Conclusions of the #ETFTRP 2017 conference. In efforts to boost economic and social development, European Training Foundation (ETF) partner countries have been making progress in vocational education and training (VET) policy formulation and modernising institutional infrastructure.
This is demonstrated in the 2016-17 round of the Torino Process – the findings of which helped to frame discussions at the Changing Skills for a Changing World conference. More than 300 delegates from 28 ETF partner countries, European Union Member States, EU Institutions, international organisations, social partners, enterprises, civic society and experts took part in the June 7-8 event in Turin. A further 12000 people took part online.
#ETFTRP 2016-17 highlights
Partner countries are moving forward in participatory VET governance models, the modernisation of qualification systems and better skills anticipation and matching. However, impact at system level remains limited and challenges continue regarding the attractiveness of VET, access to skills development and lifelong learning, as well as the slow implementation in the modernisation of training provision.
A global outlook
Fast changing economic needs, technological developments and social demands present challenges and opportunities for VET and skills development and provision. This frames a shared development perspective for partner countries, reinforced by the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and inspired by policy initiatives like the new Skills Agenda for Europe.
Discussions, workshop sessions and the ideas market highlighted the following focus areas:
- Making system change a reality through relevant policies
Policies must target present and future needs, ensure system adaptation and flexibility, and support delivery of results to all citizens. There is a need to expand cooperation across the policy cycle, bring VET policies development and implementation outside public offices, and increase integration and holistic orientation of VET policies to ensure skills are part of the innovation and cohesion strategy.
- Expanding opportunities and access to VET and skills development
Demands for new skills and future challenges places increased pressure on VET to cover more users and expand opportunities. In particular, VET needs to open up new pathways for adults, and have an ability to anticipate future needs and adapt. Attractiveness and accessibility can be improved through innovative practices, reinforced skills anticipation mechanisms, and more flexible and diversified pathways to help make lifelong learning a reality for all citizens.
- Exploring and building innovation
Innovation is at the heart of VET transformation and adaptation. Digital and technological change is an opportunity to boost VET development, delivery and infrastructure. Innovation is also a process through which VET can transform itself and its governance. It is a means for partner countries to develop curriculum, development of teachers and trainers and public private partnerships.
- Making competences work for the future
What skills are relevant for the future? In order for VET to contribute to the needs of tomorrow, there is a need for new generation of core competences that focus on entrepreneurship, critical thinking and creativity. This base will support innovation and unlock the potential of individuals and communities. It will help VET providers to innovate and co-create innovative solutions.
- Developing trust to increase efficiency and effectiveness
A functioning and agile system, which embraces innovation and diversification of provision with multiple actors, is based on the fundamental element of TRUST. Innovation and system transformation is built through transparency and accountability, including the clear roles of all system actors. Looking forward, countries need to focus more on disclosure of information, communicating policies and results to citizens, and better access to evidence through monitoring and information management.
- Focusing on people, people, and people.
A personal commitment to change will make policies work for the well-being of society and citizens. This can be achieved by maximising the impact for each citizen; developing competences of all players; bringing new players around the policy table; breaking through the box of inherited practices; engaging learning communities that support, benefit and create innovation; and listening to citizens and the needs of the society.
- Looking forward
The Torino Process supports the continued policy dialogue, co-designing solutions and focusing on relevance and impact through social innovation and cooperation. The 2019-2020 Torino Process round will encapsulate previous results and prepare future actions towards 2030, and the continuous transformation of VET systems to serve all citizens in the world of today, and tomorrow!
Access the full set of conclusions from the ‘Changing Skills for a Changing World’ conference through the Torino Process platform.