Innovation in education

Skills beyond School - The OECD Review of Postsecondary Vocational Education and Training



Skills beyond School - Synthesis Report

Higher level vocational education and training (VET) programmes are facing rapid change and intensifying challenges. What type of training is needed to meet the needs of changing economies? How should the programmes be funded? How should they be linked to academic and university programmes? How can employers and unions be engaged? This report synthesises the findings of the series of  country reports done on skills beyond school.


  • Chapter 1. The hidden world of professional education and training
  • Chapter 2. Enhancing the profile of professional education and training
  • Chapter 3. Three key elements of high-quality post-secondary programmes
  • Chapter 4. Transparency in learning outcomes
  • Chapter 5. Clearer pathways for learners
  • Chapter 6. Key characteristics of effective vocational systems


Skills beyond School - the OECD policy review of postsecondary vocational education and training, looks at the preparation of younger people and adults for technical and professional jobs. Key policy challenges include responsiveness to labour market needs, alongside inclusion, access, career guidance, finance, governance, teaching quality, integration with workplace learning, articulation with other sectors of education, and qualifications and assessment. It builds on the success of Learning for Jobs – which examined vocational education and training policy through 17 country reviews and a comparative report - and forms part of the horizontal OECD Skills Strategy linked to PIAAC and other initiatives across the OECD. It also draws on the OECD review of tertiary education.


All OECD countries, including accession countries, are invited to participate. Countries may:

  • Pursue an individual country policy review, involving the preparation of a background report by the country, followed by two visits by an OECD team, culminating in a report covering the strengths of the country system, including innovations and reforms of general interest and significance, analysis of the main policy challenges, and OECD recommendations designed to assist policy development. It will draw on experience from other countries to support the policy advice given. This option is designed to add substantial impetus and international perspective to policy development. Full country policy reviews have been conducted in Austria, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Israel, Kazakhstan, Korea, the Netherlands, Peru, Slovak RepublicSouth Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom (England), and the United States (with case studies of Florida, Maryland and Washington State).
  • Prepare a background report and invite an OECD team for a short visit to provide a published commentary on the background report. This option is much more modest, and is designed to assist countries to understand their own country system better in international context. Abbreviated exercises leading to a short OECD country commentary have been undertaken in Belgium (Flanders), Canada, Iceland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and in Northern Ireland and Scotland in the United Kingdom.


For further information please contact the project manager Pauline Musset.


Back to OECD Policy Reviews of Vocational Education and Training (VET)


Learning for Jobs

C‌lick book cover to read, share and embed on your website the publication Learning for Jobs


Download A Skills Beyond School Review
of the Netherlands


Skills Beyond School PowerPoint presentations for Denmark, Egypt, Iceland, Israel, Kazakhstan, Korea, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain and Switzerland.




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