This year, Cedefop is organising its CareersNet annual meeting in cooperation with the German Federal Employment Agency.

CareersNet, Cedefop’s network of independent national experts for lifelong guidance and career development, convenes on the 8th and 9th of October for the fourth annual network meeting - a first virtual event. Each year the meeting is hosted at different national venues in Europe, promoting cooperation in the guidance policy field. This year, the virtual meeting is organised in cooperation with the German Federal Employment Agency, who will open the meeting together with Cedefop representatives from the Department for Learning and Employability (DLE).

This year’s timely theme is ‘Rethinking professionalism of career practitioners in the digital context’. Focus is on professionalism and the status, opportunities, difficulties, challenges of, and innovations in, integration of ICT and digitalisation in lifelong guidance systems, services – in connection with broader societal developments. Participants will have an opportunity to share their experiences, debate and discuss key issues and developments for policy, particularly in light of the impact of COVID-19 on guidance delivery across education, training and employment settings, and experiences faced by users and career learners.

Around 45 participants will meet and discuss thematic issues online with Cedefop’s CareersNet experts, including invited speakers from the University of Applied Labour Studies of the German Federal Employment Agency, the European Commission, and the European Training Foundation (ETF). In their closed session, members will also discuss network management issues and developments that took place since the last annual meeting in Rome last September (2019). They will also be informed on the latest developments in the Department's Guidance project area.

Event participation is restricted to the members of Cedefop’s CareersNet and invited organisations. Event materials and interesting resources such as slide presentations, will be available following the event. Please see the updated agenda below.



Welcome Session
Lifelong Career Guidance Strategy of the Federal Employment Agency, Michael van der Cammen (Federal Employment Agency, Germany)

Session 1: Current development in guidance and counselling in Germany
Professionalism of career guidance and counselling in Germany: status and challenges from the establishing digitalisation, Peter Weber (University of Applied Labour Studies, German Federal Employment Agency)

Session 2: Changes in guidance policy and practice in Europe
The expanding and evolving role of ICT in career guidance practice and policy, Raimo Vuorinen (Finland)
Digital-first strategies and guidance: implications for job and competence profiles of Public Employment Services' counsellors, Susanne Kraatz (Germany)

Session 3: Education, training and new opportunities and challenges for practitioners
New horizons of counselling and guidance in the German PES: current projects and study programmes, Matthias Rübner (University of Applied Labour Studies, German Federal Employment Agency)
Education and training for career practice in education and employment in Portugal: realities and horizons - Challenges, during the corona crisis, Hélia Moura (Portugal)

Session 4: Digital innovations in guidance
The development of a national digital career guidance service that aligns expectations in the national quality framework: the Norwegian example, Erik H. Haug (Norway)
CareerChat: the art of AI and the human interface in career development, Füsun Akkök (Turkey), Deirdre Hughes (UK), George Bekiaridis
New Europass: portfolio aspects and future developments, Koen Nomden and Hrvoje Grganović (European Commission)

Session 5: Guidance systems and frameworks for professionalism
The value of the national Programme Recognition Framework (PRF) for guidance counsellor training, incorporating ICT and online delivery of guidance, Jennifer McKenzie (Ireland)
Digital badges for a validation skills framework for career practitioners: a case in Italy, Giulio Iannis (Italy)

Session 6: Rethinking labour market information
Labour market information and information management in the modern labour markets - Lessons to be learned by guidance professionals, Tibor Bors Borbély-Pecze (Hungary)

Key findings from the European Company Survey 2019 (ECS) On Tuesday 13 October 2020, Cedefop together with the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) ran a webinar entitled Workplace practices unlocking employee potential. It was the first of three webinars (see&nb...

Key findings from the European Company Survey 2019 (ECS)

On Tuesday 13 October 2020, Cedefop together with the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) ran a webinar entitled Workplace practices unlocking employee potential. It was the first of three webinars (see Future webinars below) to discuss the key findings of the European Company Survey 2019 and their implications for policy and practice.


