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European Vocational Skills Week
News article21 December 2020Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

Newsletter 12/2020


The 2020 European Vocational Skills Week has wrapped up, after a week of 100 % digital discussions, presentations and networking sessions. Thank you to everyone who took part and helped make the Week such a great success!

Relive the 2020 Week

The five-day programme was watched by a total of 4819 live viewers and 1334 watching the replays. We hope you found inspiration from our speakers. If you missed any of the sessions, you can catch up with them all here. Why not schedule a simultaneous viewing with colleagues and reflect remotely on how you can incorporate new ideas into your work? If you prefer to read a summary of the sessions, you can find those here. We’d also appreciate feedback from you if you attended any of the Week’s digital events: click here to fill in a survey and help us make the next edition even better.


While the Week itself is over, the campaign to showcase vocational education and training continues until 31 December. Registration for local and regional events is still open until 31 December 2021. Check out these associated events taking place in the coming weeks.

The event ‘Let’s get to know engineering specialities’ in Lithuania on 14 December is introducing students to the professions of automated systems operation mechatronics, metalworking machine worker and welder.

The Cezeri Green Technologyonline exhibition in Turkey introduces innovations in green technology and robotics by students at the VET school in Ankara.

Ministers adopt VET Recommendation and endorse Osnabrück declaration on VET.

On 30 November, the ministers in charge of vocational education and training in the EU Member States, candidate countries and EEA-EFTA countries, the European social partners and the European Commission endorsed the Osnabrück declaration on VET as an enabler of recovery and just transitions to digital and green economies. The document follows from the Riga conclusions of 2015-2020 and sets out new policy actions for the period of 2021-25 on four main areas:

  • Resilience and excellence through quality, inclusive and flexible VET;
  • Establishing a new lifelong learning culture – relevance of continuing VET and digitalisation;
  • Sustainability – a green link in VET;
  • European education and training area and international dimension of VET.

Cedefop and the European Training Foundation will monitor the declaration and report annually to the institutions.

The Osnabruck declaration complements the Recommendation on vocational education and training for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience adopted on 24 November 2020 by the Council. The Recommendation defines key principles for ensuring that vocational education and training is agile, adapts swiftly to labour market needs and provides quality learning opportunities for young and adults alike.


Stephan Howeg, chief of staff & communications officer at the Adecco Group and a pan-EU Week Ambassador, has published a blogpost highlighting VET as a key contributor to the post-COVID-19 world of work. He says: ‘With COVID-19 changing the world of work more rapidly than any other event in living memory, there is now perhaps no better time to look at VET in terms of the role it can play in developing skills and careers.’ He also spoke on the subject in a video message.


Three young VET learners have shared their stories with the Week community via the European Vocational Skills Week website. Read about the creative training as an electrician in Ukraine, the Austrian who traded a potential career in law for making FairTrade chocolate in Belgium, and the Latvian who found a world of opportunity opened up via training in computer systems.


We, Manuela Geleng, Director for Skills, and Chiara Riondino, Head of Unit for VET, Apprenticeships, and Adult Learning, would like to wish our (now online) VET community of the European Vocational Skills Week very good wishes of this end-of-year season. We hope you, your families and your friends will be able to take advantage of a break, to return in 2021 refreshed and continue to spread the word about VET! With best wishes from DG Employment Unit E3.

Join the conversation

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