Archive for October, 2009

Response to the Crisis by Vocational Education and Training

October 1, 2009

Education systems, and Vocational Education and Training (VET) systems in particular, are often in the centre of policy debates at times of economic crises and rising unemployment, as it is a widely held assumption that a well-functioning training system can protect against unemployment, especially among the young.

Periods of economic crisis can, therefore, be an opportunity for countries to examine how well equipped their VET systems are to deal with change and to innovate. This was addressed in the project on Systemic Innovation in VET, recently completed by the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI), drawing on empirical findings from 14 case studies in innovation in VET in six OECD countries: Australia, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Mexico and Switzerland.

Two particular issues would need to be addressed:

-While in the current economic climate there might be a general pressure to cut or rein in expenditures, innovation should not be considered an unnecessary expenditure, but rather the essential ingredient that would differentiate resistant VET systems from those hardest hit by the crisis and should thus be protected to the extent possible.

-The ability to use the elements of the innovative process (planning, monitoring, evaluation) as a cost-effective mechanism to guide product and process development could, in the long run, save money.

Check: OECD imhe INFO June 2009 for the full article.

More information about this project can be found at:

Povl Tiedemann

September 2009