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Issues of HRD and VET addressed in Central and Eastern European countries
An analytical overview of current R&D projects

Sabine Manning - Research Forum WIFO Berlin
May 2007

Part 1 of the Paper "Issues of HRD and VET in Central and Eastern European countries, in the light of recent R&D projects" by Sabine Manning & Liliana Voicu, published in the ERO Base of the ETV.

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This analytical overview highlights issues of HRD and VET which are addressed by current R&D projects carried out in CEEC. It starts out from three questions:

  • What are the major issues of HRD and VET identified in CEEC based projects?
  • To what extent do the CEEC based projects reflect EU priorities for VET and HRD?
  • Which themes of HRD and VET are particularly taken up in the EU supported projects coordinated by CEEC institutions?
The overview is based on data provided by EU country reports (ERO National Research Reports - ENRRs) which were supplied by the Cedefop network of experts - ReferNet (see Reference). The task of the national experts preparing the ENRRs was to compile, for each country, about ten projects regarded as important in the national context of HRD and VET. These could be either national projects or EU supported projects carried out by an institution in the country concerned. A total of 80 projects, mostly referring to the year 2005, were put forward by nine CEEC based reports. 

The following countries are involved in this overview: Cyprus [CY], the Czech Republic [CZ], Estonia [EE], Hungary [HU], Latvia [LV], Lithuania [LT], Poland [PL], Slovenia [SI] and the Slovak Republic [SK].

Altogether, the analytical overview suggests the following general conclusions:

The requirements of socio-economic reconstruction in CEEC have a strong impact on all the major issues of HRD and VET addressed in R&D projects. In particular this impact is demonstrated by projects dealing with issues of the labour market and skills requirements (E), issues of promoting (initial) vocational education and training (B) and continuing education and training (C), and issues of transition between education and work (D). While these are primarily systemic aspects, there seems to be less emphasis on process aspects such as learning and training (A) unless these are again linked to system aspects, for example curriculum development and e-learning. 

The fundamental effort of developing human resources, as reflected in the CEEC projects, appears to be directed, most of all, to the promotion of the state system of education and training in close relation to the needs of the labour market. This strategy of HRD can be regarded as a characteristic of CEEC. Business and enterprises, on the other hand, seem to play a less prominent role in human resource development. 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. 

The EU programmes contribute significantly to promoting R&D activities in CEEC institutions. This is not only apparent from the considerable proportion of EU supported projects, included in the selection, but also from the European dimension which is evident in several national projects. Nearly all the EU related projects address significant issues of development in CEEC. Likewise it can be assumed that CEEC institutions, by engaging in EU project partnerships, also make an impact on R&D in the broader EU context, by enriching the transnational perspective on HRD and VET issues.

Set up: 22/05/2007
Update: 15/04/2008
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO