OECD urges development of high quality vocational training

November 14, 2014

A new report on vocational education and training (VET) programs has been published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The OECD’s Skills Beyond School report suggests that countries should improve the quality of postsecondary vocational training to better meet the needs of the labour market. The OECD notes that vocational training presents particular challenges to the PSE sector, particularly with regard to a variable nomenclature and a lack of clarity around qualifications. The OECD recommends nations adopt a uniform international nomenclature around vocational training, develop a strong institutional base for vocational training that is supported by consistent public funding, and coordinate with employers and organized labour to ensure that programs and qualifications are comprehensible and accessible to key stakeholders. The report makes a number of specific recommendations and cites 3 key elements of quality for such programs: the inclusion of work-based learning programs; the involvement of mid-career professionals with industry experience, academic knowledge, and pedagogical skills in training; and assessment and development of basic skills in literacy and numeracy. Notably, the report says that Canada is out-performing other OECD nations in the percentage of adults aged 20–45 who have short-cycle postsecondary vocational education and training as their highest qualification. OECD News Release | Full Report