Skip to main content
European Vocational Skills Week
Newsletter25 January 2021Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

Newsletter 01/2021


European Vocational Skills Week in 2020 was an inspiring showcase of the benefits of vocational education and training. We heard from learners, teachers, high-level politicians, training providers and many other stakeholders from around Europe and beyond. We launched the Pact for Skills and we presented the Awards for Excellence in VET.

You can review the Week in figures through our post-event brochure. Some of the highlights? There were 49.5 million impressions across social media, and a record 4.2 million people participated in 1.293 events in 39 countries during the year. Across the five days of the Week itself, more than 6.000 people from 74 countries took part in 18 sessions.

We hope you found something in the programme of 9 to 13 November to inspire you – and if you missed any of it, there are reports of each session available to download here.


Share your story
Throughout 2020, students and teachers have been sharing their experiences of VET on the European Vocational Skills Week website. In the past month we’ve heard from Anna, a carpenter who believes in preserving traditional techniques and inspiring other women and girls with a passion for craft. And we learned about the valuable experiences of hairdressing teachers from the Secondary Industrial School of Chemistry in Pardubice, Czech Republic, when they took part in International Week at Vilnius University of Applied Sciences.


We were delighted to have 28 Ambassadors flying the flag for VET throughout the 2020 campaign. Watch the videos below to hear what three of them had to say about the importance of skills and lifelong learning.

Stephan Howeg
Chief of Staff & Communications Officer for Adecco Group.

Palle Damborg
Chair of one of Denmark’ biggest VET schools.

Noémi Ráczová
Head of Department, Vocational Art School Košice, Slovakia.


We recently spoke to entrepreneur and computer scientist Darya Majidi as she encourages reskilling and upskilling as a way to address the fourth industrial revolution. “There is a lack of professionals in the ICT world, especially among women,” she says. “Artificial intelligence is changing, rewriting, and shaping the world and we women could not delegate this responsibility only to men.”

Watch the video here.


DG Employment has set up an online Community of VET practitioners in EPALE, which aims to be an interactive space for teachers, trainers and in-company tutors to network and exchange practices and ideas. Find solutions to your problems with the help of peers, keep up to date with European policies and contribute to European VET initiatives. Discussions among members will cover green skills, online/distance learning, social inclusion and transnational learning mobility.

A webinar on the newly adopted Council Recommendation on VET and on Erasmus+ will take place on 26 January afternoon. You can see the agenda and register for the webinar here. Deadline for registration is Monday 25 January at 12:00 CET. The Webinar is open also to non-members of the Community.

If you wish to join the EPALE Community of European VET practitioners, register now in EPALE, if you haven’t already, then request membership of the Community.


In a tough year, Erasmus+ proved its resilience and value to VET learners. Despite the uncertainty and stress caused by COVID-19, ShipCon – a hub for research and educational training in Cyprus – brought together VET students and staff from Lithuania, Germany, Italy, Serbia and Finland to network, explore and gain knowledge.

“We are proud and happy that we have met all these amazing Europeans and have had a chance to get to know, educate and train them and help them to experience Erasmus+ as something that will remain in their memories for the rest of their lives!” said Laine Vitola, ShipCon’s VET coordinator. Read more about these experiences and exchanges in the members’ area of the Community of European VET practitioners.


The January 2021 issue of Skillset and match, Cedefop’s magazine promoting learning for work, is now available to download here. Find out how revised EU policy aims to ensure VET can play a pivotal role in the green and digital transitions and the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.


As 2020 drew to a close, the final partner events and activities of the Week took place. They included a webinar on the challenges of digitalisation in the industrial sector hosted by the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP) in Lisbon, Portugal, and a training programme by the Association of Slovene Higher Vocational Colleges on successful distance teaching.

Thank you to everyone who organised or took part in one of the 2020 Week’s many partner events!

Join the conversation

Let’s keep talking on social media. Use #EUVocationalSkills and #DiscoverYourTalent to follow the conversation online.