Supporting European VET and employment policies
The Bruges Communiqué on enhanced European Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training for the period 2011- 2020 issued a set of current and future challenges to be addressed to respond to the emerging and future economic and social needs of Europe. Particular emphasis is put on individual development and empowerment, in a Lifelong Learning perspective. “A well performing VET, which enables learning on and off-the job on a part-time and full-time basis can thereby also strongly contribute to social cohesion in our societies”. In this context, the Communiqué calls for “cooperation models [between VET and] companies and professional branch organisations” and statesthat “work-based learning carried out in partnership with businesses and non-profit organisations should become a feature of all initial VET courses.
On the governance side, recognising the achievements of the Copenhagen Process in raising awareness on the importance of VET at national and European level and in developing tools (Europass, EQF, ECVET and EQAVET), principles and guidelines that are helping to increase transparency and transferability of qualifications and to improve the flexibility and quality of learning, the Communiqué calls for a better and more intense communication “to involve the stakeholders: social partners, VET providers, civil society and learners” in the innovation and upgrading process of VET. In relation to this issue, one of the key strategic objectives set is to “promote partnerships between social partners, enterprises, education and training providers, employment services, public authorities, research organisations and other relevant stakeholders in order to ensure a better transfer of information on labour market needs and to provide a better match between those needs and the development of skills, knowledge and competence (…).The development of a common language aimed at bridging the world of education and training (..) and the world of work (…) should be continued (…)”.
The VETWORK proposal has been designed to address the above-mentioned challenges as set out in the Bruges Communiqué and to contribute to the above mentioned strategic priorities. The proposal addresses both the implementation and the governance dimensions related to the relation between VET and the world of work focusing on the area of training integrating work-based learning (WBL) and VET providers teaching and support services.