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Key policy issues

Policy issue 1: Improving the quality and relevance of vocational education

Research evidence clearly shows that vocational education and training can play a central role in preparing young people for work, developing adult skills and responding to the labour-market needs of the economy. despite this role, vocational education and training has been oddly neglected and marginalised in policy discussions, often overshadowed by the increasing emphasis on general academic education and the role of schools in preparing students for university education. it has also often been seen as low status by students and the general public (oECD, 2010) and this is also the case in Latvia.

in response, Latvia embarked on a comprehensive reform of vocational education in 2009 to make it more attractive and improve its quality and relevance to the labour market through the involvement of social partners. The 2009 concept paper Promotion of interest in Vocational Education and Participation of Social Partners in Assuring the Quality of Vocational Education (Cabinet of Ministers, 2009) marked the start of this process.

The review team fully supports these reforms. The reorganisation of the school network and establishment of the VECCs is progressing well, but work on the reform of the curriculum has been progressing slowly. Some SECs are less well established, limiting their ability to contribute to the reform effort. Another challenge is the lack of data and information to monitor progress and identify innovations and good practices worthy of dissemination.

 
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