Given these challenges, a much more prominent role has been attributed to VET in the overall growth and jobs agenda. The contribution of VET, particularly work-based learning and apprenticeships, to fight youth unemployment, to ensure better match between training and labour market needs and to ease transitions to employment is now more widely recognised. As an indication of the urgency of reforms in this sector, a considerable number of country specific recommendations adopted within the European Semester are related to VET. The Rethinking Education Communication (2012)9 stressed the need to invest in building world-class VET systems and increase participation in work-based learning. The European Alliance for Apprenticeships, Youth Guarantee as well as the Youth employment initiative – all launched in 2013 – confirmed the crucial role of VET in increasing the employability of young people. Learning in the workplace is also an effective way to re-train and up-skill adults. Ensuring learning opportunities for all, especially disadvantaged groups, remains a major challenge, as the renewed adult learning agenda underlined. The potential of continuing VET, which can respond flexibly to short-term needs and helps improve citizens’ employability and enterprises’ competitiveness, is not yet fully used. The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has identified growth and job creation as the first priority objective of the European Commission (2014-2019). Development of skills and competences of the European workforce is key to this objective, including promotion of quality VET and lifelong learning. Candidate Countries also share these aspirations.
Facts and figures
- Nearly 3000 academics, teachers and field experts took part in about 60 events as part of a 6 million euro project to improve VET in Turkey.
- 3000 workers and 2000 employers participated in a 4.8 million euro project to strengthen SMEs’ in-work training capacity.
Curricula were revised and updated for training programmes in different fields, such as justice, health, agriculture and the maritime sector. All relevant social partners were involved in the review, given their expertise and knowledge of the skills that are needed in the labour market.
Training was organised for the staff imparting vocational education in order to improve their pedagogical competence, and some had the opportunity to take part in study visits to several EU countries, so they could get an insight of good practices in European VET schools.
All EU countries have presented comprehensive Youth Guarantee Implementation Plans, complying with the deadlines set by the European Council.
The plans identify precisely the measures to be taken to implement the Youth Guarantee. They outline the timeframe for youth employment reforms and measures, the roles of public authorities and other organisations, and how it will be financed.
Please see the country fiches for a detailed assessment of the Youth Guarantee implementation in each country.
Canadian tradesmen from a huge oilsands construction project are waving a red flag about safety hazards and near misses, which they blame on the use of foreign workers who aren’t qualified and can’t speak English.
“When you bring in a bunch of workers who are unqualified to do this job it’s only a matter of time before you kill someone,” said Les Jennings, who was an ironworker supervisor at the Husky Sunrise plant until a few weeks ago, when he quit in frustration.
The study Mapping youth transitions in Europe by the tripartite body of the EU states that countries with a higher integration of school and work, through apprenticeship programmes or through more young people effectively combining school and early labour market experiences, display a smoother and quicker transition from school to work.
According to Eurostat, the best school-to-work transitions are the ‘Nordic’ and the ‘Apprenticeship’ (found in Austria and Germany) models.
The Commission believes that “coding is the literacy of today” as every interaction on computers is governed by code. Basic coding skills will also be needed for many jobs in the near future and more than 90% of professional occupations nowadays require some ICT competence, though the number of graduates in computer science is not keeping pace with this demand for skills.
Ten years before, due to the European support through the PHARE pre-accession Programme and the European Social Fund we started to modernise our businesses and to adapt our working environment to the special needs of people with disabilities.
Our main goal is to provide jobs to disabled people from the town and the region and to support their social integration with a special emphasis on the integration of disabled women.