It is one of the Government’s strategic choices to upscale Vocational Education and Training from the stage of a forced solution for few to a conscious choice and employment tool for many. This choice is directly linked to the country’s economic recovery. It is certain that, as the European experience has shown, coordinated interventions in Vocational Education and Training (VET) as well as in Lifelong Learning (LLL) will be directly linked to an increase of productivity and economic growth and at the same time, to a reduction of the unemployment rate, especially among young people.
It is worth noting that Cedefop’s mid-term forecasts for 2030 (Skills forecast: trends and challenges to 2030, Cedefop 2018) refer to job needs in Europe that are expected to require qualifications to be shaped as follows:
- a) Low qualifications – from 34% in 2011, will fall to 21% in 2030
- b) Medium qualifications – from 44.3 in 2011, will slightly rise to 46% in 2030
- c) High qualifications – from 21% in 2011, will reach up to 32.9 in 2030.
The trends recorded in Greece follow the general European trends and trace a stronger demand for mid-level skilled jobs. This constitutes another reason for the focus the Government gives to VET.
Further, the expected changes in the economy create ineluctably the need for new skills. New skills that are well acquired through Vocational Education and Training (VET).
All in all, VET structures need to be reorganized and empowered in Greece in order to respond to the crucial role they can play towards economic growth and against youth unemployment.
The main pillars of Government’s VET policy:
- The Joint Strategic Planning of Vocational Education and Vocational Training in order to avoid overlapping and to achieve optimum satisfaction of the Greek Economy’s needs
- The autonomy of Vocational Education (EPAL) and Training (ΙΕΚ) Units by taking into consideration the active role of the local community representatives
- The direct connection between Vocational Education, Training and Lifelong Learning with the labour market taking into account the social partners’ participation into planning
- The Certification of Non-formal and Informal learning
- Reliable information to students on successful career paths through early career orientation at the Junior High School (Gymnasium) as well as entrepreneurship programs in collaboration with local businesses.