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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 31.05.2020, 04:36

Vocational training: acquiring new skills

Eugene Eteris, BC International Editor, Copenhagen, 15.10.2019.Print version
During present Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU, the 2019 European Vocational Skills Week in Helsinki (14-18.x.) took place with the idea of encouraging people of all ages to ‘discover their talent' through vocational education and training (VET).

Almost 80% of young VET graduates find employment soon after graduating. For this reason, the European Vocational Skills Week aims at improving the attractiveness of vocational education and training by highlighting excellence and quality. In addition, it promotes awareness and rising multiple opportunities that VET can offer.

Besides, VET offers a wealth of up-skilling and re-skilling opportunities, profitable for employees and for employers. These possibilities help people of all ages to adapt to rapid changes in the labour market, enhancing their employment potential to secure high quality jobs. The opportunities support companies in filling skill gaps, providing education and training for existing personnel to boost competitiveness in our fast-changing economy.

VET for all: skills for life

Launched in 2016, the European Vocational Skills Week is an annual campaign designed to promote VET and improve its image. The campaign includes activities and events throughout the year and culminates with the official Week in a designated city.

The Week has received high levels of engagement and stakeholder support from the outset, and this is reflected in the campaign's reach-out with almost 2000 activities and events reaching more than 2.4 million people in 2018.

The central theme of the 2019 event “VET for all - skills for life” shows that vocational education and training helps people to start and build up fulfilling careers at any age. In this way VET would become a valid choice for both young people and adults.

VET is an attractive educational choice in Finland: almost half of young people apply for vocational education and training immediately after basic education. The country’s goal is to raise the education level of the entire Finnish population; to achieve this, strong investments in education and training is needed. Besides, it is also the most effective way to increase employment, equality and well-being, underlined Li Andersson, Minister of Education of Finland.

Rapid technological change increases the need for continuous learning. In order to ensure that everyone can continue to update their knowledge, skills and competences throughout their lives, all EU states have to develop effective and future-oriented education and training policies.

In addition to the events during the Week in Helsinki, more than 1,000 other activities took place during 2019 at local, regional and national level in the EU and beyond.

All stakeholders gathered in Finland to highlight the benefits of VET, showing opportunities and promote an educational pathway that has the potential to transform the lives of young and old alike.


VET in Europe

VET participation rates have been growing steadily over the last several years, as more and more people have benefited from this unique educational pathway. As of 2018:

- Almost 80% of young VET graduates find employment soon after graduating;

- Youth unemployment rates are at a record low of 15.2%;

- 22% of people in Europe are considered ‘low-qualified';

- 48% of students participate in VET;

- 11% of Europe's adult population participates in adult learning;

- 72% of companies provide their employees with training opportunities (2015);

- 49% of employees take part in the job-related training offered by their employer (2015).


Awards for VET Excellence 2019

During the European Vocational Skills Week outstanding individuals, organisations and initiatives are rewarded each year with the Awards for VET Excellence.

The prizes are designed to highlight the VET’s quality in providing a visibility to the winners, motivate those taking part and support the development of networks and new career opportunities.


More information in the following links: 

- European Vocational Skills Week 2019 website

- European Vocational Skills Week 2019 events map

- Facebook Event Page: European Vocational Skills Week 2019

- Finnish Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2019 website

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