VET, the vocational education and training, aims to develop institutional partnerships supporting the set up and implementation of an internationalisation strategy of VET learners and apprentices and, by them, promoting work-based learning in all its forms.
How aware is the European population about VET and its potential? After a total of more than 35.000 interviews conducted with European citizens, the majority of them have heard of VET (approximately the 86 %).
Around the 68 % of Europeans think that VET as secondary step in their education has a good impact in their own country; most of them come from Finland, Italy, UK, Malta and Czech Republic.
On the other hand, a three in four of European citizens think that students or young people in general, choose vocational training just because their grades are low or probably because they are interested on study hard by choosing university.
However, most of EU citizens are extremely convinced VET has a key role for boosting the economy of their own countries, reducing unemployment and facing the social exclusion of the majority of young people.
And so it is! VET means initial vocational education: public schools are the first place of learning and provide the access to the higher education; VET means work – based learning: this is a practical approach and better known as “learning by doing” approach; VET means more extended training: Ireland is a great example, in this case, the education is addressed to all age groups and literally means “training on the job”; VET means lifelong learning: coexistence of different learning approaches, types of providers, learning websites and different instructors.
The way as we see VET, now days, is changed. Sure enough, we (as European citizens) appreciate it much more, because we have recognized the importance of practical knowledge in curricula, the “early” apprenticeship as work – experience to enrich the professional life and so the curricula, giving a different role to the employers (as an actual trainer/teacher).
Most of the long term traditions countries, such as Germany, France, UK, Denmark, guarantee an easier access to higher education to who has the proof of a consistent work experience.
Definitely there are still challenges to deal with in the next future, such as involving more and various institutions, providers and economic sectors, but considering the positive acknowledgement of VET development in the last few years, they will be a good and more than accepted one.