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Skills beyond School The OECD policy review of postsecondary vocational education and training

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What is ‘Skills beyond School’? …

What is ‘Skills beyond School’?
An OECD policy review of postsecondary vocational education and training
The overall aim: - to help countries meet labour market needs more effectively
It is a ‘thematic’ review, meaning that it takes a theme (in this case postsecondary VET) and looks at it both in cross-country comparison and in individual country studies

How will the work be done?
By drawing together information, statistics and research from many countries to compare countries.
By countries preparing background reports, reporting on their own arrangements for postsecondary VET.
Through individual country reviews, with published reports appraising country systems, with policy recommendations.
By drawing all this experience together in a final comparative report.


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  • 1. Skills beyond SchoolThe OECD policy review ofpostsecondary vocationaleducation and training 1
  • 2. Skills beyond School An introduction 2
  • 3. What is ‘Skills beyond School’?An OECD policy review of postsecondary vocational education and trainingThe overall aim: - to help countries meet labour market needs more effectivelyIt is a ‘thematic’ review, meaning that it takes a theme (in this case postsecondary VET) and looks at it both in cross-country comparison and in individual country studies
  • 4. How will the work be done?By drawing together information, statistics and research from many countries to compare countries.By countries preparing background reports, reporting on their own arrangements for postsecondary VET.Through individual country reviews, with published reports appraising country systems, with policy recommendations.By drawing all this experience together in a final comparative report.
  • 5. What is the background?Skills beyond School is a continuation of previous work on vocational education and training (VET)Learning for Jobs, looking mainly at VET at upper secondary level, has just been completedIt involved 17 country reviews and a final comparative reportSee www.oecd.org/edu/learningforjobs
  • 6. So why now look at postsecondary vocational education and training?Increasing demand for higher level technical and professional skills – for example in health careIn some countries, new and growing postsecondary vocational programmesMultiple challenges of quality, workplace training, financing, access, qualifications and assessment, employer engagement…..and more!
  • 7. What do we mean by ‘postsecondary VET’?The general definition: programmes of one year or more, beyond upper secondary level, leading to a recognised qualification and a specific career or type of jobThe definition will be applied flexibly, so as to balance the need to compare across diverse systems with sensitivity to the very different structures in different countriesTo better develop that sensitivity, a classification of different types of postsecondary VET will be developed
  • 8. How will the definition be flexible?Across countries, the scope is inclusive, determined by a broad definition to allow for comparisons across diverse country systemsIndividual country studies (background reports and country reviews) may define the scope more narrowly, to allow for boundaries which are nationally important to be respectedComparisons across countries, drawing on these country studies will need to take close account of different country definitions and approaches
  • 9. So what has been done so far?Partnership with Korea including the OECD-KRIVET projectPreparation of a set of country profilesScoping paper covering career guidance issuesIn preparation, a paper on access and dropoutIn planning, a working paper on labour market demand for postsecondary VET- linked to the OECD skills strategy
  • 10. Skills beyond SchoolHow the review will be undertaken 10
  • 11. So how can the OECD help?By sharing international evidence and experience in tackling common challengesBy providing an external stimulant to give impetus to policy developmentBy providing a forum to debate policy and make connections…and in a final report, by providing a key set of policy messages, emerging from international experience, as a framework for policy development.
  • 12. What tools can the OECD employ?The framework of Learning for Jobs – and the experienced team involvedOther OECD work: on tertiary education, economic reviews of OECD countries, the skills strategy, labour market analysis, education and labour market statisticsPIAAC data by early 2013Input from outside experts
  • 13. And the most important tool of all… …dialogue
  • 14. How will the policy focus be determined?Partly through an initial focus determined by countriesPartly through the issues which countries wish to pursue, or emerge as salient in country reviews and country background reports
  • 15. What are the potential policy issues? Among others…1. The mix of provision 7. Qualifications and2. Workplace learning assessment3. Access and equity 8. Teaching and training4. Steering and quality governance 9. Career guidance5. Funding and 10. Quality assurance incentives 11. Data issues6. Employer and union engagement
  • 16. Skills beyond SchoolBackground reportsand country reviews 16
  • 17. What is the purpose of the country background report?Offers a summary of the postsecondary VET system, as a basis for policy analysisProvides a framework for self-assessmentAllows for comparability of policy with other countriesUnderpins an OECD country review where this is requested
  • 18. What are the key steps in a country review?Country prepares a background reportThe scope of the review agreed – (often one part or aspect of the postsecondary VET system)First visit by OECD team – to understand the system and identify areas of focusSecond visit to pursue in-depth examination of areas focus, and explore potential policy recommendationsFour months later – the OECD delivers draft review
  • 19. So how can countries participate?Through a country review following a background report, yielding an OECD assessment of strengths and challenges in the postsecondary VET system and tailored policy advice.Through a background report only, leading to a brief visit by an OECD team and a short OECD commentary on the background report.Voluntary financial contributions are requested.
  • 20. Skills beyond School Thank you for your interest! Contact: Simon Field project leader simon.field@oecd.org +33 (0)1 45 24 18 71 20