The German Federation of Trade Unions (DGB) and bfw - Unternehmen für Bildung together with the Latvian Federation of Trade Unions (LBAS) held an international Conference, “Governance in VET from a Trade Unions‘ Point of View“, on 21st and 22nd September 2017 in Riga, Latvia, under the Unions4VET project.
A total of over 80 participants from partner organisations travelled to the conference from the target countries Italy, Greece, Slovakia, Portugal and host country Latvia. Latvian and German representatives from education ministries and employer organisations likewise took part.
The conference aimed to identify ways of how, and at which levels, trade unions could become more seriously involved in designing vocational education and training in Europe and the partner countries. Speeches were made by Dr. Jeff Bridgford, former Director of Education of the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) and Thiébaut Weber, Federal Secretary of the European Federation of Trade Unions (ETUC), in which they presented criteria for good control in vocational education and training from a trade unions’ perspective.
On this basis, the participating trade unions exchanged views in several rounds of discussions with employer representatives, other trade unionists and vocational education and training experts concerning different control models for VET in their countries. They discussed approaches to promote an improved trade union participation. Requirements for action in the respective target countries were able to be identified in the course of the conference. These will be expanded upon together with the project partners through bilateral workshop arranged by the Unions4VET project. Exemplary pilot measures were initiated in individual countries (e.g. in Italy and Greece), in order to make a meaningful contribution to implementing good VET in Europe in this way.