Vedaaranya Heritage Arts and Healing Festival 2016

Click here for more details!


Dr. Alessandra Molz

International Training Centre of the ILO,
Viale Maestri del Lavoro, 10 , 10127 Torino,

The role of VET for Social Inclusion: recent developments in the European Union

Two main purposes are usually being attributed to Vocational Education and Training (VET): Firstly, preparing people to successfully engage in the labour market and, secondly, promoting equity and social inclusion. Ideally, VET systems and programmes should cater for both of these objectives. Social inclusion refers to the participation e.g. in terms of health, social participation, housing, educational achievements and income levels. The important role of education in this respect is widely being recognised. Nevertheless, the role of VET and lifelong learning has not yet fully been examined.

This article looks at recent developments of how European Union Member States make use of VET and VET-related instruments in order to promote Social Inclusion. Three different levels are being considered:
a) the training system level, especially regarding access and transparency of the VET system;
b) specific training programmes directed towards excluded individuals and groups;
c) the organisation of training delivery, especially with regards to adapted teaching and learning methodology.

Within the above mentioned levels, some main developments can be observed:
- Greater accessibility to and flexibility in VET provision: VET has to be open to all and to respond to the needs of different types of learners, including the hardest-to-help groups.
- Stronger individualisation of learning paths: VET delivery has to be adapted to the individual needs and to be accompanied by well-coordinated institutional set-ups.
- Enhanced professional development of service providers: Institutions and their staff (teachers, trainers, counsellors) need to be able to adapt and respond effectively to diversity.
- Vocational guidance and counselling as a transversal element in all educational stages and for all ages.

The article concludes by summarising some of the main challenges to overcome.


Alessandra Molz holds a degree in Political Science and a post-graduate degree in Development Politics. She works with ILO since 1998: first with the ILO office in Lima, Peru and since 2005 with the ILO International Training Centre in Turin, Italy. In 2009/2010 she spent an eight months secondment with the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, CEDEFOP. Her main areas of work are vocational training, labour market policy and social inclusion.