Vocational Education and Training (VET) is a vital catalyst in the Green Transition in the European Union and its neighbourhood. This week, the EU has been showcasing the many benefits that VET offers young people and adults alike during European Vocational Skills Week, with one eye on the future skillsets that will be required and the other on the realities of the current labour market.
The theme of the week – running from 16-20 May – is ‘VET and the Green Transition’. “There is an urgent need to reach climate neutrality in Europe and across the world,” said Margaritis Schinas, European Commission Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life and Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights in an op-ed promoting the week’s events. “This requires mammoth efforts from citizens, companies, entire industries in some cases. It also means that many workers will need to make the leap from jobs in traditional, fossil fuel-based industries to emerging green sectors and ‘green jobs’across all sectors where we are facing skills shortages.”
VET for the Green Transition is also a central plank of EU support for its Eastern partners, with the European Training Foundation (ETF) involved in support and flagship EU-funded projects across the Eastern Partnership.
In parallel to European Vocational Skills Week, the ETF has been running its own Skills for the Green Transition campaign, highlighting the readiness of education and training systems in the EU’s neighbouring regions to respond to the green challenge.
As part of the campaign, the ETF has launched the 2022 Green Skills Awards, with the public invited to vote for ten selected finalists, including two from Georgia – the K4S Academy and Environmental and Agricultural Education in School – and one from the Republic of Moldova – Training the Green Trainers.
Voting is open until 5 June, and the three winners of the Green Skills Award 2022 will be announced on 9 June 2022.
In Azerbaijan, the EU supports the enhancement of vocational education through a range of EU-funded initiatives. One of these is the ‘VET for the future: development of VET providers’ excellence in Azerbaijan’ project. The project aims to support the government in strengthening the quality of the VET system by modernising institutions to deliver competency-based training suited to the needs of the labour market. Listen to VET students Zeyneb and Hikmet explain how they are benefitting from the work-based learning programme of this project in this special EU NEIGHBOURS east podcast:
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This website is managed by the EU-funded Regional Communication Programme for the Eastern Neighbourhood ('EU NEIGHBOURS east’), which complements and supports the communication of the Delegations of the European Union in the Eastern partner countries, and works under the guidance of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and the European External Action Service. EU NEIGHBOURS east is implemented by a B&S Europe-led consortium. It is part of the larger Neighbourhood Communication Programme (2020-2024) for the EU's Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, which also includes 'EU NEIGHBOURS south’ project that runs the EU Neighbours portal.