Cedefop is holding a conference on 26-27 November in Thessaloniki to discuss how globalisation influences national vocational education and training (VET) systems and how national VET provision can meet global needs.

It will address issues such as quality assurance, cooperation between economic sectors and public authorities, and the renewal of standards, qualification requirements and curricula. Particular attention will be given to the role of economic sectors such as ICT, banking and finance, food and drink, automotive, welding and social work in driving these developments.

Speakers will include representatives of the European Commission, governments, social partners and international organisations.

In June 2015, EU ministers responsible for VET committed themselves to address the impact of globalisation on VET in Europe. Cedefop is now embarking on research to determine whether, and in what way, European and international sectoral qualifications, standards and curricula are affecting national systems of VET.

Leaning too much on global solutions risks loosening standards and diluting the impact of education and training systems. But inadequate integration of such global solutions into the national training landscape risks undermining the relevance of national solutions on a global labour market, a situation which in the longer run, may undermine European competitiveness.

The challenge for policy-makers is to cooperate with all interested parties so as to develop VET for a globalised economy – for each sector, and within each education and training system.

Cedefop’s forthcoming briefing note Vocational education and training and globalisation – changing expectations and requirements describes in detail what is at stake.