A recent series of Cedefop publications, to be presented at an upcoming conference on lifelong learning and employability (Thessaloniki 5-6 October) examines how qualifications are established, evaluated and renewed in todays economy.
Cedefop and the European Commissions Directorates-General for Education and Culture and for Taxation and Customs Union are holding an international conference on tax incentives for education and training on 22 September in Brussels.
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.
The recent joint study by Cedefop and Eurofound, “Contribution of collective bargaining to the development of continuing training” (see link below) - one of the first to address the issue of how social dialogue affects opportunities for continuing training – demonstrates that collective agreements have a largely positive impact on employee training. But it also shows that training provision in small and medium enterprises, and training offered to workers over 45, is still lagging behind.
Learning acquired outside schools whether at the workplace, at leisure or even at home is increasingly becoming an accepted route toward acquiring formal qualifications.
DG EAC issued a press release regarding the Evaluation results of the Europass project, and acknowledging Cedefops work.
A Cedefop conference on Sharing the costs of training in the newer EU Member States, (Thessaloniki, 15-16 October 2009) will show that overall investment and participation in training can both increase if there are well designed financing schemes combining public and private funds for vocational education and training (VET).
Cedefop is at present carrying out extensive work on how older workers learn, particularly on the neglected issue of how to retrain and retain workers nearing retirement age – and what motivates people to keep working past it. An international workshop on ‘Working at old age – Emerging theories and empirical perspectives on ageing and work’ is to be held at Cedefop, Thessaloniki, on 29-30 September 2008.
New ideas on teaching and learning, as well as recent European policy developments on qualifications are affecting the way in which curricula are drawn. At the same time, changes in curriculum organisation are affecting teaching and learning patterns at all educational levels. This dynamic is to be the main topic of discussion at the Cedefop workshop on Curriculum innovation and reform: policies and practices, to be held in Thessaloniki on 9-10 November.
On 17 and 18 November Cedefop and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture will be holding a launching conference for two new European tools: the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework (EQARF) and the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) in Brussels, with the participation of over 300 representatives of training providers and other bodies and institutions from across Europe.
On Monday 16 March, Jan Figel’, European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, announced the publication of Cedefop’s latest Policy Report, Continuity, consolidation and change at the Agora conference of the same title, held in Thessaloniki under the auspices of the Czech Presidency of the EU.