Vocational training to become more regional, innovative

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The Ministry of Education has renewed plans for vocational training, in which courses are pressed to direct the studies towards the needs of the region where they are based, so that students can be better prepared to fulfill the needs of the regional labour market. 

The renewed plans from minister of Education Jet Bussemaker (PvdA), reveal that schools will receive more room to adjust courses to the region. For border regions, for example, a German language course could become part of the curriculum. A spokesperson for the ministry said that there must be proof that students can find jobs in their field when they complete their study, to prevent various training courses from springing up unnecessarily.

Companies will also get more room for their own initiatives, making on-the-job training as part of the curriculum an easier possibility. Minister Bussemaker will make €100 million available for the co-financing of specific projects in engineering education. Trade and industry and lower governments have also promised the same amount.

In order to help young people make the right study choice that fits their capacity, minister Bussemaker wants to introduce study leaflets and intake interviews for vocational training. An 'excellence program' for good students will also be introduced, for which Bussemaker will make €25 million available.

Minister Bussemaker says that the value of vocational training should not be undermined. "Too many good crafts people are lost to the labour market because students are leaving vocational education at the wayside", she says. "That is a waste of talent and that makes our economy unnecessarily vulnerable." She adds that learning a trade should become more attractive and visible.