SocialAgenda"Vocational education and training (VET) needs a strong commitment to raise its profile and strengthen its ties with the world of employment," writes Cedefop Director James Calleja in the July issue of the Social Agenda magazine. Debating ‘the skills imperative’, the issue’s central theme, Mr Calleja argues that such a commitment ‘infers a bigger share of Erasmus+ funding, increased financial support to apprenticeship programmes and work-based learning at continuing and higher VET levels, and continuing professional development programmes for VET teachers, trainers and mentors.’ He notes that while ‘employers view VET as a fast track to employability, production and capital,’ the potential it provides ‘is overlooked as academic university education remains a target for many European families, even though it may not lead to jobs.’ Mr Calleja stresses that ‘attracting learners to both academic education and vocational training at all levels, including universities, is a recipe for economic success,’ adding that ‘youth unemployment is low in countries where VET is strong. "In the magazine, which is published by DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Director-General Michel Servoz writes that the first task of a comprehensive skills strategy, set to be proposed by the European Commission in 2016, will be ‘to streamline the EU tools and networks which already exist, so that they may respond ever more effectively to the EU, national governments and people’s needs."

You can download the magazine and read Mr Calleja’s full article here.