VET Governance: Exploring challenges and opportunities
Decentralisation and regionalisation is becoming an important reform path in a number of ETF partner countries. What will this mean for financing and innovation in vocational education and training (VET)? The ETF brought together stakeholders from Morocco, Serbia, Tunisia, Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina and EU Member States, Austria, France, Italy and Spain to find out more.
The multi-stakeholder group represented employers’ groups, government and regional representatives, unions, human resourcing, VET providers and international experts. Over two-days at the ETF headquarters in Turin, they explored VET decentralisation, finance and innovation in the context of multi-level governance. Knowledge-sharing, good practice and lessons learned, featured.
Decentralisation refers to the transfer of power from state level to lower levels of governance. It affects VET governance arrangements, as regions play an increasingly pivotal role in connecting regional administrations, business and entrepreneurs.
Decentralisation and regionalisation is becoming an important reform path in a number of ETF partner countries.
Morocco’s new constitution has resulted in a more prominent role for the regions. Tunisia is taking a stronger regional approach, more responsive to citizen’s needs. Ukraine has moved towards substantive decentralisation of public policies, including VET and employment. While Bosnia and Herzegovina – a decentralised country – faces important challenges regarding governance, for which learning from others at the workshop could help to inspire.
Participants drafted nine key messages on policy guidance, covering issues such as political will, public-private partnerships, capacity-building, communication and resourcing tools. They highlighted the need for new tools and the importance of quick wins to help keep the local stakeholders’ momentum.
Looking forward, the ETF’s VET Governance team leader Siria Taurelli said ‘continuity, collective sharing and the cross-country validation of common ideas’ was key. ‘We want to strengthen and identify opportunities and to learn from EU Member States, practical lessons, successes and failures.’
The move to regional government gives more opportunity for innovative approaches, she added. ‘Innovation often happens outside of VET it is important to look outside for inspiration.’
Eva Jimeno Sicilia, the ETF’s head of Systems Policy and Country Analysis, remarked: Decentralisation is very context-based, so does it work bringing all the countries together?
In response, Bojana Simeunovic, from the Serbian Ministry of Public Adminsitration and Local Self Government, said Serbia can benefit from this experience. ‘We are only at the beginning, but learning from different approaches and experiences at the local level is helpful. I will be communicating all the information learned back to my colleagues!’