Cedefop presented its work to the Greek Parliament, for the first time, on 23 October. A delegation headed by Director James Calleja addressed MPs of the Education and Social Affairs select committees and answered questions on the agency’s contribution to the development of vocational education and training (VET) and its cooperation with Greek authorities and VET institutions.

Welcoming the delegation, Education Affairs committee chair Spyros Taliadouros noted that ‘for many years we have developed strong relations with Cedefop and we have been working together on skills, qualifications and competences, as well as on lifelong learning issues. Especially important has been Cedefop’s contribution to the national qualifications framework (NQF) development process, which is one of the European Commission’s most significant initiatives for recognition of skills and promotion of lifelong learning.’

Mr Calleja told MPs that permanent employment nowadays means permanent employability and that Cedefop's aim is to promote employability, help Member States resolve unemployment issues, give people the opportunity to train and develop apprenticeships.

He added: ‘We are here today to link what we are doing in our base in Thessaloniki to what is needed in Greece. We want to help you in terms of the NQF and with skills forecasting. The secret lies in moving closer to Member States and to VET institutions where the real action takes place.’

Cedefop’s head of Finance and Procurement George Paraskevaidis spoke about the agency’s history, expert Konstantinos Pouliakas presented research on improving skills mismatch in the European and Greek labour market, and acting head of area Enhanced Cooperation in VET and Lifelong Learning Loukas Zahilas described the function of the European tools for education and learning.

Greek Deputy Minister for Education Georgios Stylios, who hosted the event, concluded: 'We want to work with Cedefop as an adviser and an EU agency based in Thessaloniki. We seek to match students’ skills and competences with labour market needs to make them more competitive. Our aim is to match skills with special requirements in different parts of Greece. We start a cooperation to determine our actions as a country in vocational education and training.'

Browse the event's picture gallery here.

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