Since 2009, Cedefop has been organising information events to reach out to the citizens of its host country, especially the education community. In December it updated local guidance professionals on recent developments concerning education and training across Europe. The main topic was how the European Qualifications Frameworks, and the recent Greek law instituting a national qualification framework, may affect the work of local guidance and orientation professionals.
Opening the seminar, Acting Director Christian Lettmayr said: "The EU’s new development strategy, Europe 2020, addresses four major factors of change: the fallout from the current financial crisis, the need for green development, the rising demand for skills and demographic change. Training has a contribution to make in all of these fields. But we are aware that the immediate problem in Central Macedonia, especially Thessaloniki, is high youth unemployment – now estimated at around 30%. Vocational education and training cannot, on its own, solve this problem, but is an important part of any solution. To offer people the right training is to ensure that they develop the skills needed in the labour market”.
Presenting the European Qualifications Framework, Loukas Zahilas of Cedefop’s qualifications team said that there is a wide consensus in Europe that learning outcomes can improve the transparency and credibility of qualifications: these approaches create a common language, allowing for the comparison of qualifications gained in other countries, sectors and contexts. But he added: “To be effective, learning outcome approaches, and the tools that are based on them, need to be implemented in a coherent way. Right now, general education is falling behind. The success of tools such as the qualifications frameworks, however, will depend also in how inclusive they are and how widely they are embraced.”
The seminar ended with a presentation by Philippe Tissot on Europass - particularly Mobility and the Europass CV – specially conceived around the needs of guidance professionals, who promote the use of Europass in their daily work.
Photo: Public Relations Manager Corinna Frey and Senior Expert Loukas Zahilas at the event.