The European Training Foundation published the paper ‘Centres of Vocational Excellence: an engine for vocational education and training development’.
The document brings clarity in the contested understanding of vocational excellence, in the diversity of institutions that present themselves as ‘excellent’, and in the varied and dynamic policy-making contexts in which excellence is developing. It encourages to explore how the development and design of Centres of Vocational Excellence can be linked to human capital development strategies, carried out at a national level – such as the improvement of lifelong learning, or the emergence of smart specialisation.
Moreover, the paper focuses on the ties between the policy-making context and the Centres of Vocational Excellence. In many countries, for example, policy-makers are seeking to optimise and modernise vocational education and training systems and networks: in such cases, the Centres of Vocational Excellence offer a policy tool that is, at once, internationally credible, popular with stakeholders, incremental, and relatively ‘soft’ from a regulatory and political perspective.
At last, the analysis draws attention to the importance of governance and funding in the shaping and conceptualisation of Centres of Vocational Excellence. Support, partnership and cooperation are essential if vocational excellence is, over time, to be accessed by all. This implies a shift from the development of single vocational education and training schools or Centres of Vocational Excellence to the development of partnerships, clusters and networks of centres (regional, national or transnational).
Source: ETF, 2020