On 30 November 2020, EU Social Partners, together with the Ministers in charge of vocational education and training (VET) of the 27 and the European Commission, signed the ‘Osnabrück Declaration on vocational education and training as an enabler of recovery and just transitions to digital and green economies’. Following up on the High-level conference held in Osnabrück on 16-17 September 2020, the Osnabrück Declaration restates the joint commitment to “contribute to the post-COVID recovery and to further develop the European Education and Training Area through future-oriented and innovative education and training systems in order to support the digital and green transition and improve employability and competitiveness and thus stimulate economic growth.”

During a dedicated online ceremony, Valeria Ronzitti, CEEP General Secretary, said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected our VET systems due to the lockdown measures and the closure of many enterprises and sites necessary for training. Despite these difficulties, we keep looking forward and attempt to see these difficulties as opportunities for innovation. The common priorities of the Osnabrück Declaration remain as important as ever.”

“We strongly welcome the objective to adopt a systemic approach to lifelong learning with a strong promotion of digital skills. The COVID-19 crisis has shown how important it is for all workers, students, teachers, and educators to tackle this challenge. Enterprises today need adaptative skillsets that combines technical, sector-specific skills, as well as transversal and soft skills and competences.”

“The potential of the education sector to contribute to this transformation will highly depend on the ability of the people working in the sector to guide this journey. To achieve these objectives, we also need effective investment that supports the development of equitable and sustainable education systems.”

“We count on the commitments of the Osnabruck declaration to address one of the greatest challenges in adult learning: increasing synergies between education and socio-economic actors, as many systems still exist without mechanisms for coordination between education providers and social partners.”

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