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Public-private partnerships for skills development. A governance perspective.

Editeur(s) :  European Training Foundation

Date :  02/2021


Volume I, Thematic overview (pdf, 96 p.)

To ensure that young people and adults acquire the skills they need to render them employable, systems of vocational education and training (VET) around the world construct various forms of collaboration between the public and private sectors. Public–private partnerships (PPPs) that focus on skills development are one form of collaboration found in a country’s VET system. This report provides an overview of these PPPs; it clarifies what they are and how they function, and examines the conditions necessary for their formation and sustainability, as well as the risks they entail and their potential for success. In the European Skills Agenda, actor cooperation and public and private investments are important factors to support lifelong, accessible up-skilling and re-skilling for all. These factors also frame this publication, which is the result of the European Training Foundation’s (ETF) study on PPPs for skills development. The study concentrated on the progress of government and social partner cooperation in VET in the countries and territories surrounding the European Union (EU). Ministries, state authorities at the sub-national level, VET providers, employer and employee organisations, chambers of commerce and individual enterprises have intensified their cooperation due to the reforms that have promoted learning outcome-driven approaches in VET. However, the collaborative process has not always led to mechanisms capable of general application in the VET systems of these countries and territories. It appears that the idea of VET social partnership has taken root, but achieving sustainability will require more time. PPPs for skills development form part of the tools that can innovate social partnership in VET and make it sustainable. Evidence from 23 case studies shows that PPPs in the field of skills are meaningful if they focus on outcomes – bringing benefits to the learners – and address the potential risks that are inherent to any form of public–private cooperation on a public policy. The ETF analysis also offers policy lessons on VET systems governance, based on country comparison. Policy learning on governance should consider the adaptation and differentiation of institutional arrangements depending on the country context. A policy-learning approach in VET governance implies mapping and comparing strengths and weaknesses rather than identifying prescriptive blueprints. This analysis of PPPs elaborates on these issues as a contribution to the international debate on the means of developing human capital. For the ETF, human capital development has strong links with the creation of lifelong learning systems that provide opportunities and incentives for people to develop their skills, competences, knowledge and attitudes throughout their lives, with a view to improving their employment prospects and realising their potential, as well as contributing to the creation of prosperous, innovative and inclusive societies.

Volume II, Case studies (pdf, 144 p.)

Volume II contains the 23 case studies described and reviewed according to the analytical categories of the European Training Foundation’s (ETF) study methodology. - Chapter 1 presents 10 cases coming from countries that have a long tradition of public–private cooperation in vocational education and skills development. - Chapter 2 presents 13 cases coming from four countries that are now in the process of building a tradition of public–private cooperation in vocational education.

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mot(s) clé(s) :  enseignement et formation professionnels