Governments and employers must act to help people develop skills for green jobs

The greening of the European economy, as outlined in the EU 2020 strategy, will have profound effects on the labour market. Yet not enough is being done to make sure people are acquiring the right skills.
Cedefop’s new report Green skills and environmental awareness in vocational education and training shows that difficulties of employers to influence the development of new, green qualifications in VET and the uncertainty surrounding regulations and policies are slowing down developments towards a greener economy. Learning providers report difficulties in understanding the skill needs of employers and employees.
The study identifies main challenges and priorities in eight EU Member States (Germany, Greece, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Finland and the UK), and takes as examples nine occupations affected by the green economy. Overall, the report found little evidence that green policies are influencing skills development and hiring policies. There is clearly a need for policy-makers and social partners to raise awareness and take common action.

More information about the full article on CeDeFop.
To see the press release click here.

Europe opens to the challenge of Qualified Training in ICT sector

Last December the European partners of 5 countries met in Genova (Italy) to kick off the Leonardo Da Vinci Project Vet QI (Vocational and Educational Training Quality in the ICT sector). The challenge is to elaborate on the  European quality parameters of  training for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the  Information and Communication Technology sector.
The partnership composed by, Dispos (Italy), Eurofortis (Latvia), MPS (France) , IPF (Spain) and WSBINOZ (Poland) and led by For s.a.s (Italy) is motivated to work  and produce a Quality Control System allowing the SMEs’ staff to be more competitive and in the same conditions of large companies, that have already developed high standard quality systems for training. The aim  is to develop innovative methods for Vet operators on the basis of the confrontation with market needs, stakeholders’ perspectives and European policies about quality in VET.  These themes are all increasingly focused by European policies and are summed up in the EQAVET  European Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training descriptors, that have been considered as a source of inspiration for the project design.
This is the start for a new  challenge  aimed at spreading the culture of qualified training in Europe.

Publication: Evaluation for improving student outcomes

The publication « Evaluation for improving student outcomes. Messages for quality assurance policies » created by Cedefop, highlights a number of key messages for policy and decision-makers responsible for setting the conditions for developing a culture of evaluation in schools and training institutions. The document aims to provide policy and decision-makers with recommendations on external evaluation and self-assessment and building trust between stakeholders to ensure quality in education and training provision.
The publication is based on the findings of the study visits on quality assurance mechanisms in schools and vocational training institutions and, more specifically, on good examples of policies and practices identified during two ‘peer learning’ visits that took place in Vilnius and Hamburg in the third quarter of 2010. The publication also draws on Cedefop’s work on gathering, analysing and disseminating information on quality in VET.

Download the publication

Ecole Européenne des Métiers de l’Internet launched

Jacques-Antoine Granjon, founder of, Marc Simoncini, founder of Meetic and Xavier Niel, founder of Free, launched a new initiative somehow grandly entitled Ecole Européenne des Métiers de l’Internet, which may be translated as European School of Internet Crafts. It targets High School graduates and offers a curriculum « permanently in adequation with the professional environment ». Trainings offered include: Project management,  Web design and graphics, Webmarketing and innovation, Multimedia development and programming, Communication and web analytics. Courses are apparently only taught in French.

ECVET Magazine 01-2010

The ECVET Bulletin is replaced by ECVET Magazine, which will be published 5 times a year.

The new Magazine will give the latest news on policy developments on Vocational Education and Training at European and national level. Two issues (in summer and winter) will focus more specifically on the activities of the ECVET Network. The additional three issues will provide information on the work and outcomes of the ECVET pilot projects funded by the European Commission.

The present issue includes an interesting article on the approach used in the SME Master Plus project for « developing a learning outcomes matrix » in three steps.

ProInternet launches a new network of key players in the area of e-Jobs

The Pro-Internet (PIN) project aims at creating a network of key players in the area of e-Jobs and Internet-related jobs converging around a web 2.0 platform: the e-Jobs Observatory.

Through its activities, PIN hopes to contribute improving the employability of job seekers, reducing the e-skills shortages on the EU labour market, improving the quality of Vocational Education & Training (VET) in the field of e-Jobs and making VET more transparent and comparable at European level.

PIN is a concrete answer to the opportunity indentified by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in its 2008 ICT Report: « ICT skills are an important contribution to growth […] Over 4% of total employment is in ICT specialist occupations, over 20% in intensive ICT-using occupations.[…] ». The PIN partners believe that the opportunity is even larger if one takes into account the knock-on benefits that can be reaped from training a broad section of the workforce in low/medium level ICT and media skills.

At the begining of the second decade of the 21st century, employment opportunities requiring ICT competencies are already plentiful, but vacancies are difficult to fill as qualifications do not match with the requirements of the employers…

The PIN network will contribute to addressing this challenge by fostering better interaction between key stakeholders involving:

  1. industry organisations which have in-depth experience of e-Jobs and Internet-related jobs and direct access to ICT SMEs (suppliers and users of technologies);
  2. VET institutions with a focus on e-Jobs and Internet-related jobs;
  3. relevant public authorities and intermediary organisations.

By a contributing to a better interaction and information exchange, it is expected that all target groups addressed by the network will benefit in their various approaches of the e-Skills gap.

The network will concentrate on state of the art information sharing, notably through the e-Jobs Observatory, a targeted effort to streamline the interaction between employers (particularly SMEs) and VET providers and a number of round-tables and events to gather the various stakeholders.

Commission Communication on a New Impetus for Vocational Education and Training

On 9 June 2010, the European Commission released a Communication on a New Impetus for Vocational Education and Training.

The Communication provides a full review of how VET should support the Europe 2020 strategy, the Commission’s new economic strategy for the decade ahead.

Although the Communication does not address in detail the opportunities of a greater use of ICT in Vocational Education and Training, it identifies the need for « initial vocational education and training (IVET) (to) equip young learners with skills directly relevant to evolving labour markets, such as e-skills, and highly developed key competences; such as digital and media literacy to achieve digital competence ». It furthermore emphasises that « Virtual mobility » through the use of ICT (e-learning) should be promoted to complement physical mobility ». It also underlines the « need to promote active learning in both work and school-based VET and give individuals the opportunity to control and develop their own learning, also through the use of innovative, creative and tailored made ICT tools, including e-learning, to improve the access to and flexibility of training ».

A full copy of the Communication can be downloaded here.