PERCEPTION OF STUDENTS, TEACHERS AND EMPLOYERS ABOUT COMPETITIVENESS AND INNOVATIVENESS IN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING. THE EUROPEAN PROJECT “ICEVET”
1 Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (ITALY)
2 Çubuk District Directorate for National Education (TURKEY)
3 Çubuk Vocational Training Center Directorate (TURKEY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2019
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:Vocational education and training (VET) have been an essential part of EU policy since the very establishment of the European Community. VET have a key economic function in upskilling and integrating young people into the labour market and in providing high quality technical skills. They are also a crucial element of the EU Lisbon Strategy, which aims at transforming Europe into the world’s most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based society. A strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training is in place and will be the principle European guideline until 2020. Competitiveness is a major Lisbon goal and includes economic and employment performance, social cohesion and sustainable economic growth. Competitiveness and innovativeness are strictly related to the ability of a nation to create and maintain an environment that provides more value for its enterprises and more prosperity for its citizens. As a consequence, EU members and candidate countries have undertaken actions to align their VET systems with the competitiveness and innovation and the labour market.
Within this context, the EU funded project “Integration to competitive Europe through VET” (IceVET) aims to promote growth of consciousness about issues related to innovation and competitiveness and their impact on citizens’ employability and global market conditions among all VET actors in partner countries. Institutions from five European countries (Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain, Turkey) constitute the IceVET consortium.
In the framework of the IceVET project, differences in perception of competitiveness and innovativeness of the VET system across nationalities were investigated among students, teachers, and employers respectively. To this aim, a questionnaire was administered to 500 participants: 250 students, 150 teachers, and 100 employers. Two Kruskall-Wallis tests were performed to assess national differences in judgment about VET innovativeness and competitiveness among teachers and employers. A one-way ANOVA was used to reach the same aim in the sample of students. Greek and Polish teachers and Greek employers perceived their local VET system as more innovative and oriented to train students to competitiveness when compared to their peers from other nationalities. On the contrary, no differences emerged in students’ perception of adequacy of their local VET system across nationalities. Finally, a rough comparison of overall teachers’ and students’ perceptions revealed a more favorable judgment on VET systems adequacy among teachers.
Keywords: Vocational education and training, European Countries, Vocational education and training adequacy, Competitiveness and innovativeness.