Developing highly qualified workforce responsive to the needs of the economy, increasing employability and reducing social inequality , the possibility of free movement of people within the EU – these are some of the challenges facing the VET systems. Of crucial importance is also the role of the authorities that formulate and implement policies at national and local level aimed at improving the skills and increasing the investments in human resources.
The National Agency for Vocational Education and Training (NAVET), established in 1999 under the Vocational Education and Training Act, plays a key role in the process of modernisation of the VET system in the country and in coping with the above challenges.
The management and the expertise of the Agency are based on the principles of cooperation, partnership and interaction enshrined in the structure and functions of the Agency. The tripartite principle ensures a high level of consistency and coordination between the state institutions and the representative national organisations of employers and workers in the formulation of policies in the vocational education and training system in the country.
Since its establishment, the Agency has contributed considerably not only to the development and quality assurance of vocational education and training in Bulgaria, but also to the establishment and operation of an integrated system for enhancing the employability of different target groups at all stages of their lives – students, young people, adults (unemployed and employed).
The Agency is not only an institution that coordinates the implementation of national policies in the field of vocational education, training and vocational guidance in Bulgaria, but also investigates, applies and participates in the development of European instruments in this field. The participation in a number of international projects has significantly increased the expertise of the Agency and has turned it into an institution offering and asserting new ways of developing the lifelong learning policy in Bulgarian vocational education and training.
The Agency has an essential role in achieving the successful interaction between the state and the social partners in ensuring equal access of all Bulgarian citizens to high-quality vocational training in conformity with the requirements of the labour market.
Since its establishment the Agency has made a significant contribution to raising users awareness of the services provided by the VET system – through the website, an annually published bulletin, and in recent years with the help of the Information system. It ensures public access of individuals and businesses to the information related to the licensed vocational training centres – CVT and the Centres for information and vocational guidance – CIVG, as well as greater transparency of the licensing procedures, the training process and the issued documents.
On 24th March 2015 at the Earth and Man National Museum the National Agency for Vocational Education and Training (NAVET) marked its 15 anniversary. The round table discussion ” NAVET – Tradition, Partnership, Challenges” brought together ministers, deputy ministers, experts, representatives of organisations of employers and trade unions, representatives of vocational education and training centres.