The cooperation of Cedefop with the European Training Foundation (ETF) is a model approach in the efforts to bring new competences and skills in the labour market, the European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit told a joint meeting of the two Agencies in Turin on 1 June.

Mr Schmit joined the regular Cedefop - ETF knowledge sharing seminar and centred his discussions on the European Union's actions in human capital development outside the EU and the European Year of Skills.

The ETF Director Pilvi Torsti noted the opportunity to showcase the ETF's role in human capital development and skills recognition in countries outside the EU.

Cedefop Executive Director Jürgen Siebel told participants that the two Agencies, 'through their long-term collaboration, have achieved synergy in complementarity. In this way, they maximise their contribution in the fields of skill needs, work-based learning, qualifications and EU policy monitoring, while assisting evidence-based policy making.’

Nicolas Schmit at the Cedefop - ETF knowledge sharing seminar

This was also echoed by Mr Schmit, who said that 'we have to give up the silos. The ETF and Cedefop are two agencies working together and are inspired from each other.'

The main part of the meeting was dedicated to microcredentials and the research project that Cedefop is bringing to a conclusion. Loukas Zahilas, Head of the department of vocational education and training (VET) and qualifications, presented the broader context of Cedefop’s project on microcredentials noting that the Agency will continue to research the subject.

Microcredentials presentation

Presenting the top outcomes of the project, Cedefop's Anastasia Pouliou pointed out that 'targeted intervention and systematic experimentation is needed to explore microcredentials, situated within and outside national qualifications systems, and their potential value in different contexts and across different stakeholder groups.’

Speaking about microcredentials, Mr Schimit said:

'I strongly believe in this. It is a response to get new competencies and skills in the labour market. As the digital landscape is changing, microcredentials as an instrument become very valuable.’

Cedefop - ETF signing

Ms Torsti and Mr Siebel took the opportunity to sign the joint Cedefop - ETF report to the European Parliament, outlining their joint work on skills, work-based learning, qualifications and EU policy monitoring.

On 31 May, also in Turin, the ETF in partnership with UNESCO organised the meeting of the Inter-Agency Group on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (IAG-TVET). The meeting presented an opportunity for knowledge exchange, update from all organisations active in the field of TVET at global level, as well as a chance to self-reflect and evaluate the progress, outcomes and achievements of current IAG working groups.