European Union Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassiliou, who will address Cedefop’s conference on tackling skill mismatch through work-based learning and apprenticeships (12-13 June 2013, Cedefop premises, Thessaloniki, Greece), talked about the latest European initiatives to alleviate youth unemployment and refocus education and training.

In an interview with Cedefop, Ms Vassiliou said that ‘combatting youth unemployment is a top priority for the European Union’. She added that ‘Rethinking Education’, the recent political communication of the European Commission to the Member States, aims to make sure that ‘education and training systems equip young people with the skills and qualifications they need to find a job’.

Cedefop’s conference will gather more than 150 experts on vocational education and training (VET), policy-makers from the European Commission and Member States as well as social partners’ representatives. They will debate how VET can be improved by information on labour-market trends, how various forms of apprenticeship can address youth unemployment and how peer learning and alliances can help develop work-based learning.

German Parliamentary Secretary of State, Federal Ministry of Education and Research Thomas Rachel and Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris will be among those addressing the event.

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