The Agora Thessaloniki XXVI is Cedefops follow-up event to the Helsinki Communiqu (December 2006), another milestone in Europes joint effort to boost vocational education and training (VET). It is being organised in close cooperation with the European Commission and the German Presidency. The Agora will bring together ministers and other policy makers, researchers, social partners and practitioners throughout Europe, with Commissioner Jn Figel summing up the event.
As a major pillar of lifelong learning, VET contributes significantly to Europes competitiveness and social cohesion. Despite substantial progress much still remains to do. All actors need to understand its value. If VET is to be attractive and of high quality, they must take action to modernise it.
Which skills for the future? How to ensure that people, whether young or older, can develop their skills accordingly? By 2010, 55-64 year olds will outnumber the 15-24 year olds and European labour markets may face major skill shortages. 30% of the working-age population in the EU have only had lower secondary education or some short prevocational training. But learning opportunities for older workers and the low-skilled are scarce. This is alarming, as demand for skilled and highly skilled workers has been on the rise, even within elementary occupations. So, why does Europe not invest more in VET?
These are some of the pertinent questions, the Agora will address. As all players need to join forces and implement the tools and priorities of the Copenhagen Process, the aim is to take stock and prepare the grounds for further action, also looking beyond 2010.
To register for the conference, please complete the registration form and send it no later than 12 April 2007 to ARTION Conferences & Events.