For many years, Vocational Education and Training and Lifelong Learning has been the cinderella of the Education systems across Europe with a major division between Academia and VET as routes to higher qualifications and prosperity. This artificial divide has created a perspective within society of two classes with VET being perceived as the learning route for the less able.
Increasingly, however, European Union member states have recognised that if Europe is to face the challenge of globalisation and to allow its citizens to grasp the opportunities afforded through Europe then the VET framework is a key to raising the potential of its citizens to play a full and active role in society. A key to this is providing learning for all which offer greater flexibility and choice for the learner/citizen whether young or adult. It requires movement on several fronts:
a) Equal valuation of different learning routes
b) Developing new routes, combinations of academic and vocational
c) European Qualification Framework and the status of VET and general education at all levels
d) The different modes of mobility in academic and vocational education. What can we learn from it?
e) Good practices in enhancing VET in the EU
The Conference will seek to address these issues in two primary ways:
Firstly to consider the issues and look at models and approaches drawn from different member states
Secondly look at the ways in which the European policy issues are being implemented at National level