Skip to main content
European Vocational Skills Week
© EU
European Vocational Skills Week 2022

Spring 2022

The Week 2019

Summary of the Week

The successful fourth edition of the European Vocational Skills Week took place from 14-18 October 2019. 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.

Key figures

The week 2019 - Key figures
© EU


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.

Highlights from the Helsinki events.



Stephan Howeg

Stephan Howeg is the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of Adecco.


Caroline Jenner

Caroline Jenner is the CEO of Junior Achievements (JA) Europe and a strong advocate for Entrepreneurships.


Pierre Kompany

Pierre Kompany moved to Belgium in 1975 and was recognised as a political refugee in 1982. After successfully concluding a complementary vocational training he became a mechanical engineer. Ultimately, he became a vocational school teacher before turning to politics. He is the first black mayor in Belgium.


Lieselot Van Gysel

Lieselot Van Gysel is a young mechanics teacher at GTI Beveren.


Dr Costas Argyrides

Dr Costas Argyrides works as a Reliability Architect at Advanced Micro Devices, splitting his time between Santa Clara and Shanghai.

He studied Computer Sciences at the B technical school of Limassol and holds an MSc and PhD in Computer Sciences from the University of Bristol.


Libor Witassek

Libor Witassek is a cybernetician & corporate transformations manager.

He has been active in VET for more than 15 years in the Czech Republic and has worked on vocational education projects in 10 European countries. Libor also founded the re-qualification centre for CAD/CNC machining in the Czech Republic.


Elke Budenbender

Elke Büdenbender trained as an industrial clerk at a machine building company in Siegen, and went on to gain a degree in law. She has been a judge at Berlin Administrative Court since 2000 and is currently on long-term leave. She is married to German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. They have one daughter.


Olga Papakyriakou

Olga Papakyriakou is a postgraduate nurse and a writer.


Arslan Khataev

Arslan Khataev is a young boxer who is aiming to Tokyo Olympics. He has won several medals in boxing at European level. He is a VET student in Omnia.


Gérard Mestrallet

Gérard Mestrallet is president of the ENGIE group, president of the administration council of Suez, member of ERT and president of FACE (Fondation Agir contre l’exclusion).


David Skoko

David Skoso is a famous chef, well known in Croatia.


Salvador Lorenzo Martinez

Salvador Lorenzo Martínez is manager of professional integration at REPSOL’s Corporate Learning Centre. Recently, he launched the School of Internal Trainers at REPSOL, where he oversees the development and coordination of dual training programmes.


Zoltán Kummer

Zoltán Kummer is chief practical instructor and engineer at the Legrand Zrt company. He organized several VET conferences for electrical instructors. He organised competitions for electrical VET students and professionals. In 2014 he won the VET Award of the Hungarian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the category of Innovation.


Demetrio Albertini

Demetrio Albertini is an important Italian football player, responsible for numerous victories and trophies for a major club in the 90s. Manager of the National Italian Team. He holds the role of CEO of a company specialized in sport marketing.


Margaret Reilly

Margaret Reilly was an early school leaver but later became an entrepreneur and built up Grand Designs Kitchen & Bedrooms, one of the leading manufacturers in Ireland. Being an apprentice cabinet maker in her teens, she is a big supporter of apprenticeships in Ireland.


Sébastien Detti

Sebastien Detti is a heating installation and maintenance technician who was awarded the best apprentice in Luxemburg in 2017. He is also a good example for an adult learner as he started his apprenticeship at the age of 39.


Katrina Elizabete Sile

Katrina Elizabete Sile is a graphic designer who earned a Medallion for Excellence and Best of Nation for Latvia at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017. She has further developed her graphic design skills at EuroSkills 2018 and was also a participant in the WorldSkills Champions Forum 2018 in Amsterdam.


Žydrūnė Vitaitė

Zydrune Vitaite’s experience includes business development and operations in technological companies. She is head of sales at ELDES (engineering company in security industry), Co-founder of the Women Go Tech initiative – the first mentorship program in Lithuania to encourage women to choose their career in ICT and engineering.


Julian Mallia

Julinu (Julian Mallia) is a freelance illustrator, graphic designer and fine-artist specialising in meticulously-executed visual ideas.

Julinu has been awarded at the AOI World Illustration Awards in 2016. Originally a psychology graduate he now combines a range of skills to create thought-provoking imagery for advertising, animation, publishing and editorial contexts.

the Netherlands

Jinko Adams

22 year old Jinko Adams finished his secondary education at a vocational school of performing arts and urban dance and started last year his studies in Urban Contemporary Arts at the Amsterdam University of the Arts.


Pawel Salamon

Pawel Salamon is a top chef who won different prizes. He actively cooperates with Ministry of Education and the Foundation for Education System Development.


Teresa Damásio

Teresa Damásio develops her activity in 5 different vocational schools in Portugal. She has introduced profound pedagogical transformation, through the training of their staff and a vision of education for the 21st century. She also founded a vocational school in Guinea-Bissau and is about to open another school in Cape Verde.


Mona Nicolici

Mona Nicolici is the Head of Sustainability at OMV Petrom S.A. She is rather widely know due to her career in television as an editor, producer and presenter for one the most important TV news channels in Romania.Mona Nicolici’s continuous work advocating for VET in Romania has brought VET closer to the public policy agenda.


Pontus Slättman

Pontus Slättman is the CEO of WorldSkills Sweden, he spent his working life in vocational skills, beginning as a young electrician and later becoming a VET teacher and an expert in vocational and educational training in the field of electrical installation.


Noemi Ráczová

Noemi Raczova was a nominee for the Innovative teacher award – she also won the votes of the public in the Teacher of Slovakia 2019 competition.


Adrijana Hodak

Adrijana Hodak is Head of the Intercompany Training Center in Nova Gorica, and the representative of the Consortium of Slovenian School Centers in EUproVET.


Jason Holt

Jason Holt is CEO of Holts Group, a family of SME businesses specialising in augmented and virtual reality, AI, apprenticeships and jewellery manufacturing. He is founder of Holts Academy (now the British Academy of Jewellery) and created the only further education provider for the UK jewellery industry.  He is Chair of the Apprenticeship Ambassador Network for England.


Award Winners

Category: Companies and learners

EAfA apprentice

Samuel Gilmore, Company Mark Pollock Joinery

Northern Ireland

EAfA Large company

Hidromek AS



Limerick Strand Hotel


Training at Work

Hot and cold Therm Kft (company)  and Istvan Györe (learner)


Category: VET Innovators

Innovative VET provider

Akademie Deutsches Bäckerhandwerk Weinheim e.V.


VET Teacher and Trainer

Markku Vengasaho , Edusampo


VET researchers’ award

Intergenerational team of researchers Fernando Marhuenda-Fluixá


The Entrepreneurial School Award TES, JA Europe

Gradia Vocational Institute


Category: European Funding for Excellence

European Social Fund (digitalisation/ technological change)

Empleando digital


Erasmus+ (VET and skills for the future)

Developing Work Based Learning Model for VET - John Hurley


Erasmus+ (Social inclusion)

New didactical models for initial VET training of young disadvantaged persons to reduce drop out - Maria-Luise Leitner



Category: European Agencies' awards

European Training Foundation – Entrepreneurship award

University of Alexandria - Essam A. Elkordi



Ortweinschule Graz, College of engineering, art and design and Institute for research and technology