Short review on the Conference “The Future of Vocational Education and Training in Europe” (9-10 July 2018)
On 9 July 2018, Austrian Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs, Ms Margarete Schramböck, Federal Minister of Education, Science and Research, Mr Heinz Faßmann, and Director of Skills in the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission, Ms Manuela Geleng, addressed the international expert’s conference on “The Future of Vocational Education and Training in Europe”. Around 250 European and Austrian stakeholders and experts attended the event and joined the discussion on potential future scenarios and on defining priorities and strategic objectives for the forthcoming policy period in the field of vocational education and training (VET).
In his welcome address, Minister Heinz Fassmann stated that “Vocational education and training is facing an important moment. At the onset of the fourth industrial revolution, the demand for adequate education is rising and traditional concepts of vocational education and training are being challenged.”
Demographic and technological developments, the increasing flexibility of work and life in general are important impacting forces that place new demands on VET graduates. Experts and policy makers need to understand current and future challenges posed by a rapidly changing world as a real opportunity to proactively design and shape future-fit VET systems.
“We can make sure that Europe is most competitive, that the companies there have the best skilled people and that we are creating new jobs this way and a good future for next generations”, said Federal Minister Schramböck.
As the third country of the Trio Presidency, Austria builds on the work already conducted by the Trio partners Estonia and Bulgaria. Together, the Trio will yield results that will help to frame a joint European vision for sustainable, attractive and successful 21st century VET on the basis of national practice and priorities.
One of the key challenges currently observed at the European level is the renewal of the strategic frameworks and target systems of Education and Training 2020 and to rethink the mechanisms of the European cooperation. The continuation of a strong cooperation between the Member States is a prerequisite for coping with the current challenges shared by the twenty-eight historically grown European VET systems and for realizing a shared vision.