The Forum on Vocational Excellence 2023, initiated by the community of practitioners of Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVE), took place in Amsterdam, Netherlands between September 25th and 26th. From 40+ countries all around Europe, 900 representatives (on-site and online) from education and training providers, governments and businesses came together to share knowledge, inspire and learn from each other in this exciting European Year of Skills. Main topic: Vocational education and training as the driver of skills ecosystems and being responsive to current and future skills needs. How can CoVEs contribute to this complex field?
On the first day of the Forum on Vocational Excellence, participants dove into the Dutch VET system by going on a site visit to one of the Dutch public private partnerships in VET. One of the hosts was the Green Hotspot Houten. See this news item about the visit for more info.
Tuesday 26 September was the main event of the Forum on Vocational Excellence.
Providing today’s talent with the skills to build a great tomorrow
Melanie Henke co-moderated the plenary session alongside Rogier Elshout with esteemed speakers: European Comissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit, Minister of Education of the Netherlands Robbert Dijkgraaf, Dr. Gaby Allard from the Dutch association of VET, inclusion expert Rossella Riccò, PhD and Anna Roßband from EuroApprentices Germany.
Commissioner Schmit and the Dutch Minister of Education Dijkgraaf emphasized about the importance of good cooperation between educational institutions, social organizations and companies in EU member states. It is precisely this collaboration that ensures that social challenges are tackled from which the whole of Europe benefits.
Green Workshop on Stakeholder Engagement
The uplifting workshop session Join the green transition and be part of the solution presented 2 separate CoVE projects: European Platform for Urban Greening and Greenovet. Both are boosting green and sustainable innovation processes, each in their own way. Moderators were Jan Jeronimus – European Platform for Urban Greening, and Bojan Jovanovski – Greenovet. They focused on different ways of stakeholder engagement in order to build a skills ecosystem.
Collaboration Between Schools and Companies From a Business Perspective
Another workshop looked at how businesses view the education-business partnership. There, HR manager Jacob Vest Arler from OKNygaard and partner in European Platform for Urban Greening, got the participants thinking about the discomfort of change and how to deal with it. The world of companies, educational institutions, employees and students is in a constant state of change, where we need to have the tools, understand the need for change, the motivation to change and the opportunity to change the way we work.
You can find the slides and results of all workshops here.
Save the Date: Forum on Vocational Excellence 2024
The 2024 Forum on Vocational Excellence will take place 10-12 September 2024 in Lyon, coinciding with WorldSkills.
Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVes) focus on the much needed skilled workers that are crucial for grand societal challenges, such as digitalisation, healthy ageing, climate and energy transititon. In these Centres, education and training (VET) providers, employers and governments work together to make sure the skills our workforce acquires are up to date with the latest needs and demands of society.
Since 2019, the European Commission is investing 400 million euro in CoVEs. Many EU member states are investing in similar national schemes, multiplying the investment. Education and business are equal partners and both benefit from finding solutions to real-life problems: sharing experience is multiplying knowledge. The number of Centres of Vocational Excellence across Europe has risen from 5 in 2019 to 38 in 2023, with many other national initiatives joining the movement towards vocational excellence.
About the Community of Practice
The project leaders of all Erasmus Centers of Vocational Excellence have joined forces in the CoVE Community of Practice. In this community the project leaders share experiences, inspire each other and jointly try to find solutions for common issues they encounter while implementing the Centers of Vocational Excellence. By doing so, the project leaders are supporting each other and no one has to reinvent the wheel. The CoVE Community of Practice is a bottom up initiative by and for the CoVE project leaders and participation is voluntary. Furthermore, the Community of Practice is working closely with other stakeholders and policy makers in the field of VET and higher education.