the occasion of the 8th International Conference on HRD, taking place in
Oxford next week (homepage),
this newsletter offers a short review of HRD issues such as have been addressed
in R&D projects across Europe. This review is based on latest findings
of a Cedefop supported analysis of country reports produced by experts
cooperating in the network ReferNet (see initial overview in L&W
of 221 R&D projects from 23 countries, selected by national experts
as the most important ones in the area of HRD and VET, has provided the
Next to VET, the second major area covered by the project sample is HRD
related to the labour market and workforce at large (HRD-LM), while HRD
related to organisations and personnel management (HRD-O) forms a relatively
small part (a tenth of the total). The themes addressed by HRD-O related
projects, however, reflect a broad spectrum which corresponds to the profile
of European HRD identified in earlier investigations (see Areas
of EHRD). The following topics are included:
* continuing vocational training, key skills and management in SMEs;
* development of HRD related staff;
* personnel development in public services;
* learning organisations and learning regions;
* work process knowledge and knowledge management.
HRD-O related projects are distributed across a wide range of countries
and regions, with only minor concentrations (Poland and Spain). The UK
selection, however, includes only VET related projects, focusing on skills.
The projects of the Central and Eastern European countries are concerned,
most of all, with the promotion of the state system of education and training
in close relation to the needs of the labour market. These objectives are
part of an overall HRD strategy in these countries. Business and enterprises,
on the other hand, seem to play a less prominent role in promoting HRD.
Partly, as the projects show, efforts are made to involve firms and social
partners in restructuring the public VET programmes. Only a few projects
refer to HRD activities carried out by private organisations themselves,
in the context of human resource management.
Evidence from case studies on European projects suggests that HRD and VET
are extending in scope and role and converging, thematically and methodically,
towards more interfacing and complementary activities within the enterprises.
More specifically, there is an increasing tendency within the enterprises
in Europe to consider HRD through investment in VET promotion as a strategic
means for improving their performance, competitiveness and their ability
to keep pace with requirements of change. Furthermore, a new generation
of flexible vocational identities is emerging, with a relatively high access
to socio-professional promotion by means of continuous access to VET, formal
and informal work-based learning.
details of the findings summarised above can be found in the following
contributions which were prepared by a team involving M'Hamed Dif, Liliana
Voicu and myself. The papers are available on-line as part of the Cedefop/WIFO
project page (www.ero.vet-hrd.wifo-gate.org)
under Selected studies.
Thematic patterns of HRD and VET derived from a project analysis (Manning)
- Issues of HRD and VET addressed in Central and Eastern European countries
- Thematic and methodological aspects of the relationship between HRD and
studies link up with the earlier discussion of HRD and VET issues in Europe,
carried out at last year's round table sessions at the International HRD
Conference in Tilburg and at ECER/VETNET in Geneva (see Proceedings).
of HRD in Europe have been a recurrent theme of debate at the International
HRD Conferences since 2002. You may look up the annual proceedings of the
discussions on the EHRD Portal under Debate.