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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
National reforms in vocational education and training and adult learning


14.Ongoing reforms and policy developments

14.3National reforms in vocational education and training and adult learning

Last update: 15 March 2023


Industry Skills Centres (ISC)

16 September 2022, info updated in March 2023

On 15 September 2022, on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Science, the Foundation for the Development of the Education System announced a competition under the National Recovery Plan for the creation of 120 modern industry skills centres.

The investment of more than PLN 1.4 billion includes the creation of 120 centres in partnership of sectoral institutions and bodies running vocational training schools and vocational training centres.

Among others, industry organisations, chambers of commerce, vocational associations and vocational self-governments of practitioners were invited to participate in the competition.

The centres will be technologically advanced education, training and examination centres in the relevant sector. Pupils, students, teachers, lecturers and industry professionals will be able to benefit from their offer.

In each of the 120 fields identified for the competition, 1 centre will be established in the country - its location will be decided by the industry concerned, with ISCs being set up at vocational training schools or vocational training centres.

The centres will specialise in a particular area of the economy. Key industries for the development of economy will be included among the 120 fields in which centres will be created, among others, automation, robotics, mechatronics, automotive industry, aerospace industry, renewable energy, transport, forwarding and logistics, or food processing.

With the involvement of the industries, the projects will further connect business with vocational education and ensure sustainable cooperation between industries, vocational schools and universities.

The ISCs will have four functions: education and training, integration and support, innovation and development, and counselling and promotion.

It is envisaged that at least 20 ISCs will be established by the end of 2023 and another 100 by the end of 2024.

The ISCs will thus reinforce the vocational training reform implemented by the Ministry of Education and Science from 2019.

In 2023 the Ministry of the Education and Science is working on a law that will place Industry Skills Centres in the education system.

A draft will be submitted for inter-ministerial consultation, where the Ministry proposes a method of financing, the functioning of Industry Skills Centres in the educational system, as a centre where the industry can be the leading body.


Vocational Education and Training Action Plan 2022-2025

5 August 2022

The Council of Ministers has adopted the Vocational Education and Training Action Plan for 2022-2025, developed by the Ministry of Education and Science in cooperation with other ministries. The aim of the measures included in the document is to prepare workers for the needs of a modern economy. It is a continuation of the reform of vocational education, which began in 2019. The action plan takes into account the challenges facing vocational education arising from economic change, development of new technologies and increasing digitalisation.

Key actions of the Plan include:

  • strengthening cooperation with employers representatives in the further development of vocational education in specific sectors,
  • ongoing adaptation of the offer and content of vocational education, in cooperation with employers, resulting from technological changes and the challenges of digitisation, 
  • increasing access to new professions for students with different types of disabilities,
  • expanding the range of marketable qualifications,
  • establishing sectoral skills centres - education, training and examination centres in specific sectors,
  • preparing further multimedia materials for vocational training using new technologies,
  • increasing the use of new technologies during vocational examinations,
  • adopting additional solutions concerning the possibility of flexible employment of specialists from the market in schools,
  • increasing access to vocational training delivered at employers' premises for vocational teachers,
  • promotion of the best vocational education teachers and their involvement in activities disseminating innovations in vocational education,
  • launching an Internet portal presenting available professions and facilitating cooperation between schools and employers,
  • the organisation of the European Skills Competition - Euroskills in 2023.
  • increasing the participation of regional governments in activities aiming to develop vocational education and implement the Integrated Skills Strategy at regional level.

More information.

6 new professions in the classification of occupations of industrial education

1 February 2022

Fitter of Fair and Exhibition structures, Technician of Services for the Fair and Exhibition Industry, Woodwork Automation and Assembly Technician, Industrial Insulation Technician, Ship Electro-automation Technician and Yacht Industry Technician are 6 new professions introduced to the classification of professions of industrial education. The Minister of Education and Science signed a regulation on this matter. Introduction of new professions is a response to labour market needs.

The Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry has proposed the introduction of new professions Fitter of Fair and Exhibition Structures and Technician of Services for the Fair and Exhibition Industry to the Minister in charge of construction, spatial planning and development and housing, pointing to the shortage of workers in the trade fair and exhibition industry. Training of future professionals and specialists in the construction of trade fair and exhibition stands and stage structures will be conducted for companies providing technical services for trade fairs, conferences, concerts and other artistic events. In the fitter's profession, training will be provided at Stage I sectoral vocational schools, and in the technician's profession - at technical schools, and in the future also at Stage II sectoral vocational schools.

