European Union (EU) Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor called his visit to Cedefop premises on 4 March ‘a very important experience’ and stated that ‘good vocational education and training systems are crucial for employment’.

Addressing Cedefop staff, Mr Andor spoke about the youth guarantee, one of the European Commission’s new initiatives to combat youth unemployment. ‘It needs to be a short-term relief and long-term investment in the skills and employability of young people,’ he said. 

The scheme aims to ensure that all young people under age 25 receive a good-quality offer of employment, an apprenticeship or traineeship or the chance to continue their education within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education.

‘It is important for Europe’s Regions to know how to draw from the EU financial resources, but also how to exploit the experience of others,’ stressed Mr Andor.

He mentioned mobility as ‘a very important opportunity, a fundamental right’ of European citizens and argued that ‘we do not consider mobility in the EU loss of human capital,’ adding that there is now less mobility in Europe than before the crisis. The EU Commissioner underlined, as an example, that Germany needs more than half a million workers per year.

Cedefop Director James Calleja said that it was ‘a privilege and an honour’ to welcome the Commissioner to the agency and noted that employment is at the centre of its research and forecasting. He added that youth should be empowered through various forms of education and training to be their own guarantee for employability and employment.

Senior officials presented to Mr Andor Cedefop’s work on:

  • employment and skills perspectives up to 2025 – EU28 and Hungary;
  • feedback mechanisms between VET and the labour market – the role of apprenticeship-type learning;
  • the relevance of the common EU tools and principles for the labour market.

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