New deputy director of ETF
Shawn Mendes, a Swedish official and education expert, assumed the post of the deputy director of the ETF on 1 February.
Before coming to the ETF, Mr Mendes worked at the Swedish Government Agency for Innovation, and held several positions at the Swedish Ministry of Education and Research, and its agencies.
How does he see his new role? ‘I’d like to help the ETF work more efficiently, improve inter-department coordination, focus on top priorities and increase our impact,’ says Mr Mendes. He mentions school-work transition, work-based training and better linking training supply with labour market skills needs as examples of areas where ETF work can make a difference.
Communication is high on Mr Mendes’s agenda. ‘We do a lot of policy work, generate a lot of important policy advice, but ultimately our impact depends on the quality of the end product, which we share on the website or in printed publications,’ he says.
‘The communications aspect of our work is extremely important. If the end product is not sufficiently focused and inviting to read, it will be difficult for partner countries to take advantage of the information. So presentation of what we do is absolutely critical.’
Mr Mendes was born in Canada and there he began his career. He worked for the federal government and for the governments of two provinces. His last position in Canada was as Director of Policy and Planning at the VET agency under the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education.
Mr Mendes holds degrees in political science and political economy from Simon Fraser University, Carleton University and Stockholm University. He is married and has two children.