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Education International Vocational Education and Training Round Table Budapest, 21-22 October The OECD work on VET Berna PowerPoint Presentation
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Education International Vocational Education and Training Round Table Budapest, 21-22 October The OECD work on VET Bernard Hugonnier Directorate for Education. Outline. Systemic innovation in VET Thematic review on VET. I. Systemic Innovation in Vocational Education and Training.

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Education InternationalVocational Education and Training Round TableBudapest, 21-22 OctoberThe OECD work on VETBernard HugonnierDirectorate for Education

  • Systemic innovation in VET
  • Thematic review on VET
what is innovation
What is innovation

“The implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relations” (Oslo Manual, OECD/Eurostat)

why concentrating on innovation
Why concentrating on innovation
  • While in the current economic climate there might be a general pressure to cut in public expenditure, innovation should not be considered an unnecessary expenditure but rather the essential ingredient that would differentiate resistant VET systems from those hardest hit by the crisis and should thus be protected to the extent possible.
  • The ability to use the elements of the innovation process (planning, monitoring, evaluation) as a cost-effective mechanism to guide product and process development could, in the long run, save money.
what is systemic innovation
What is systemic innovation
  • Systemic innovation in education can be defined as any kind of dynamic system-wide change that is intended to add value to educational processes and outcomes.
  • Systemic innovation analysis aims to improve:
    • The operation of systems
    • Their overall performance
    • The perceived satisfaction of the main stakeholders with the system as a whole
why concentrating on vet
Why concentrating on VET
  • Education systems, and Vocational Education and Training (VET) systems in particular, are often in the centre of policy debates at times of economic crises and rising unemployment, as it is a widely held assumption that a well-functioning training system can protect against unemployment, especially among youth
  • Periods of economic crisis can therefore be an opportunity for countries to examine how equipped their VET systems are to deal with change and to innovate.
overview of the oecd study
Overview of the OECD study
  • Objectives
    • Investigate how VET systems go about innovation
  • Methodology
    • Desk research
    • Questionnaire
    • 14 case studies
  • Countries
    • Australia, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, Switzerland
  • Outputs
    • Country reports:
    • Full report (MAY 2009)
skills for tomorrow systemic innovation in vet
Skills for tomorrow: Systemic innovation in VET

Part One: Analytical framework

  • Definitions,
  • Literature review
  • Proposed model

Part Two: Empirical and comparative work

  • Drivers , enabling factors and barriers
  • Process and dynamics
  • Role of the knowledge base

Part Three: Recommendations

  • Government and policy
  • Research agenda
  • Conclusions

Model of Innovation in Education

  • Identification of needs
  •  What are the drivers of change?
  • Which stakeholders are involved?
  • Evaluation & Monitoring
  • = surveillance/ judgement of outcomes
  • How and when?
  • What criteria are used?
  • Summative or formative purpose?
  • What are the findings?

Identification of needs

  • Development of the innovation
  • Top-down vs. bottom-up?
  • Which stakeholders?
  • Knowledge base
  • What types of knowledge?
  • Tacit knowledge
  • Explicit knowledge
  • What knowledge sources?

Evaluation & Monitoring

Development of innovation

Knowledge base


= impacts or consequences of the innovation

Is there an ‘implementation gap’?

  • Output of the innovation
  • Product
  • Process
  • Marketing method
  • Organisational method
  • Implementation process
  • Without piloting: large-scale implementation
  • With piloting:
  • Small-scale implementation
  • Monitoring/evaluation
  • Scaling-up




drivers of change
Drivers of change
  • Economic
    • Need of new skills
    • Need to increase efficiency
  • Social
    • Need to raise equity
    • Need to enhance inclusion
  • Political
    • Government’s achievement
  • Technological
    • Use of ICT
    • Other technological changes
enabling factors
Enabling factors
  • Public support
  • Political vision
  • Research evidence
  • Brokerage for the generation and dissemination of knowledge
the emergence of an innovative education industry
The emergence of an innovativeeducationindustry?

