Putting people at the heart of systems in the ETF’s partner countries

Benefits for people

People should be at the heart of education and training systems. This is the key conclusion of the ETF’s 2019 Skills and Qualifications: Benefits for People initiative. The aim was to look at how countries’ reforms of qualifications and systems are affecting learning and teaching, career guidance and assessment through the eyes of their users. What are the benefits of policies and practices for people, and how these can be maximised? We asked three core questions: how do people know about skills and qualifications; what types of skills and qualifications do they need; and how do they acquire them?

To answer these questions, we focused specifically on professionals in schools, companies, training centres, employment agencies and careers guidance services. To discover what is happening in practice we launched an open call for success stories from different countries about the benefits of skills and qualifications for people. The most inspiring examples were collected together in the Skills and qualifications: Benefits for people Toolkit.

The ETF chose the most characteristic cases from its partner countries, Ukraine, Serbia, Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan and Georgia, to be the focus of a series of short films. They illustrate existing good practice, and how people benefit from it, showing that professionals, from school directors and teachers to careers counsellors and company managers, are the driving force behind success. The insights from the Toolkit were presented at the Benefits for People conference in November 2019.

A key conclusion was that we are at a crossroads between hierarchically organised education and training systems, and skills eco-systems in which skills needs change constantly and the way we learn is much more diverse and personalised. From education systems that train young people before they enter the labour market, the focus is shifting toward lifelong learning and human capital development.

What is clear is that in a skills eco-system the voices of learners, professionals and policy makers must be given equal weight. Sharing experiences, developing and disseminating practical tools, networking and celebrating success, are as important as clear policies. There is a need for tools to support learners, citizens and professionals that work at the grass roots level.

As part of our summer focus on the countries where the ETF works, we will revisit over the next few days some of the success stories highlighted in the toolkit.

In the meantime, make it happen by joining the conversation about education, training and skills in the ETF’s knowledge sharing community Open Space.


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