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Find out where Vocational Training is going: Towards a green and digital transition

The European Week of Vocational Training will take place from November 9th to 13th, with more than 900 events from 38 countries and more than 1,800,000 participants, in which Fundación Laboral is an 'official partner' for its Innovation Week. The big launch of this fifth edition is the Pact for Competences.


These days are the European Vocational Skills Week (EVSW2020), organised by the European Commission, in cooperation with the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU). This is an annual event at which European local, regional and national bodies publicise major innovation in Vocational Education and Training (VET) and demonstrate the potential of this training pathway. It also provides an opportunity to exchange information and good practice across Europe and beyond.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, for its fifth edition they have chosen to organize conferences, workshops and events 100% online, on essential topics for the debate on VET, lifelong learning, skills and labour market developments.

This year's theme is "VET for green and digital transitions", in line with the Commission's priorities on the European Green Pact and a Europe fit for the digital age. In addition to this EVSW2020, 910 events and activities from 38 partner countries have been organised, with 1,809,212 participants. Among them, the Commission has selected the Construction’s Innovative Training Week, organised by Fundación Laboral, to be included in the map of events. The results of the European projects Health and Safety Blueprint, VRoad, Women Can Build, Construction Blueprint, Construye 2020+, CDWaste and Si!BIM were presented, making the entity an 'official partner' of the EVSW. The Foundation has been participating in the European Vocational Training Week since 2018, through the events organised by the International Projects department.

Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, opened the Week at an event organised jointly with representatives from Luxembourg, as well as the most relevant sessions of this edition. One was the European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAFA) event on "Green and digital twin learning and transition", which examined how businesses, training providers, social partners and national authorities are supporting green and digital competences in learning, to highlight challenges and opportunities and identify good practice across the EU that can inspire action. The second is the launch of the Pact for Skills.

Other related issues are also being addressed, such as: the importance of ecological and digital competences in learning, research on European VET and training opportunities, identification of strengths and blind spots of different approaches in VET, validation of non-formal and informal learning, EU funding and support opportunities for VET, European good practice, internationalisation of VET and methodologies such as Work Based Learning (WBL) for the future, among others.

Empowering teachers and construction SMEs

During the European Vocational Skills Week, José Antonio Viejo, Director of Training and Employment Department at Fundación Laboral, participated on Tuesday 10th November, in the virtual meeting on "Green, digital and communication skills for trainers/tutors in the construction sector", organized by the European Builders Confederation (EBC), as a social entity of the Erasmus+ Condap project.

During his intervention at the round table, Viejo argued the role of online training as a response to the needs of the sector: "The key is that we do not need apprentice mentors in SMEs to come to the vocational training centres. In other words, we have to give them the opportunity to access virtual training, which allows them to choose the time and place to take it".

In terms of sustainability, the director of Training and Employment of the joint entity wanted to highlight the work of the Foundation in this area with two of the European projects led in energy efficiency, renewable energy systems and buildings with almost zero energy consumption: Bus.Trainers, focused on training for trainers in the sector, through the qualification of the Eco-Trainer; and Build Up Skills, a European initiative launched in 2011 and continued in three projects: Build Up Skills, Build Up Skills Spain "Construye 2020" and Construye 2020+, the third of these initiatives, currently under development, which covers the current training needs of workers.

The event was also attended by Roman Horvath, Policy Officer at the European Commission's Directorate-General for the Internal Market, Industry, Enterprise and SMEs, who presented the Construction Blueprint project, coordinated by Fundación Laboral, which for Horvath is "the driving force to make construction compete with other sectors to attract young people, retain qualified professionals, change the negative image of the sector, and respond to the industry's future challenges in relation to employment, sustainability and digitalisation".

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