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Vocational Education and Training in Sweden

image of Vocational Education and Training in Sweden

One of a series of studies on vocational education and training, this review focuses on the vocational education and training (VET) in Sweden and concludes with policy recommendations.



Over recent years, Sweden has launched a series of reforms to enhance involvement of social partners in VET, to increase provision of work-based learning in VET programmes and to promote apprenticeship. Higher vocational education and training launched in 2002 has been expanding. At the same time, numerous sectors are grappling with labour shortages increasing pressure on VET to better match the provision to changing demand for skills; and fewer young people opt for VET programmes than in the past.

 

This report suggests several ways in which the Swedish VET system may respond to these challenges. Sweden may encourage co-operation between schools, for example by linking it to school evaluation and funding criteria. The report also argues that Sweden may further enhance social partners’ involvement in VET by creating a framework for systematic social partners’ involvement at the local level and by providing social partners with more responsibility over some aspects of VET.

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Strengthening collaboration and consolidation of vocational education and training provision in Sweden

Swedish vocational education and training (VET) is relatively decentralised and market driven with public and private providers competing for students. Chapter 2 shows that in this context, schools and school owners have weak incentives to collaborate in planning the provision of VET. In international comparison, Swedish upper-secondary schools offering VET programmes cater to few VET students. The chapter argues that to better match VET provision to labour market needs and to make the system more effective, Sweden may introduce measures that foster collaboration across schools and encourage concentration of provision in fewer institutions. The proposed measures should span the youth and adult sector and apply to all schools with VET provision, including public and independent schools.

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