Courses for Adults and Evening Class in Amsterdam


On 1 January 1996, a new Adult and Vocational Education Act (WEB) was introduced to give vocational and adult education a clear structure. Such courses are now mainly provided by 46 Regional Training Centres (ROCs). These centres provide a very wide range of education and training ranging from technical to language courses. In addition to the 46 ROCs, there are also 13 specialised vocational training institutions. Senior secondary vocational education and apprenticeship training are now put together under the term secondary vocational education.

To be effective, this system needs to be in tune with the needs of the labour market. Hence, more time is dedicated to occupational practice. In addition, training courses in large ROCs in each region are brought together to develop broad school communities which can offer a wide range of initial (and post-initial) training courses. These school communities play a central role in their own region in the labour-market-oriented training of young people.

A national qualifications structure for vocational education training is central to the Education and Vocational Training Act. This includes a new educational model. Education is given its own structure of qualifications, which will tie in with that of vocational training.

Five types of training are distinguished in vocational training from 1 August 1997, linking up with four levels of qualification.

Level Training Duration
1. simple executive work assistant training 0.5 - 1 year
2. executive work basic vocational training 2 - 3 years
3. complete independent execution of work vocational training 2 - 4 years
4. complete independent
execution of work with broad
usability or specialisation
middle-management training
specialist training
3 - 4 years
1 - 2 years<

Two learning paths are distinguished for training courses at these levels:

  • Off-the-job learning path (comparable with the old apprenticeship system)
  • Vocational-training learning path (comparable with the old senior secondary vocational education).

Education also gains its own structure of qualifications. Decisions have yet to be made on precisely how this will turn out in practice. Education is directed towards a good match with vocational and further education. Learning how to function in society (ability to cope socially) is also a priority.

Four types of training course are distinguished from 1 January 1997:

  • Continuing general adult education (VAVO)
  • Training courses aimed at broad social functioning
  • Training courses in Dutch as a second language
  • Training courses aimed at providing an ability to cope socially.

Update 29/02/2008


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