Improving the Quality of Technical and Vocational Education in Slovakia for European Labour Market Needs

Roman Hrmo, Juraj Miština, Lucia Krištofiaková

Abstract


Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) makes a significant contribution to economic competitiveness and welfare in a global knowledge-based economy. The main challenge for vocational education and training is to meet the changing skills needs of individuals and the world of work in accordance with the principle of lifelong learning. Since the demand for new skilled workers is increasing, and the TVET customer base is constantly diversifying, it is necessary to increase awareness of the key role played by education and training in economic competitiveness and social inclusion. As in other EU countries, quality assurance in Slovakia plays a decisive role in modernising education and training systems and in improving their performance and attractiveness. These objectives are widely shared by the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic. Education and training systems are being modernised and transformed in terms of more effective management systems and quality assurance. The paper responds to current situation and deficiencies in the educational system of technical and vocational secondary schools in Slovakia in training of qualified workforce for the local and global labour markets. Authors introduces the project "Model for improving the quality of graduates and job applicants in the European labour market" elaborated and submitted by the two Slovak institutions of higher education - Dubnica Institute of Technology in Dubnica nad Váhom and the University of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava, Slovakia. Both institutions are characterized by an experienced staff in the field of educational research. The project aims to the development of a model for improving the quality of graduates and job applicants in European labour market. It focuses on graduates of secondary vocational schools in Slovakia and the acquisition and improvement of their key competences. The pilot stage of the Project deals with theoretical background of quality assurance and specifics of its application in the area of technical and vocational education. In further stage, the project deals with a model for improving the quality of graduates and job applicants, in particular by the application of the elements of the foreign language communication skills improvement, increasing the computer literacy and enhancing the quality of teaching technical and vocational subjects of the target group. The importance of clear concise communication is often overlooked by the typical engineer and scientist. Based on the research findings, the paper emphasises the importance of communication skills in training students for technical and engineering professions. The author provides research findings in analysis of the most common mistakes in preparing PowerPoint slides, and in giving oral presentations. He shows practical outcomes and methodology for proper communication training. The published findings would help teachers of engineering and science subjects to find the way to implement communication and presentation skills into technical subjects, as well as to increase efficiency of their technical presentations in educational process.

Keywords


European labour market; key competences; quality system; technical and vocational education; training

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International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP) – eISSN: 2192-4880
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