European cooperation on vocational education and training (VET) is a success because the European Union has a clear vision about the future of VET, acknowledging its pivotal role in dealing with today's megatrends.

This is the message brought home by Cedefop Executive Director during a conference in Berlin. The event, entitled 'Worldwide Policy Cooperation for Excellence in VET', was organised by WorldSkills Germany on 9 November.

Mr Siebel attributed the success of European cooperation on VET, firstly, to the fact that 'over time, we have become much clearer about what we want VET to be. The 2020 policy cycle and documents — the European Skills Agenda, the VET Recommendation, the Osnabrück Declaration — are testament to common objectives to be reached by 2025 and 2030.'

In addition, he noted that another positive influence is the fact that the EU concentrates its policies on the mega trends of our time, most prominently, the digital and green transition, and demography.

Skills and VET for greening

Speaking at a conference organised by the European Economic and Social Committee, entitled '#ReskillEU - new jobs for energy and transport in Europe' in Brussels on 8 November, Mr Siebel elaborated on the challenges posed to Europe's economies by the twin transitions.

He pointed out that in order to leverage the employment potential of the green transition, we need rapidly to make the most of the European Year of Skills and expand skills that contribute to greening and 'greenovation'.

Cedefop research data suggest that the demand for green transition professionals is booming, he said, underlining that VET fuels the green and digital transitions and is best placed to deliver the higher-level skills these transformations require.

The EGD to benefit construction

Cedefop's Executive Director also had the opportunity to take the sectoral approach addressing representatives of the German construction industry as the keynote speaker at SOKA BAU's Europe Day 2023 event in Brussels on 8 November.

The construction sector was brought to its lowest employment levels in the past 15 years following a turbulent succession of crises (the financial crisis of 2008 and the coronavirus recession), Mr Siebel noted.

At the same time, he added, skills upgrading is very visible in the sector: employment in low-skilled jobs almost halved, in medium-skilled jobs increased and high-skilled employment more than doubled.

'The digital and green transitions are strong drivers of change affecting all sectors, and, as our research shows, construction, along with waste management, are clear winners from the European Green Deal and the green revolution,' he said.