Vocational training key to tackling youth unemployment
By Irina Smirnova-Godoy | Thursday 07 June 2012
The European Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Eurochambres) argues that vocational education and training (VET) should receive more funding under the ‘Erasmus for All’ programme. It was proposed by the European Commission on 27 November 2011 and is due to start in 2014.
In his address to participants in a conference at the European Parliament, on 6 June in Brussels, Eurochambres Secretary-General Arnaldo Abruzzini stressed the importance of VET in combating youth unemployment, which currently averages 20% in the EU. In addition, Eurochambres recommends accelerating efforts to remove the obstacles to internationalisation of VET, fostering greater mobility of learners, teachers and trainers and channeling the use of Structural and Cohesion Funds to support reforms for the establishment of dual learning systems (practical and academic).
According to Xavier Prats Monné, deputy director-general for education at the European Commission, the challenges education systems face today include implementing lifelong learning and bridging the gap between education and the labour market. Accordingly, the need is there to remove the barriers between different national subsystems of education and to address the related cross-border aspects. To this end, ‘Erasmus for All’ aims to create the right incentives for innovation and international cooperation in education.
Doris Pack (EPP, Germany), chair of the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) and rapporteur for the ‘Erasmus for All’ proposal, called for caution in assessing the new programme as innovative and suggested that the funding allocation to its components should come within the competence of Parliament.
The CULT committee’s first-reading vote is scheduled for 11 June.