Education : Vocational Training Dominates Slovene Education Priorities

Article excerpt

Making progress on a European credit transfer system for vocational education and training (ECVET) is a major priority for the Slovenian EU Presidency, according to Education Minister Milan Zver.

Speaking to MEPs during a visit to Brussels on 22 January, Zver stressed his belief that the ECVET system, once set up, would make it easier for people with vocational skills to have their training recognised in another member state. The minister noted that he expected the European Commission's proposals to cover "formal, non-formal or informal" learning, and to fully complement the already agreed European Qualifications Framework. According to a spokesperson for the Presidency, the Commission has already given assurances to Slovenia that it will publish its proposal for a recommendation by March at the latest, in order to give the country time to make proper headway in Council during its six months at the EU helm (notably at the Education, Youth and Culture Council scheduled for 21-22 May).

The Presidency also intends to make progress on taking a draft recommendation on quality assurance in vocational education and training through Council. Proposals for this have yet to be adopted by the Commission. It is expected that they will involve making use of the existing European Network on Quality Assurance (ENQA-VET) in order to build trust between member states as regards the quality of their national vocational qualifications.

Other activities planned during the Presidency, according to the minister, include examining the need for an update of the governance and mandate of the European Training Foundation and reaching rapid agreement on proposals to establish 2009 as the European Year of Creativity and Innovation. …