Is a pan-European survey of VET teachers and trainers feasible? ETUCE contribution to CEDEFOP study


ETUCE contributed to the CEDEFOP study to assess the feasibility of a pan-European survey on school leaders, teachers, students and in-company trainers in initial vocational education and training (IVET) settings. A tripartite advisory group was established by CEDEFOP to guide and support this study in six pilot countries: Austria, Greece, Croatia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Spain. Members of the Advisory group consisted of CEDEFOP project team members, European and national experts of the European Sectoral Social Partners for Education (ETUCE and EFEE)  and  ministries from the six pilot and other selected countries. From ETUCE, the following trade unions joined: GÖD (Austria), OIELE (Greece), ITUWEC (Croatia), FECCOO (Spain), FNE (Portugal) and LESTU (Lithuania).

The findings of the pilot survey were presented and discussed at the Third Policy Learning Forum (PLF) on VET teachers and trainers. During the event, ministries of participating countries shared positive views on the relevant role of a future pan-European survey as it would provide useful additional insights to the existing data and inform the future policy-making. The added value is given by the comparative view and by gathering similarities and differences among countries on relevant topics, such as wellbeing of teachers, trainers, principals and learners and their professional development. What strikes from the pilot study is that most of the VET school professionals attended continuous professional development (CPD) activities, but unfortunately mainly through self-learning (82%) and learning from colleagues (79%). In this regard, ETUCE emphasises the need to improve the quality and inclusiveness of the continuous professional development, as VET teachers should receive financial support and allocated working time to attend CPD. The pilot survey shows that school leaders are granted both more materials needed for activities (62%) and reimbursement costs (66%) compared to teachers (47% and 52%). In addition, more collaborative professional development activities might help increase the CPD participation, together with providing more support for teachers that deal with learners at risk of dropping out (51%) and learners with special educational needs or disabilities (49%). Furthermore, by attending continuous professional development activities, it would be easier for teachers to fully track the knowledge, skills and competences acquired.

Another outcome of the survey is that the work of school leaders, teachers and trainers is a source of stress and may have negative effects on their physical and mental health. In the case of teachers, the survey shows that their well-being could be improved by granting them high salaries (56%), better facilities and equipment (38%) and better recognition of their work (30%). On this note, the trade union from Spain (FECCOO) highlighted the well-being as a major issue , exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, during which teachers had to bear the costs of facilities and equipment themselves. In this regard, EFEE emphasized the lack of time for teachers for continuous professional development due to workload and stress issues. ETUCE believes that it would be useful to develop a pan-European survey in order to gather more data on well-being, in addition to the OECD and national ministries' information collection.

For information on the conditions for a future EU survey: PowerPoint Presentation (