Aiming to secure a smooth transition of students from vocational secondary schools to the labour market without the necessity of undergoing further complex training provided by their employers, the Slovak government on January 9 approved a legislative proposal on vocational education.
The theoretical part of the education process will be carried out at schools, while the practical training will be entrusted to companies, according to the proposal.
“We want to do our utmost to inspire greater interest in vocational education on the part of students, and to enable employers to participate directly in the education of young people and to hire these young people,” Prime Minister Robert Fico said for the TASR newswire after the special cabinet session.
In practice, employers who decide to join the project will enter into learning contracts with secondary-school students, who will be placed at a respective company. The system is beneficial for students in that they are entitled to receive remuneration for their work, while the companies will be motivated by state-granted tax relief. The government has allocated €26 million for the project up to 2018. The level of the granted tax relief will be the same for all participating firms.
Education, Science, Research and Sport Minister Juraj Draxler added that the now approved legislation has been elaborated for nearly two years. “Vocational education has a rich tradition and is of a considerably high quality,” said the minister who commented that this tradition has been flagging for a variety of reasons. “Nevertheless, we are not starting from scratch,” he said, adding that the scheme described in the legislation has been inspired by successful countries that are considered to be “cradles of dual education”.
Representatives of employers are not so happy about the legislation, however. They largely object that it will be difficult for the legislation to be realised in that the state is obliging them to carry out various duties, but at the same time is failing to create the conditions for the participation of employers in the system.
Fico conceded in this respect that the upcoming parliamentary debate on the legislative proposal can see several amendments to the wording of the document. If approved by parliament, the legislation should become effective as of April 1 and implemented at schools as of September 1, 2015 – the beginning of the new school year.
The Education Ministry drew inspiration from positive experiences with dual education in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as activities of companies from these countries in Slovakia, the SITA newswire wrote.
(Source: TASR, SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
12. Jan 2015 at 14:00