13 Mar 2013

Work-based Vocational Training: A model for Success?

About 25% of young Europeans aged 14 to 25 are currently unemployed; the economic and financial crisis has aggravated this ‘grim’ reality. This growing youth unemployment is due – to some extent – to insufficient incorporation and recognition of vocational training (VET) in the world of work. In many member states, VET programs fall under the training of state institutions, often leaving graduates without job prospects because of ‘ineffective’ qualifications.

To help ratify the discrepancy between youth unemployed and the employment opportunities available, the European Association of Institutes for Vocational Training (EVBB) supported by SOLIDAR, has developed the following policy recommends that were launched during the experts meeting in the European Parliament hosted by Mary Honeyball (MEP, UK) on 5 March 2013:

  • Reduce the number of school dropouts through compulsory school and offering training placement to those who do leave school
  • Encourage compatibility, transparency, and mobility of vocational education and training in Europe through already successful programs such as EUROPASS, the European Qualifications Framework, and ECVET
  • Give more social prestige to company-based education and training, which would validate the educators’ and trainers’ work and justify paying them decently
  • Linking VET programs to higher education, so that flexible career paths become available
  • Insure teachers’ and trainers’ expertise through in-company internships / apprenticeships that allow teachers to remain up-to-date and form a connection between teaching staff and companies
  • Increase investment in education and training in accordance with the EU’s Social Investment Package and use EU mobility programmes that promote VET so that learning and working experience can be acquired abroad

It has to be said that although Dual-VET systems in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and others countries have promising results, the participants at the Experts Round Table in the European Parliament raised questions about it transferability to other EU Member States, and in particular with regards to tackling the segregation of learning opportunities for young people with different backgrounds and ensuring their access to decent work opportunities.

Read all recommendations and the full briefing in English | German.

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