9 November 2018

EU Vocational Skills Week : Social partners make the difference

Previously Ceemet and its counterpart industriAll presented at the social partner event in the European Parliament their position on “Skills agenda for Europe: no need for new but swift action”. The focus of the common position was on welcoming the Commission’s initiative to make VET a 1st choice.

Today both social partners participate at the 3rd European Vocational Skills Week in Vienna and speak at the Sectoral Social Dialogue workshop on the promotion of VET and apprenticeships.

Speaking on behalf of the employers of the Tech & Industry sector was co-Chair of the social dialogue ‘Education & Training” working group, Delphine Rudelli.

Looking back at what social partners have done to promote VET and apprenticeships it is important to note that the most efficient way to develop the systems lies on a national level. However, tech & industry is doing its fair share as the cases in the “Digitalisation and the World of Skills & Education” report show.

In general, the sector has various platforms to exchange best practices with EU institutions and other stakeholders. This commitment was formalised by submitting the joint pledge under the European Alliance for Apprenticeships.

Need for effective apprenticeships

A proper and meaningful implementation of apprenticeships is key. Using the European framework for Qualitative and Effective Apprenticeships is a good tool.

Considering lifelong learning of apprentices, the permeability between VET, general and higher education would increase the attractiveness of VET.

If the apprenticeship systems are demand-led, it would ensure that apprentices find a place not only in schools but in companies too. This is where social partners’ involvement is required: in designing and delivering the curricula.

Encouraging examples can be found across Europe. in France, where currently the entire apprenticeship system is being overhauled to Germany where training pathways are adapted to digitalisation.

VET, apprenticeships and dual learning are not new topics for social partners, but experience shows that keeping the subject high on the agenda pays off. After all, companies need well-trained and qualified workers, and VET is key to achieve this.