On the 6th ad the 7th of November our Board Member Giuseppe and Bicca from our Member Organisation FSS joined the Forum of EQAVET, the European body putting together States, experts, social partners and the European Commission to improve quality assurance in VET all across the continent.

In Vienna, capital of the current Presidency of the Council of the European Union, at the beginning of the European Skills Week 2018, we met more than 100 delegates from 40 different countries, and we spoke at two panels.

On the first panel, we spoke about VET as first choice and the second one, on Role Models and the engagement with student groups. In front of stakeholders from so many different backgrounds, including governments, teachers’ unions and entrepreneurs, we shared OBESSU’s values and their special role in promoting and ensuring quality VET.

VET for us should be a complete and trustable educational path leading to active citizenship and skills, and not just to fast employability, and for that we affirmed the importance of students’ choice in starting VET and the relevance of the connection to third-level education and university. Practical competences and soft skills are useful for the whole educational systems and we said clearly that no VET path should exclude learners from the opportunity of continuing their studies later, without losing the connection with the labour market.

Talking about role models, we underlined the need to include school students and learners in the decision making processes as a possibility of development for team building, management skills, and active citizenship. Building a stronger VET is possible, we think, only giving value to the great examples we have from everyday life, from our societies, where workers can provide motivation, stop seeing education as a continuous competition, but as a great effort of cooperation between trainers and learners and between learners themselves.

We underlined the lack of student participation in many VET paths and we welcomed really positively the renewed importance given to learners’ voice at the European level, including participation at the same EQAVET Forum.

We really hope to have more opportunities like this in the next future and we are looking for continuing our work to improve quality for all in VET, in our countries and at the European Level, and we thank EQAVET for this strong moment of sharing and empowerment.