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14 Pages
English

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Vocational training in Europe2/07
Vocational training
Target audience: Specialised/Technical

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InfoEN 2 2007.qxd:DE 9/6/07 5:25 PM Page 1
Voccatioenal trdainingeinfEuroope2p/07info
The challenges facing Europe Conclusions of Agora XXVI, Building a EuropeaninfyteienIdeksrw ro rhitkos  egvindogprmmra. esreModiviilau des TEVlsdeen VET area: The Agora conference co-organised bymake the right decisions on human capital in-  Toage of 40 should be able to have their skills validated; Cedefop and the German presidency last April and related policies, we need to identify which vestmentage-sensitive learning environments should become sought to assess the progress achieved in imple- are in shortage now and which will be needed inwidespread. skills menting the Copenhagen-Maastricht-Helsinki pri-the future. Generally, an increasing demand for higher-orities. These were its main conclusions:skilled people is expected across all occupations. Several There is at present a trend towards the polarisation of fields currently report labour shortages, including jobs, with employment increasing in both low skilled and healthcare, management, marketing, finance, science, high-skilled occupations. Compared to several non-EU and engineering; there is also a dearth of teachers, con-countries, the EU-27 score low in high skills and high in struction workers, and hotel and catering professionals. low skills. About 30 % of the European working age pop- Moreover, skill gaps are reported between job require-ulation are (formally) low-skilled, though two-thirds of the ments and the real competences of workers. Companies jobs in the EU-27 are found in skilled and higher-skilled now look not only for occupation-specific skills but also occupations (2006). Thus, greater demand is expected for for ICT, language, and personal and social skills, which higher-skilled people across all occupations. they often rate more highly than specialist and formal Moreover, by 2009 there will be more people aged knowledge. Since skill gaps are similar across countries 55-64 than 15-24. Many of the workers who are now and sectors, common action should be taken, such as over 45 spend half their lives without sufficient op-imssoien ráJ niFgeComA eharogVXX oc Isakpeg in tatencenfernked flaintroducing comparable enterprise surveys, conducting portunities to develop their skills. Rising to these chal- keerG dretsiniMgaul Bnaani llrericeybD vAaiot r([irhg)toitaaM n fo cudEnaanu koetriGitaa European-level survey on skill deficits or developing pan-lenges requires changes to (vocational) education andContinued on page 3 training systems. Areas identified for particular attentionEU/NETHERLANDS in the next two years Investing in human resourcesEuroSkills competition promotes excellence and pride in More investment in human resources, and particular-vocational training ly in VET, is needed to develop the talents of young peo-ple for lifelong learning and employability and to help de-Skills competition gears up for 2008 velop the careers of the employed. This calls for holistic At EuroSkills 2008, talented competitors – stu- of its recommendations stressed the necessity of provid-policies with a long-term perspective. Both public and pri- dents and graduates of VET programmes – will ing easy access to attractively presented online informa-vate sector should invest much more in VET, and the costs convene from all over Europe to showcase the skills nec- tion, the importance of building bridges between education of VET should be shared equitably between beneficiaries essary for their profession and to face the challenge of per- and enterprise, and the usefulness of creating communities – individuals, companies and society – through co-financing forming at their best in competitive conditions. of practice. mechanisms such as national/sectoral training funds, tax Experience has shown skills competitions to be an An event such as EuroSkills perfectly fits these aims. The incentives, vouchers and subsidies. The new financial frame- ideal means of promoting craftsmanship and vocational event will bring together 600 to 800 VET students and work of the EU (2007-13) reflects the increased emphasis training. For this reason, says Jos de Goey, President of the graduates every two years and offer them direct exposure placed on education and training. The European Social European Skills Promotion Organisation, the EuroSkills com- to the work of people from other nationalities and cul-Fund (ESF), which offers over 35 billion Euro (almost half petition to be held in Rotterdam in September 2008 has tures who are employed in the same trades. EuroSkills will of the total ESF budget) for activities directly or closely re-chosen Personal excelald ea lsoehc ott oi nerta panof aopea-Eurenne nr o,wetcfo kav-lae sek ydPrestigPride an lated to VET, should be used more effectively to design ues for the event. skills experts from both industry and institutes of educa-and introduce the reforms of the education and training As Managing Director of Skills Netherlands in 2005, De tion and training, which will be open to all forms of ap-systems of the Member States. Goey had developed the idea of holding a pan-European prenticeship and mobility activities. skills competition. Such an event – or rather, series of events Combining efficiency and equity would be positioned between the global WorldSkills eventBenchmarking VET Investing in VET should aim to achieve both efficien- and national competitions. The Dutch initiative received In order to give the EuroSkills initiative a solid base, in cy and equity. There should be - and in fact need be - the immediate support of Ján Figel', EU Commissioner for March 2007 several European countries founded ESPO (Eu-no trade-off between these two objectives. Yet older and Education, Culture, Training and Multilingualism. According low-skilled people are today less likely to participate in to Figel', ‘This first competition for the European regionContinued on page 2 further learning, as companies provide training mainly will test vocational skills that are important for Europe and for younger and highly-skilled employees. To reduce in- its economic growth and competitiveness, and thus equalities, public intervention should target disadvantaged demonstrate the quality and excellence of European VET categories by, e.g., improving the quality of VET, creat- systems’ (1). ing partnerships to make VET more relevant, reducing opportunity costs for participation in training and pro-Promoting the mobility of Europe’s workforce viding better links to general secondary and higher ed- The European economy is underpinned by a single Eu-ucation. ropean labour market with a qualified and mobile work-force. For many years now the European Commission has Making better use of peoples potentialtried to boost mobility, especially of young VET students VET can play a significant role in developing higher skill through the Leonardo da Vinci II programme. The response levels and reaching the EU benchmark for upper sec- has been significant, with more than 80 000 young par-ondary attainment. With shrinking younger age cohorts, ticipants. But now the European Commission has set the such policies are essential if we are to tap Europe’s labour ambitious goal of nearly doubling that figure by 2010. reserves. Heterogeneous target groups and multidi- In November 2006, MoVE-iT, an extensive study on mo-mensional challenges require multiple policy responses. bility in Europe implemented by the Directorate General Different learning needs should be addressed through for Education and Culture, presented its results (2). Many
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