The Importance of Vocational Education Training (VET) at Work.

There is no doubt that education is the most important investment you can have for yourself in a personal and professional environment. In fact, increasing access to quality education is crucial to fighting economic and gender equality. In addition, education promotes economic growth, because it provides skills that increase employment opportunities and income, as well as improves overall health and longevity of a society.

We tend to think of education in a very linear way, going to school or university, but nowadays, there are plenty of opportunities to learn new skills and stay abreast with new developments and gain new knowledge that help us improve our quality of life. 

You think you are too old or you are not convinced you need it? Let’s see if you change your mind after you finish reading this article.

What is Vocational Education Training (VET)?

Vocational Education Training is divided between two groups. Initial vocational education and training (I-VET) is usually carried out at upper secondary level before students begin working life; taking place in the classroom. This quality of this type of education varies between countries and depends on the national education systems and economy of each country. The second type, also known as continuing vocational training and education (C-VET) defines the continuing skills and competences citizens acquire after I-VET or within the work environment. C-VET is the majority of learning that takes place in a workplace.

Vocational education and training is a key element of lifelong learning systems, which equip citizens with knowledge, skills and competences. It empowers people to take pride in their work and gives them a sense of achievement. 

Why is Vocational Training important, especially now?

Vocational Education Training provides learners with skills important for personal development and is a key element of lifelong learning systems. When you equip yourself with knowledge skills and competences not only you feel empowered to be an active citizen, but it can boost your work performance and competitiveness in the job market. Continuing-VET is particularly important for both businesses and organizations as it can boost enterprise performance, research and innovation and social work policy. This is why we have plenty of European VET networks governed by social partners such as trade unions, committees and councils. 

VET is particularly important under the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, as many jobs and job sectors have been impacted. The European Union (EU) has identified significant geographical differences in participation ranging from 15% to more than 70%, with the gap most likely getting larger due to the pandemic job crisis. At the same time, this is a great opportunity for businesses tackling their challenges by preparing their employees or human resources for the new reality with new VET opportunities. 

All organizations need to put their people first and provide them with vocational training opportunities throughout their career, but especially now during this pandemic crisis. 

Why the MUC consortium is important and what do we want to achieve?

On average, 60% of EU employers with 10 or more employees provided vocational training to their employees over the past 12 months in 2005. In Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Latvia and Poland less than 40% of employers did so. As a consortium we come from the countries that provide reduced VET opportunities to employees, and we want to change this. We care about the vocational training of Municipal Urban Cleaners (MUCs), we want them to see their value and feel empowered to protect themselves from the high risks of their work nature. Our course will be based on the needs and challenges that they face, which we will understand from engaging with them during our research phase. We hope that this project’s approach can be used by other organizations to develop relevant VET opportunities for their employees. 

Let’s all put people first! They are our most valuable asset.