Speaker Joost Korte, Director-General of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion set the scene alongside contributions from Directors Jürgen Siebel, Cedefop and  Juan Menéndez-Valdés, Eurofound . Moderated by Lucinda Creighton, CEO of Vulcan Consulting and former Irish Minister for European Affairs, a panel discussion with Gabriele Bischoff, MEP and Lucas van Wees, President of the European Association for People management (EAPM) followed a presentation of findings from report authors Giovanni Russo, Cedefop, and Gijs van Houten, Eurofound. Participants were invited to join the discussions via a Q&A and LIVE online chat.

The LIVE webinar was an opportunity to discuss the fresh findings and explore ways to create a work environment that facilitates and motivates employees to use their skills and knowledge to the full.


Webinar slides ECS 2019 report launch event


09.30 CET Welcome and introduction
09.45 CET Presentation of key findings ECS 2019
09.55 CET Panel debate on ECS 2019 findings
10.25 CET Questions & Answers
10.55 CET Webinar closes


Gabrielle Bischoff

In May 2019, Gabriele Bischoff has been elected as Member of the European Parliament for the Socialists and Democrats Group. Here, she serves as Vice-Chair of the Committee for Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) and as full member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) and Substitute of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON). She commits her parliamentary work to core social-democratic topics: Minimum wages, minimum resources, collective bargaining and a socially fair EU-Semester. Moreover, she is dedicated to ensuring a broad participation of citizens within the reform process “The Conference of the Future of Europe” which is about to start.

Lucinda Creighton

Lucinda Creighton is CEO of Vulcan Consulting Ltd. She is a barrister, qualified New York attorney, former Irish Minister for European Affairs and Member of the Irish Parliament. As Minister for European Affairs she represented Ireland in key negotiations on Ireland’s EU/IMF bailout. During Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of European Union, Creighton led negotiations with 28 Member States on the €960 billion EU Budget, as well as representing the continent in bilateral trade discussions in the United States, leading to the start of formal TTIP negotiations. From 2012 to 2014 she also served as Vice President of the European People’s Party (EPP).

Joost Korte
Joost Korte was appointed Director General for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour in 2018. Previously, he was Deputy Director-General of DG Trade and, before this role, the Dutch national served as Deputy Director-General at DG Agriculture and Rural Development Department, as well as in the Enlargement Directorate General. Joost Korte also spent several years in the Commission’s Secretariat General as Director responsible for the relations with the Council of Ministers and gained extensive experience in the Private offices of Sir Leon Brittan, Chris Patten and Danuta Hübner. A lawyer by training, he joined the Commission in 1991, following eight years of academic work on European law at the Universities of Utrecht and Edinburgh.

Juan Menéndez-Valdés
Executive Director

Juan Menéndez-Valdés is Eurofound's Executive Director since December 2010. He is responsible for the development of the medium-term strategy of the Agency and its annual work programmes, which are approved by Eurofound’s tripartite Management Board. He leads a team of more than 100 researchers, communication specialists and support staff in the implementation of the work programmes, which are geared towards providing knowledge to assist policymakers in the development of social, employment and work-related policies. In his earlier career, he served at the Spanish Confederation of Business (CEOE) and in the Spanish National Employment Service (INEM). He holds a degree in Psychology, a master’s in Industrial Psychology and Human Resources and a postgraduate degree in European Studies.

Giovanni Russo
Report author

Giovanni Russo holds a position as Expert at Cedefop, where he works on the issues of skills development, skills mismatch, and skills utilisation. With a background in Labour and Behaviour Economics, he joined Cedefop in 2010, after more than 15 years of career in academia. Previously he was Associate Professor at Utrecht University, Utrecht School of Economics. He has published in various international journals. He holds a PhD in Economics from the Free University of Amsterdam.

