According to first findings from the OECD survey of adult skills (PIAAC), literacy levels vary across countries and between vocational education and training (VET) and general education graduates at upper-secondary levels. Cedefop is working closely with the OECD on developing indicators for the survey to measure development and use of skill.
Qualifications frameworks based on learning outcomes are now a global phenomenon. Over 30 European countries are in the process of introducing comprehensive national frameworks. But the long-term success of these frameworks depends on creating close links with other education and labour market policies and practices; on citizens’ awareness of their uses; and on active involvement of social partners every step of the way.
Cedefop Director James Calleja told participants at a conference on skills mobility and competitiveness that there are solutions to the ‘worrying situation with millions of jobs in Europe still remaining vacant while 27 million people are unemployed’. Mr Calleja addressed particularly the issue of youth unemployment, saying that it is up to 23% – in some countries even hitting the 60% mark.
Countries, employers and individuals need a clear idea of how labour markets and economies are changing and how people are meeting the demand for skills in the 21st century. People with low skills face a greater risk of economic disadvantage. They are more likely to be unemployed and suffer from poor health.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) survey of adult skills (PIAAC) aims to provide some insights into how skills are being developed and used in 24 countries. The first findings of the survey were published in October 2013. They show that the young are more literate, but proficiency in literacy peaks at around 30 years of age.
Some 140 experts, policy-makers, social partners, teachers and trainers from 27 countries will take part on Thursday 21 and Friday 22 November 2013 in a Cedefop conference on learning outcomes to discuss how learning-outcome developments have affected policies and practices in education and training during the past decade.
A high-level Cedefop delegation contributed to the EU Lithuanian Presidency’s vocational education and training (VET) events in Vilnius.
Cedefop Director James Calleja welcomed Croatia to the agency at the meeting of Directors-General for vocational education and training (DGVT) on 11 and 12 November. He praised the contribution Croatia has already made to vocational training, describing it as a ‘VET-friendly country’. Mr Calleja noted that Cedefop is looking forward to working with the new EU Member State and to forging a new relationship.
Cedefop has published its briefing note "Return to learning, return to work", which explores how properly targeted and designed work-based training programmes can address the employment needs of low-qualified adults.
Although generally similar to the rest of the EU, Croatia’s labour market has some interesting differences. For example, Croatia’s labour force is slightly younger and has a higher proportion of people with medium-level and a lower proportion of people with low-level qualifications than the EU averages. Also, compared to the rest of the EU Croatia has a relatively high share of employment in agriculture and manufacturing.
Study visits programme for education and training specialists, the first peer-learning programme in the European Union (1978) is coming to an end, with the last of the visits to be held in June 2014 (applications accepted to October 15). In its last phase, under the Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-2013, the programme involved over 15 000 people in positions of authority in education and training. Beneficiaries used the study visits to set up networks, review their own practices and influence policy change.
(Brussels, Belgium): The European social model is more important than ever to help tackle the jobs crisis in Europe, participants were told at the joint EU agencies and European Parliament event on the European social model and competitiveness in Brussels on 25 September 2013. The European social model relies on partnership, trust and consultation for finding fair and productive solutions. Enshrined in the EU treaties, social dialogue is an integral part of the system. The recurring question debated at the event was whether Europe can afford its social model and still be among the most competitive economies in the world.
Candidates are invited to apply by 15 October 2013
Cedefop's briefing note on ECVET
To mark Croatia’s accession to the European Union (EU) on 1 July 2013, Cedefop has prepared a statistical overview on vocational education and training (VET) and lifelong learning in the country. Selected for their policy relevance and importance to achieving the Europe 2020 strategy’s objectives, the indicators quantify key aspects of VET and lifelong learning and relate Croatia’s performance to the EU average.
Over the past year, progress in developing and implementing national qualifications frameworks (NQFs) has allowed more countries to link these to the common reference framework for qualifications, the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).
Participants in Cedefop’s conference on tackling skills mismatch agreed that Europe needs to implement policy initiatives on developing work-based learning as an answer to rising youth unemployment.
European Union Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassiliou, who will address Cedefop’s conference on tackling skill mismatch through work-based learning and apprenticeships (12-13 June 2013, Cedefop premises, Thessaloniki, Greece), talked about the latest European initiatives to alleviate youth unemployment and refocus education and training.
Have you ever wondered why there are so many unfilled vacancies at a time when unemployment hits record highs in many countries? Cedefop will explore ways of tackling skill mismatch through work-based learning and apprenticeships at a conference on 12 and 13 June in Thessaloniki, Greece.
The reality of the UK’s ageing workforce is that most of us face the real prospect of having to get out of bed in the morning to go to work until we are around 70.
The recent House of Lord’s report Ready for Ageing? discusses the implications of an older workforce for pensions, health and social care. Things mainly provided by the state. Although the report entreats employers to be more positive about employing older people, it doesn’t say much about jobs or working conditions for older workers.
Education and training specialists are invited to apply for the next round of the study visits programme, comprising 119 study visits in 28 countries between September 2013 and February 2014. Participants – policy-makers and other specialists from education, training and the social partners - will receive an EU grant covering expenses.
Cedefop has been invited to provide practical support to a new European initiative intended the help young people integrate more easily into the labour market. The initiative, which focuses on apprenticeship-type, work-based learning, was launched on 11 December 2012 in Berlin. Germany and six other Member States have signed Memoranda defining the scope and objectives of future collaboration.