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Building European VET - Time to move on

Cedefop and the European Commission’s Directorate General Education and Culture (DG EAC) discussed the former’s monitoring report on progress towards a common European strategy on vocational education and training (VET) as set out in the 2010 Bruges Communiqué at a conference on 29-30 September in Thessaloniki.

The Bruges communiqué relaunched reform of VET in the European Union (EU) in 2010. The timing was important. Following the economic crisis, the communiqué marked another significant step in European cooperation in VET. Member States, joined by other European countries, the European Commission and social partners set out strategic objectives for the period 2011-20 supported by ‘short-term deliverables’ to be achieved by 2014.

As part of this vision, the communiqué foresaw flexible, open and innovative learning methods, supported by well-qualified teachers and trainers, state-of-the-art facilities and backed by enterprises and the social partners.

But how far have we come? At the conference, European, Member State and social partner policy-makers reflected on the progress made together with VET experts, providers and learners.

Opening the event, Cedefop Director James Calleja stressed that the floodlights on VET are always lit up. He said that it is time for action, adding: 'reforms take time and in some countries they take longer than in others, so we need concrete objectives that different Member States can achieve in the longer term.'

Through work in groups and panel discussions, participants shared country examples, exchanged experience from the 2010-14 period and came up with valuable knowledge that can be used in countries and at EU level to move closer to common goals.

For more information, visit the conference website

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