European Vocational Skills Week

The European Vocational Skills Week is an annual event during which local, regional or national organisations showcase the very best of Vocational Education and Training (VET) – a sector capable of empowering all people with the skills they need for a fulfilling personal and professional life.

The initiative was created in 2016 by the European Commission, after the call from the Directors General of Vocational Training in the “Riga conclusions” on VET to present the visible achievements of European cooperation in VET (the so-called Copenhagen process). The European Parliament has also asked the Commission to strengthen its work on raising awareness of the potential and benefits of quality VET, as well as on learner mobility.

Moving forward from the initial concept, the event has become an exchange platform for VET stakeholders all around Europe and beyond.

2022 participation

The sixth European Vocational Skills Week (EVSW) will be held 16-20 May across Europe and centre on the theme of VET and the Green Transition.
The specific theme is VET and the Green Transition – in line with the European Commission’s commitment to taking all the necessary steps to become carbon neutral by 2050, known as the European Green Deal, including equipping people with the appropriate skills for the transition. The Week will put skills at the heart of the green transition. Food for Thought: What new skills will we need to thrive in an environment that protects earth’s valuable resources? What role can VET play to ensure a sustainable transition for all?
Events organised by the European Commission will be held on 18-19 May 2022 – including the flagship VET Excellence Awards (18 May). The 2022 European Vocational Skills Week will feature another series of the stellar VET Excellence Awards.

2020 participation

The fifth edition of the European Vocational Skills Week, as originally announced by the Commissioner Ms. Marianne Thyssen, was supposed to take place from 9-13 November 2020 in Berlin (Germany), however, due to the pandemic restrictions, it was a 100% online event organised by the European Commission in cooperation with the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The 2020 theme has been VET for Green and Digital Transitions, in line with the Commission priorities of a “European Green Deal” and a “Europe fit for the digital age”. A series of partner activities took place digitally across the EU. The top countries by number of events and activities were Hungary, Spain, and Italy. There were 49.5 million impressions across social media, and a record 4.2 million people participated in 1.293 events in 39 countries during the year. Across the five days of the Week itself, more than 6.000 people from 74 countries took part in 18 sessions.

The edition of 2020 was an inspiring showcase of the benefits of vocational education and training. We heard from learners, teachers, high-level politicians, training providers and many other stakeholders from around Europe and beyond. The Pact for Skills was officially launched at an online event watched by almost 800 people, and the Awards for Excellence in VET were presented. In this regard, the Biotechnical Educational Centre Ljubljana, Slovenia (BIC Ljubljana) was awarded the 2020 Excellence in VET for the best “Innovative VET Provider” in Europe. BIC Ljubljana is a member of the Association of Slovene Higher Vocational Colleges, Slovenia, which is an EfVET Member.

2019 participation

The successful fourth edition of the European Vocational Skills Week took place from 14-18 October 2019 in Helsinki, Finland. This year’s theme was “VET for All – Skills for Life”.

As in previous years, the initiative brought together a wide range of stakeholders from across Europe to share their perspectives on Vocational Education and Training (VET) and its role in the future of work.

Also as previously, the Week in 2019 aimed to promote VET as a way to help young and adult learners discover their talents and as a smart choice that leads to high-quality jobs and increased employability.

The pan-European events in Helsinki, Finland gathered more than 1,000 European and international VET stakeholders and focussed on the specific theme of “VET for all, skills for life”, It was backed by a communications campaign for several months leading up to the Week. You can read more about highlights fom the Helsinki events at this link.

2018 participation

On the third edition of the European Vocational Skills week 2018, EfVET delegation included members of the Executive Team, Steering Committee and EfVET Members from different countries.

EfVET Vice-president Stefano Tirati represented EfVET network at the EU VET providers meeting. Besides, EfVET Members participated as members of the European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA).

The VET Excellence Awards 2018

EfVET members were awarded in two categories: VET Innovators awarded to Xabec Vocational Training Center (Spain) and European Funding for Excellence “Erasmus+ project” which was given to the project Mobile Learning in VET towards 2020, coordinated by EfVET Member Scuola Centrale Formazione. Under this category EfVET project, European Business Baccalaureate Diploma for All (EBBD+), coordinated by Helsinki Business College was as well nominated.

2017 participation

EfVET Members has represented the EfVET network during the EU Vocational Skills Week 2017, strengthen the collaboration with key policymakers and bringing to the debate EfVET ideas and proposals.

The EU VET providers associations signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen their cooperation via the Pact4Youth Platform.

Also, we are really proud to announce that the VET Award for Excellence 2017 to Innovative VET Provider went to EfVET Member ROC Da Vinci College (The Netherlands), represented by EfVET Dutch Representative Marloes de Vries.

Discover inspirational insights from EfVET Steering Committee Members and students who participated in the 2nd EU Vocational Skills Week:

  • Vanessa Pinto and Afonso Santos,  Escola de Comércio de Lisboa, Portugal – Read more
  • Alexander Blaabjerg, student at TEC – Technical Education Copenhagen (EfVET Member), who is working at DISA – Norican group – Read more
  • Kornél Dőri, 16 year old student from Hungary – Read more


Why VET? 

Work-based learning, traineeships, apprenticeships, tailored courses, and on-the-job training aim to unlock everyone’s professional potential by combining theory and practice. VET is increasingly attractive to both employers and their workforce. It is available in every field, from science and engineering to healthcare and finance, in both private and public sectors.

Who is involved?

Young or adult learners, parents, companies, business organisations, social partners, education and training providers, adult learning organisations, chambers and other professional organisations, researchers, career counsellors, public authorities, and society at large, are all invited to get involved.

How can you get involved?

  • More than 700 events across Europe have been already registered and disseminate via the EU Vocational Skills web page. We invite VET stakeholders to register their own related events or activity at the local, regional or national level from September-December 2017 here
  • EU Vocational Skills Week in Brussels: Firstly, the EC will promote mobility in VET, because learners that are mobile gain skills that increase their employability and life prospects. Secondly, we will foster sector-specific solutions through sector skills cooperation. Thirdly, we will draw out the crucial role of employers in business-VET partnerships. Find the complete programme here

Promote the message and the Week on social media #EUVocationalSkills #DiscoverYourTalent