Vocational educationETUCE represents teachers and education staff in the Vocational Education and Training sector.

VET is significant for young people moving from schools/institutions to employment, and moving from compulsory education to further education. Initial vocational education and training (IVET) is the basis for social cohesion, active citizenship, employability, and entrepreneurship.

VET provides education and training throughout the working life of individuals. VET should also be concerned with re-skilling people, widening and upgrading their skills, as well delivering new skills. VET is essential for adults, both the employed and the unemployed.

Improving VET

Membership

ETUCE had active participation in the Open Method of Cooperation Working Group of the European Commission on Professional Development of Trainers Competences in vocational education and training (VET) (2012-2014). The result of the work was a policy handbook on Guiding principles on professional development of trainers in vocational education and training.

ETUCE is participating in the Open Method of Cooperation Working Group of the European Commission on vocational education and training and apprenticeship (2014-2016).

Policy

ETUCE Working Group of trade union experts and teachers in Vocational Education and Training (2010-2012) produced  ETUCE Policy Paper on Vocational Education and Training in Europe (2012), which includes recommendations on improving VET.

ETUCE Statement on the new Policy of the European Commission and the Council of the European Union on Vocational Education and Training (2010)

Events

2015 Improving competences of VET teachers and trainers

ETUI and ETUCE organised the 5th joint training seminar on "Improving competences of VET teachers and trainers" on 14-17 April 2015 which was attended by  38 Vocational Education and Training (VET) experts of ETUCE member organisations from 32 European countries. The training focused on the main challenges for teachers and trainers to guarantee that quality is embarked in VET and apprenticeship systems. VET experts of teachers' trade unions from across Europe learnt and discussed how to build knowledge for students in work-based learning, upskill competences and to bargain on new conditions for teachers and trainers in VET. European Trade Union Committee for Education, ETUCE  and many of its member organisations have pledged for the European Alliance for Apprenticeship (AOb, the Netherlands; GEW - Germany; LPSK and FLESTU, Lithuania; MUT, Malta ; NSZZ Solidarnosc, Poland ; NASUWT, The Teachers' Union, UK;  UNSA-Education, France), which was a topic of the discussions. European Commission representative presented European Commission Guiding principles on professional development of trainers in vocational education and training (2014). The participants were invited by Nestlé to visit Nescafe and DolceGusto plant in Girona (Catalonia), where a successful dual education/apprenticeship system has been put in place in 2014. Agenda of the training seminarBackground document of the training seminarPhotosNewsPress release. Presentations: Agnes Roman (ETUCE), Jude Glover (NASUWT), Conceição Nunes (SINDEP), Jetske van Woerden (AoB), Sigve Soldal Bjorstad (DG EMPL), Maria Todorova (DG EMPL), Nestlé PPT1 - PPT2

2014 The role of the teachers' trade unions in quality assurance in all forms of Vocational Education and Training

ETUI and ETUCE organised a training seminar on The role of the teachers' trade unions in quality assurance in all forms of Vocational Education and Training on 7-9 April, 2014 in Vienna, Austria. The aim of the seminar was to exchange information among teachers' trade unions on how to improve the quality assurance in all forms of Vocational Education and Training (VET)  and to recognize the different possibilities of implementing the EQAVET Recommendations at national and at local levels. The seminar focused on the Austrian dual system in vocational education and training which is recognized as one of the best VET systems in Europe contributing to high youth employment rate. The participants discussed about the importance of linking the VET programs to the labour market to try to decrease the unemployment rates in Europe, especially during the crisis. The 25 participants, VET teachers, trade unionists responsible for VET sector, international secretaries and presidents of trade unions, represented 17 EU and 5 non-EU countries.

2013 Improving recruitment and retention and professional development of VET teachers and trainers

ETUI and ETUCE organised a training seminar on Improving recruitment and retention and professional development of VET teachers and trainers, on 27-29 May, 2013, in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The aim of the seminar was to exchange information among  teachers' trade unions on how to improve recruitment and retention and professional development of VET teachers and trainers. There was an emphasis in particular on the competences of VET teachers and trainers and recent European level policy developments. The 31 participants, VET teachers, trade unionists responsible for VET sector, international secretaries and presidents of trade unions, represented 12 EU and 4 non-EU countries.

2012 Inclusive Vocational Education and Training during the crisis

ETUI and ETUCEorganised a training seminar on Inclusive Vocational Education and Training during the crisis on 8-10 March, 2012 in Sesimbra, Portugal. The aim of the seminar was to provide information to teachers' trade unions on how to maintain and improve quality in Vocational Education and Training (VET) when the economic and financial crisis contributes to increasing discrimination, social crisis. The 30 participants, VET teachers, trade unionists responsible for VET sector, international secretaries and presidents of trade unions, represented 13 EU and 6 non-EU countries.

2011 VET in Lifelong Learning - the role of teachers' unions

ETUI and ETUCE organised a training seminar on VET in Lifelong Learning - the role of teachers' unions on 29 -  31March 2011 in Vilnius, Lithuania. Trade union representatives from 21 EU and non-EU countries gathered at a joint seminar organized by the ETUCE and the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI). The aim of the seminar was to exchange experience on the role of the trade unions in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector and to analyse the recent position of VET. The seminar was also looking for answers to what extent trade unions can have influence on improving this sector at the time of the recovery from the crises.

More information
ETUCE Circular 2/2014: Improving the quality of vocational education and training reports about Thematic Working Group on VET of the European Commission, apprenticeship schemes and work-based learning.
ETUCE Circular 2/2012: CEDEFOP: Loans for vocational education and training in Europe
ETUCE Circular 2/2012: Making post-secondary vocational education and training more attractive
ETUCE Newsletter 2/2011: ETUCE seminar: VET in Lifelong Learning – the role of teachers' unions
ETUCE Newsletter: Quality of Vocational Education and Training programmes - Looking at the impact of the Leonardo da Vinci Programme
ETUCE Newsletter 1/2011: The Bruges Communiqué: a new vision on vocational education and training

Quality Apprenticeship

ETUCE considers that quality apprenticeship is essential to contribute to the employment and further learning of all learners. ETUCE members, such as VET teachers and trainers have essential role to play to improve apprenticeship in Europe.

ETUCE raises awareness on this issue among its member organisations and motivates teachers and teacher trade unions to work towards more quality, accessible and fair apprenticeships in their countries.

In line with the implementation of the ETUCE Policy paper on maintaining and improving quality education in VET, ETUCE and its member organisations promote the following among the VET teachers and trainers:

  • To ensure quality apprenticeship places in the enterprises.
  • To get in contact with enterprises to provide apprenticeship place to VET students, to improve their technical knowledge, and to ensure continuing broader based learning;
  • To improve quality teaching in VET

Policy

ETUCE was among the social partner organization which signed a pledge to contribute to the implementation of the goals of the European Alliance for Apprenticeship (July 2013) to reform of apprenticeship systems, to promote the benefits of apprenticeships and smart use of funding and resources

Events

The yearly ETUI – ETUCE training seminars are focusing on improving quality of vocational education and training in Europe, incluing apprenticeship. More information in the Improving VET/Events section.

More information
ETUCE Circular 1/2014: European Alliance for Apprenticeship informs member organisations about the initiative and encourages them to sign their own pledges.
ETUCE Circular 2/2013: European Alliance for Apprenticeship