A European Commission guide brings together essential know-how on making VET and skills development work for inclusive growth and development.
In 2017, the European Commission published the Reference Document 'Vocational education and training for the inclusive growth in development cooperation'.
The publication targets all those working in the area of VET and skills development and is based on the valuable experience from the EU’s development cooperation, and is a must-have tool for implementing successful VET reforms.
What makes a VET project successful?
The European Commission considers VET as an instrument to support employability for all. Given that women and youth are more excluded from the labour market and find it more difficult to access such programmes, these groups need specific targeting. Moreover, recognising the pivotal role of the private sector in employment generation, the VET sector should become more responsive to the needs of the private sector 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 in moving from design to implementation. Engaging all stakeholders in this transition, both public and private, is a challenge.
Furthermore, institutional and individual capacity to implement the reforms is often in short supply.
A systems approach
The guide provides a comprehensive picture of the tools and methods needed to establish successful VET systems. One key challenge dealt with is measuring the impact of VET reforms, and how to build upon what works. Thirteen practical guidance notes for making VET systems work in practice are set out, and should be considered as essential reading for those working in the sector.
The document outlines a systems approach, comprising of “systemic building blocks”, made up of: 1) governance structure; 2) funding system; 3) information systems for strategic planning; 4) labour market orientated qualifications and curricula; 5) training partnership with the private sector; 6) quality of provision and quality assurance.