1.B VET in sector map

Vocational education and training can ease the transition from school to work, whilst supplying employers with trained workers. VET programmes are relevant for the labour market, insofar as they are transparent as to what job(s) is being trained for as well as the further career possibilities offered to the students (and their employers).

Thus, training programmes are purposefully descriptive and aimed at covering future needs. They are required to be flexible and able to cover generic learning outcomes that are adaptable to different contexts and organizational situations, i.e. for broader or narrower job profiles.

Employers usually think in terms of the tasks to be performed, while VET Providers think in terms of Knowledge and skills to be acquired.

The relevance of VET programmes is continuously challenged by future needs and changing criteria. The match between VET programme supply and labour market demand is better made when three dimensions are present:

  1. in terms of quantity: relevance for students and the labour market to provide the expected volume of vacancies.
  2. in terms of quality: relevance of knowledge and skills on the right level to provide for current as well as future job demands. It is about having the right content and the right way of presenting it to students. (See the section on job profiling “II. Creating a common language through job profiles” and the one measuring the match in quality “IV. How to establish the (mis)match in QUALITY”).
  3. In terms of spread (geography and time): education and available workforce at the right time and in the right place.

Assuming a certain distance between VET programmes and job requirements, how can VET providers and sector policy makers narrow the gap?

The challenge for iVET programmes is to match two worlds: students (and their parents) who need education that provide possibilities that matches their ambitions but also gives them a good start in terms of  employability in the labour market; working society/ the labour market which needs well-trained workers but is hardly capable of defining what is needed. Students are the customer of education as well the product for the labour market.

The evolution of jobs is aligned to the changing skills and knowledge. VET programmes drive the provision of professional knowledge, skills and the allocation of talents.

With a view to providing quality VET programmes, VET providers have to be open and seek dialogue with relevant stakeholders and react quickly to changes that are required.. The sector map supports this purpose, describing the labour and VET market within one recognizable and clear context, thus aligning VET programmes with jobs.


STEP 1 to project the career on the sector map, plot/outline learning path along the same coordinates of level and content.

VET programmes are dominantly classified by their level. The European Qualification Framework (EQF), for instance, distinguishes 8 of those levels.


For inspiration take a look at https://ec.europa.eu/ploteus/content/descriptors-page

Work processes  Work Processes Planning and Management Work Processes Operational Commercial Work Processes Supervision and Control


If the jobs concerned require certain certificates, it is important to match them with training programmes to obtain them.


STEP 2 Match VET programmes with the associated jobs

To compile the sector map, make a reference to the VET programmes relevant for the jobs concerned. Characteristics (tasks and competences) of the specific job are matched with the relevant VET programmes available.

Where no relevant VET programmes are available, creating blind spots in the table is likely to find similar vacancies hard to fulfil.

This perspective - matching jobs and VET programmes - immediately shows the gap between Vocational Education and the world of work.


In the examples below, the sector map of installation technology is filled with jobs (Table 4) and VET programs (Table 5).

Table 4

Installation technology jobs

Level Cooling Heating Service and maintenance
5 Project manager Project manager Project manager
4 Senior mechanic Senior mechanic Service engineer
3 Medior mechanic Medior mechanic Service man
2 Junior mechanic Junior mechanic Assistant
1 Assistant Assistant -

Table 5

Installation technology VET programmes

Level Cooling Heating Service and maintenance
5 Graduate program No VET programs available No VET program available
4 Intermediate programs Intermediate programs
3 Intermediate programs
1 General basic program Irrelevant


For inspiration take a look at “I.B.1. Sector map”

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