Today, the European Social Partners in Education, EFEE (European Federation of Education Employers) and ETUCE (European Trade Union Committee for Education) adopted a Joint Statement on Improving Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Europe. The Statement, adopted by the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education (ESSDE) Plenary, commits the Social Partners in Education to contribute to improving the attractiveness and image of VET.

In the wake of the second European Vocational Skills Week, ETUCE and EFEE are united in their belief that VET is a vital part of the education sector and appropriate measures are needed to make it more attractive for both students and adults. The Joint Statement also highlights the prominent role of teachers, trainers, school leaders, other education personnel, education trade unions and education employer organisations in promoting high quality VET and apprenticeship systems in Europe.

Building on the experience acquired through discussions and exchanges within the ESSDE, such as in the framework of their Work Programme 2016-2017, and of the joint pledge (2015) on improving apprenticeship systems as supporting the goals of the European Alliance for Apprenticeships (2013), EFEE and ETUCE commit to undertake jointly further actions to make VET more attractive to society and the school community as a whole, including teachers, trainers, other education personnel, school leaders, students and their families.

To this end, the European Social Partners in Education jointly call the European Union institutions and member states to:

  • Improve the quality of VET institutions both as learning and working environments;
  • Promote further investment in VET;- Promote fair partnerships between VET institutions and companies in order to create more high quality apprenticeships;
  • Enhance the professional technical training and upskilling of VET teachers, trainers, other education personnel and school leaders;
  • Focus on improving the recruitment, retention and status of VET teachers, trainers, other education personnel and school leaders by improving their working conditions and remuneration;
  • Promote the involvement of social partners in the development of high-quality apprenticeship and work-based learning schemes.

The Statement is to be launched during the Joint ETUCE/EFEE Public Hearing “The role of teachers and school heads in improving the status of VET”, taking place on 24 November 2017 in Brussels, Belgium, from 09.00 – 12.30, at the European Economic and Social Committee.

Read the Statement