Cedefop took part in a large-scale international conference on ‘skills on the move: global trends, local resonances’, organised by UNESCO, the People’s Republic of China and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research on 4-6 July in Tangshan, China.

The conference was designed to take stock of progress and challenges since the third international congress on technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Shanghai in 2012 and identify promising policies and practices to enhance TVET’s contribution to sustainable development.

Cedefop was invited as part of its work in the interagency group on TVET.

In 2012, the global TVET community met in Shanghai to debate current trends and future drivers of development. This global dialogue resulted in
the Shanghai consensus, which provides a vision to connect TVET system analysis with intended development outcomes, and recommendations for TVET systems’ reform as well as policy development. The key message was that systems need significant transformation and revitalisation for TVET to realise its enormous potential as a contributor to employment and sustainable development.

The Tangshan conference attracted more than 350 participants representing 80 countries and many international organisations (e.g. OECD, World Bank, ETF). It focused on areas linked to global trends and UNESCO’s strategy for TVET, including: learner and worker mobility and the role of skills and qualifications recognition; monitoring and evaluating the impact of TVET strategies and programmes; digitalisation, green economies and societies; anticipation of skills demands and addressing mismatch between supply and demand.

Cedefop Head of Department for VET Systems and Institutions Loukas Zahilas participated in the plenary session on ‘skills for mobility: strengthening the recognition of skills and qualifications’. The session discussed international progress with specific focus on the development of national qualifications frameworks (NQFs) worldwide including national, regional and transnational ones. Mr Zahilas presented the development of the European qualifications framework (EQF) and NQFs, and Cedefop’s contribution and support to this process from the very beginning. He also discussed the early impact of the 10 years of European cooperation on qualifications frameworks.

The session was chaired by Brigite Trocmé, from France’s Ministry of National Education. The other panellists were: Joe Samuels, Chief Executive Officer, South African Qualification Authority, Oliver Diehl from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research and Borhene Chakroun, Chief of UNESCO’s Section of Youth, Literacy and Skills Development.

The event closed with a statement updating the skills agenda and defining four key areas for action: anticipating and assessing skill needs; developing skills for all; making skills and qualifications more transparent and better recognised and contributing to better use of skills in the world of work.