Monday, 1 June 2015 - 16:50
Millions committed to vocational education improvement
The government is allocating over 70 million euros into improving vocational higher education. The cabinet gave a go-ahead to 29 projects aimed at innovating vocational training in the Netherlands. Education Minister Jet Bussemaker said she wanted to improve job opportunities for vocational students by aligning education better with the needs of the labor market. The ministry is trying to bring funds together to allow for targeted investment in innovative vocational education that in line with demands of the local economy. "It is fantastic what schools and businesses managed to determine with a focused look at what their region needs and thus where future job opportunities for young people are," Bussemaker commented. "The financial proceeds land directly in the hands of the educational institutions," she added. "Students learn how to use modern materials and techniques and will soon be prepared for their future workplace." Businesses also benefit from those investments by preparing qualified employees, according to the Minister. The projects that received a green light include a food lab in Zeeland, which trains students in new food production techniques, and the Tech2Create initiative, which aims at training professionals for the Limburg technology sector. The government previously provided 75 million euros to vocational schools to specialize on more particular professions. Such focus on more particular professions improves students' chances of future employment, according to Bussemaker. The money comes from the regional fund for vocational education that is co-financed by the government, businesses and educational institutions.