The 27th edition of the European Forum of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (EfVET) Annual Conference “Rethinking VET for an Inclusive Excellence” will kick off tomorrow and will last until the 27th October at the Sheraton Lake Como Hotel, Italy. This year’s edition is co-organised together with EfVET Italian member, COMETA Formazione. The conference will welcome more than 250 participants coming from Europe and beyond.

23.10.2018. Brussels/Como. EfVET is a unique European-wide professional association which has been created by and for providers of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in all European countries. Its mission is to champion and enrich technical and vocational education and training through transnational co-operation by building a pan-European network of institutions. Together with Italian EfVET Member, COMETA, a VET centre started for dropouts and now become a Laboratory of Innovation and Social Inclusion, with official recognition by the European Agency ETF and member of the UNESCO-UNEVOC network of centres of excellence.

Both organisations will lead four days of discussion focused on the theme ‘Rethinking VET for an Inclusive Excellence”. This is a crucial subject due to the daily global challenges of educational and training activities: entrepreneurial, digital skills, and creative thinking which are only some of the key competencies required in today’s, and the future, labour market as highlighted in recent EU policy documents, including the EU Skills Agenda in 2016.

Recently elected EfVET President and CEO of EfVET Maltese member MCAST, Prof Joachim James Calleja, stated

Undoubtedly this is a conference which will mark an important milestone in the history of EfVET by the launch of a strategic plan 2019-2022 aimed at making EfVET a stronger voice for VET in Europe, a meeting point for an increased number of members and a future reference point to important stakeholders among whom and importantly employers.  Training providers are the only cohort of speakers that can refer to their direct experience of VET. They are and will always be in the best position to advocate reform, innovation and changes to this invaluable sector of our economies. By being inclusive and aspiring for excellence we are putting two huge challenges at our doorstep. The first to ensure that all learners become employable and the second that most of our learners achieve a higher education degree that opens doors to career of prestige’. 

Alessandro Mele, CEO of COMETA, has declared:

Contributing to the organization of EfVET Conference and hosting such an important event is of paramount importance not only for our organization but also for our city and Regione Lombardia. Thanks to an impressive collaboration with local partners, Sheraton Lake Como hotel, the Chamber of Commerce of Como and many others, our city will be the centre of the European VET system for one week and we are proud to be part of this process of renovation of education systems. Making excellence more inclusive, innovating didactics to promote quality, have always been in our DNA, since the very origin of Cometa: welcoming our kids to educate them, leaving no one behind.”

Every year EfVET Annual Conferences becomes a milestone for VET experts and professionals. This 27th edition has exceeded organisers expectations, as it will welcome more than 250 delegates coming from European region, but as well from Russia, Hong-Kong or USA. The profile of the attendees revolves from teachers, providers, trainers, business representatives or experts on Vocational Education and Training and Adult Education. Four days of discussions around topics such as how to improve the business-education cooperation, internationalisation of VET, Apprenticeships, Innovation 4.0, Leaderships Skills, or the post-2020, what’s next?

The conference will gather high-level keynote speakers which will provide their expertise to address to the different transformations of the future of VET education. That’s why the main policy discussions will be about: VET for inclusive Excellence, third-country cooperation, innovation in digital learning or what’s next for Erasmus+ programme. In order to address these and other topics, EfVET Conference will count with experts from local level such as Melania De Nichilo Rizzoli, Regional Secretary for Education, Training and Labour in Region Lombardy, European level such as Cesare Onestini, Director of the European Training Foundation, Joao Santos, European Commission Deputy Head of Unit VET, Apprenticeships and Adult learning (DG Employment , Social Affairs and Inclusion), Slawomir Tokarski, Director of Innovation at DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs or Annika Ostergren, DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology, CEDEFOP experts Tina Bertzeletou and Irene Psifidou, and from UNESCO-UNEVOC, Jens Liebe, Senior Expert. The industry perspective will be given by Cristina Cofacci, Industrial Relations and Labour Law Manager at ENEL Group (Italy) and Yvonne van Hest, Programme Director of Brainport Development (The Netherlands).

EfVET President Prof Calleja, wishes on the kick-off:

“that EfVET conferences will continue to spearhead VET reform across the thousands of schools and colleges and act as catalysts for more training providers to join this formidable group of practitioners that play such a unique role in VET. We have the privilege of making VET. Let’s make sure that in so doing, we are fully recognized as the driving force behind the success of our economies and the active citizenship of millions of Europeans”.