Final Conference of the Unions4VET Project
On 12 and 13 July, the German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB) together with bfw - Unternehmen für Bildung held a conference of the international trade union project Unions4VET in Berlin.
More than 80 participants attended the project's conference The focus was set on the representatives of the trade unions who were involved in the project: Italy, Greece, Portugal, Latvia, Slovakia, Costa Rica and Germany. They discussed the results of the project with international and national VET actors also with regard to the conditions and legal frameworks in the respective regions and countries. Piero Bozzola (Cisl Piedmont) and Monika Stelloni (CGIL Toscana) from Italy, Eleni Theodori and Charalampos Charalampidis (INE-GSEE) from Greece and Fanny Sequiera Mata (SEC) from Costa Rica reported together with Malte Stamer from the MENDI project on their country-related activities and their experiences within the framework of the Unions4VET Project.
In view of the results of the project, the objectives of the conference were to open up new subjects and fields of activity for international VET cooperation and to develop perspectives for further joint activities of the participating trade unions and other actors.
The partner unions from Greece and Italy presented pilot activities developed and tested within the framework of the Unions4VET project. The results were discussed with the partners of the other countries and evaluated with regard to a possible transfer in the own region or country. Fanny Sequiera of the education union SEC reported that with support of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Unions4VET in Costa Rica mayor achievements have been made at the round table "Social dialogue on dual training" but that there is still dissent on important issues.
Various stakeholders in vocational education and training discussed current developments in VET and opportunities to improve the quality of in-company training and make it more attractive to young people.
The welcome speech was given by Matthias Anbuhl (DGB), Dr. Henk van Liempt (BMBF) and Fabrizio Dacrema, representative of the Italian trade unions CGIL, CISL and UIL in the bilateral delegation of Italy.
Dr. Felix Wenzelmann of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) gave a specialist lecture on the advantages of high-quality vocational education and training from the point of view of employers and discussed with André Weiß from the project of the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH) SCIVET whether training is worthwhile from the employer's perspective.
Thiébaut Weber, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Norbert Schöbel, European Commission, and Sebastian Tretter, Chairman of Opel's Youth and Trainees' Representation (JAV) exchanged views on what constitutes good vocational education and training.
Peter Rechmann from the German Office for International Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training (GOVET) and Hannes Barske from the German Aerospace Center (DLR), which supports the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in international VET cooperation and coordinates project funding within the framework of international vocational education and training cooperation, presented how international cooperation in the field of VET is developing at government level and which bilateral cooperation exist.
The Unions4VET project is funded by the BMBF as part of its strategy for internationalising vocational education and training and coordinated by the DGB and bfw - Unternehmen für Bildung.
The press release for the conference can be downloaded here.
The partner unions of the Unions4VET project from Italy, Greece, Portugal, Latvia and Slovakia took part in a short survey on the implementation of quality standards and criteria for VET in their respective countries, developed by the ETUC and published in the "A European quality framework for apprenticeships: A european trade union proposal", prior to the conference. The results of this survey are neither representative nor do they provide an in-depth insight into the situation of the respective VET systems. But they do give a situational impression of the extent to which these quality criteria are fulfilled in an international comparison and which of the criteria still require special action.
Final Conference of the Unions4VET Project, as Part of the German Government's Strategy for "International Vocational Training Cooperation"
Actively promoting good vocational education & training (VET) – this has been the objective of trade unions from eight countries working together since 2015 to strengthen the role of trade unions in governing VET and to improve the quality of VET. During this period, an intense exchange has taken place on strategies and approaches to improve the quality of VET and on ways to strengthen the role of trade unions in this field. In addition, tools for quality assurance were jointly developed and tested. With their activities the project partners created the basis for an international trade union cooperation that will be deepened and extended in the future.
During this final Unions4VET conference on July 12th & 13th 2018 in Berlin, the participating trade unions will discuss the results of the project with international and national stakeholders in VET and place them in a broad political context. Based on the project’s achievements so far new topics and fields of actions for international trade union cooperations will be identified and perspectives for further joint actions of trade unions and other stakeholders will be developed.
Please find the invitation and agenda for the final conference to download here.