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Cedefop 2018 Skills forecast launch event


Mara Brugia

Mara Brugia has been Deputy Director of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, Cedefop, since September 2014. She has been involved in vocational education and training since she joined Cedefop in 1994.

As Head of area from 2004 to 2014 she managed teams of experts working in European VET policy analysis, adult and work-based learning with specific focus on apprenticeship-type learning and the European tools for recognition and transparency of qualifications, such as the European qualifications framework.

She also served as Acting Deputy Director from November 2012 to October 2013.

Ms Brugia holds a university degree in economics and a master in economics, politics and law of the European Union.

Her mother tongue is Italian (born in Perugia) and she is fluent in English, French, Greek and Spanish.

 Mountain ViewJuan Menéndez-Valdés

Juan Menéndez-Valdés has been Director of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Eurofound, since 2010, the tripartite providing knowledge to assist in the development of social, employment and work-related policies. From 2015 to 2016, Mr Menéndez-Valdés was Chair of the Network of EU Agencies.

In his earlier career, he served as Head of Employment, Immigration, Education and Training Policies at the Spanish Confederation of Business (CEOE) and manager for guidance, training and employment programmes in the Spanish National Employment Service (INEM). From 2007 to 2009, he was Chair of the Governing Board of Eurofound's sister organisation, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop).  He holds a degree in psychology, a master in industrial psychology and human resources, and a postgraduate degree in European studies.   

Livanos Ilias

Ilias Livanos is a Cedefop expert. Working in the Department for skills and the labour market, Ilias heads the Skills forecast and the European skills index projects, while he has been responsible for conceptualising the quantitative structure of the Skills Panorama. Ilias is involved in several other Cedefop projects (including Mismatch priority occupations and Skills governance). Ilias is an economist by training, with a PhD in employment research from the University of Warwick, where he worked for a number of years prior to joining Cedefop. His expertise is in labour economics, education economics, and industrial relations. Ilias has published articles in various top-ranking journals including: Industrial Relation, A Journal of Economy and Society, Regional Studies, Industrial and Economic Democracy, Journal of Economic Studies, Education Economics, Applied Economics Letters, Higher Education, the International Journal of Manpower, Personnel Review, and the Journal of Labour Research.

Donald Storrie

Donald Storrie is chief researcher at the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. He was previously Director of the Centre for European Labour Market Studies in Sweden. He has published scientific research on a wide range of topics in labour economics and European employment policy. He has also worked as business editor at the main Swedish daily business newspaper and as research officer at the Swedish Ministry of Employment. He was a member of European Employment Observatory for many years. He holds a BSc in mathematics and a PhD in economics.

Ken Mayhew

Ken Mayhew is Emeritus Professor of Education and Economic Performance at Oxford University, Emeritus Fellow in Economics at Pembroke College Oxford and Extraordinary Professor of Education and Economic Performance at Maastricht University. Currently he is a member of the UK Armed Forces Pay Review Body. For over 15 years he was Director of SKOPE, an ESRC-funded multidisciplinary research centre on skills, knowledge and organisational performance based at Oxford and Cardiff. Ken is an economist and has published widely on labour economics, human resource management, the economics of education, and policy analysis. He served as Economic Director of the UK’s former National Economic Development Office and was Chair of the international advisory group on the background questionnaire for the OECD’s PIAAC study.  He is an editor of The Oxford Review of Economic Policy and of Oxford Economic Papers and jointly edited the recent Oxford University Press Handbook on skills and training.

Mountain View Slawomir Tokarski

Slawomir Tokarski obtained his PhD at the European University Institute in Florence in 1995. He joined the Polish administration and headed a team coordinating the preparations for the country’s accession negotiations and preparing policy analysis for the Chief Negotiator.

In 2004 he joined the European Commission as a Cabinet member of the Commissioner responsible for regional policy. In 2009 he was nominated Head of Unit, dealing with economic policy and coordination of EU funding in DG MARE.

In March 2012 he became Head of Defence, Aeronautics and Maritime Industries in DG Enterprise.

Since February 2016 Mr Tokarski has been Director, Dir F Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing (DG GROW).

