Meet The Champions of Excellence in Brussels

“Meet the Champions of Excellence”, a flagship event of the European Year of Skills, jointly organized by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the European Commission, took place in Brussels on Friday 23 February.The event brought many champions in Vocational Education Training disciplines- 35 EU Chanmpions and maround 400 young people joined event. From handing constraction tools and floristry to eletric engineering and demining robots, young people had a chance to learn first-hand about changing skills and the value of vocational education and training (VET).

The aim of the ‘Meet the Champions of Excellence’ event was to promote the benefits and opportunities offered by VET, especially in the current context of labour and skills shortages and skills mismatches in the EU, and against the backdrop of the green and digital transitions and the future world of work.

During the panel discussion, Commissioner Nicolas Schmit and EESC President Oliver Röpke exchanged with the champions and talked about VET excellence and the essential role of VET in seizing current and future opportunities. Commissioner Schmit expressed concern about the 8 million young Europeans who are not in education or employment, and highlighted that every person has a talent and that young people are at the heart of Europe’s policies. Also, the all young people should have the right and opportunity to follow their own dreams. Skills and Gender Equality do matter, if and when we want to change the world.

The EfVET Vice-President Arja Flikman moderatored one of   parallel workshop focus on “Fighting gender stereotypes in VET”. Arja Flikman, expressed if we look at students from in Vocational Education and Training of around the age 17 and older- we see the most of the students pick the fields of  “engineering, manufacturing and construction, while for female students teh most  common fields are “health” and welfare”, tourism and business , administration, and etc. We know that “female and male professions have different career prospective – the male dominated industries often pay better and have more career prespectives. At the EU , we want training institutions to provide equal opportunities-thus, finding gender stereotypes is an important issue to discuss today with young  panelist- she said.

The EfVET Team joined with SEPR to present our Champions of Excellence of MOSAIC project, attracting youths, teachers & professionals . Many people were attracted by our MOSAIC stand, where we showcased the work accomplished during an international workshop held last year at SEPR. A several artists, craftsmen and many young people that were simply curious about what we do. Arts and Crafts never stop to fascinate us! Empowering youth and VET through excellence!

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