VET and HRD research in European countries > Overview

Sweden  [3]  Issues and themes of VET/HRD projects

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In recent years most VET-related research in Sweden has been of an academic nature with approximately ten doctoral dissertations published in Sweden since 2000, covering topics ranging from comparative literature, economical history, educational science, ethnology, history, sociology, and vocational competence and technology. In the autumn of 2005 a major study on VET in Sweden was published by Jonas Olofsson (Svensk yrkesutbildning, Swedish vocational education and training). This publication was well timed given the current emphasis on VET in major reforms of upper secondary education in 2007 in Sweden. A description of the Swedish upper secondary system in English can be found here: Although the reform to upper secondary VET provision will be the most significant reform, there is also research related to advanced vocational education and training:

There are international reports that indirectly address VET in Sweden such as the OECD’s Equity in education: thematic review, Sweden country note ( This report was written in 2005 and addresses equity issues in Swedish education, including VET. Another OECD report on Sweden, Attracting Developing and Retaining Effective Teachers ( addresses, among other things, the critical need to attract and retain VET teachers, which is expected to be one of the most critical teacher shortage areas in the coming years.

Recent VET development projects funded under the Leonardo da Vinci programme have covered topics ranging from transportation safety to stone restoration to intercultural homecare. The Swedish Government, in recognising the increasing importance of VET, recently commissioned a special vocational education and training committee ( under the Ministry of Education, Research and Culture. The committee has representatives from business, public administration, labour and education institutions and has a goal to improve cooperation between the labour market and schools and to increase the quality of vocationally oriented education at Swedish upper secondary schools. Other goals include raising the status of, and number of students entering, vocational-oriented programmes. 

One of the most important current themes in Swedish-VET is apprenticeship, which has played a very minor role in VET in Sweden. A specific response to the need for more work-based training is the new upper secondary apprenticeship training that is part of the new upper secondary reforms from 2007, as mentioned in section 1. 

ANNEX: Selection of ERO Base projects

European labour market agreements

The value of knowledge - a study of validation

Nordic researchers networks

European Learning Automobile Network

Students as "Journeymen" between communities of higher education and work

Professional experiences and formal education - a study of how vocational teachers acquire knowledge

Internetbased assessment

Development of vocational training and co-operation between schools and working life

In-company training and learning organisations

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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Sweden (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO