Seven members of the Swedish Retail and Wholesale Council’s secretariat and Skills and Occupations Committee visited Cedefop on 30 March. Discussions focused on European vocational education and training (VET) policy and Cedefop’s work on skills and qualifications.

The visitors were particularly interested in European approaches to the classification and validation of skills, matching between skills profiles and occupations and the significance of basic skills vs technical skills.

The Council is a social partner organisation representing both employers’ associations and unions active in the retail and wholesale sector, one of the largest sectors of the Swedish economy. The biggest financier of VET research in Sweden, the Council also influences policy decisions and develops skills profiles for the various occupations in the sector.

Cedefop’s Stelina Chatzichristou presented the Skills Panorama and Anastasia Pouliou the European guidelines for validation of non-formal and informal learning along with the updated inventory on validation. Dmitrijs Kulss explained how Cedefop monitors European policy developments in respect to the Bruges and Riga deliverables, and Steve Bainbridge laid out a vision of what it takes for a workplace to become a motivating learning environment conducive to workers’ career aspirations.

Andreas Hedlund, CEO of the Council, and Mats Johansson from the Skills and Occupations Committee presented the Council’s work. This session was open to Cedefop’s experts and raised a very lively and interesting debate which will be followed up.