Changes to Vocational Education Regulate Learning Based on Work Practice

By 20 January 2022
Changes to Vocational Education Regulate Learning Based on Work Practice
Photo: Matija Habljak/PIXSELL

ZAGREB, 20 Jan 2022 - In a bid to enable better integration on the labor market and more practical knowledge of vocational students, changes to vocational education are defined to base learning on work practice and determine locations to achieve such goals: at school, with an employer or at a regional competence center.

Outlining the draft amendments, Education Minister Radovan Fuchs presented the cabinet meeting on Thursday with the findings of a survey conducted by the ministry together with the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) in the period from 2016 to 2018 which show that there is a growing gap between the supply of qualified workers and demand on the labor market.

The survey showed that more intensified cooperation is required between vocational schools and employers included in training students.

The results show that employers' stances indicated that young people have an insufficient level of competencies after they finish vocational school and that the main problem is the lack of practical knowledge required to perform certain jobs.

That is the reason for reforms in this segment of education, said Fuchs, and they are related to the further upgrade of the system, developing a new curriculum with emphasis on the green and digital transition, establishing a firm framework of support to employers and schools to further develop educational institutions.

In addition to strengthening learning based on work practice by connecting schools and employers, a key change relates to improving the system to ensure quality vocational education, setting up mechanisms and criteria to motivate students to choose skills needed in the labor market, improve the conditions for the further development of regional competence centers, and to ensure a quality curriculum.

"The amendments are aimed at improving the connectivity between the education system with the labor market," he said.

The amendments introduce, among other things, the expert overseeing of students in work practice activities, and for that purpose, a commission will be set up consisting of representatives of the economy ministry, the vocational education institution, the agency for vocational education, and adult training, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts. Also, the duties of leaders at Vocational Education and Training are being defined.

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