Ways of working together on vocational training initiatives were discussed during the visit to Cedefop of German Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Hans-Joachim Fuchtel.
Mr Fuchtel, who is also Chancellor Angela Merkel’s representative at the Greek-German Assembly, a network of cooperation between regions, cities and citizens of the two countries, visited Cedefop on 11 June with General Consul Ingo von Voss and other officials.
Cedefop Director James Calleja briefly presented the Centre’s work, making special reference to skills forecasting, development of European tools and the recent apprenticeship conference, and stressed that ‘not all EU Member States are as advanced in the field of apprenticeships as Germany, but we encourage them to take more initiatives.’
Mr Calleja added that Cedefop would be ready to take part in joint activities that could lead to more jobs for young people. Mr Fuchtel proposed the organisation of a workshop or a social partner conference on unemployed young people in 2015 and the two sides agreed to explore further opportunities for cooperation.
The German politician talked about the projects in Greece, where three vocational schools that work closely with enterprises have been set up – in Athens and Crete for tourism and in Thessaloniki for logistics. These schools award Greek and German qualifications. The Cedefop Director suggested that they could be linked to the European tools, e.g. the Europass certificate supplement, to add a European dimension to them, an idea supported by Mr Fuchtel.
Cedefop Deputy Director Christian Lettmayr stressed the importance of working with labour market actors in the various projects and the German State Secretary underlined that ‘success comes from the market, not the State’. He added that the next step will be to retrain people already in a job to make a career change as their jobs are under threat (e.g. in the public sector). ‘We need to address employment issues before people lose their jobs and become unemployed,’ he concluded.