Education and training issues tend to be similar across Europe and, thanks to informal cooperation among Member States, policies are growing closer to each other as well. But how can we be sure we mean the same thing by the same term? Cedefop’s new language tool is here to help.
Starting in 2012, responsibility for the implementation of the European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training will lie mainly with the Member States. The co-organisers of the third annual ECVET Forum demonstrated how useful communities of practice can be for the smooth implementation of the system by setting up the event itself as just such a community of practice.
James Calleja was selected by the European Commission as new Director of Cedefop. Mr Calleja has been involved in vocational training since 2001 and is currently Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Employment in his native Malta. He has also served as Chief Executive of the Malta Qualifications Council (2005-10) and the National Commission for Higher Education (2009-10).
Cedefop’s latest skill forecast shows that the European Union can expect a net increase in employment of 8 million new jobs between 2010 and 2020. Nearly ten times more jobs (around 75 million) will be generated to replace workers who leave the labour market.But skill mismatches and, in some sectors, skill shortages raise risks for the European labour market and the competitiveness of the European economy.
Deutschland: Qualifikationsengpässe bei grünen Arbeitsplätzen geben Anlass zur Sorge
For many companies in the environmental field, the current crisis means easier access to qualified workers. This situation encourages firms to cut back training for green skills. But without long-term investment, particularly in science and technology training, employers may soon experience a shortage of people with the right skills. In fact, countries with low unemployment are already facing such shortages. The potential repercussions for the European economy and labour market are serious. A forthcoming Cedefop publication suggests this outcome can be avoided if, among other measures, countries integrate skills strategies into their environment and energy policies.
After participating in a study visit, education and vocational training professionals come back to work with new ideas and new connections.
The common European tools for education and training - such as Europass, the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and the European credit system for vocational education and training (ECVET) - will make it easier for citizens to pursue learning throughout their lives, and to document their skills and knowledge in a form which is recognised by employers and the labour market across Europe.
The common European tools for education and training , Europass, European and National Qualification Frameworks, Credit transfer systems and Quality Assurance, will make it easier for citizens to pursue learning throughout their lives, and to have their skills and knowledge recognised across Europe. The question now is how to release the full potential of these tools.
Music and arts classes have been shown to improve wellbeing and life satisfaction at an older age. Yet formal training does not have the same effect. What is formal training doing wrong? Is it ill adapted to the needs of older workers? An international seminar takes a close look at what is needed to make the best use of an ageing workforce.
Would you like to explore education and training issues with your peers in other European countries? Are you interested in expanding your professional network and cooperating with other education and training institutions in Europe? Do you wish to learn more about education and training policy and practice across Europe? You can do all this if you apply by 14 October for an EU grant to participate in study visits.
The mismatch between skills and jobs does not affect everyone in the same way. Cedefop’s most recent research paper, ‘Migrants, minorities, mismatch? Skill mismatch among migrants and ethnic minorities in Europe’ shows that migrants from outside the EU typically find jobs beneath their real skills level (‘overeducation’), while ethnic minorities are more likely to lack the educational level required by jobs (‘undereducation’).
Cedefop’s medium-term priorities set out the main areas of our work in 2012-2014, including how the Centre will support the modernisation of vocational education and training systems, its skills forecasting activities and its study of adult and work-based learning.
Participants at a workshop on European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) warn of persisting ‘cultural gap’ between policy makers and practitioners.
Recent evidence suggests that curricula based on learning outcomes can increase learner motivation, forge stronger links between theoretical and practical learning, raise participation rates and improve learners’ prospects on the labour market. But to ensure success, these curricula need to be carefully designed, delivered and assessed - a process which requires the involvement of key stakeholders and well-trained teachers.
‘While not all of the Europe 2020 objectives will be solved through vocational education and training (VET), almost none of them will be solved on a sustainable basis without VET,’ said Cedefop’s Acting Director Christian Lettmayr in Brussels today.
In the coming decade the European labour market must deal successfully with several challenges: the legacy of the financial crisis, the need for sustainable growth, the trend toward skill-intensive jobs and the ageing of the population.