EU conference on the challenges of vocational education and adult learning
On April 24-25, during the Danish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Ministry of Children and Education hosted a conference in Copenhagen on vocational education and training entitled ”VET-Business Cooperation Promoting New Skills, Innovation and Growth for the Future”.
Cooperation between vocational education & training and business was on the agenda when representatives from education authorities, the social partners, providers, experts and international organisations met in Copenhagen to participate in the EU-conference. The offsetting point was the high youth unemployment rates as well as the still too high number of low qualified workers in the European labour market.
Education plays a key role, when we get back on track after the current crisis.
The theme of the conference was the current challenges that vocational and adult education face all across the European Union these years. Education should contribute to ensuring growth and, in so doing, more jobs. About 5 million young people are unemployed in the EU and around 70 million adults are without either any or relevant competences that can match future competence demands. These numbers constitute the starting point for presentations and debates on the current challenges for vocational youth and adult education.
Close dialogue and better cooperation
The Danish Minister for Children and Education, Christine Antorini, opened the conference on Tuesday afternoon in cooperation with the Deputy Director General for Education and Culture in Europe, Xavier Prats Monné.
“Education plays a key role, when we get back on track after the current crisis. We need more efficient and including education policies and we need to be able to encourage learning, studying and updating skills and competences in a lifelong learning perspective. In order for this process to be successful it is necessary to improve close dialogue and cooperation between the political system and stakeholders in vocational education and training in the future”, the Minister emphasized.
The Minister underlined the fact that cooperation between education and business sectors is a fundamental platform. For this reason, the Minister said, it was good news that earlier that same day, the Directors General had agreed on a joint statement on strengthening cooperation throughout the EU countries.
All through the two days of the conference the approximately 140 participants contributed to a lively debate during two sessions of workshops. The ten workshops covered topics such as the promotion of relevance and esteem of VET via partnerships, partnerships promoting skills development in continuing education and training, and new skills and competences in VET promoting innovation. Each workshop had a facilitator who initiated the discussion followed by two theme specific presentations by European experts. A selection of these presentations may be accessed via the links on this page.