In a series of interviews to European media, new Cedefop Director James Calleja has outlined the organisation’s work and targets, and addressed issues such as unemployment and career guidance that are at the centre of European citizens’ concerns.

Mr Calleja talked to German daily Die Welt about ways to address high youth unemployment, especially in the south of Europe. He highlighted the importance of vocational education and training (VET) as a realistic alternative to higher education and added that the German dual system in VET could be adopted as a model for the benefit of labour markets in southern Europe. He also stressed that the European Union (EU) Member States still have different cruising speeds when it comes to the implementation of strategies and expertise for fighting youth unemployment. You can find the interview, in German, here.

The Cedefop Director was also interviewed by the EurActiv website on youth unemployment, skills mismatch, apprenticeship schemes and the key fields in EU training programmes. Read the Q & A here.

UK’s TES magazine (Times Educational Supplement) published an article on youth employment based on Mr Calleja’s proposal to start career guidance as early as possible in secondary education. And the magazine's reporter Darren Evans also interviewed him on teaching standards for adult learners.

Speaking to the Greek daily Aggelioforos, the Cedefop Director stressed that ‘we cannot afford to stop learning; adult learning is not an option anymore because the moment people stop learning they find themselves out of the labour market'. Read the whole interview (in Greek).

In the Cyprus edition of the Kathimerini newspaper, Mr Calleja emphasised that, according to Cedefop’s forecast, by 2020 there will be job opportunities in all occupations in the country mainly due to the need to replace those leaving the labour market, e.g. for retirement. Most job opportunities will be for senior managers and various elementary workers as well as for technicians and professionals.

Finally, in an interview with his native Times of Malta, he shared his vision of employability: 'We aim to create a reference point of excellence on how European policies can feed into national policies and make European citizens employable.'