There is a competition of top professionals in the global market economy. Skill and practical knowledge is now an asset. Students who were at school better in practical skills than in academic subjects are in demand on labour market. Former special learners from primary school have found that there is a shortage of highly skilled workers. Nokia has made a recent notice of transferring its production to China in lack of specialist labour force in Finland. The secret of Finnish is success in new technology has been highly skilled professional labour.
The tactic knowledge of our professionals is now in danger to disappear with the workplaces. Increasing demand of skilled labour cannot be filled without vocational training. The challenges of vocational training are the transfer of professional skills to the new generation and preserve competitiveness of our country. In the work training and skills demonstrations are answers to transfer of the skills. The inclusion of special learners gives everybody equal opportunity to gain top skills needed in 21st century.
Vocational skills demonstrations were developed in pilot programmes organized by National Board of Education in Finland. The experiences proved the success. The new reform had two great challenges: how to give needed support for special learners and how to guarantee equal and just assessment for all students. How to avoid stigma. How to create of universal assessment standards for the needs of vocational training.
The subject of estimating professional skills should not be the student but the quality work he or she is performing. It should mean equality for all students without any stigma. The demands of vocational skills are placed by workplaces. This means, that the criteria’s of vocational skills demonstrations are referred in working standards. This means also a quality reference for vocational training. The time will prove whether vocational skills demonstrations and inclusion of special learners will give Finland a first row in competition for global top professionals.