On July 5, 2022, a debate was held in Warsaw entitled “The future of dual vocational education in Poland”, organised as part of the INVOLVE project by the Institute of Public Affairs with the financial support of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. The introductory word was delivered by: Krzysztof Getka from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and Dominik Owczarek, director of the Social Policy Programme at the Institute of Public Affairs. Then, the analyst of the Institute of Public Affairs, Maciej Pańków, presented the main findings from the research study on the functioning of dual vocational education in Poland and the role of social partners in governing this area and the reforms that have been carried out in recent years. Then there was a panel discussion, attended by:
- Tomasz Madej (Centre for Education Development)
- Jolanta Kosakowska (Polish Craft Association)
- Katarzyna Siemienkiewicz (Employers of the Republic of Poland)
- Gerard Skroński (National Road Transport Section of NSZZ “Solidarność”)
- dr Jörg Markowitsch (3S Consulting)
The discussion was moderated by Sławomir Jeneralski (Association of International Road Carriers in Poland).
The discussion, followed by approximately 20 audience members, concerned a number of aspects of the functioning of vocational education in Poland, in particular the challenges in the face of problems of the national economy, such as shortages of qualified employees. The panellists talked about possible ways to improve the image of vocational schools, strengthen early career counselling to help young people make rational decisions about their further education path, as well as ways to support companies engaging in dual education and to promote such involvement among other entrepreneurs. The interlocutors agreed that in recent years there has been an improvement in the quality of vocational education and training as well as in the image of vocational schools in Poland, although various aspects of their functioning still require improvement, which can be significantly helped by the involvement of the social dialogue organisations. Additional inspiration for improving the functioning of Polish vocational education was provided by Jörg Markowitsch, who spoke about various solutions applied in Austria.
After the panel discussion, a round of questions from the audience was held, which showed considerable interest in this issue among the guests who decided to participate in the event.