Qualifications largely determine our chances at employment, our ability to access further education and our social status. But they also have limitations: much of the knowledge and competence we acquire through life is left out of our diplomas, certificates and titles. To close this gap, both the education and employment worlds need to engage in redesigning and updating qualifications. This was the main theme of Cedefop’s Agora Conference, Qualifications for lifelong learning and employability (Thessaloniki 5-6 October), which examined how qualifications are used in today’s economy.
During the EuroSkills competition held in Rotterdam on 18-20 September, Cedefop experts contributed to an open workshop, organised by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education and Culture, to present the various EU tools and initiatives now being implemented in cooperation with Member States.
On Monday 16 March, Jan Figel’, European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, announced the publication of Cedefop’s latest Policy Report, Continuity, consolidation and change at the Agora conference of the same title, held in Thessaloniki under the auspices of the Czech Presidency of the EU.
The findings of a forthcoming Cedefop-Eurofound study, The role of collective bargaining in the development of continuing vocational training, which covers the EU-27 and Norway, will be discussed at a joint seminar organised at Cedefop with Eurofound, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, on 9-10 February.
A Cedefop conference on Sharing the costs of training in the newer EU Member States, (Thessaloniki, 15-16 October 2009) will show that overall investment and participation in training can both increase if there are well designed financing schemes combining public and private funds for vocational education and training (VET).
New ideas on teaching and learning, as well as recent European policy developments on qualifications are affecting the way in which curricula are drawn. At the same time, changes in curriculum organisation are affecting teaching and learning patterns at all educational levels. This dynamic is to be the main topic of discussion at the Cedefop workshop on Curriculum innovation and reform: policies and practices, to be held in Thessaloniki on 9-10 November.
On 17 and 18 November Cedefop and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture will be holding a launching conference for two new European tools: the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework (EQARF) and the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) in Brussels, with the participation of over 300 representatives of training providers and other bodies and institutions from across Europe.
The challenge of how to implement an e-skills agenda for the 21st Century will be the main topic of the European e-Skills 2008 Conference, Implementing a long term e-skills strategy in Europe.
Cedefop, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, is announcing the results of the first Europe-wide forecast of skill needs at the international Agora conference, “Skills for Europe’s future”, being held at the Cedefop Conference Centre on 21 and 22 February.