Qualifications largely determine our chances at employment, our ability to access further education and our social status. But they also have limitations: much of the knowledge and competence we acquire through life is left out of our diplomas, certificates and titles. To close this gap, both the education and employment worlds need to engage in redesigning and updating qualifications. This was the main theme of Cedefop’s Agora Conference, Qualifications for lifelong learning and employability (Thessaloniki 5-6 October), which examined how qualifications are used in today’s economy.
Qualifications the bridge between education and the labour market are diplomas, certificates and titles allowing holders access to professional activity and further education and training. Their purpose is to cover the needs of individuals for employment and of the economy for skilled personnel. To do so, they must accurately reflect the individuals knowledge and skills, they must prove that these skills correspond to the standards required by the labour market, and they must be clearly understood by all users individuals, employers and education systems across the single labour market of the EU.