The end of eternity: Shaping the future of vocational education and training

Loukas Zahilas


The future of vocational education and training will look very different, as automation and artificial intelligence will make many manual, repetitive jobs obsolete and the VET systems will have to address fast several complicated challenges. Currently the discussion focuses on the accelerating pace of changes both in job creation and destruction. Another dimension that will significantly change education and training systems is the fact that most of us will live significantly longer than our parents, and in many cases the babies born today are expected to live for at least 100 years. 

Cedefop project “The changing nature and role of VET in Europe” (2016-18), covering the 28 EU member states, Iceland and Norway, took a step back and painted a comprehensive picture of VET developments in Europe, identifying challenges as well as opportunities. The outcomes of the project are presented highlighting developments from different perspectives (institutional, pedagogical and socio-economic) Building on the analysis of developments since 1995, the potential pathways are presented in brief. Reference is made to Cedefop’s work on the dynamics of change in VET and the wider European policy context highlighting the joint work that started in Copenhagen in 2002 and continued with the Bruges- Riga cycle.


Vocational education and training (VET), Skills, Lifelong learning, Education and training policy, future of VET, Competence, National qualifications framework

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