Report from the conference
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Report from the conference Document Transcript

  • 1. ENHANCING VET POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION ENSURING THAT ALL YOUNG PEOPLE GET A FAIR CHANCE! REGIONAL WORKSHOP AND PEER LEARNING EVENT TEL AVIV, ISRAEL -11 - 13 NOVEMBER, 2013 INTRODUCTION VET STUDENTS MADE THESE! MAIN CONCLUSIONS OF THE STUDY: VET SYSTEMS ARE A POWERFUL SOURCE OF SOCIAL REPRODUCTION OF INEQUITY Selection on entry channels disadvantaged young people into vocational schools Family background has a strong effect on school selection and on educational outcomes The workshop, a joint venture of the European Training Foundation (ETF) and the Israeli Ministry of Economy and the Israeli Ministry of Education, served as the concluding event for the ETF action research project “VET policies and practices for social inclusion and social cohesion”. The project uncovered new evidence on the role of VET in promoting social inclusion in the participating countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Israel, Kosovo (UNSCR 1244/1999), Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. Delegations from these nine countries, each comprising schools, government authorities and national researchers, spent three days in Israel reflecting on the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the cross-country synthesis report that analysed the findings of the nine country reports. An overview of Israeli policy and practice to support inclusive VET, as well as school visits provided a lens through which the nine countries compared and contrasted their policies and practices for supporting young people ‘at risk’ of social exclusion. Sustaining momentum is crucial and discussions focussed on local, national and regional measures, in progress and planned, to build on the phenomenal outcomes of the project. One such initiative is the Joint European Union and Council of Europe Project “Regional Support for Inclusive Education“, which includes the VET sector. This brief report aims to capture the main outcomes of the workshop. It draws on the presentations, discussions and observations of participants that can be found on the ETF website www.etf.europa.eu EXPERIENCE IN SCHOOL REINFORCES THE ‘EXCLUSION POTENTIAL’ OF LEARNERS, DUE IN PART TO: Under-investment in equipment and buildings Outdated curricula Poor teaching methods Lack of practical lessons and workbased training opportunities CASCADING EFFECT OF EXCLUSIONARY PRACTICE AS LEARNERS PROGRESS THROUGH SCHOOL AND BEYOND TRANSITION FROM A VET SCHOOL CAN REINFORCE THE ‘EXCLUSION POTENTIAL’ OF LEARNERS, DUE IN PART TO: Qualifications that are lacking, in terms of labour market currency Lack of direction due to ineffective, or an absence of, career guidance Restricted access to further and higher education and/or lack of academically-orientated competences Social networks (a key source for finding a job) are disconnected from the world of work THE REGIONAL PROJECT The ETF launched the regional project in 2012. It was conducted by the London School of Economics, Enterprise Ltd: a team of international experts and 18 country experts. The aim of the project was to deepen the understanding of the main barriers and potential opportunities for building more inclusive and equitable VET systems. The project sought to provide new evidence on the role of VET in combating social exclusion and contributing to building more cohesive societies. To achieve these aims, research teams investigated the impact of VET practice and policy on social inclusion, focusing on three vocational schools/training centres in each of the nine countries. The project used the method of participatory action research led by researchers from the countries, engaging with practitioners at vocational schools and associated community representatives. National and local policy makers, school professionals, students, employers, researchers and civil society organization representatives, as members of the national and local advisory boards, worked closely with the schools. Engagement, commitment and motivation levels were at their peak during the workshop as participants demonstrated their efforts and intentions to MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Project participants: policy-makers, policy advisers, managers, school professionals and researchers joined forces during the event and pledged their assurance that they would make every effort to GIVE ALL YOUNG PEOPLE A FAIR DEAL IN LIFE.
  • 2. FOR YOUR NOTES THE WORKSHOP FOCUSSED ON: …………young people School visits brought the participants into the world of VET. The energy, vibrancy, talents and diligence of the budding motor cycle mechanics, electronics technicians, dress designers, chefs and many others, preparing to make their contribution to society, was remarkable. The competence and dedication of the school principals and other professionals and support staff was exemplary. YOU NEED SKILLS FOR THIS! RECOMMENDATIONS FOR POLICY Build up a policy-supportive research capacity and evidence base Ensure a complete range of prevention, intervention and compensation related policy measures …………effective co-operation Workshop participants acknowledged that they each formed a link in a chain and a weak link can render that chain defective. The event had the functions of strengthening inter-connectivity between key stakeholders and facilitating joined-up action to tackle the task of improving social equity. …………improving the inclusiveness of VET schools Schools are microcosms of wider society and everything must be done to ensure their inclusiveness; social inclusion of young people is of course dependent on myriad external factors. The project ‘opened up’ the world of the school and examined inclusion policies and practices from within (engaging principals, teachers, learners) and outside (engaging external stakeholders) in order to identify and champion measures for change. Improve co-operation between Ministries/Agencies involved in setting the institutional and policy framework for inclusive education, more integration between education and social policiesmeasures should be mutually reinforcing Bridge the gaps make an early start and break the cycle of inequity Strengthen the relevance of VET/VET qualifications for employability Fortify engagement in VET of employers, social partners, civil society and local government institutions Ensure that there is a full chain of support from education and training through to employment Upgrade the skills and professionalism of VET learning facilitators for the dual purposes of school-based VET (societal and economic), especially for fostering inclusive environments Expand and enhance guidance and counselling. This project is timely as the EU steps up its internal and external policies and measures to combat the alarmingly high rates of youth unemployment that threaten social cohesion. This project identifies policy actions that could play a role in combating youth unemployment. Project findings are feeding into ETF work, as follows: Improving ETF corporate knowledge and competence on VET and social inclusion Re-shaping the Torino Process analytical framework to better support partner countries to gather, analyse and use evidence to support reform for more inclusive VET. Tailoring EU policies as guiding lights for reform Building on achievements and disseminating good examples of policy and practice. