Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, welcomed the adoption of the 'Bruges Communiqué', a package of objectives and actions to increase the quality of vocational training in Europe by making it more accessible and relevant to the needs of the labour market.
Commissioner Vassiliou said: "I am delighted that 33 European countries, employers and unions are backing the Commission's strategy to make vocational training a more modern and attractive learning option. Vocational training needs to fulfill two central objectives:
- to contribute to employability and economic growth on one hand,
- to respond to larger societal challenges, in particular social cohesion, on the other.”
At present, about half of all students in upper secondary education in the EU choose vocational programmes. There are, however, significant differences between countries, with enrolment rates ranging from less than 15% in some to nearly 80% in others.
Bruges Communiqué: a vision for the next decade
The Bruges Communiqué presents a vision of a modern and attractive vocational training system which ensures:
• Maximum access to lifelong learning so that people have opportunities to learn at any stage in life and by making routes into education and training more open and flexible
• More opportunities for experience and training abroad to boost language skills, self-confidence and adaptability
• Higher quality courses, providing the right skills for specific jobs,
• More inclusion and access for disadvantaged people,
• Creative, innovative and entrepreneurial thinking.
To find out more: Full text of the Bruges Communiqué (pdf)