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

Joint ETUCE and EFEE Statement on improving Vocational Education and Training in Europe (November 2017)

The document, adopted on 23 November by the ESSDE Plenary,  re-enforces the commitment of the European Social Partners in Education, EFEE (European Federation of Education Employers) and the ETUCE (European Trade Union Committee for Education) to improve the attractiveness and image of Vocational Education and Training(VET).

ESSDE Working Group: high quality VET and apprenticeships, inclusive education, and the European Semester on education and training: what role for social partners? (2017)

On 25 September 2017, the Working Group meeting of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education (ESSDE) took place in Brussels. The meeting addressed the issues of improving Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Apprenticeship, inclusive education and the European Semester on education and training.

ETUCE welcomes the increased attention on VET teachers and trainers (2015

On 22 June 2015, the Latvian Presidency, the EU ministers responsible for vocational education and training (VET), the European Commission and the European-level cross-sectoral social partners  endorsed the "Riga Conclusions" on a new set of priorities to improve Vocational Education and Training (VET) for the period of 2015-2020.

ETUCE welcomed and supported the agreement as it attempts to improve vocational education and training in Europe with special focus on improving initial and continuous professional development of VET teachers and trainers.

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

2017 The role of teachers and school heads in improving the status of VET – Joint Public hearing of EESC, ETUCE and EFEE

On 24 November 2017, at the occasion of the Public Hearing, organised jointly by the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE), and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on the occasion of the second European Vocational Skills Week, around fifty representatives from national trade unions and education employer organisations across Europe, Members of the European Parliament, policy makers, education and industry stakeholders, and civil society organisations gathered in Brussels to discuss and to shed light on “The role of teachers and school heads in improving the status of VET”.

More information: Education social partners joint hearing: VET systems need ‘parity of esteem’, cooperation and professionalism

2017 Improving skills provisions in VET

On 4-5 May 2017, 25 Vocational Education and Training (VET) experts of ETUCE’s member organisations from 20 European countries met in Munich for a training entitled ‘Improving skills provisions in VET’, supported by European Trade Union Institute.  Many VET experts came not only from the EU/EFTA and candidate countries but also from the non-EU countries, such as Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Ukraine, and Tajikistan.Training participants discussed new challenges that VET teachers and trainers face in VET and apprenticeship and focused on how to improve skills provision of students and teachers in all forms of VET. Concerning achieving high quality VET and apprenticeship the shared concerns of the education unions between the Caucasus and the English Channel are: low status of VET, insufficient investment to VET systems, low prestige of teachers, salary of teachers, lack or insufficient social dialogue.

More information on the event: Article    Pictures

2016 Improving Professional training for VET teachers and trainers quality VET and apprenticeship

On 17-18 May 2016, 26 Vocational Education and Training (VET) experts of ETUCE’s member organisations from 18 European countries met in Helsinki for a training entitled ‘Improving Professional training for VET teachers and trainers quality VET and apprenticeship’ supported by European Trade Union Institute.

The training focused on new policies and challenges for teachers and trainers of vocational education and training with special attention of the Finnish case of VET teachers’ training. VET experts of teachers' trade unions from across Europe learnt and discussed the impact of EU policies that affect quality of VET teachers’ training and shared best practices.

Seija Rasku from the Finnish Ministry of Education and culture explained the Finnish education system and  Nina Lahtinen from OAJ presented the Finnish strategy on supporting integration of migrants and refugees to the education system. Currently, more teachers are needed to cope with the high amount of migrants and OAJ fights for more support and training of those teachers via its proposals to the government and municipalities, the so-called Integration Compass.

The participants were invited to visit the Haaga-Helia College and School of Vocational Teacher Education (Helsinki) where VET teachers and trainers are educated.

The participants from Czech Republic, Georgia and Portugal presented their country cases in a panel debate. Common statements were that still in many countries mostly unsuccessful and unmotivated students enter VET schools and VET schools do not have a good reputation in these countries. VET teachers should receive specific or continuous training and the profession should be more attractive.

More information: Pictures

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

Teachers and trainers at the heart of quality apprenticeship in Europe (2017)

On 5 October 2017, the European Commission has published a new initiative entitled European Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-17-3586_en.htm. ETUCE welcomes the attention that this new initiative gives to VET teachers and trainers, in particular on the importance of their cooperation and the need to support their professional development. However, more efforts are needed to improve the status of VET in society.

ETUCE Welcomes the increased attention on VET teachers and trainers (2015)

On 23 June ETUCE and the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE)  signed a joint pledge to enhance joint and individual actions to: improve the esteem, image and quality of VET and apprenticeships, improve social dialogue on this issue at European and national level, and improve cooperation between schools and companies on organisation and quality assurance of

apprenticeships.

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