Mountain ViewAlison Crabb

Alison Crabb, working in the European Commission since 1999, currently heads the Skills and Qualifications Unit in DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. Her team is working with Member States, social partners and other stakeholders to improve skills development and skills intelligence for better career choices, and to make skills and qualifications more visible and comparable. Her previous work in the Commission includes both policy and funds management in vocational education and training, adult learning, and school education. Most recently she was closely involved in developing the New skills agenda for Europe and the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Ruby Gropas

Ruby Gropas leads the Social Affairs Team at the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC), the European Commission’s in-house think tank.

Before joining the EPSC, Ruby was research fellow in the Global governance programme of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute, Florence. She is visiting professor at the College of Europe, Bruges and holds a lectureship in international relations at the Law Faculty of the University of Thrace. Ruby has worked at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) and for McKinsey and Co. in Zurich and Athens. She was South-east Europe policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC and visiting fellow with the Center for Democracy Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford University.

She has a PhD from Cambridge University.

Hanne Shapiro

Hanne Shapiro started her own company Hanne Shapiro Futures in September 2018. Before that she worked as Innovation Director at the Danish Technological Institute.  She is currently carrying out a study on the whole financial sector including fintech, which will feed into the future career guidance strategy of the Danish Finance Union. She is also involved in a study on how the level of, and approach to, digitalization impact skills demands and job opportunities in Danish SMEs. Prior to that she undertook a study on the impact of digital technologies on skilled professionals, looking into automation and job substitution effects in the public and private sectors.

Hanne was part of a review with Berkeley University and the OECD on stocktaking of the skills and employment effects of the digital economy. She is the independent expert for the European Commission on the Danish education system. She was part of the Danish government expert group on the reform of the Danish continuing education and training system, and was recently appointed member of an inter-ministerial advisory group to support implementation of the Danish Technology Pact.

Sigrid de Vries

Sigrid de Vries has been Secretary General of the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, CLEPA, since 2017. The CLEPA represents over 3 000 companies supplying state-of-the-art components and innovative technology for safe, smart and sustainable mobility. Previously, Sigrid headed the CECE, the European Construction Equipment Manufacturers Association, led the communications and institutional relations at Iveco and CNH Industrial (EMEA region), and was director of communications at ACEA, the European Automobile Industry Association. Sigrid started her professional life as a journalist at the Amsterdam stock exchange and at a Dutch financial daily newspaper, with postings as EU correspondent in Brussels and Germany correspondent in Berlin.

  Pascaline Descy

Pascaline Descy, is Head of the Department for skills and labour market at the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, Cedefop. The department collects data on jobs and skills, produces forecasts of skill supply and demand, and analyses on skill mismatch in the EU labour market. It also develops and maintains the Skills Panorama, a central access point to intelligence on labour market and skills trends (

After joining Cedefop in 1997, Pascaline worked for several years as an expert in VET research, investigating the economic and social benefits to education, training and skills. Between 2010 and 2015, she headed the Agency’s Research and policy analysis department. Before working in Cedefop, Pascaline was a researcher at the University of Liège in Belgium, where she was involved in comparative education projects. She holds a master in education sciences from the University of Liège, Belgium.

Tatjana Babrauskienė

Tatjana Babrauskienė is working and representing trade unions in the field of VET and AL from 2004. At national level: the coordinator for three Lithuanian trade union confederations, a member of Tripartite Council on VET, National Committee on CVET, National REFERNET.   At European level: an external VET and AE expert of the European trade union confederation (ETUC) and the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE). Member of ETUC Education and training Working group, member of the Advisory Panel of ETUCE and ETUCE representative to EU 2020 Working groups on AL and VET. Since 2004 - member of the Governing Board of CEDEFOP, Thessaloniki. Since 2005 – member of the EC Advisory Committee on Vocational Education (ACVT). At Global level: member of Education International (EI) VET Task Force (2012 -)

Since 2015 - member of European Economic and Social Committee EESC)

Joost Korte

Joost Korte was appointed Director-General of the European Commission’s DG EMPL on 16 March 2018. He was made Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s Trade Department on 1 January 2017. Previously, the Dutch national served as Deputy Director-General in the Agriculture and Rural Development Department as well as in the Enlargement Department. Joost spent several years in the Commission’s Secretariat General as Director responsible for the relations with the Council of Ministers, and gained extensive experience in the private offices of Sir Leon Brittan, Chris Patten and Danuta Hübner. This professional background within the European institutions allowed him to develop a profound understanding of EU decision-making.

A lawyer by training, Joost joined the Commission in 1991, following eight years of academic work on European law at the universities of Utrecht and Edinburgh.