Ceemet’s Director General Uwe Combüchen was invited to sit in the panel and share industry’s insights on “Promotion of VET through formal education and employers”. The event, organised by the Center for Innovative Education, was part of the 2nd European Vocational Skills Week.
The former President of the European Parliament, MEP Jerzy Buzek and MEP Danuta Jazlowiecka of the Employment Committee supported the event. Participants were i.a. MEP Kozlowska-Rajewicz (Empl Committee), Ms Gomendio, Deputy Director, Education and Skills at OECD, Ms Bachmann of the European Commission’s DG EMPL, Professor Higgins of the University of Edinburgh and Mr Alan Sherry, of Glasgow Celvin College.
Ceemet's Director General pointed out to several Ceemet studies -in particular to the first of its kind: Digitalisation and World of Work report- emphasizing the need for an improved cooperation of industry with VET training providers as well as need for better communicating on :
- the opportunities working in manufacturing offers and
- the manufacturers’ needs.
The issue of halftime of knowledge was mentioned as well. To tackle this, e.g. EU co-funded SkillME project (in which several Ceemet members participate) have developed new, labour market relevant VET curricula. It is a way to make VET a 1st choice for learners.
Ever faster technological change also underlined the importance of lifelong learning which must be embraced by companies and workers. Trade unions and employers identified a common interest as you can read in the joint statement on Digitalisation.
The current plethora of what seems to be uncoordinated Commission initiatives in the area of education and training risks establishing an inefficient and finally ineffective allocation of resources, losing time in an environment where speed in making progress is key. The complexity lies withing the fact that the European Commission has no mandate to take regulatory initiatives at European level. Nevertheless, the Commission can/should play important role in supporting national initiatives, such as via DIHs, and especially by facilitating the exchange of good practice.
Mr. Combüchen concluded with three “Cs”:
(1) Industry should become more open and Communicate better in terms of messages, language, media and messengers.
(2) Cooperation between industry and education providers has to improve and
(3) better Coordination of initiatives is imperative.