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European Vocational Skills Week
News article15 November 2018Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

Awards for VET Excellence 2018


The winners of the European Vocational Skills Week Awards for VET Excellence have been announced!

The Awards highlighted good practice and recognised excellence in vocational education and training (VET) all over Europe.

Awards were presented across various categories for either organisations or individuals. Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, announced the award winners.

At the closing event of the Week, Commissioner Thyssen, said “It is a pleasure to be here today and feel the support that there is for vocational education and training all across Europe. Each and every one of you has contributed to making this third European Vocational Skills Week a success.”

“Our campaign has reached millions of Europeans to convince them that VET is a great first choice. With your help, we will continue our work to position VET for what it is: an option that leads to successful careers and a choice that benefits the whole of Europe."

Award winners

Companies and Learners

The apprentice winner for European Alliance for Apprenticeships award went to Domenico Calabrese, an apprentice electrician from Italy.

The large companies’ winner was ESB Networks DAC, the operator of the Irish electricity distribution system. ESB has made an enduring commitment to apprenticeships as part of the company’s internal development and in society.

The winner for the Small Companies category was Atelier du Pain, an artisan bakery in Cailly, France. Since opening in 2004, Atelier du Pain has trained 14 apprentices where they develop hands-on skills, integration into the workplace, and receive regular monthly check-ins to support their learning and achievements.

The Training at Work award aimed to give visibility to best practice from career-long professional learning in micro, small and medium enterprises taking place across Europe. The winners were Human Partner Sp. Z o.o. and Joanna Kamola, Poland.

Daniel Gerber, Skills of Electrical Installation, Switzerland was the winner of the award for the International Skills Competition - EuroSkills. The Junior Achievement (JA) Europe award went to Marmatia Technological High School, Simona ONA, Romania.

VET Innovators

The winner of the innovative VET provider award was Xabec, a VET school based in Valencia, Spain. Xabec provides industrial maintenance and building installations training to hundreds of students and professionals.

The Teacher and Trainer award aimed to identify a VET teacher/trainer who has excelled in improving the VET learning of young people or adults. Joanna Żebrowska, Poland, a vocational teacher with 25 years’ experience specialising in confectionary classes, was announced the winner of this category.

The VET Research award aimed to reward an outstanding VET research project, team or individual researcher who has made an excellent contribution to innovative thinking in VET. The winner of this category was the Learning Layers, Estonia, project that researched informal learning in the workspace with a focus on Small and Medium sized Enterprises.

Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France, France were awarded with the special selection in the context of the European Year of Cultural Heritage.

European Funding for Excellence

The European Social Fund project gives visibility to initiatives and practices co-funded by the European Social Fund in the area of VET. The winner of this award was Closer to the Labour Market 2, Poland.

The Erasmus+ project award drew attention to projects co-funded under Erasmus+. The award went to Mobile Learning in VET towards 2020 Scuola Centrale di Formazione (SCF), Italy. The goal of this project was to modernise education with mobile learning and teaching through technology.

European Agencies' awards

The winner of the Cedefop VET Photo award was the C. Force Team, Bem József Technical High School and Vocational School, Hungary. This competition was organised by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) and aimed to mobilise VET learners to showcase what VET means for them.

The winner of the European Training Foundation (ETF) 2018 Entrepreneurship Award was the School of Chemical Technology, Subotica, Serbia.

The events in Vienna may have ended however, there are many more associated activities and activities being organised across Europe until December 2018. This year we had over 1600 events and activities registered online in 47 countries.