A unifying force for change

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The Torino Process is a unifying force, says Vesna Puratic, a senior government advisor in the field of vocational education and training (VET) in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

‘The Torino Process has been a participatory process. In VET we cooperate very well at a professional level, even if at a political level things do not always go so smoothly,’ says Puratic, a former VET teacher who works for the Ministry of Civil of Affairs.

The 2016-17 Torino Process round was the first time Bosnia and Herzegovina conducted a self-led assessment. An approach that provided ‘more responsibility and real ownership of the results,’ notes Puratic.

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s federated system gives varying degrees of autonomy to the country’s cantons and regions, including Republika Srpska, which means different approaches can be taken to VET development.

VET enrolment is high , with 76% of secondary school students in vocational training programmes. ‘In order to improve policy to bring enrolments into line with labour market needs, we need the cooperation of all stakeholders,’ Puratic emphasizes.

Torino Process a template for development

Slavica Kupresanin, advisor to the minister of education for the Republika Srpska, says the Torino Process report highlights ‘weak points in VET and what the education authorities should do to plan for improvement.’ In her region, key achievements in the past two years include the development of a Strategy for Education Development 2016-21 and the drafting of a new law on secondary education. There have also been advances in the continuous professional development (CPD) of VET teachers and trainers – 150 specialists have been retrained at the Mechanical Engineering faculty of the University of Banja Luka.

In the country as a whole, developments include work on a qualifications framework, quality improvement in VET in line with the EU Qualify Assurance Framework, and the introduction of self assessment and external evaluation of VET schools. Entrepreneurial learning and innovation is also a priority.

Highlights over the past two years include the launch of Prijedor, Republika Srpska, as a City of Friendly Business. Several business incubators have been established and there is much cooperation between VET schools and companies in the city; in Bosnia and Herzegovina the development of entrepreneurial learning and progress on a Small Business Act are among the achievements.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has also been busy looking at ways to improve employability, skills anticipation and matching, and the transition to work.  A small group of stakeholders representing employment agencies and labour market and statistic institutions took part in a recent learning programme at the ETF. Click here to find out more.


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