Between 23rd and 24th September VCC Foundation participated in II European Business Forum on Vocational Training, which was organized by the European Commission in Brussels. The main topic of the event were the challenges of vocational education in Europe, rising unemployment among young people and the cooperation between the education sector and the business world.
330 participants from 40 countries attended the meeting. Polish delegation, invited to participate in the event, included representatives of the Ministry of National Education, SKOiW “Solidarity”, VCC Foundation and Syntea.
During the event, the representatives of the most important European institutions responsible for policy on professional education, presented the latest research on competence gaps between education system and the labour market in Europe, as well as defined the responsibility of various participants for bridging these gaps. They also presented the existing tools and good practices from the countries which have the most developed model of cooperation between education and business, such as Germany or Switzerland. The speakers represented institutions such as CEDEFOP, Department of Education and Culture as well as the Department of Employment at the European Commission, the Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions (OBESSU), National and European Chambers of Commerce, universities and entrepreneurs – Nestle among others.
All the participants, representing various groups related to the education and business, had the opportunity to actively participate and express their opinions during the meeting. In addition, on the first day, special thematic workshops were organised, during which participants divided into teams were given tasks of developing specific solutions, possible to implement at the EU level and member states in three areas:
- The demand for qualifications in key economic sectors: ICT, Health and Social Work, Energy, Culture, Production and Engineering, Retail, Food Industry, Tourism and Transport.
- Competence in the field of Entrepreneurship.
- Development of internships in companies.
On the second day, the results of the workshops were presented. The most important areas for support from the European Commission and related institutions were pointed out and it was concluded that:
- There is a need to provide transversal skills in the education process that are crucial to achieve success in the labour market (e.g. communication and language skills, social and soft skills, the skill of implementing knowledge, self-study, critical thinking, proper attitude and work ethics).
- The responsibility for the practical professional education lies both with schools and employers and there is a need to engage SMEs in practical training (e.g. through practices and internships), as SMEs represent 90% of European businesses.
- Programmes to develop entrepreneurship from an early age in education process should be implemented. Entrepreneurship is understood not only as knowledge of the basics and principles of Economics, but primarily as the ability to turn ideas into actions (including innovation, creativity, risk taking, planning and project management).