As part of the celebrations for Europe Day 2009, Cedefop opened its doors to senior high schools and universities of the greater Thessaloniki area inviting around 300 pupils and students, along with their teachers and professors, to find out more about
Whats the most meaningful way to celebrate Europe Day? For most citizens, including the majority who are well-disposed toward the European Union and appreciate its benefits, the first question that comes to mind may well be, Why should I celebrate? Whats in it for me? Exactly how can the EU help me through these difficult times?
These were precisely the questions that guided Cedefops first major celebration of Europe Day at its premises. On May 8, we opened our doors not to policy-makers, our immediate target groups, but to some of the beneficiaries of the EUs focus on education and training: pupils, students and their teachers.
Around 300 young people from 12 senior high schools and three universities attended our event. We concentrated on showing how the European Union and Cedefop in particular helps drive policy-making in education and training and, more importantly, what impact the European dimension of education and training has on young peoples lives.
Besides offering data on lifelong learning, skills forecasting, demographic trends, and the concepts of learning outcomes and validation of non-formal learning, we urged the youngsters to consider several aspects when choosing a professional path: their own inclinations, the need for generic as well as specific skills, and wider labour market trends.
Our guests participated enthusiastically in the presentations, asking challenging questions such as how much leeway young people really have under circumstances of financial crisis and demographic crunch; whether it is meaningful to speak of occupations per se, given the increasing volatility of the labour market; and what the proper role for employers is in developing curricula. They also pointed out some of the difficulties of applying European concepts, tools and principles in varied national and cultural settings.
|Maite Santos of the Cedefop Library guides visitors|