On Tuesday 18 June, Dr. Stylianos Mavromoustakos, EfVET Vice-President Policy, attended the Platform of European Associations of VET providers meeting with the DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion (European Commission) representatives. Moreover, VET providers ((EFVET, EUproVET, EVTA and EVBB) met at EfVET premises to organise joint actions for the next years. Dr. Stylianos Mavromoustakos introduces the main European Vocational Education and Training policy discussions during these meetings where he represented EfVET members.
About the Platform of European Associations of VET providers
The ‘Platform of European Associations of VET providers’ set up in 2015 by the European Commission as a follow up to the 2010 Bruges Communiqué cooperates with the EU Commission on the Vocational Skills week (awards, presentations, sharing of good practices), dissemination of EU initiatives at grass root level and suggestions to EU level, reflection on the post 2020 VET, permeability between VET and HE, etc. Its mandate is coming to an end in 2020 and will be evaluated in the next months.
The Platform contributes to a Cedefop Community of learning providers set up in February 2017, with the objective of deepened cooperation, mutual learning on selected themes. For the 2017-20 period, three themes will be dealt with in three parallel sub-groups focussed on the collection of good practices:
- Learning providers and the challenge of TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning): enhancing teachers’ and trainers’ skills,
- Learning providers and EU mobility: reinforcing learning attractiveness and employability,
- Learning providers and migration: empowerment and integration through learning.
EfVET has contributed to the position paper of the Platform of European Associations of VET providers on European Union policy after 2020 on Vocational and Educational Training by the European VET providers associations cooperating in VET4EU2 (2019).
During the European Vocational Skills Week in Helsinki in October 2019, the Community will meet to develop a final report with recommendations and good practices and present these to other VET stakeholders.
European Vocational Skills Week
This year the European Vocational Skills Week 2019 will take place in Helsinki, Finland, from 14 to 18 October. Some 40 meetings will take place, and logistics provision will be put in place to anticipate the attendance of up to 1000 people. Included in the meeting schedule will be a major conference on VET for All – Skills for Life, a conference on VET in and for the world, another landmark meeting of the European Alliance for Apprenticeships, an awards ceremony and dinner, and a closing celebration. A communications campaign is nearly ready to go. This will include social and traditional media engagement, a mapping of Week-associated events/activities, videos, communications toolkits, press releases, newsletters, share your story options, support for 20-30 Ambassadors, and support for a series of awards.
European Alliance for Apprenticeships
The 5th anniversary of the European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) was celebrated in Vienna in November last year. The Alliance welcomed over 30 new members, amongst them 11 Austrian companies. Since the launch of the Alliance in 2013, almost 300 members have joined the Alliance. In total, they have pledged more than 906,000 apprenticeship offers.
There are several EAfA events taking place throughout 2019. It started with an event in March organised together with the European Parliament and MEP Jean Arthuis, focusing on the mobility of apprentices (Erasmus PRO), and with an event, 20-21 May in the Czech Republic focusing on the role of Chambers organised in cooperation with the Czech Chamber of Commerce. The EAfA meeting during the Skills Week in Helsinki will focus on apprenticeships for adults.
In addition, a European Apprentices Network was launched in May 2017 in order to give voice to European Apprentices and support EU policy-making and implementation of apprenticeships policies.
Apprenticeship Support Services:
The adoption of the Council Recommendation on the European Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships was a key milestone in 2018. As the key follow-up action to the Council Recommendation on EFQEA, the Commission launched an Apprenticeship Support Services at the European Vocational Skills Week in Vienna in November 2018. The aim is to support the Member States in their reform process to improve apprenticeship systems. The Support Services are built around three pillars:
- A knowledge-hub to share and access information relevant to apprenticeship design and delivery and to have simplified access to apprenticeships related studies, evidence or statistical data;
- A networking hub to facilitate the exchange of ideas and the development of cooperation amongst stakeholders;
- Bench-learning (based on the PES bench-learning model combining benchmarking with peer learning) to provide a structured process and approach to mutual learning among the Member States on improving their apprenticeship systems.
While the first two pillars are open to all EAfA stakeholders (the EU Member States, Candidate Countries and EFTA members, as well as businesses, social partners, chambers, VET providers, regions, youth representatives and think tanks) the bench-learning pillar is targeting the EU Member States.