ep2020

ETF Director exchanges views with MEPs

The European Training Foundation shared its achievements in 2019 and its plans for 2020 with members of the European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee on 28 January 2020. The ETF Director Cesare Onestini told MEPs about the agency’s strategy for the coming period. “The 25th anniversary of the ETF in 2019 was the right time to look at our mandate and see if we need to update our actions to deliver more on the mandate that the European Parliament approved 25 years ago.” said Mr Onestini. “We are working in a context where we have more and more skills gaps, bigger differences between the expectations of companies in terms of their skills needs and what education and training systems manage to produce. This situation is not unique to the countries where we work, but is quite acute in some of them. The question of skilling, upskilling and reskilling is closely related to stability, growth and sustainability.”

 A key pillar of the 2027 strategy is to reinforce the ETF’s role as a global knowledge hub on human capital development in developing and transition countries. “We want to consolidate the ETF’s expertise in what we call a knowledge hub, bringing together knowledge about methodologies and approaches to reform that work in the context of external relations, and sharing it more widely.”

Cesare Onestini was invited to share views with the European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee together with the Directors of the other four EU agencies working in this policy area. The other invitees were Juan Menéndez-Valdés, Executive Director of the European Foundation for Living and Working Conditions, Christa Sedlatschek, Executive Director of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Jürgen Siebel, Exective Director for the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop), and Jordi Curell Gotor, interim Executive Director of the European Labour Authority. The meeting was chaired by Dutch MEP Agnes Jongerius.

In the coming years, the ETF will support countries to make their education and training dynamic, inclusive and responsive to the needs of individuals, businesses and society. This requires a holistic vision of human capital development aiming at joined-up lifelong learning systems that embrace general, vocational, higher and adult education and enable people to acquire relevant initial skills and build on them as they move through life.

The growing prominence of human capital development in the EU’s external relations programmes and policies, also linked to the Sustainable Development Goals, means a growing demand for the ETF’s services. In response, the ETF’s 2027 strategy foresees a transparent approach to differentiating the services it provides to ensure impact and added value in driving durable system change. The ETF will also build more strongly on partnerships to ensure synergy between its contribution and the activities of the European Union and other national and regional actors.