Ministers from the European Union Member States, candidate countries, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein gather in Riga, Latvia on 22 June to endorse the new medium-term deliverables for vocational education and training (VET), known as the Riga conclusions.

The conclusions represent a significant contribution to the European VET policy agenda up to 2020 as part of the Copenhagen process launched in 2002 with the aim to increase European cooperation in the field.

Amid new challenges and opportunities arising from the rapidly changing labour market and the impact of socioeconomic developments, Ministers seek to boost cooperation for a more innovative and competitive European VET.

On 21 June, a Cedefop delegation consisting of Director James Calleja, Deputy Director Mara Brugia and expert Lore Schmid took part in the meeting of Directors General for vocational education and training (DGVT), which prepared the conclusions for endorsement and discussed a possible follow up to be done by Cedefop and the European Training Foundation (ETF).

Mr Calleja is a panellist in the afternoon session of the ministerial meeting, which focuses on the European alliance for apprenticeships, established in 2013 to fight youth unemployment. The Cedefop Director contributes to the discussion on how to get companies on board, particularly SMEs.

The ministerial meeting is web-streamed live at between 8:20 EET and 13:45 EET.