Introduction of the profession of Woodwork Automation and Assembly Technician results from the demand for medium technical staff in the woodwork industry. The initiative to create a new profession came from the Association of Manufacturers, Suppliers and Distributors "Polskie Okna i Drzwi". The dynamically developing woodwork sector, which has a high share in exports, needs educated staff at the technical level, with skills in electronics and automation. So far, training for this sector was only possible in the occupation of carpentry fitter at the level of vocational secondary school. The new profession of Woodwork Automation and Assembly Technician will be able to be trained in technical secondary schools and sectoral vocational schools on the basis of the profession of a Woodwork Technician.

The introduction of the profession of Industrial Insulation Technician was made at the request of the minister responsible for economy, as a result of such a demand made by the Polish Association of Industrial Insulation Contractors. The possibility of training in the new profession is a result of the demand for middle management staff in the industrial insulation sector. Up to now education for the needs of this sector has only been possible in the profession of industrial insulator at the level of the industry vocational secondary school. Modern technologies and insulation materials as well as new tasks in the field of energy efficiency assessment of industrial installations require training of specialists at the technical level. The training in the profession of Industrial Insulation Technician will be carried out in technical secondary schools and in industrial sectoral vocational  schools on the basis of the profession of Industrial Insulation Technician.

The new profession of Ship Electro-automation Technician was introduced at the request of the minister responsible for maritime economy, at the initiative of the employers' organisation "Konfederacja Lewiatan". The profession is a response to the shortage of specialists in electrical installations and automation in the shipbuilding industry. The analysis of the database of advertisements for seafarers on national industry Internet portals and portals of agencies recruiting crew members for sea-going ships shows that there is significant demand on the labour market for personnel educated at the technical level in the field of electrical automation in this sector. Training as a Ship Electro-automation Technician will be available at technical secondary schools and at two-year post-secondary schools.

The introduction of the profession of Yacht Industry Technician to the educational system was made at the request of the minister responsible for maritime economy and inland navigation, at the initiative of the employers' organisation "Pracodawcy Pomorza". The need for the introduction of this profession is related to the lack of medium-level technical staff in the yacht and motor boat manufacturing industry and the demand for such specialists. The yachting industry in Poland consists of approximately 900 companies and employs over 35 thousand people, which places it in a leading position in Europe and worldwide. The production of yachts and boats can hardly keep up with orders due to the lack of specialised technical staff. The training in the new profession Yacht Industry Technician will supplement the existing offer of training in the profession of yacht and boat fitter and will be implemented in technical secondary schools and sectoral vocational schools on the basis of the profession of Yacht and Boat Fitter.

It will be possible to provide qualification courses and vocational skills courses in qualifications identified in the newly introduced professions, with the exception of the profession of Ship Electro-automation Technician.

The regulation comes into force on 1 September 2022.


Digital Development Clubs

29 October 2021

The establishment of Digital Development Clubs is primarily a response to the progressive digitisation process in many areas. The clubs are to be a place of education, support and development of digital competences in all regions of Poland.

Thanks to the implementation of the programme, both seniors and other interested persons will be able to learn how to use the Internet (including social networking sites), they will become familiar with tools for online connections, they will also learn how to join the group of mObywatel application users and several million Poles using a trusted profile.

More people will learn about and be able to use e-services that make life easier, such as the Internet Patient Account, e-PIT (electronic tax declarations) or signing documents online.

Digital Development Clubs will be established in existing libraries, media centres, community centres, Universities of the Third Age, etc. in the individual municipalities. They will add new functions to these places, making them even more useful to the local community.

The most important objective of establishing the Clubs is to support the development of digital competences of the population across Poland. The specific objectives of the project include:

  • creating equal opportunities for people living in areas with less access to training services and new technologies,
  • strengthening social ties,
  • counteracting the phenomena of exclusion and unemployment,
  • creation of local activation centres for developing digital competences.

The clubs will be equipped with the necessary hardware and software. This will enable appropriately trained educators to help interested people become familiar with new technologies and improve their digital competences.

It is planned to launch 2,500 Clubs and prepare 5,000 educators - animators of digital competence development of the local community - to work in them. In the pilot phase, the programme will cover 64 municipalities with different characteristics, all over Poland - so that the model of the Digital Development Clubs will be tested in different environments.

The estimated cost of the project is more than one billion PLN. The project will be financed under the European Funds for Social Development 2021-2027 programme.

4 new occupations added to the classification of occupations of industrial education

Reform status: approved, 4 February 2021

Roofing Technician, Stylist Technician, Robotics Technician and Podologist are the 4 new occupations introduced to the classification of occupations of industrial education:  The Minister of Education and Science signed a relevant regulation on this matter. Introduction of new professions to the classification serves as a response to labour market needs.

The regulation will come into force on the 1st of September 2021.

