EU Alliance for Apprenticeships – focus on VET excellence say social partners

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24 June 2013
Ceemet & industriAll Europe welcome the Commissions renewed efforts to speed up and facilitate education reform, but stress the need to properly involve sectoral and local level social partners and caution against oversimplifying benefits of dual systems.
  • The communication successfully pins down the problems that are found in education systems around Europe, including not being able to provide the right skills, lack of cooperation with business and employers, absence of a lifelong learning culture, and the resulting youth unemployment which, coupled with the economic crisis, has made it virtually impossible for young people in some countries to find work.
  • Ceemet and IndustriAll Europe agree with the Commission that greater efforts must be made to highlight Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as priority areas of education at all levels. Attention must also be focused on transversal skills such as the ability to think critically, take initiative, problem solving, group work and innovation.
  • Regarding education systems, Ceemet and industriAll Europe in particular fully support the recognition of Vocational Education and Training (VET) as essential to jobs and growth in Europe. As the biggest sector of the manufacturing industry in Europe, dependent on good quality vocational training, we have for long time fought for the promotion of VET in policy (albeit not always successfully). The approach taken in the communication of highlighting excellence in VET is absolutely correct and absolutely crucial in meeting labour market needs.
  • There are still some areas of the European policy on education and especially VET -­? reform which require further rethinking in order to be able to respond to competence demand and industry needs, and thereby support the growth and jobs desperately needed in Europe today.