Cedefop Acting Director Mara Brugia and Thessaloniki International Film Festival (TIFF) General Director Elise Jalladeau opened the #CedefopPhotoAward 2018 exhibition at the Thessaloniki Cinema Museum on 2 November.

#CedefopPhotoAward 2018 received photo stories from 100 teams consisting of over 300 learners and 81 teachers/trainers from 78 vocational education and training (VET) providers in 18 EU Member States. The three winning teams came from Italy, Hungary and Lithuania, with the first two competing for the top prize to be awarded at the European vocational skills week in Vienna on 9 November.

The team from Lithuania, winners of the third prize, were the guests of honour at the Thessaloniki event. Students of the 2nd Thessaloniki Vocational Apprenticeship School OAED were also invited.

A successful partnership

It is the third year running that the TIFF and Cedefop jointly organise an exhibition of the #CedefopPhotoAward winning and runner-up photo stories, as well as the prize award that includes a winning team being invited to attend the festival’s official opening.

In her address, Ms Brugia expressed her gratitude to Ms Jalladeau and her team ‘for their support and wonderful cooperation to make this event happen and turn all ideas into reality.’

She added: ‘As Europe’s centre of expertise on VET, we spend most of our time analysing vocational education and training policies and qualifications, anticipating skill needs or supporting apprenticeships − to name just a few examples. With our photo award we are actually reaching out to those we are ultimately working for: young and adult VET learners across the European Union.’

According to the Cedefop Acting Director, ‘these photo stories, which illustrate the learners’ VET experience, are brilliant examples of their creativity, their ability to innovate, their communication and teamwork skills – all crucial in meeting the requirements of dynamically evolving labour markets.’

Ms Jalladeau said that ‘it’s an honour to welcome each year another group of young people from another part of Europe, which has the chance to share with us their creation and discover what we offer during the festival.’

She added that staging the exhibition during the festival ‘is good because you can also benefit from the people who come to visit the festival and the museum,’ stressing that ‘we are an institution that cherishes education and training; we provide film education for the next generation of film lovers and training for the industry professionals.’

Inspired winners

The winners, F-56 photography team from the Vilnius Vocational Training Centre for Business Service Specialists, consisted of Tim Kliukoit, Evelina Burštein, Raminta Levandraitítė-Matulevičienė and Eglė Mekuškienė. Their story was titled ‘Capturing landscape and light’.

Their teacher Jogaile Butrimaite thanked Cedefop and the TIFF for the opportunity: ‘It was wonderful to take part in such a big competition. It was nice to share our experience of a whole week in such a nice place as Curonian Split, in Lithuania, and also to see our really motivated students do such great work during their holidays.’

On behalf of the students, Tim Klukoit was thankful for the opportunity to visit Greece: ‘It’s such a wonderful country, we’ve been around, taken pictures and we’re in love!’

Ms Brugia concluded by saying she was intrigued by the statement in their photo story that ‘lifelong learning for us is a deliberate, voluntary act.’

‘With this message you are not only setting an example – you could become ambassadors for VET and lifelong learning,’ she added.

The exhibition will stay open until the end of November. If you are unable to visit the exhibition, check out the winners and runners-up in our slideshow.