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ENHANCING VET POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR
ENSURING THAT ALL YOUNG PEOPLE
GET A FAIR CHANCE!
REGIONAL WORKSHOP AND PEER LEARNING EVENT
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL -11 - 13 NOVEMBER, 2013
VET STUDENTS MADE THESE!
MAIN CONCLUSIONS OF THE STUDY:
VET SYSTEMS ARE A POWERFUL
SOURCE OF SOCIAL REPRODUCTION
Selection on entry channels
disadvantaged young people into
Family background has a strong
effect on school selection and on
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
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
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
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.
FOR YOUR NOTES
THE WORKSHOP FOCUSSED ON:
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
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
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
Ensure that there is a full chain of support
from education and training through to
Upgrade the skills and professionalism of
VET learning facilitators for the dual
purposes of school-based VET (societal
and economic), especially for fostering
Expand and enhance guidance and
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
Build up a whole-school approach to
quality improvement for VET equity
and relevance- the organizational
structure should proactively facilitate
Strengthen learner-centered learning
processes, foster positive learning
Upgrade the skills and professionalism
of VET learning facilitators through
formal and non-formal professional
Create a friendly environment
Offer individual guidance and
psychological counseling, when
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
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:
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
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
Media, TV and
Robotics / Biomedicine
Art / Graphic
/ Computer sciences
Excellence in achievements - competitions
Roboner – participation in
ORTiada- increased number of
participants and tracks represented
Outstanding young business
National final in navigation in
Among the highest
level in the country