Getting to Work: Strengthening Vocational Education and Training

Ontario, Singapore and Switzerland are investing in vocational education and training.

Ontario, Singapore and Switzerland are investing in vocational education and training.

As the world grapples with ongoing economic setbacks during the coronavirus pandemic, many top-performing education systems are strengthening vocational education and training (VET) as one lever for economic recovery. In Ontario, in addition to increasing funding for vocational programs across the province, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has appointed Youth Advisors to consult with students and other stakeholders about how to make VET options more visible and appealing to students. Singapore has invested in more career guidance counselors to help students explore career interests and choose among VET and career pathways. And in Switzerland, after concerns that coronavirus would derail the country’s apprenticeship placement programs, the government has encouraged cantons (Swiss states) to share information about open positions so that students would have more placement options. Consequently, more than 90 percent of all vocational training positions in Switzerland were filled this fall.

For more on how education systems are strengthening VET to provide more options for students and new opportunities for economic growth, see NCEE’s recent webinar featuring OECD Director for Education and Skills Andreas Schleicher and NCEE President and CEO Anthony Mackay. They take a special in-depth look at this year’s edition of the OECD’s Education at a Glance report with its particular focus on vocational education and training around the world.