First European Vocational Skills Week: Equipping people with the skills for today’s labour market through vocational education and training

Today, the European Commission kicks off its first European Vocational Skills Week. Until Friday 9 December, participants can discover how they can use and improve their talents and abilities through vocational education and training at more than 750 events across Europe. During the week, the Commission will showcase high-quality initiatives in the field of vocational education and training (VET) to demonstrate the crucial role of VET in supporting skills, jobs, innovation and competitiveness. Under the New Skills Agenda for Europe, the Commission has given new impetus to the need for awareness-raising of young people, their parents, and all sorts of other learners, that VET can be as attractive as a career as the traditional learning pathway from secondary school through to university, especially in light of the growing skills gap many European employers currently experience or foresee for the future. Opening the event, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, said: “This European Week is showcasing excellence in Vocational Education and Training. VET gets young people easier into jobs and can be a wise career choice for anyone. Making VET a first choice and not a second option is at the heart of the European Commission’s New Skills Agenda for Europe.”