The 11th Meeting of the Thematic Network on Learning and Skills of the ESF Transnational Platform took place on the 25th and 26th June 2019 in Madrid (Spain). The meeting focused on the promotion of Dual Vocational Education and Training (VET) through ESF.
The first day of the meeting was devoted to sharing experiences on Dual VET in different countries. Drawing on input from Belgium (Flanders), Greece, Lithuania, Poland and Spain, participants identified common challenges for the development of dual VET. In this regard, there is a need to foster increased employer engagement in the provision of learning opportunities. Also, links between education systems and labour markets should be reinforced in order to promote skill relevance and skill anticipation, especially in light of the emergence of some professions and the profound technological changes experienced by our productive systems. Emphasis was also placed on the need to ensure quality of dual VET, especially as a result of the expansion in dual VET offer and an increased diversity of its providers. Participants also stressed the need to reach out to adult learners.
The meeting emphasised that all actions on the promotion of dual VET should be framed within the broader objective of increasing the attractiveness, value and recognition of dual VET programmes and students in education systems and societies at large.
The example of succesful dual VET experiences in some EU countries was mentioned as a useful reference point. However, participants equally stressed how replicating such experiences may prove ineffective because dual VET is deeply rooted in the productive system and skill demands of specific national and regional contexts. For this reason, mutual learning and transferability efforts should focus on sharing tools and identifying the characteristics of enabling ecosystems where dual VET can thrive.
On the second day of the meeting, participants carried out a self-evaluation exercise on the work of the TN on Learning and Skills during the current round of transnational cooperation. The network took stock of its activity and outcomes. Participants also touched upon potential topics to be addressed in the future round and shared ideas on how to promote more effective transnational cooperation within the thematic network.