Jürgen Siebel
Executive Director

Jürgen Siebel joined Cedefop from the private sector in September 2019. As Executive Director, he is responsible for managing the Agency’s operations in accordance with the strategic direction of its tripartite Management Board. Jürgen has a background in human resources management with particular emphasis on learning and education, the strategic development and roll-out of work-based vocational education and training programmes, as well as related corporate social responsibility initiatives. In this context he has also collaborated with institutional actors at national, European and global levels. Before joining Cedefop in Thessaloniki, Jürgen served for 20 years in various leading operational and strategic HR roles in Siemens, mostly as senior manager with global governance or business partner responsibilities.

Gijs van Houten
Report author

Gijs van Houten is a Research Manager in Eurofound’s Employment unit with specific expertise in cross-national survey methodology and the analysis of workplace practices and organisational strategies. Gijs joined Eurofound in 2010 and has worked on all three Eurofound surveys, focusing on the European Company Survey in recent years. He spent a year away in 2016, working at the Pew Research Center in Washington, DC. He holds a Masters in sociology from Radboud University Nijmegen and a PhD in social science from Utrecht University. He lectured in quantitative research methods at University College Dublin and in policy analysis and institutional theory at Utrecht University. Before joining Eurofound he worked at the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP).

Lucas van Wees

Lucas van Wees, MBA MBT, was elected President of the European Association of People Management (EAPM) in 2017 and is a Board member of the World Federation of People Management Associations (WFPMA). He has served on the Board of the Dutch Association of Personnel Management (NVP). Previously, Lucas van Wees worked for Philips, Shell, KPN in HR, management and commercial roles. In 2016, he became the Director HRM for the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He has co-authored and published various international articles on Career Management, Management Development and HR practices. He holds a B.Sc in Tourism & Leisure (Breda) and Masters in Social Sciences (Tilburg), Telecommunications (Delft) and Business (IMD, Lausanne).

About the European Company Survey

ECS 2019 provides comparative data on workplace strategies and practices for work organisation, human resource management, skills use and skills development, employee participation and social dialogue, in establishments across the 27 EU Member States and the United Kingdom.

The report demonstrates how companies can design their workplace practices to generate outcomes that benefit both workers and employers. It shows that by bundling practices that increase employee autonomy, facilitate employee voice and promote training and learning, businesses can boost performance while improving aspects of workers’ job quality.

Future webinars

  • On 20 October, the second online #AskTheExpert webinar on employee involvement will take place. This will be an opportunity to dig deeper into the ECS 2019 findings relating to this area with Gijs van Houten from Eurofound and worker and employer representatives. An online LIVE chat will also be available.
  • On 29 October, the third online #AskTheExpert webinar on skills use will take place. Giovanni Russo from Cedefop will share findings relating to skills and following a discussion with worker and employer representatives will take questions via an online LIVE chat.

Cedefop and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) are organising the third Policy Learning Forum on upskilling pathways: a vision for the future. The event will take place in the form of a virtual event on Thursday 5 and Friday 6 November 2020, from 09:30 to 13:00 CET on both days.

Policy Learning Fora (PLF) on upskilling pathways are a series of policy learning events on the topic aimed at providing a platform for countries to come together to learn from one another and explore common challenges in upskilling adults with low level of skills.

Upskilling pathways is about pulling together resources and creating the right synergies for supporting every (low skilled) adult towards an individual path to empowerment. It is about creating a comprehensive approach to the upskilling and reskilling of the low skilled adult population. This approach should be able to address their needs in a coordinated and coherent way and ensure that they have all the tools and support to embark in sustainable learning pathways leading to their full potential and fulfilment.

The Cedefop analytical framework presented and discussed at the second Policy Learning Forum on upskilling pathways has been developed to sustain this unique vision of upskilling pathways for low-skilled adults. Aim of the third Policy Learning Forum on upskilling pathways: a vision for the future, is to progress further with support to implementation of upskilling pathways and to translate the analytical framework into practice.

