abstract


As the policy cycle for European cooperation in vocational education and training (VET) is coming to an end in 2020, the need for high-skilled labour is increasingly seen as paramount to ensure future sustainable and inclusive development in Europe. Drawing on Cedefop review and analysis of VET policies and their implementation, this article provides a brief overview of the progress made so far, areas of weakness, and persistent and new challenges ahead. Analysis confirms the gradual but continuous progress being made over the last decade despite the years spent in the long shadow of the financial crisis and the consequent economic and political uncertainty affecting many European countries. While participation to and, importantly, quality of VET varies across national systems, most Member States have progressed towards the achievements set in the Bruges Communique in 2010. This includes improved transparency, quality assurance and permeability of national qualification systems, as well as the enhanced responsiveness of VET provision to labour market needs through the wider recognition of the role of work-based learning and apprenticeship schemes. What is apparent today, more than ever before, is that the European institutional and policy framework represents a unique strength for Member States to focus on the big picture over the long term and make the most of the opportunities that an enhanced cooperation among national systems may offer to improve the overall performance, quality and attractiveness of VET in Europe.


Keywords


Vocational education and training; adult learning; European policy cooperation; education and training framework 2020; skills; labour market

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5944/reec.36.2020.26879

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