Since the beginning of the Social Dialogue, Vocational Training has been one of the topics on which the interests of employees and employers coincide.
It is not by chance that Vocational Training was one of the very first subjects to which EFBWW, UEA, and more recently also EFIC allocated attention and work. The present scenario has enhanced the importance of Vocational Training: the European furniture sector has entered into a period of maturation, after having wrestled with significant changes and job losses in the last decade. To face up to the worldwide competition and to become more rationalized and export oriented, it is essential to rely on more knowledgeable workers, especially skilled workers and middle management positions.
In a reply to the call from the European Commission for “A new impetus for European cooperation in Vocational Education and Training” [COM(2010)296], the Social Partners have agreed to launch two joint projects: WAVE - Enhance the Value of Work in the Furniture Industry to Attract Young People - and VET (Vocational Education Training). Foster VET Mobility, the project which is the subject of this report, has two ambitious aims:
A. to support the upgrading of current teaching systems in the EU member states while respecting the diversities based upon traditions and habits;
B. to facilitate the information flow and exchange of experiences between training schools and other stakeholders, to improve the quality of the teaching, learning and levels of competence of all apprentices. In this respect we believe that our project exactly meets what was formulated in the EU Flagship initiative “Innovation Union”, COM/(2010)546 final, dated 6th October 2010.
This report also deals with the promotion of the apprenticeship-type training, within the frame of the Commission Communication “Youth on the Move” COM(2010)477 final, dated 15th September 2010, page 5 and 6.
This report presents the results of our project, mainly focussing on the presentations given on the functioning of the vocational training systems in nine European countries. A scientific view on the future of the sector is added, giving an insight in desired perspectives. We also included conclusions and viewpoints on the EU-policies on vocational training, drafted by the Project partners. Additionally, we document the conceptual framework we have used for the preparation of the different country reports, hoping that stakeholders from other sectors will possibly use it for their own purposes.
All partners involved consider the experiences gathered by this project as extremely useful and are determined to continue the cooperation with all stakeholders involved in this action and on the European Level in the framework of the Social Dialogue for the Furniture and the Woodworking sectors.