‘We need to look into the future and make sure that the change we talk about through the Torino Process actually happens and delivers for the young people of our partner countries,’ European Training Foundation Director, Cesare Onestini.
As the 2016-17 Torino Process draws to an end, we look forward through the prism of this round’s key findings, towards the next. Delivery, Cooperation, Diversification, Innovation, Future, are the five concepts taking us there.
Countries have the policies and instruments to move ahead with the modernisation of vocational education and training (VET) systems. But the results of those policies are not yet visible to citizens. It will be necessary in the future to intensify efforts to put policies into action, to shift from pilots to mainstreaming and change at system level.
This is a demanding and difficult task and it will require enhancing implementation capacities by activating actors and ensuring stronger cooperation among them. The existing cooperation on problem analysis and policy formulation needs to expand across the policy cycle. It also needs to expand and be systematically promoted from a national, regional and sectoral perspective towards community engagement and local partnership for social cohesion, growth and jobs. But expansion and intensification of cooperation also needs transparency and accountability mechanisms to allow for more efficient policy cycle management.
There is growing recognition in the partner countries that VET is at a turning point, needing to become more strategic and available to everyone everywhere. Diversification of programmes and delivery mechanisms is happening in all partner countries, but this can be further intensified for VET to become responsive to ever more complex needs and reach a wide range of beneficiaries. More flexible forms of VET to bring it closer to final beneficiaries and the use of new technologies need to be further exploited.
And for this, innovation is essential. VET needs to innovate in its delivery and in its interaction with the world that surrounds it. Tapping into the innovation capacity of actors, but also promoting and supporting innovation through public policies, is essential for success in the future.
Monitoring VET reforms is about continuously responding to changing needs and preparing for the future. The world is changing. Technology is having an enormous impact on people’s lives, on the economy, on employment patterns and on the skills that people need to have. If VET is to become the attractive pathway it aspires to be, if it is to play an active role in mitigating risks and building on opportunities, it needs to adapt proactively to change on an ongoing basis. At the beginning of the 2020s, existing VET strategies in the majority of ETF partner countries will expire. It is time to start thinking about what future VET strategies should look like.