Vocational training to be made more labour-market relevant

The education ministry is to reduce the number of places at vocational training colleges (mbo) for ‘popular courses where there is little work’, education minister Marja van Bijsterveld said in a briefing to MPs on Monday.

In particular, the plethora of courses focusing on the creative sector, such as ‘artist’, will be reduced to make sure graduates have a real chance of finding a job, the minister said.
At the same time, small specialist courses are to be protected and greater effort made to ensure mbo courses meet the needs of the jobs market, Van Bijsterveld said. ‘This is how we will make sure … industry can count on there being sufficient, properly educated workers.’
In particular, there is a looming shortage of trained workers for the healthcare and technology sectors, the minister said.
The minister wants colleges and employers to work together on a regional basis to ensure local employment needs are met. Some 525,000 youngsters are currently attending an mbo college, but numbers have fallen sharply in some regions.

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