Excellence in public-private partnership

ETF is currently building a network of Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs), which are organisations meeting criteria of innovation and quality in education and training provision and in how they respond to labour market skills demands. Typically, CoVEs are successful vocational schools or other providers or clusters of such schools which act as engines for VET development and are highly committed to change and improvement of VET, including partnerships with relevant stakeholders.

Public-private partnerships (PPP) create the opportunity to combine the competencies of multiple actors and generate new solutions and services. The activation of external resources and competencies requires the public sector to develop new practical operating practices that highlight the benefits of partnership. In a comparative study on public-private partnerships the ETF has distinguished between three models of partnership:

1) Knowledge-oriented partnerships include sector skills councils, analytical centres or similar expert bodies, which produce labour market intelligence, work on qualifications frameworks, create other expert services and in general develop expertise.

2) Resources-oriented partnerships are concerned with improving the level of financing of VET, infrastructure and human resources, therefore may deal with capital, equipment, schools and with people.

3) VET provision-oriented partnerships include coordinated public-private offer of skills development, including various models of work-based learning such as the apprenticeships, but also guidance and career services.

National VET legislation should shape the basis for autonomy and PPPs. Operational dimensions either adding to or restricting autonomy and forms of PPP typically evolve from the following:

·   The perceived role of VET centres in relation to the economy and human capital development

·   Administrative and governance related processes e.g. obtaining a VET provider licence, quality control, setting and measuring key performance indicators, decisions on programmes offered

·   Operational decision-making processes related to hiring of leaders and staff, financing, income generation and forms of external partnerships.

·   Pedagogical decision on choice of learning environments, how study programmes are implemented and students assessed