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The Meeting of Directors General of Education and Training Professionals (DGEFP) under the Belgian Presidency of the EU, brought together 84 participants from 28 countries and was conducted under the autumn sun, in Genval on Sunday 19 to Tuesday 21 September 2010.
Organized by Forem, in close cooperation with the European Commission, the Ministry of the Walloon Region and the Belgian partners in Education and Training (VET), the meeting reached a double goal.
On the one hand, through meetings and exchanges in workshops, the DGVET meeting contributed to the visibility of European and Belgian innovative practices in VET. On the other hand, the various delegations were able to go through the proposals envisaged for the revision of the "Copenhagen process" (the process of establishing cooperation between education and training) due at the European Ministers of Education meeting scheduled in Bruges on 7 December.
First, the delegation was welcomed on Sunday 19 September by partner company GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals (Wavre). Before visiting the GSK Biologicals premises, presentations covered:
The first part of Monday 20 September was introduced by specific keynote presentations including:
The second part of Monday 120 September was organised around three workshops aiming to stress the added value and necessity of partnerships between education, IVET, CVET and employment operators.
Workshop 1: "The right competences"
This workshop tackled the recognition and the validation processes of competences in order to help fragile publics find a pathway (back) to working life and give every European citizen the opportunity to get the competencies needed through life is a must in the Lisbon 2020 Strategy.
Workshop 2: "The impact of the green economy on vocational education and training"
The emergence of the green economy is affecting VET programmes . In some cases, new training programmes are created and, in others, old ones are adapted. Most of the competences needed in "green jobs" are not really “new”. The “green jobs” strategy could make some sectors more attractive to younger persons and so could "greener" training programmes. Highlighted through several events organised within the Belgian Presidency, this DGVET meeting were given the opportunity to discuss the CEDEFOP survey recently published on this matter.
Workshop 3: "Sustainable partnerships"
For any partnership to be sustainable, it is necessary to enable mutual dialogue and the development of the most adequate bridges between VET providers. Partnerships will not last long if they are only concluded through general agreements (charters) or pilot projects. The new EQVET/ECVET tools are a contribution to mutual trust but only if the stakeholders use them. Teachers, trainers and in-company tutors are the ones who will make this mutual trust happen.
After these workshops, the technical meetings of Monday late afternoon and Tuesday 21 September allowed The European Commission to introduce the milestones of the process leading to the adoption of the Council Conclusions on the priorities for enhanced European cooperation in VET for 2011-2020 as well as the Bruges Communiqué. The DGVET overviewed also the proposals on the short-term deliverables included in the reviewed Copenhagen process..
In conclusion, Hungary, which is hosting the Presidency of the European Council during the first half of 2011, has outlined their upcoming DGVET meeting further deepen the topics developed in Genval.
As indicated by Micheline Scheys and Noël Scherer, official representatives of the Belgian delegation to the DGVET meeting: "The rapid development of major projects in education and training until 2020 will only be really possible if the various stakeholders agree to build them through networking and partnerships. The indispensible trust between stakeholders relies certainly on shared tools, the quality control of productions, but also on the willingness of each other to learn from the experience, know-how that can be discovered at all levels: regional, national and European. "
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