Cedefop is organising a high-level policy learning forum on vocational training for the long-term unemployed on 15 and 16 June in Thessaloniki.

Increased unemployment across the European Union (EU) has been one of the main legacies of the economic crisis. In 2015, nearly half of all jobless Europeans were long-term unemployed (LTU), meaning they had not managed to find work for more than 12 months. Two-thirds of them have been very long-term unemployed, out of work for over two years.

The forum will feature policy-makers and practitioners, who will present and debate a range of national programmes focused on the upskilling and skills matching of the long-term unemployed from more than 10 EU countries.

The event will provide a highly interactive setting and will deploy a range of learning techniques and methods (world café, assembly line, selling ideas). Participants will be able to exchange experiences and engage in mutual learning of key elements of inspiring training initiatives and practices for tackling long-term unemployment across the EU.

High-level speakers will include John P Martin (former Director of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD), Seamus McGuinness (ESRI, Ireland), John McGrath (SOLAS, Ireland), Wolfgang Muller (European network of public employment services) and Maria Karamesini (Director of the Greek public employment service). Policy-makers from the European Commission and European Parliament will listen to the participants’ proposed actions and engage in a panel debate on ways forward for  more effective active training programmes in Europe.

The forum will build on Cedefop’s recent publication Tackling unemployment while addressing skill mismatch: Lessons from policy and practice in EU countries.

Participation in the event is by invitation only. There are very few places left, so if you are interested in attending, you can check availability with Cedefop expert Konstantinos Pouliakas Konstantinos Pouliakas.

Check out the agenda and conference website.