The preparation of Cedefop’s pan-European skills supply and demand forecasts is supported by a network of experts in forecasting and labour market analysis from each EU Member State. Individual Country Experts (ICEs) contribute to increasing the quality of the reports based on the Cedefop Skills Forecast.


This online workshop provides a platform for ICEs to meet and provide feedback to Cedefop on different aspects affecting the results from the 2020 release:

  • The European Green Deal;
  • Automation;
  • Ageing of the population; and
  • Covid-19.

Participation to the workshop is restricted to country experts from the Skills Forecast network


The workshop provided an opportunity for policy-makers, stakeholders, experts and researchers to discuss the challenges and choices facing European VET today. Building on systematic research carried out by Cedefop in recent years, the workshop complements the ongoing political discussion on the future of European VET evidenced in the July 2020 Skills Agenda, the proposal for a VET Council recommendation and the 2020 Osnabrück declaration.     

The workshop built on the findings of the recently published Cedefop report VET in Europe 1995-2035. From a long-term perspective on European VET developments, the report brings together two major Cedefop research projects: The changing nature and role of VET in Europe (2015-18) and the The future of vocational education and training (VET) (2019-22).

The workshop aimed to instigate a discussion on the overall direction European VET is taking.

Presentations and discussions during the first day of the workshop (26 November) provided a general picture of recent developments. 

The second day (27 November) allowed for an in-depth discussion of the way VET skills and competences are changing and how this influences their delivery. 

  • Breakout session 1: Transversal skills and the VET curriculum - Moderated by Anastasia Pouliou
  • Breakout session 2: The challenge of reviewing and renewing VET qualifications - Moderated by Jens Bjørnåvold
  • Breaktout session 3: New arrangements between VET and general education - Moderated by Else Husa

The 18th ReferNet annual plenary meeting will take place virtually on 2-3-4 December 2020.

It will bring together national representatives for ReferNet, ReferNet partners, Cedefop experts involved in ReferNet activities, as well as representatives of the European Commission and the European Training Foundation.

The objectives of the meeting are:

  • to inform ReferNet partners and national representatives of the latest EU VET policy developments, particularly the Osnabrück declaration and its impact on the network’s activities;
  • to review the 2020 ReferNet deliverables and prepare the 2021 work plan;
  • to organise a knowledge-sharing platform on VET topics originating from the Osnabrück declaration, to be piloted by ReferNet partners;
  • to provide opportunities for informal meetings which will promote the network’s spirit of collaboration and partnership, help newcomers become acquainted with existing partners and Cedefop experts, and familiarise themselves with the network’s operation.

Cedefop’s webinar ‘Making excellence inclusive: towards a new Cedefop survey of VET teachers and trainers’ took place on 3 February 2021 from 09:00 to 13:00 CET.


Participants included European policy-makers, social partners and invited experts.

Empirical evidence on teachers, learners and principals in VET as well as on in-company trainers are scarce in the EU. To close this gap, Cedefop launched a feasibility study for a survey on these target populations in initial vocational education and training (IVET) at ISCED level 3.

The webinar aimed to:

  • reflect on the added value and scope of a new European survey on VET principals, teachers, learners and in-company trainers;
  • identify research and data gaps to support evidence-based policy making;
  • seek for potential synergies with existing surveys for teachers and trainers.

Participants discussed existing research and data gaps, as well as challenges that VET teachers and in-company trainers in Europe face in:  

  • promoting excellence in VET and preparing learners for professional and personal success;
  • supporting learners at risk including marginalised learners and creating inclusive learning and working environments;
  • working in digital environments also imposed by COVID-19 and making use of digital advancements (e.g. virtual reality, artificial intelligence, etc.) in teaching, learning and assessment processes.

Next steps

The conclusions of this webinar will support and feed into the feasibility study of a new Cedefop survey of VET principals, teachers, learners and in-company trainers.

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