It’s official! 2023 is the European Year of Skills, following the announcement by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her 2022 State of the Union address.
This will ensure that nobody is left behind and the economic recovery, as well as the green and digital transitions, are socially fair and just.
Having the relevant skills empowers people to successfully navigate labour market changes and to fully engage in society and democracy. A workforce with the skills that are in demand also contributes to sustainable growth, leads to more innovation and improves competitiveness.
What’s your view? The Commission would like to hear from you! Click here to provide your feedback, which will be collected and presented to the European Parliament and Council with the aim of feeding into the legislative debate.
Two decades of European cooperation in VET
The Copenhagen process (an accelerated measure to improve the quality and attractiveness of VET) celebrated 20 years! The anniversary was marked during a high-level meeting organised by the Czech Presidency in cooperation with the European Commission in Prague between 10 and 11 October.
The Directors-General for Vocational Education and Training (DGVT) brought together high-level representatives from 30 countries. Together with European cross-sectoral social partners, they addressed VET policy priorities and marked the anniversary of the Copenhagen process.
In the field of VET, the Copenhagen process enhanced cooperation between Member States, candidate countries, EFTA/EEA countries and European social partners.
The first European Employment & Social Rights Forum was held on 16 and 17 November.
The event brought together European Commission representatives, government ministers and academics, together with policymakers and stakeholders to discuss current societal challenges and the opportunities of the green transition.
You can make your voice heard. Join the forum and be part of the discussion about the policies the EU and its Member States need to put in place to ensure the green transition is fair and full of opportunities.
Solidarity with Ukraine: EU takes new steps to provide access to employment
A new online job-search tool will help people fleeing Russia's invasion of Ukraine to successfully find a job in the EU.
After registering with the EU Talent Pool pilot initiative, those under temporary protection can upload their CVs, so that their profiles are available to more than 4,000 employers, national public employment services and private employment agencies.
Ensuring a swift and effective integration into the labour market is important both for host communities, and for those fleeing the war.
The vast majority (88%) of Europeans support a green transition that leaves no one behind, according to a new Eurobarometer on Fairness perceptions of the green transition. However, only 46% of Europeans polled said they are confident that sustainable energy, products and services will be affordable for all (including the poor) by 2050. As for the green transition, half of the respondents said their current skills allow them to contribute.
The European Commission’s Pact for Skills – one of the flagship actions of the European Skills Agenda – is growing. So far, 12 large-scale skills partnerships (LSPs) have been launched in 11 of the 14 European industrial ecosystems, which range from automotive and microelectronics to agrifood and tourism.
The aim is to have at least one large-scale skills partnership in each of the 14 industrial ecosystems and to strengthen the regional dimension of the Pact with regional skills partnerships.
In this direction, two additional LSPs will be established. One is in retail (29 November 2022) and the second in health (start of 2023).
There’s more good news! The Pact marks its second anniversary on 20 November. In the framework of the DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion flagship event on 15 November, the efforts of the Pact members were showcased, and testimonials and badges presented.
Members benefit from support services providing networking opportunities and facilitating access to skills intelligence and information on funding opportunities for upskilling and reskilling actions. There are currently more than 700 signatories to the Pact.
Join the webinar on upskilling and reskilling
VET providers are invited to join the webinar on 24 November to find out how to promote VET as a path for upskilling and re-skilling. It’s an opportunity to exchange of best practices and lessons learned by VET providers.
Participants include the Flemish Employment and Vocational Training Service (VDAB) and the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA). Registration deadline: 22 November.
Skills shortage in Cyprus
As part of our series on vocational success stories, we look at the situation in Cyprus. A skills shortage in all sectors of the economy is making it difficult for companies in Cyprus to find the right people with the skills they need.
The global skills shortage means this Mediterranean country needs to look to its own population to fill essential jobs. Our latest success story presents an electrician who completed his apprenticeship in Greece and then returned to Cyprus to pursue a career with a Cypriot renewable energy company, specialising in solar energy.
On 27 October, the European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) held a high-level live discussion with Nicolas Schmit, EU Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, on supporting Ukrainians in the EU through apprenticeships. The event explored how apprenticeships can be used as a tool to support Ukrainians displaced by the war and address their educational, employment and societal needs.