Growth of patent applications: Worldwide new education technologies (1990-2006)

barriers to change
Barriers to change
  • Innovation fatigue
  • Competing policy agendas
  • Inappropriate accountability mechanisms and public policy agendas:
    • Restricted risk management
    • Short-term planning
policy conclusions
Policy conclusions

1. Develop a systemic approach to innovation in VET

2. Promote a continuous and evidence-informed dialogue about innovation with the stakeholders

3. Build a well-organised, formalised, easy to access and updated knowledge base about VET

4. Supplement investments in VET innovations

5. Support relevant research on VET according to national priorities


Thank you

More information:


II. Learning for Jobs

OECD Review of Vocational Education and Training (VET)

vet systems vary widely across oecd countries
VET systems vary widely across OECD countries

Vocational education and training as a share of the upper secondary sector, 2006

Source: OECD (2008), Education at a Glance 2008, Indicators, Table C1.1, OECD, Paris

an international perspective
An international perspective

Phase 1


Phase 2









United Kingdom

(England and Wales)


Belgium (Flanders)

Czech Republic





United States

(South Carolina, Texas)

main policy recommendations
Main policy recommendations
  • The international VET evidence base needs to be improved.
  • VET systems should deliver the right skills mix.
  • VET needs to be well taught.
  • VET should be delivered in the right place.
  • Cooperation with social partners is essential to make change happen.
1 the vet evidence base needs to be improved
1: The VET evidence base needs to be improved

The OECD International Survey of VET Systems

Social partner influence on upper secondary VET: - 0%; ■ 1-25%; ■■ 26-50%; ■■■ 51-75%; ■■■■ 76-100%

Source : Kuczera, M. (forthcoming), The OECD International Survey of VET Systems, OECD, Paris

2 vet should deliver the right skills mix
2:VET should deliver the right skills mix

What should students learn?

General skills


specific skills?

  • Lessons:
  • Specific skills smoothen school to work transition
  • General skills ensure flexibility later on.

2’:VET should deliver the right skills mix

How many students per programme?

  • Students choose,
  • Government plans
  • or
  • Employers determine?
  • Lessons:
  • Balance student preferences with employer demand, ideally through workplace training.
  • Provide government support in case of market failure.

3:VET needs to be well taught

  • Three Challenges:
  • Teacher shortage
  • Teachers lack industry experience
  • Trainers lack pedagogical skills

How to prepare VET instructors?

  • Lessons:
  • Ensure adequate pedagogical and technical knowledge.
  • Promote interchange between VET institutions and firms.
  • Encourage flexible recruitment and part-time working.
4 vet should be delivered in the right place
4: VET should be delivered in the right place
  • Prepares apprentices for the world of work
  • Apprentices can make productive contributions
  • Facilitates recruitment and transition to the labour market

Advantages of workplace training

  • Lessons:
  • Some skills are better taught in a school environment.
  • Tasks acquired in a firm might be too firm-specific.
5 engagement of social partners is essential
5:Engagement of social partners is essential
  • Provision of apprenticeship places signals labour market relevance of the programme.
  • Participation in curricula design guarantees link between workplace training and teaching in schools.
  • Actual influence and interest for engagement are mutually reinforcing.
vet systems and the crisis
VET systems and the crisis

Economic development and apprenticeship enrolment rates among 16 year olds in Switzerland

Average GDP growth, current and previous year

Share of apprentices among 16-year olds

Source : Schweri und Müller (2008), Die Ausbildungsbereitschaft der Betriebe. Entwicklungen 1999

bis 2005, Bundesamt für Statistik, Neuenburg

responses to the crisis should aim to maintain the system
Responses to the crisis should aim to maintain the system
  • Increase the number of government-funded places in education and training (Ireland)
  • Monitor demand and supply of the apprenticeship market (Switzerland)
  • Give subsidies to employers who keep their apprentices (Germany)
  • Provide government sponsored workshop-type apprenticeships (Austria)
  • Increase the number of apprenticeship places in the public sector (England)

Thank you

More information: