European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen visited the Cedefop exhibition marking the agency's 40 year anniversary at the Berlaymont building in Brussels on 19 February.  

The Commissioner had the opportunity to see exhibits of the achievements of the Thessaloniki-based agency, which from 1975 to 1995 had its seat in the former West Berlin.

Ms Thyssen was briefed about Cedefop's work by the Chair of Governing Board Micheline Scheys and Director James Calleja. Jens Bjornavold and Cosmin Roman were also part of the Cedefop delegation.

An exchange of views on vocational education and training’s (VET’s) role as a tool to promote inclusion and excellence took place. It was highlighted that Cedefop is in an excellent position to support Member States, social partners and the Commission in responding to the challenges and opportunities posed by the labour market.

Mention was made by Cedefop of the positive impact European tools such as the European qualifications framework and Europass have had on European education systems and citizens. It was also stressed that such European initiatives need to be strengthened within the overall context of the soon-to-be-launched Skills Agenda.

Mr Calleja said: ‘The meeting with Commissioner Thyssen served to share our strong belief that VET can be both inclusive and a platform for innovation and excellence. We are looking forward to the Commissioner's visit to Cedefop in April to further elaborate on the centre’s work programme and on how it could support even more directly the implementation of VET reforms to attract more young and older persons to learning for work.’

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