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Exchanging views at the European Parliament

Year/Date: 21/02/2018


The European Training Foundation works with countries in the EU neighbourhood to promote education, training and skills. ETF Director Cesare Onestini shared highlights of the EU Agency’s work from 2017, and priorities for the year ahead, at the European Parliament on 21 February in Brussels.

It is the first time Mr Onestini took part in the 'Exchange of Views' session with the Employment and Social Affairs Committee as Director of the ETF, a position he took up on September 1, 2017. He joins directors of the EU Agencies: European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (James Calleja) the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (Christa Sedlatschek) and the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working (Juan Menéndez-Valdés).

Looking forward

Responding to changing skills needs, adapting to digital change, making the most of migrants’ skills through better qualifications systems, entrepreneurship and providing expertise and assistance to the EU Delegations are among the ETF’s priorities for 2018. The corporate conference 21-22 November looks at the future of skills and jobs and policies to assist the transformation.

Mr Onestini said helping countries provide their citizens with skills for employability contributes to stability and prosperity, benefiting both the EU and its neighbourhood. ‘The ETF is contributing to the EU’s role as a global actor by ensuring the external dimension of its skills and employment policies, including the New Skills Agenda and Pillar of Social Rights.’

'How do we translate this priority into reform and action in countries that are undergoing political transition, demographic change and difficult economic situations? That is the challenge for the ETF.'

The regions

The ETF accompanies the new dynamic in the Western Balkans, where regional partnerships will help acceleration of reforms.

In the Southern Neighbourhood the Union for the Mediterranean is an important platform.The ETF continues bilateral engagement with countries, including Libya.

In the Eastern Partnership, employment, education, training and youth employability are a focus.

In Central Asia, the ETF continues to find synergies with international partners such as the Asian Development Bank.

Spotlight on 2017

Large-scale labour migration is a fact of life for many ETF partner countries. In Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, which have been particularly affected by the Syrian refugee crisis, the early recognition and validation of qualifications is helping to support the integration of migrants and refugees into the labour market.

EU candidate countries have flagged work-based learning as a priority. A key action has been facilitating their participation in the European Alliance for Apprenticeships. Managed by the European Commission, the alliance brings together governments, business, educators, and other social partners, working together to promote the quality, supply, image and mobility of apprenticeship and workplace learning.

The ETF continues to work closely with Ukraine as it drives its education and skills agenda forward, bringing the system closer to European standards. Aligned to this work, the ETF assisted the EU Delegation to carry out a feasibility study for a major EU-funded intervention, and will take a lead role in its design in 2018.

Read more highlights and insights in the European Parliament flyer, in the top right corner.



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