Rozporządzenie Ministra Edukacji i Nauki z dnia 27 stycznia 2021 r. zmieniające rozporządzenie w sprawie ogólnych celów i zadań kształcenia w zawodach szkolnictwa branżowego oraz klasyfikacji zawodów szkolnictwa branżowego (Dz.U. poz. 211)



Vocational education and training in the school year 2020/21

Reform status: new institution launched, September 2020

Education in stage II sectoral vocational schools will commence on the 1st September 2020. These schools offer graduates of stage I vocational schools (and for several years also graduates of existing basic vocational schools) the opportunity to obtain a technician qualification (after passing a vocational examination in a given occupation) along with an upper secondary school-leaving certificate (after passing the Matura secondary school leaving examination).

As of the 1st of September 2020, the educational offer of schools providing vocational education and training was expanded to include 4 new occupations: welding technician, railway vehicle technician, railway vehicle mechanic and ceramics decorator.

On the Integrated Educational Platform, in the Career Counselling tab, the first pool of multimedia materials, supporting the process of career counselling (videos, occupation-related information and VR materials) presenting 76 out of 219 occupations of sectoral vocational education, was placed. These materials, which have been developed under EU projects (for students in grades 7 and 8 of primary schools, as well as for secondary school students and adults), can be used when making decisions about the choice of future profession as well as the direction of further education. In addition, 45 multimedia materials for children in early childhood education have been made available in the same tab, introducing them to the world of professions and occupations.

New Folk University Support Programme for 2020-2030

Status: adopted by the Polish Government, 18 June 2020

The new programme aims at supporting existing Folk Universities, reformulating their educational mission and establishing new institutions.

Folk universities by definition prepare for active involvement in social life and help their learners to cope with contemporary challenges. The programme covers a wide scope of intervention including: development of professional and social competences of the young unemployed, education and counteracting of digital exclusion of senior citizens, promotion of employability, validation of qualifications, support to folk culture as a means of building local communities’ identity, shaping of responsibility for „local homelands” and development of local leaders.

The folk university settings are to be institutions based on the so called Grundtvig concept with an open, friendly atmosphere aiming to support personal development and social activity. Such settings will become attractive to less active individuals and offer them an opportunity for a better life. The Programme corresponds with the basis of current policy on development of adult education, which aims to support, among other things, active involvement and cultural creativity understood as a learning outcome.

Basic Outline of theFolk University Support Programme for 2020-2030 (Program Wspierania Rozwoju Uniwersytetów Ludowych na lata 2020-2030 (PWRUL):

  • The Programme’s Budget: 100.000.000 PLN (9.3 million PLN a year for the period of 2020-2030)
  • Five priorities:
    • Priority 1. Infrastructural and programme support to the existing folk universities
    • Priority 2. Support for the establishment of new and reactivation of former folk universities
    • Priority 3. Support for networking and cooperation between folk universities and promotion of Grundtvig type education
    • Priority 4. Support for the development of civic education and preservation of heritage in local communities
    • Priority 5. Technical support.
All the current information on the Programme will be available at the web page (and on social channels) of the National Freedom Institute – the Centre for Development of Civil Society (Narodowy Instytut Wolności – Centrum Rozwoju Społeczeństwa Obywatelskiego).    

A Chance – New Opportunities for Adults

Status: under implementation, June 2020

The Foundation for the Development of the Education System in partnership with the Educational Research Institute are implementing the project “A Chance - New Opportunities for Adults”. The project is in line with the 2016 Council Recommendation on Upskilling Pathways: New Opportunities for Adults; it is co-financed by the European Social Fund and will be completed at the end of 2021.

The main aim of the project is to support adults with a low level of skills, knowledge and competences who are not eligible for support under The Youth Guarantee programme.

The project will offer beneficiaries flexible opportunities to improve their literacy, numeracy, digital and social competences, and the option to progress to higher levels of the Polish Qualifications Framework. These objectives will be achieved by developing effective models that will reach and motivate individuals from selected target groups, and by offering them tailored-made learning programmes, skills assessment and the validation of achieved learning outcomes.

The project has three phases:

  1. The first phase (1.10.2018–31.07.2019) included qualitative research and an analysis of current initiatives (e.g. projects, surveys, reports, strategy documents), the selection of priority target groups as well as the development of specifications and requirements for tailored models supporting adults with a low level of basic skills.
  2. The second phase (1.08.2019–30.06.2021) is focused on developing these tailored models by eligible entities chosen in an open call for grants; the best ones will be piloted.
  3. The third phase (1.07.2021–31.12.2021) will focus on preparing recommendations to the government to be used in developing coherent strategies for raising adults’ basic skills. They will include conclusions from the piloted models and will cover such aspects as the effectiveness of the pilot projects, the cost effectiveness of the interventions, and best practices.

The main products developed during the project’s first phase are presented below. This phase had a conceptual and research character, its objective was to develop the main premises for implementing the next phases of the project “A Chance – New Opportunities for Adults”.