Excellence in VET required to support the Europe 2020 Strategy

Date

24 Sep 2010

Sections

Social Europe & Jobs
Trade & Society

On 24 September the general assembly of CEEMET, the European employers’ organisations of the metal‐engineering and technology‐based (MET) industries, adopted a declaration putting forward clear priorities for European cooperation in vocational education and training (VET), emphasizing the importance of developing excellence for this pathway. A final report looking into strengthening cooperation between industry and initial VET was also presented at this occasion.

The MET industry is a key driver of Europe’s economy, and people are its greatest asset. Ensuring a plentiful supply of highly‐qualified personnel, including young people, is crucial both to the industry’s future and to Europe’s prosperity. Put simply, the availability of highly‐qualified employees can only be ensured by providing high‐quality VET across Europe that provides people with the skills and competences to meet companies’ needs.

During the current Belgian EU Presidency, the Member States will look closely at how to boost VET on the basis of the European Commission’s Communication from May 2010 on ‘A new impetus for European cooperation in Vocational Education and Training to support the Europe 2020 strategy’.
CEEMET welcomes the overall positive messages regarding VET included in the Communication and supports a majority of the key actions proposed in the document, which also highlights the important point that the “case for better skills development in Europe is even more urgent in the light of the global race for talent and rapid development of Education and Training systems in emerging economies such as China, Brazil or India”.

For the MET employers, however, it is imperative that the European Commission and Belgian Presidency prioritize excellence in VET. Only if excellent ‐ a first choice education path providing high quality education and employability ‐ can VET contribute to equity.
Further, initial VET (iVET) and continuous VET to a large extent address different publics with different needs and different constraints and this must be recognised when putting forward policy proposals.
Finally CEEMET members’ commitment to strive for high quality VET is also highlighted in the final report from an 18‐month project on strengthening cooperation

between industry and iVET as a means of boosting excellence and bringing iVET closer to labour market needs. The report is published today and includes a number of basic priorities for all relevant stakeholders to improve iVET.

CEEMET calls on the European institutions and the Belgian Presidency to seriously consider these concerns from the MET industry – one of the biggest employers in Europe and main client of the VET system.

CEEMET’s response to the EC Communication ‘A new impetus for European cooperation in VET’ and their final report from the project on iVET and industry is available at: www.ceemet.org