New EfVET Board Elections: President, Vice-Presidents and Treasurer

Professor Joachim James Calleja re-elected EfVET President together with Vice-President (Project) Stefano Tirati. New elected: Arja Flinkman as Vice President (Policy) and Panagiotis G Anastassopoulos as Treasurer. 

Brussels, 20 October 2020:  On Saturday 17 October 2020, new elections for the EfVET Board were held online during the last Steering Committee meeting. As a result of the elections, EfVET is pleased to announce that Professor Joachim James Calleja was re-elected as President of EfVET together with Stefano Tirati as Vice-President (Project). The new elected members of the Board were Arja Flinkman as Vice-President (Policy) and Panagiotis G Anastassopoulos as Treasurer.

Professor Joachim James Calleja has been involved in Vocational Education and Training since 2001. He served as Cedefop Director from 2013 to 2018. Prior to this role, he served as Permanent Secretary (State Secretary) of the Ministry of Education and Employment (2011-2013) in his native Malta. Currently, he is the Principal and CEO of Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) in Malta, which is an EfVET Member. 

In 2005 he was entrusted with the setting up of the Malta Qualifications Council where he served as its Chief Executive for five years. Under his leadership Malta launched its National Qualifications Framework and related legislation leading to the validation of informal and non-formal learning, quality assurance, and accreditation. His career started in 1986 at the Foundation for International Studies at the University of Malta followed by appointments at the United Nations International institute of Aging (1995-1998) and the Ministry of Economic Services (1998-2001). In 2001 he was appointed Administrative Director at MCAST followed by a short spell at the European Training Foundation in Torino.  

Professor Calleja is a graduate of the Universities of Malta (B.A. Hons Educ; 1981), Padua (D.ED; 1986) and Bradford (Ph.D; 1991) and an accredited commercial mediator at CEDR London. A prolific writer, Professor Calleja has published several books and articles and edited publications in a number of countries. He is the co-author of the Malta Referencing Report of the Malta Qualifications Framework to the EQF and the QF-EHEA. His uninterrupted international career in education spans over 35 years. He has been Malta’s delegate on the EQF Advisory Board, the Bologna Follow-Up Group and Cedefop’s Governing Board.

When he was appointed two years ago as EfVET’s new President, Prof. Joachim James Calleja shared the intention to shape and communicate the vision of EfVET. His idea was to continue the excellent work done by its predecessors: participating in different European forums and representing EfVET member’s views and interests.  

Prof. Joachim James Calleja, stated on his message to EfVET Members: “I wish to thank EfVET Steering Committee Members for extending my mandate for a second term. Over these last two years, together with EfVET Executive Board and Steering Committee members, I have sought to take important initiatives to enable the organisation to become the voice for European VET. Our approved strategy 2019-2021 is evidence that EfVET has a roadmap to accomplish. The endorsement of EfVET Members at the 2020 AGM to move on with the draft new Constitution gives a new lease of life to the organisation. With the commitment and enthusiasm of our staff in Brussels and many other members, we will succeed in making EfVET a point of reference for policy-makers and training providers. We will continue to seek for this educational sector, unity in diversity and making VET a real first choice for learners and decision-makers. 

Stefano Tirati was re-elected as Vice-President (Project). Graduated in Educational Sciences at the University of Florence, where he worked for 3 years after attending a post-graduate course in Human Resources Management at Middlesex University in London, he directed CSCS, a vocational training centre implementing IVET, apprenticeships, CVET, vocational guidance, entrepreneurial support. Since 1995, Stefano has led several research and pilot projects, with a local, regional, national and international dimension. In 2016 he launched a new start-up,, supporting corporate and educational providers to manage learning processes in digital environments. Currently, he collaborates as an Educational Manager at ENEGAN, as an Advisor at Eurofound, as a Researcher at Italian University Line.

Arja Flinkman was elected the new Vice-President (Policy). Flinkman currently works as the CEO of South Savo Education Ltd., which runs the South Savo Vocational College. Previously she was the CFO of Mikkeli City consortium and the CFO/CIO and Vice President in South Savo Education Ltd. She also worked as an Education Development Manager in Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences, and she is a former Head of International Studies Department, Head of International Affairs of Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences, and former Head of Degree Program in Business Management. Arja holds a Master of Science with Marketing as a major and excellent remarks and a Licentiate Degree with Accounting as major. Currently she is preparing a PhD about Management Control Systems in Planned Organisational Change. 

As Vice President, my term is three years. I’m really glad of my choice. In an interview with the Board, I promised to promote, in cooperation with other members of the Board, within the European education policy, lifelong learning and its access for all, the quality and sustainable development of education, and equality and entrepreneurship, among other things”, says Flinkman. 

Panagiotis G Anastassopoulos was appointed as the new Treasurer, succeeding Liisa Metsola. Panagiotis is graduated in Mathematics from University of Patras and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Hellenic Open University. With more than 16 years of experience in innovative business and IT consulting, and knowledge about both digital sales, advertising and their appliance to the modern business environment, as well as good knowledge of IT development especially web2.0 applications, he is the co-owner and general director of p-consulting. He is the National Representative of EfVET in Greece since the end of 2013.

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