Cedefop Director James Calleja accompanied by expert Vladimir Kvetan met the Slovak Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport Peter Plavčan in Bratislava on 18 October.
The meeting focused on discussing Slovakia’s participation in an apprenticeship review possibly starting in 2018, on the ongoing project on skills governance and on the finalisation of the country’s referencing report process. Mr Plavčan welcomed Cedefop’s offer for collaboration as part of the EU Agency’s ongoing support to Member States.
He said that the Slovak Republic is undergoing an extensive vocational education and training (VET) reform process, which includes support to apprenticeship programmes and to setting up higher VET institutions. He appreciated Cedefop's drive to support Member States, in particular in areas such as apprenticeship where more needs to be done to attract learners and employers.
Slovakia currently holds the rotating EU Presidency. Mr Calleja, who also took part in the Directors-General for VET Presidency meeting in Bratislava (18-20 October), said that discusisons with the Slovak Minister showed the importance of EU agencies working closely with Member States on issues of common concern.
‘Like Slovakia, other Member States need support which Cedefop could offer through its ongoing activities such as the apprenticeship reviews or the new skills governance project, which aims at building skills anticipation capacity. Cedefop's publications and activities in Thessaloniki and now the Presidencies' Cedefop Brussels-based seminars aim at attracting the attention of a wider spectrum of stakeholders who can positively influence VET reform through European policies and initiatives,’ he noted.
The Cedefop Director referred to his meeting with Mr Plavčan as the start of a closer relationship with one more Member State keen to raise VET’s profile to higher levels of quality and standards and make work-based learning an attractive option for learners and workers.
The ongoing apprenticeship reviews have brought Cedefop closer to VET systems in countries such as Lithuania, Malta, Slovenia, Italy and Greece.