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Skills beyond School: the Review of Post-secondary Vocational Education and Training

OECD reviews of vocational education and training
More than 30 country studies published since 2007.
More than 5000 policy makers, employers, teachers, trade unionists, students and experts interviewed.
OECD reviews have become a global benchmarking standard for vocational education and training systems.

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Skills beyond School: the Review of Post-secondary Vocational Education and Training

  1. 1. Skills beyond School: the Review of Post-secondary Vocational Education and Training www.oecd.org/education/VET 1
  2. 2. OECD reviews of vocational education and training More than 5000 policy makers, employers, teachers, trade 2 More than 30 country studies published since 2007. unionists, students and experts interviewed. OECD reviews have become a global benchmarking standard for vocational education and training systems.
  3. 3. Skills beyond School is about post-secondary vocational programmes • Full reviews. Austria, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Israel, Kazakhstan, Korea, the Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, the UK (England), and the United States. • Commentaries. Belgium (Flanders), Canada, Iceland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and in Northern Ireland and Scotland in the UK. • Background reports. France, Hungary. 3
  4. 4. 22 countries have actively participated • Full reviews. Austria, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Israel, Kazakhstan, Korea, the Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, the UK (England), and the United States. • Commentaries. Belgium (Flanders), Canada, Iceland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and in Northern Ireland and Scotland in the UK. • Background reports. France, Hungary. 4
  5. 5. 6 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 % Professional education and training* qualifications Percentage of adults aged 20 – 45 who have short‑cycle professional education and training as their highest qualification
  6. 6. Strengthening the profile • Stronger nomenclature would enhance the profile and brand image of the sector • Post-secondary vocational programmes go by a host of different names Recommendation “Professional education and training” should become the internationally accepted description of substantial post-secondary vocational programmes (more than six months full-time). 7
  7. 7. Institutional and funding barriers • Stronger nomenclature would enhance the profile and brand image of the sector • Post-secondary vocational programmes go by a host of different names Recommendation An institutional base that: •offers short cycle professional programmes in a tier of institutions separate from universities; •makes use where relevant of the successful model of universities of applied science; consolidates training providers into institutions of adequate size; •provides a consistent framework of public funding. 8
  8. 8. Coordination Recommendation • Stronger nomenclature would enhance the profile and brand image of the sector • Post-secondary vocational programmes go by a host of different names Ensure that there is an institutional framework to co-ordinate professional education and training, engaging employers and organised labour, so that programmes and qualifications are comprehensible and accessible to key stakeholders. 9
  9. 9. Strengthening the profile • ISCED 1997 categories do not adequately separate out vocational programmes • Professional qualifications awarded by industry associations are not always included in national education statistics. Recommendation Ensure that ISCED 2011 delivers an accurate classification of vocational programmes. Develop better data on professional examinations. 10
  10. 10. Workbased learning • The workplace provides a strong learning environment, and facilitates recruitment; while trainees contribute to output. • Work-based learning opportunities are a direct expression of employer needs. Recommendation All professional programmes should involve some work-based learning as a condition of government funding. It should be systematic, quality assured and credit-bearing. 11
  11. 11. Vocational teachers • It is often challenging to recruit and retain teachers who have both strong pedagogical skills and practical professional expertise. • Keeping practical knowledge of the workplace up-to-date is also a major challenge. Recommendation Ensure that the workforce in professional training institutions benefit from a strong blend of pedagogical skills, industry experience and academic knowledge. Adapt qualification requirements to that end. 12
  12. 12. Literacy and numeracy skills • Basic skills of literacy and numeracy are critical both for labour market success and to support further learning. • Some adults – even some with post-secondary qualifications – have weak basic skills. Recommendation Ensure adequate basic skills among students alongside occupation-specific competencies. This means assessing basic skills at the outset of programmes, addressing weaknesses, and integrating basic skills development into professional programmes. 13
  13. 13. Strong qualifications Recommendation • Stronger nomenclature would enhance the profile and brand image of the sector • Post-secondary vocational programmes go by a host of different names Build qualifications that are meaningful to employers and useful to students by fully involving labour market actors in their design, updating and delivery; ensure the qualification system delivers a manageable number of qualifications, avoiding proliferation and overlaps; the content of qualifications should be, so far as possible, nationally consistent while allowing an element of local flexibility. 14
  14. 14. A focus on learning outcomes A traditional qualification is obtained through a set programme of study within a defined institution. Relaxing those requirements in favour of an emphasis on learning outcomes (regardless of how they are realised) could yield multiple efficiencies. Recommendation Flexible ways of recognising skills should be encouraged, including both recognition of prior learning and competence-based examinations, supported by strong assessments. 15
  15. 15. Effective assessments • It is demanding to conduct effective assessment of the complex package of soft and hard skills making up an occupational skillset. • The incentives for qualification providers to pursue effective assessments can be weak. Recommendation Assessments need to be reliable, consistent and demanding so that the qualifications they support are credible proofs of competence. 16
  16. 16. Post-secondary options for vocational graduates The strongest vocational systems offer a wide range of opportunities to upper secondary vocational graduates. These establish a career structure those graduates, support the training of apprentice trainers, and play a key role in developing management skills. Recommendation To meet labour market needs and the aspirations of students, ensure that graduates from upper secondary vocational programmes have the opportunity to pursue higher-level vocational and academic qualifications. 17
  17. 17. Flexibles modes of study • Entrants to post-secondary programmes include many older students who have to balance their pursuit of further qualifications with the demands of work and home. • Their needs are often different from those of most school-leavers. Recommendation To meet the needs of adult learners, ensure flexible modes of study, including part-time and modular arrangements, distance learning and competence-based approaches. 18
  18. 18. Transition to academic programmes Graduates of short-cycle professional programmes wishing to continue into connected academic programmes often face obstacles, such as unclarity about how different programmes relate to one another, and inadequate incentives for higher level institutions to offer course exemptions. Recommendation Build articulation frameworks to support transition from professional programmes to academic tertiary education. Underpin these with measures to ensure transparency and quality in the learning outcomes from professional programmes. 19
  19. 19. Effective career guidance • While growth in post-secondary programmes is expanding opportunities, it is also increasing the complexity of the choices that young people need to make. • Effective career guidance is needed to help students navigate these pathways Recommendation Underpin pathways of progression with good-quality career guidance and information both before entering and during professional programmes. 20
  20. 20. Thank you! 21 For further information see: www.oecd.orgeducationVET

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