History of VET has become an increasing focus of attention across a wide range of countries across Europe and beyond (see Berner & Gonon 2015, Michelsen et al. 2018). At the same time, there is growing interest from policymakers to assess new developments in VET by trying to understand the dynamics and reform potentials in this field. Also, in the VET research community, a sense for institutional constraints and the issue how VET in its different shapes will display and survive in the future is a point of discussion and boosts research. In this regard it is utterly important to understand the cultural foundations and imprints of VET due to respective national historical developments. This special issue aims to bring together different strands of research from a range of countries. On the one hand, they illuminate how specific VET systems have developed, while on the other questions of policy and governance both in the past and in the future are the shaping factors of VET and VET reform. We invite papers that should seek to move our understanding of the culture and history of VET and help to support our forward thinking and understanding in the field both theoretically and/or empirically.