Education Council : Vocational Training and Equality Occupy Ministers' Agenda
Ministers have set out priorities for further action on improving vocational education and training (VET) in Europe, in conclusions adopted at Council on 14 November.
The conclusions note that the Copenhagen process for improving the performance, quality, and attractiveness of VET (launched in 2002), has thus far been a success. Actions, however, will still need to be strengthened in the future.
Reinforcement is to come from a range of policies highlighted by ministers as important. Some of the more concrete among these concern the development and implementation of common tools for VET. The Council states that the EU should push ahead with the development and testing of the European Credit Transfer System for VET (ECVET) as a tool for credit accumulation and transfer. Equally, member states should strengthen cooperation on quality improvement by using the European Network of Quality Assurance for VET (ENQA-VET). Ministers also note the relevance that the future European Qualifications Framework will have to VET, and stress that it should take account of international sectoral qualifications.
The Council notes, nevertheless, that measures remain voluntary and should be developed through bottom-up coordination. The adoption of the conclusions forms part of the scheduled review of previous ones adopted on 15 November 2004. An informal ministerial conference on the subject will be held in Helsinki at the start of December.
The Council also adopted conclusions relating to the need for efficiency and equity in education and training systems. …