Professionals in Hungary’s vocational education and training (VET) community are helping the establishment of a new, independent research and development body, the City & Guilds Institute, dedicated to improving international policy and practice.
In a significant first step, the City & Guilds Institute will from July, while still in its project phase, undertake an extensive international consultation survey in nine countries to build a comprehensive understanding of current issues faced by those with a stake in VET around the world. The City & Guilds Institute will use research and ongoing consultation to improve the design, delivery and assessment of VET. In particular, the Institute will encourage dialogue across the wider VET community, from learners to vocational education practitioners and those in the wider research community, ultimately acting as a hub for an international network of key VET players.
Keith Brooker, Director of the City & Guilds Institute, said: “We and other members of the international VET community have long recognised the need for an independent research and development body that helps turn policy into practice. That need has become pressing as countries around the world wake up to skills imbalances that have huge social and economic consequences. “The City & Guilds Institute will work across the VET professional arena as well as with industry, commerce and governments to advance knowledge and shape future VET policy and practice. Together, we will work to bring about improvements in VET to raise economic and social prosperity for people, organisations and nations.”
The international audit, which will be conducted over the next few months, will cover Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, India, Malaysia, South Africa and the UK. It will build one of the most complete pictures of differing VET systems around the world ever compiled. Key areas to be explored include tackling issues caused by demographic shifts such as ageing populations and migration, the challenges of providing quality training and assessment, and ensuring optimum levels of employer engagement and government support.
The Institute will also investigate methods for improving perceptions of vocational training so that it is considered an equally valuable route for students as academic study. The findings of these surveys will determine the different projects the Institute will undertake internationally. The research, reports and recommendations of the Institute will be widely shared with the aim of sparking engagement amongst the VET community and driving positive and meaningful change. The findings from this consultation process will be available in late 2007, and the Institute is set to launch in early 2008.