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European Vocational Training – Open, Engaging, Quickly Responding to Labour Market

The Lithuanian Presidency of the EU Council is paying special attention to promoting vocational education and training (VET). Directors general responsible for VET in the EU member states, together with experts and social partners, have gathered in Vilnius to discuss how to enhance quality of vocational training, making VET directly meet the demands of the labour market, as well as promoting VET openness and inclusiveness to all.

Dainius Pavalkis, this semester presiding over the meetings of EU ministers of education and science, stresses that promoting VET’s openess and flexibility is a vital condition for Europe’s economic well-being, as well as one of priorities of the Lithuanian Presidency in the area of education.

Minister D. Pavalkis says: „High levels of youth unemployment, early school-leaving and under-employment of Europeans have developed into one of the most challenging issues during the last years. There are still tens of million people in Europe with low or no qualification which increases their risk of unemployment compared to other citizens. In this situation it is very important to refocus and rethink how vocational education and training systems can be improved for the sake of social and economic well-being. This emphasises the need to reform our education and training systems and implement efficient strategies to become inclusive and accessible at any stage of life.

„Speaking of Lithuania it is particularly important to emphasize the improvement of VET image which is one of our national VET policy priorities. In our country, due to traditional orientation of learners towards higher education (HE) and low image of VET, more than three times bigger percentage of youngsters choose HE in comparison to VET. However, I am happy to announce that the situation is improving and that more and more young and older learners are choosing VET. To achieve this we are bringing together all the stakeholders in education and training, from policy makers to providers, learners, employers and social partners“, says Minister D. Pavalkis.

The directors general responsible for VET, during the meeting which started yesterday, are discussing how to promote openess of vocational training, given the need to promote quality assurance and the current employment situation. The conference on the role of VET in making education more inclusive, taking place November 12-13, will further the issues of enhancing VET provision to meet the needs of people with fewer opportunities, as well as contribution of vocational training and guidance when dealing with issues of early educational drop-out and widening access to continuing VET in order to meet the European benchmark aiming to increase adult participation in lifelong learning to at least 15 %.

More information about the event is available here

EU Member States need to pay more attention to youth- and long-term unemployment