European Vocational Skills Week: Discover Your Talent
European Vocational Skills Week has been held annually since its foundation in 2016. The goal is to recognise the vital role of vocational education and training (VET) and the necessary skills primarily through individual success stories.
European Vocational Skills Week was founded in 2016 at the initiative of the European Commission. From 5 to 9 December that year, a large number of experts met to discuss the subject of VET. A great many national events and activities were held in the EU member countries in that first week, with 700,000 people being made aware of the topic of vocational education. Since then, European Vocational Skills Week has been held annually, each time in a different country. The guiding theme is always different. This year’s topic is VET for Green and Digital Transitions in line with the European Commission’s priority of a “Green Deal Europe” and a Europe that is ready for the digital revolution.
Let’s build awareness together
In order to spread the message of European Skills Week throughout Europe, interested parties can set up their own events and activities in order to share their own experiences in the area of vocational education and training. These include numerous experts, who share their insights with participants as speakers at conferences or in online exchanges. It’s an idea that has proved quite popular so far: over the past few years, 910 different events have been staged in 38 countries, with a total of 1,809,212 people taking part. This has led to the development, since 2016, of a large, international network of VET experts who actively share and exchange their knowledge and best practices with one another. To spread the message of the week even further and also to create awareness of this initiative at regional level, a number of ambassadors have now become involved. Each of them has their own, rather special success story, which is closely linked to the subject of VET in its own way. In Austria, former WorldSkills competitor and now self-employed graphics designer Jaqueline Tanzer is a firm supporter – not only through her involvement as a workshop manager at EuroSkills 2020, but also as an ambassador for European Vocational Skills Week. Her message? It is precisely at times like these that a sound vocational education and training are so highly valued and can open up many different opportunities.
VET awards: prize for outstanding commitment to VET
Each European Vocational Skills Week culminates in the VET Awards for Excellence ceremony. These awards are presented for outstanding projects and people displaying a strong commitment to VET in a total of five categories. One of these categories, for example, is the “Training at Work Award”, which was presented in 2019 to the Hungarian company Hot & Cold Therm Kft. As a result of the award, many staff members approach their work with renewed motivation, the in-house training opportunities have been further enhanced and the company’s commitment to VET has been recognised throughout Europe.
This year, the awards presentation will be held virtually for the first time on Friday, 13 November as part of the European Vocational Skills Week Closing Ceremony. A total of 22 different projects, institutions, teams and individuals, all of them having made an outstanding contribution in the field of vocational education and training, have been nominated. An overview of the nominees for 2020 can be found here.
This year’s European Vocational Skills Week is all about VET for Green and Digital Transitions.