On October 31, 2018, a first-time event in Latvia, the youth forum “Contemporary Vocational Education in Latvia” took place. Young people from different vocational education institutions demonstrated their talents and achievements, participated in two panel discussions with policy makers, employers and representatives of the academic field, and demonstrated that the vocational education can be and is attractive and innovative.
At the opening of the forum Karlis Sadurskis, the Minister of Education and Science, emphasized that the vocational education is currently developing faster than the understanding about it in the society. Therefore, it is important to find out whether the vocational education is developing in the right direction using a dialogue between young people, educators, education policy planners, associations and professionals from different fields.
Arvils Aseradens, the Minister of Economics, emphasized that Latvian vocational education sector is very developed, and schools have a clear vision of how the young specialists should be trained. Also, work-based learning plays an important role for the young people to quickly find an employer and enter the labour market successfully.
During the forum, two panel discussions and an interactive exhibition, created by the young people, were organized. In the panel discussion “What is contemporary vocational education”, students of the vocational education institutions together with the Minister of Education and Science, the Minister for Economics, the Head of the Large Cities Association, the Members of the Saeima, field association leaders, heads of higher education institutions asked questions and discussed the issues important to the vocational education, and its impact on the development of the national economy. In turn, in the panel discussion “Career and Growth”, young people together with the employers’ representatives discussed successful career opportunities in the labour market and business, the opportunities offered by the modern vocational education. In the interactive exhibition, young professionals demonstrated their achievements and talents through practical and innovative activities.
The final conclusion of the forum was that the vocational education is indeed a wise choice! To learn and acquire the profession you like is not only interesting, but also exciting. It helps to get a highly qualified work, prepares for an interesting and challenging career, and promotes employment.