Reforming vocational education and training (VET) has become a major priority for Greece. Alongside the legislative basis (Law 4336/2015; Law 4186/2013), is consensus and commitment to modernising and further developing VET.
From April 2016, the current position is as follows:
- VET quality has been acknowledged as a crucial component of the reform agenda and relevant ministerial decisions are under consultation. Quality frameworks were developed for developing/upgrading VET curricula, implementing apprenticeship schemes, and providing education services (π3 quality assurance national system for VET providers). They are considered key elements of the road map for upgrading VET and were initiated by the General Secretary of lifelong learning, with the involvement of bodies responsible for monitoring (EOPPEP, the National organisation for the certification of qualifications and vocational training). Updating/renewal of learning outcomes in occupational profiles is central to the process and involves stakeholders (notably social partners, and occupation and education experts). Stakeholders are part of the National strategy for VET (drafted in March 2016, discussed with EC services), which includes modernisation of the apprenticeship scheme. The new apprenticeship scheme is being put in place according to a comprehensive plan developed by the Ministry of Education and Greece’s public employment service (OAED). Aiming to provide apprenticeship places for IVET graduates (EPAL, IEK programmes) the plan is the basis for the sustainable development of apprenticeship in Greece.
- Establishment of a new and more effective skills forecasting mechanism is foreseen to bridge the gap between VET and the labour market (Articles 85 & 86 of Law 4368/2016, February 2016); this will pave the way for meeting conditions set by the European Commission for future VET co-funding. The body responsible for skills forecasting (EIEAD), in cooperation with the coordination committee, supports the State in developing VET curricula in line with labour market needs. A presentation of the approach took place on April 18th 2016.
- An inter-ministerial committee has been tasked with launching pilot partnerships with local authorities and employers, as well as ensuring more employer participation and private funding (regional public-private partnerships).
- Continuing VET and LLL policies have been discussed within extensive social dialogue (ending in April 2016). The Greek authorities, jointly with the OECD and the European Commission, will review the OECD 2011 Greek education system report, expected to reach conclusions supporting reforms planned by the Ministry of Education.
CEDEFOP provides technical support to the Greek State for the Hellenic qualifications framework, apprenticeship and skills forecasting.
An important recent development is the final approval of the report referencing the Hellenic qualifications framework (HQF), developed by EOPPEP, to the European qualifications framework (EQF) during the 33rd EQF advisory group (2 December, 2015). The Greek delegation presented the status of quality issues in the Greek education system and the accomplished in improving quality assurance in all education sectors. Development of the NQF is expected to support the shift to an outcomes-oriented Greek VET system and help strengthen links with the labour market.