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Bulgarian ESC insists on adoption of a new Vocational Education and Training Act

03/10/2017

At his last Plenary Session ESC adopted a Resolution on "Possible directions for the development of the vocational education and training system in Bulgaria".

In its act ESC found different challenges to vocational training and education (VET) such as the loss of competitive advantages in vocational education and training of the workforce, especially in the field of new technologies, the lack of effective links between training institutions and employers, the inability to develop modern professional skills in a real environment, the lack of a system for regularly forecasting the needs of vocational education and training, as well as obsolete facilities and textbooks.

In its Resolution ESC proposed that the national strategy for VET should be implemented on the basis of medium-term national plans prepared by the Ministry of Education and Science in cooperation with other institutions and the social partners. ESC also believes that there is a need for updating the current Strategy for the development of VET by applying a wider regional approach to the development of the system's infrastructure. ESC also emphasized the need to adopt an entirely new Vocational Education and Training Act, to update secondary legislation, incl. the acts regulating dual learning and, where necessary to make appropriate changes to the Labour Code, the Social Security Code, the Health Insurance Act, the Corporate Income Tax Act, etc.

Other highlights in the resolution of the ESC include the development of the existing network of information and career guidance centres, the adoption of an adequate methodology for the recognition of acquired qualifications through non-formal learning, the conduct of information campaigns in order to increase the interest in vocational education and training. Last but not least, ESC recommended improving the regulatory framework for encouraging employers who accept students to practices, internships or dual training as well as vocational high schools which by means of vocational training practices produce and place products on the market.

ESC's Resolution on Vocational Education and Training is another act in which the Council assesses the importance of the problems in this area and proposes solutions to some of them. The document was pre-consulted with representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science, teachers, school principals and representatives of vocational training centres.