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VET Governance

People around a table

There is a growing recognition among ETF partner countries of the need to move into more participatory VET governance models so as to ensure enhanced effectiveness and improved accountability of VET policies and systems. As demonstrated by the Torino Process results in 2010 and 2012 the vast majority of the partner countries are making steps to promote stakeholder involvement in VET policy making and system modernisation. These include efforts to improve private sector involvement in different aspects of VET and work towards increased civic participation, in particular social partner organisations and NGOs; to experiment or introduce modalities for delegating responsibility to sub-national/regional/local levels of government; to experiment with increasing school autonomy; to establish coordination mechanisms at national and sector level. This could include organisations that advocate for social inclusion or sustainable development, and in particular for territorial cohesion or youth and women, establish coordination mechanisms at national and sector level, experiment or introduce delegation of responsibilities towards sub-national/regional and school level. However, the challenge of developing new governance modes that ensure coordinated actions of stakeholders, transparency and accountability is still ahead. Stakeholders’ capacities to effectively engage in productive partnerships are still weak, coordination mechanisms are poorly functioning and key decisions on how to share responsibilities for a more effective system management are still being shaped.

Following the 2010 Torino Process Conference the ETF started to work more systematically with the partner countries on improving their VET governance under the overarching concept of multilevel governance that promotes coordinated action among public actors at horizontal and vertical levels based on the principle of subsidiarity (i.e. ensuring that decisions are taken at the most appropriate level). The key ETF actions focused on (i) the development of a methodology for mapping the sharing of responsibilities of different actors (at national, sector, regional, local/school level) in specific functions of the VET system (e.g. planning, qualifications, quality assurance, finance, management of VET providers, etc.) as an instrument to assist stakeholders in partner countries to better understand the functioning of their system and identify strengths, weaknesses and gaps; (ii) the use of foresight as a change management instrument and participatory, forward looking policy making; (iii) pilot projects at regional and local or school level as instruments for policy learning and informed policy making; (iv) capacity building of social partners and sectoral bodies (councils, committees) to fulfil effectively their role within the existing or developing institutional settings in the ETF partner countries.

The ETF will continue to support partner countries to develop better VET governance modes by focusing at multiple levels (national, sectoral, regional, local and school) on two of many governance components, notably: (i) leadership for the strategic orientation of policy making and system development and (ii) management as monitoring of accountability and effectiveness. Specifically, the ETF will continue to capitalise on previous experiences by (i) reinforcing stakeholder engagement (private sector, regional/local authorities, social partners and other civil society NGOs, training providers) in productive partnerships at national, regional/local and sector level, and (ii) improving the institutional arrangements for a more effective policy development, implementation and monitoring. Following the 2013 Torino Process declaration particular emphasis will be given to financing VET. This function attracts greater attention in all partner countries as they shift their attention from policy development to implementation of reforms and the funding needs are increasing.

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