Skills beyond school

Making transitions work, Budapest, 21-23 May 2000


The development of open and coherent pathways of initial education and training as a basis for effective systems of lifelong learning has become one of the central policy concerns in OECD countries. This development responds to increasing educational participation, a growing diversity of student needs and interests, and the changing nature of work, requiring higher levels of general and vocational education and a more flexible workforce. The following elements of well organised pathway systems can be identified:

  • The availability of vocational as well as general education pathways at the post-compulsory
  • Work experience as part of post-compulsory education for as many young people as possible;
  • Access to tertiary education from all general as well vocational secondary pathways;
  • Modularised systems of qualifications that allow to combine courses and training units from different pathways and stages of education, including post-initial education;
  • Equivalence arrangements between general and vocational education certificates, or the development of a unitary qualification system;
  • Double qualifying pathways, providing a general education baccalaureat as well as a full vocational or technical qualification;
  • Diversified and interconnected pathways of tertiary education, including applied and
    technical courses, open to young people as well as to adult learners.