Guidance Note on Vocational Education and Training: a helpful tool for staff in Delegations
The Guidance Note on Vocational Education and Training: a helpful tool for staff in Delegations
The publication of a reference document on Vocational Education and Training (VET) paves the way for a more effective and strategic implementation of VET reforms in developing countries.
The Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development – EuropeAid – Unit B3 (Migration, Employment, Inequality) has produced the reference document "Vocational education and training for inclusive growth in development cooperation", edited under the Tools and Methods series (n. 24). This document is addressed to EU staff working at headquarters and in delegations, and to national partners and donors engaged in promoting reforms in the vocational education and training (VET) and skills development sector.
It is based on experience of support for the VET sector provided in the past by the European Union and its Member States in a growing area of cooperation with developing countries. The European Commission considers VET as an instrument to support employability, in particular of youth and women. Recognising the pivotal role of the private sector as the motor of employment this requires the VET sector to become more responsive to the needs of the workplaces as a pre-condition to improve the number of VET graduates able to find decent work.
A close look at developing countries reveals that many of them have developed or are developing VET strategies and policy frameworks. However, the challenge for many countries remains to move from design to implementation. Engaging all stakeholders, public and private, in this transition is a challenge. Furthermore, institutional and individual capacity to implement the reforms often is in short supply.
The document is designed to serve as a practical tool and reference guide for identifying, formulating, implementing and monitoring & evaluating EU initiatives to support VET reforms in developing countries. Therefore it is proposed to consider and support six systemic building blocks which together constitute a healthy VET system, namely governance, financing mechanisms, strategic information, labour market orientation, partnership with the private sector and quality.
The first part of the reference document gives a broad overview on international concepts, policies and EU approaches towards an engagement in VET reforms. In light of the challenges outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals, future EU development cooperation strategies have to take into account a number of systemic building blocks, which are the constituting elements of a well-functioning VET system. Supporting the creation of demand-driven, reliable, flexible and cost-effective VET systems is a key challenge for EC development cooperation with developing countries.
The reference document goes on with a second part to describe thirteen practical guidance notes for putting VET system development work into practice with a special focus on identifying entry points for EU support in terms of policy dialogue and operational support. Each guidance note comprises an overview on the topic, how-to-do hints and a summary of key messages complemented by examples and case studies from VET systems in developing countries in order to illustrate the meaning of the practical guidance notes. EU staff can use them to structure their dialogue with partner governments.
The reference document was prepared by consultant Werner Heitmann hired under a service contract concluded between the consortium CHARE EEIG and the European Commission (EC) under the Methodological and Knowledge Sharing Support Programme (MKS). The work was coordinated and completed by the Migration, Employment, Inequalities Unit (B3) in DEVCO.