The 18th ReferNet annual plenary meeting brought together virtually national representatives, partners, Cedefop experts involved in the network’s activities and representatives of other organisations from 2 to 4 December.
Two Norwegian researchers, Jørn Ljunggren and Julia Orupabo, have investigated how descendants of immigrants in vocational training see their educational and professional prospects. Their study (Moving beyond: narratives of higher educational aspirations among descendants of immigrants in vocational training, British journal of sociology of education) is based on interviews with 35 adolescents of whom 30 have minority origins. According to the researchers, this group has been largely overlooked by scholars. Research has instead focused on immigrant descendants succeeding in higher education and moving up the social ladder, on the one hand, and the socially marginalised, on the other.
In the wake of the many economic consequences of the covid-19 virus, the Government and the social partners have reached an economic agreement to secure apprenticeships both during and after the crisis. Specifically, the agreement is to spend EUR 725 million on subsidising apprentice salaries.
Many countries across Europe take water production and supply for granted. However, the operation is complex, requiring skilled professionals. The shortage of skilled workforce is a reality for many countries and not many young people think of relevant training as an attractive option. In order to address this problem, certain European colleges and water sector professionals have joined forces.
Italy appears to have a consistent and relevant legislative framework, as highlighted by the national report on the implementation of the upskilling pathways recommendation. Adult participation is steadily increasing, albeit slowly. But all institutional and socioeconomic stakeholders agree on the need to adopt a holistic approach.
The current logbook system in VET education in Iceland is paper based and considered outdated. This is why modernisation and move to digital for VET learners was recommended by a high-level working group as early as 2015.
Skills to advance is a national Further Education and Training (FET) initiative that was established to meet the challenges of rapid technological advances and the changing work environment. It was developed in response to the evolving skills and training needs of employees and industry. It seeks to address specific skills needs of target groups by supporting the development of soft and digital skills and responding to the future of work while driving effective regional development.
The SEE THE JOBS! platform is the latest initiative supporting the professional guidance of young people. It uses a ‘career lexicon’, matching instruments that help them discover suitable opportunities and descriptions of different professions.
Cedefop has been monitoring the adoption of artificial intelligence and new digital technologies by EU Member States, as these are becoming part of the EU’s new reality in a post-coronavirus world.
In the productive sector, considerable progress is taking place in the development of processes, machines and materials, requiring a permanent adjustment of skilled worker profiles. Further, limitations of natural resources, environment protection and the recycling of materials constitute main challenges for the industry, which has been investing for years in the development of new materials and efficient recycling structures. To respond to these changing needs, the vocational aptitude diploma programme ‘Specialised agent in smart materials’ was introduced in the school year 2020/21.