Cedefop: Initiatives needed on developing work-based learning
Participants in Cedefop's conference on tackling skills mismatch agreed that Europe needs to implement policy initiatives on developing work-based learning as an answer to rising youth unemployment.
Partakers in the two-day conference, which finished on Thursday, included European Union Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou, German Parliamentary Secretary of State, Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Thomas Rachel and Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris.
In her keynote speech, Vassiliou argued that the risk of a lost generation is 'a real threat' but added that: "At EU-level we are working with the Member States to put Europe back on the road to jobs and growth.
"It will be only by pooling the efforts of EU Member States, social partners, business, other relevant actors and the European Commission that we will be able to develop high-quality apprenticeships across Europe."
The Commissioner referred to the upcoming launch of a European Alliance for Apprenticeships as something to be 'proud of' and noted that apprenticeships are 'a win-win situation - employers get to know potential employees, while apprentices directly contribute to the output of the company'.
Cedefop's conference gathered more than 150 experts on vocational education and training from around the world, policy-makers from the European Commission and Member States as well as social partners' representatives.
Thomas Rachel called for "systematic reform" in vocational education and training. He told the conference that the dual system is the backbone of Germany's economic successes and that his country wants to support its European partners in their reform process.