From 26-28 March 2018, the Agency for Vocational Education and Adult Education (AVETAE) organized the first Vocational Teachers’ Days in Croatia, attended by 550 participants. During three conference days, vocational teachers participated in 48 professional development workshops and plenary lectures delivered by 50 speakers who presented the latest developments in vocational education, including sector-specific updates, top policy priorities and international best practices. The conference highlighted the pivotal role of highly qualified, motivated, innovative and adaptable VET teachers in delivering high quality and effective vocational education and training and promoted VET as the key instrument for economic growth and modernisation.

The first Vocational Teachers’ Days provided an opportunity for VET teachers from the entire country for professional development and networking, as well as the advancement of teachers’ competencies and the capacity for delivering top vocational education in dynamic contemporary social, economic and technological environments. Conference speakers included assistant minister, AVETAE director and assistant directors, university professors, prominent national and international policy experts, as well as top vocational professionals and practitioners.

The event was organized within AVETAE project Modernization of the System of Continuing Professional Development of VET School Teachers, funded through the European Social Fund. The total project value is over 1.5 million EUR for the period from 2017 to 2019. In line with the key national strategic priorities as defined by the VET System Development Programme 2016-2020, the project aim is to modernize the system of continuing professional development of VET school teachers in Croatia by proposing an innovative, open and flexible model of professional development based on identified needs, relevant content, state-of-the-art training delivery methods, advanced IT tools and a broad network of experts. In particular, the project is directed at advancing the professional competencies and the reputation of VET school teachers in Croatia, raising the number of teachers who participate in professional development, improving the quality and the availability of teacher training and defining the strategy of continuing professional development of VET school teachers. Next Vocational Teachers’ Days are planned for 2018 and 2019 and the intention of the Agency for Vocational Education and Training is to continue organizing similar events in the future.