Skills beyond School

Synthesis Report

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Higher level vocational education and training (VET) programmes are facing rapid change and intensifying challenges. What type of training is needed to meet the needs of changing economies? How should the programmes be funded? How should they be linked to academic and university programmes? How can employers and unions be engaged? This report synthesises the findings of the series of  country reports done on skills beyond school.

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The hidden world of professional education and training

School and university, and the well-trod path between them, play a dominant role in thinking about education policy. But separately from these two institutions there exists a less well understood world of colleges, diplomas, certificates and professional examinations – the world of post-secondary vocational education and training – which in this report will also be called “professional education and training”. Many professional, technical and managerial jobs require no more than one or two years of career preparation beyond upper secondary level, and some countries have as much as one-quarter of the adult workforce with this type of short-cycle qualification. This chapter describes the role of programmes of this type and underlines their importance in country skills systems.

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