Purpose: The paper attempts to map how different European countries´ VET system attempts to match the required skills and competencies by labour market, and how VET-educators (including supervisors of interns, trainees and Apprentices in workplaces) are recruited, trained and prepared for their task with a focus on core vocation-specific didactic skills in different national contexts.)
Theoretical framework: Structural and destabilizing change in society today is maintained as establishing policy contexts, to which educational policy has to respond and adapt (Edwards, Ranson & Strain, 2010). The increasing complexity in society, culture and working life as an effect of globalization and information technology, has significantly changed the nature of knowledge, skills and competencies required from citizens. This fact along with the unprecedented speed of the changes gave impetus to continuing education or the (re)vision of lifelong learning as a policy goal. It is argued that most of the current policies for lifelong learning are a matter of accumulation of skills and qualifications to meet the demands of an increasingly uncertain and profoundly exposed to competition labour market. The challenge for the education sector and especially VET is whether learning and training for employability also embraces cultivation of reflexivity ability and “bildung” for personal fulfilment, social integration and active democratic citizenship.
Methodology/Research design: Our empirical basis is the country-specific VET-systems presented on Cedefop's website
A comparative exploration of 4 countries VET reports is carried out with regard to how the “Vocational Challenge” is perceived and how each country tries to meet this challenge through its VET system and education of vocational trainers and teachers.
Preliminary results: Contributes to a better understanding of what are considered challenges for VET in different countries representing different geographical as well as socio-economic areas and how they affect the national VET system.
NordYrk (The Nordic Network for Vocational Education and Training) 2013,Karlstad, Sweden.