Support displaced Ukrainians in the EU by submitting a pledge with the European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA). We’re pleased to launch our new campaign, encouraging organisations to support displaced Ukrainians by providing high-quality effective apprenticeships.
Both EAfA members and non-members are encouraged to submit a pledge to create apprenticeships for displaced Ukrainians in the EU.
On 10 October, the European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) published its third podcast episode. It is part of a series focusing on EAfA’s four objectives: supply, quality, image and mobility.
The episode provides a platform to share best practices, giving an international dimension, and discuss key challenges from a social partner perspective.
Between 13 and 14 October, the European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) held a seminar where EAfA partner countries shared their experiences and achievements in developing and delivering apprenticeships. The high-level event took place in Belgrade and brought together government representatives, EU stakeholders, representatives from the European Apprentices Network, and other stakeholders in the European vocational education and training (VET) sector.
2022 European Innovative Teaching Award ceremony: VET on the winners list
There were 25 reasons to celebrate vocational education and training (VET) schools on 25 October. This is how many VET schools were nominated in the 2022 European Innovation Teaching Award (EITA).
The 25 VET schools were among the 98 awarded projects, which also include early childhood education centres and primary and secondary schools. All schools were nominated for their outstanding work and their commitment to skills development for young people.
The EITA was launched by the European Commission in 2021 to celebrate the achievements of teachers and schools. The initiative is part of the broader European Education Area and recognised outstanding projects funded by the Erasmus+ programme. It gives an opportunity to promote the benefits of European cooperation in education through transnational activities.
The 2022 Award was organised around the theme ‘Learning together, promoting creativity and sustainability’, with three sub-topics: ‘Creativity’, ‘Inclusion’ and ‘Sustainability’. The theme also relates to the Commission’s New European Bauhaus.
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Cultural, Education and Youth, delivered the opening speech during the award ceremony on 25 October. She praised teachers for their work, dedication and commitment. The commissioner also highlighted that education communities are a fundamental pillar of the European way of life.
The participants were invited to introduce their projects. They also took part in a networking event held on 26 October. It was an opportunity for them to share their experiences, struggles and achievements, exchange best practices and create lasting contacts with other professionals.
The latest about Erasmus+
… new calls
Check out the latest Erasmus+ calls published in October. The aim is to provide support to European non-governmental organisations and EU-wide networks active in civil society cooperation in education and training and in the field of youth. The deadlines are in December.
… results are in
A total 317 applications (300 under Lot 1 and 17 under Lot 2) were submitted to the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) in September 2021. This exceeded expectations. The selection results were published in March 2022:
Under Lot 1 Alliances for Education and Enterprises 25 proposals were selected for funding for a total budget of EUR 34,279,965.
Under Lot 2 Alliances for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills - implementing the ‘Blueprint’, 7 proposals were selected for funding for a total amount of EUR 26,657,270. The retained proposals are going to create strategic tools and concrete skills development solutions in 7 industrial ecosystems: agrifood, creative & cultural industries, digital, health, proximity & social economy, renewable energy and tourism.
A leaflet and an info page were published in April 2022 to inform potential applicants of the policy context of the call, as well as its objectives. These publications will be further disseminated to stakeholders and Erasmus+ National Agencies. On 15 September 2022, 406 applications were submitted to EACEA (369 under Lot 1 and 37 under Lot 2). This is almost a 30% increase compared to 2021.
… looking ahead
A total 91 applications were submitted on 15 March 2022. The selection results were published on 13 September 2022.
The 39 proposals selected for funding with EUR 29,588,586 cover diverse thematic areas: digital and green transition; support to the Pact for Skills; structures and mechanisms for applied research in VET; green skills in VET, and upskilling pathways: new opportunities for adults.
Don’t forget to link your VET event or activity to #EUVocationalSkills Week 2022 (the Week), as long as it takes place within this calendar year. Join the hundreds of VET events now linked to the Week and cross promote your VET event or activity. We will provide you with a myriad of resources and information to help you promote your happening.
Discover exciting VET events to upskill and reskill in line with the twin green and digital transition and other areas of VET – all focused on helping you achieve your goals.
National Contact Points (#NCPs) have been instrumental in the success of the #EUVocationalSkills Week! They have pulled out all the stops getting people on board and have truly supported local VET event organisers to get their message out and gain publicity for their events.