European Business Forum on Vocational Training

On 7 and 8 June 2012 the European Commission organised in Brussels the first European business forum on vocational training in order to discuss the "challenges and trends in skills and career development of the European workforce" with participation of the representatives of the EU Commission and experts of the field from almost every EU country. 

Prompt was delegated to the event by the Hungarian National Agency, Tempus for presenting TENEGEN (as an EU best practice) and SME 2.0 projects for the audience. The presentations and discussions were carried out in five workshops (see the programme on the official website of the event: http://eutrainingforum.teamwork.fr/en/programme).

I joined the workshops as follows: 

Workshop 1 - Session 1

Setting targets for competence development – how do companies identify skills needs:
- Identification of current and future skills needs for all levels of staff within a company
- New skills perspectives for developing businesses,

Specific questions:

  • How can good market information acquired by companies be shared with education and training providers to address immediate and future skills needs?
  • What are the advantages of companies cooperating with competitors and small businesses in networks (or other fora e.g. skills councils) which address skills concerns?

Workshop 2 – Session 2

The use of training in competence development - which strategies companies adopt:
- in-company training vs. outsourcing of training to external providers (public, private)
- collaborative approaches of companies to training
- innovative learning methods (e-learning, virtual learning)

Specific questions:

  • How can fruitful partnerships between stakeholders be established in order to create more effective formal learning for competence development and innovation?
  • What could be the role of ICT-supported learning, including the use of social media?
  • What can be the role of EU?

On the 2nd day there was a panel discussion where not only the speakers but also the audience were asked to answer the questions on "skills and competence development", and especially on the challenge how the competences to become an entrepreneur can be improved of the students entering the labor market.

Some of the final conclusions were highly interesting for our consortium.  The education has to give answer to the challenges and as most important players, the VET schools and teachers were stated.

"To meet the educational challenges of the future, a change of mind-set needed. This means changing our pedagogical, technological and organizational settings and allowing new learning methods to come to come to fore. ICT has instrinsic role to play in this shift of gear."

For further information, visit the website of NEUROPE Online: the http://www.neurope.eu/print-edition/special-editions/ict-special-edition...

Maria Hartyanyi