On Track is a new Erasmus+ funded project which aims to develop a tracking system for graduates of VET. The tracking tool will enable VET providers to monitor their students’ career and further education and gather data to improve their training programmes and services. EfVET Member Intercollege Nicosia participates in this partnership.
Intercollege Nicosia (Cyprus)
The On Track key outcomes include:
- Developing a VET tracking system at the institute level that will feed into the quality assurance system of the VET providers involved;
- Developing a guide for supporting VET providers in establishing a tracking mechanism at their own institution;
- Raising awareness about the importance of VET graduate systems for improving the readiness of VET to respond to industry needs and improve the quality of vocational education.
What is the need for tracking graduates of VET?
The importance of monitoring of education and training graduates has been emphasized in recent policy documents. ‘New Skills Agenda for Europe’ (2016) emphasized the need for EU member states to have a ‘better understanding of the performance of graduates’. The Council Recommendation on tracking graduates (November 2017) emphasized the need to improve the availability of qualitative and quantitative information about what graduates from tertiary education and vocational education and training (VET) in Europe do after they complete their education and training. The Recommendation proposed a new ‘initiative on graduate tracking to improve information on how graduates progress in the labor market’.
Following the Council Recommendation, European Commission (DG EMPL) commissioned a study for mapping of VET graduate tracking measures in the EU Member States and developing scenarios for cooperation at EU level in this field. The intermediate results of this study were presented in the Annual EQAVET forum in Lille, December 2017. The study revealed a large variety of approaches at different levels, national, regional, sectoral or at the level of VET provider. According to the results, Greece, Cyprus, Latvia and Bulgaria do not have any tracking measure for VET graduates in place at any level, Slovakia has measures at the national level, Basque Country in Spain has measures at the regional level and Austria has tracking measures at national, regional and sectoral level. In none of the countries of the partnership, there were recorded tracking measures at the VET provider level.
Tracking VET students and graduates and providing feedback and input to the quality assurance system of the VET provider is also one of the main gaps in the implementation of EQAVET. EQAVET is based on a four-stage quality cycle: stage 1 – planning, stage 2 – implementation, stage 3 – evaluation and stage 4 – a review. The establishment of feedback loops between stage 4- review and stage 1 – review is one of the most challenging things in EQAVET, as it requires gathering, analyzing and interpretation of evidence from past performance of the VET provider and a process to feed the information and knowledge into future planning.
In order to implement On Track, a transnational partnership has been created involving nine partners (TUKE, IDEC, DELTA, NAVET, EUROFORTIS, 3S, INTERCOLLEGE, TXORIERRI, ASTRA) from seven EU countries (Slovakia, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Latvia, Austria, Spain).