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PROVISION Management: A proactive approach, collaborative and innovative; e.g. include learners in the management, ensure cooperation with local community Build up a whole-school approach to quality improvement for VET equity and relevance- the organizational structure should proactively facilitate inclusion Strengthen learner-centered learning processes, foster positive learning attitudes Upgrade the skills and professionalism of VET learning facilitators through formal and non-formal professional development Create a friendly environment Offer individual guidance and psychological counseling, when needed Improve the capacity to prevent dropout through expert identification of its causes Support more extra-curricular activities, including volunteer internships, voluntary work, and greater involvement with youth clubs and other community organisations
  • 3. BRIEF REPORT PAGE 3 WHAT AN IMPACT! Since the country reports were completed in the early months of 2013 participants reported on measures introduced and ‘in the pipeline’ that directly respond to the report recommendations. Some of these measures are clustered under the headings: Religion History Gender Army Service Parent Support Flexible Program Company Involvement Job Availability The Dilemmas Teacher Preparation Equity gains recognition as a function of VET Bosnia-Herzegovina: Goals for social inclusion are incorporated in strategic documents. Israel: This research enabled us to identify the unique equity needs of the VET system. Kosovo: There has been a strengthening of social inclusion references in policy papers. Macedonia: Views on the meaning of social inclusion have expanded; isolating the specific aspects of this multi-faceted issue help us to tackle its complexity. Montenegro: This project was the first ever to connect VET and social inclusion. Turkey: The project is referenced in the new policy paper (2014 – 2018). Evidence is becoming available to support policy Bosnia-Herzegovina: The project demonstrated that investments in social inclusion are less expensive than the costs of dealing with socially excluded people. Croatia: The project serves as an evidence-based tool for advocating social inclusion as a VET policy concern and putting this on the political agenda. Kosovo: The evidence on the extent of social inclusion within pilot schools is being disseminated. The number of social inclusion indicators has increased. Macedonia: The e-diary database has been established to track attendance records. Turkey: The project introduced questionnaires at school level for international comparison in the field of social inclusion for the 1st time. Stakeholders are collaborating more effectively Israel: Better co-ordination between the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Education and other institutions/stakeholders responsible for VET; Strengthened ties between schools and the local municipality allowing more apprenticeship jobs in civic institutions; NGO cooperation focusing on professional development for VET teachers and experts. Kosovo: Enhanced awareness of the role of social partners in social inclusion. Serbia: New model of practice and co-operation with employers. Capacity-building to improve VET equity Bosnia and Herzegovina: Advisers for social inclusion are now employed in pedagogical institutions. Israel: Professional development for VET teachers and vocational experts - recruit, train and empower quality teachers for the VET system. Kosovo: Training of career guidance officers specifically for low performers. Montenegro: Focusing on the continuous professional development of VET staff. Improving equity by improving quality Croatia: Social inclusion of vulnerable groups has been recognized in the new National Strategy for Education, Science and Technology in the areas of: curriculum and assessment; extended support for pupils and quality assurance. Israel: Reforming the Apprenticeship Law - promoting obligatory collaboration with industries to ensure students receive assistantship promotion of the good image of VET. Improving VET schools’ infra-structure and facilities. Montenegro: Defining quality standards related to equity. Serbia: Implementing new standards and indicators for self-evaluation and external evaluation for VET schools; promoting apprenticeship qualifications. Turkey: We are tackling the challenging issue of VET quality assurance. Equitable access and retention policies and measures Albania: VET selection barriers have fallen and for the first time part-time education is on offer to 17 year-olds and over. Macedonia: Testing for professional orientation has been introduced prior to enrolment in VET. Employers and government are collaborating on enrolment policy. Serbia: Adaptation of students’ learning achievements for students with special needs. Guidance measures to promote inclusion Israel: Improved career services for students and graduates. Macedonia: The government has introduced guidance services for parents of young persons ‘at risk’ of social exclusion. Counselling will be introduced for students. Montenegro: Introduction of guidance in VET schools. Serbia: Legislation for career guidance in VET schools. A new model of annual planning of pedagogues and psychologists in VET schools. School-based action for equity Albania: Pilot schools are being mobilised to develop social inclusion strategies, responsive to returned emigrants and people with disabilities. Bosnia-Herzegovina: Project used to identify ideas for IPA funding, e.g. development of social inclusion index for schools, “friendly school for all students”, improvement of school infrastructure, cross-border co-operation between schools. Croatia: Follow-up project aims at the development of action plans for addressing social equity and inclusion issues within schools included in initial project (financed with national resources); the project is led by the Croatian Youth Network. Israel: Bringing in high level professionals as visiting teachers, increasing school involvement with the community, employers and parents. Kosovo: Enhanced awareness of the responsibility of schools to implement social inclusion mechanisms e.g. incorporate social inclusion actions in school development plans Turkey: Reduced cost meals, free extra-curricula activities for low income students. Where do we Stand? Vocational Students by Year (Based on data published by CBS) Vocational Classes by Year Excellence in achievements – study tracks Electronic engineering Media, TV and cinema Robotics / Biomedicine Biology Physics Art / Graphic design Business management Psychology / Sociology Software engineering / Computer sciences Excellence in achievements - competitions Roboner – participation in international competition ORTiada- increased number of participants and tracks represented Outstanding young business entrepreneurs National final in navigation in all teams Fact: Among the highest matriculation eligibility level in the country