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Portugal  [1]  Context of national VET/HRD policies

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One of the strategic objectives of the XVII Constitutional Government to promote a sustained development in Portugal is the Technological Plan, created in 2005. This Action Plan recognises the need to qualify the Portuguese population and to stimulate innovation and technological modernisation, by promoting policies designed to speed up the present adjustment process of the specialisation model of the Portuguese economy. This Plan also conforms to the Lisbon Agenda. It comprises 3 axes of action:
  1. Knowledge - To qualify the Portuguese for the knowledge society by fostering structural measures designed to raise the average education levels of the population, by setting up a comprehensive and diversified system for lifelong learning, and by mobilising the Portuguese for the Information Society. 
  2. Technology - To overcome the scientific and technological gap by reinforcing national scientific and technological competencies, both public and private, by recognising the role of enterprises in training skilled labour and in research and development (R&D) activities.
  3. Innovation - To boost innovation by facilitating the adjustment of the productive fabric to the challenges of globalisation, through the dissemination, adjustment and use of new processes, organisational structures, services and products. 
A number of measures and initiatives that fit in the implementation of this Plan have already been launched. The following should be highlighted: 
  • SIFIDE - Sistema de incentivos fiscais em investigação e desenvolvimento empresarial (Tax Incentive System for Entrepreneurial R&D), reinstalling and improving a favourable tax environment for R&D within enterprises ;
  •  PIIP - Programa de Investimentos em Infra-estruturas Prioritárias (Investment Programme for Priority Infrastructures), including projects that support innovation and technological modernisation;
  • Programme “Ligar Portugal” (Connecting Portugal), which establishes the national policy for the information society and promotes access to broadband;
  • Initiative “Novas Oportunidades” (New Opportunities), aimed at the re-qualification of approximately 1 million Portuguese;
  • Programmes “Inov-Jovem” (Inov-Youths) and “Inov-Contacto” (Inov-Contact) designed to introduce management, technological, marketing and internationalisation competencies to enterprises;
  • Strategic reorientation of PRIME Programme, favouring innovation and internationalisation;
  • Tendering for the awarding of wind power production, together with the setting-up of an industrial cluster linked to higher education institutions and of a Fund for Innovation;
  • Initiative “Empresa na Hora” (a company in one hour), that aims to reduce the acts, and therefore the time, for companies’ legal establishment, without compromising legal safety;
  • Adoption of the electronic invoice for all public administration services; it will be mandatory by the end of 2006;
  • Setting-up of an evaluation system for scientific institutions;
  • Reform of the higher education system, according to the Bologna European process;
  • Launching of a high quality primary education system, through training and follow-up of Mathematics and Portuguese teachers, the introduction of English classes, and the effort to ensure that pupils spend more time at school.
Concerning the tertiary level of education most efforts were concentrated on the implementation of Bologna orientations. In this scope the government approved the Second revision of the Comprehensive Law on the Education System (Law nº 49/2005, of 30 August).
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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Portugal (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO