Conferences and seminars

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Is the future in your hands?

How can skills offer solutions to the economic and employment challenges facing young people in Europe?


About the conference and seminar programme
WorldSkills Europe will host a 2-day conference and seminar programme between the 4th and 5th October at EuroSkills 2012. The programme will be opened by a keynote conference on the 4th October.

The theme of this year’s conference will be ‘Is the future in your hands? How can skills offer solutions to the employment challenges facing young people in Europe?’

During the conference and seminar programme members of the WorldSkills Europe network will also present seminars and workshops. Topics range from ‘Initiatives for attracting and retaining young people in the construction sector’ to ‘Exploring the Europass and its role in promoting mobility across Europe’.

The event will be a great opportunity to hear experts and for policy makers, practitioners, employers and social partners
to come together to discuss key skills development issues.

The EuroSkills 2012 Conference Program is developed by:
City & Guilds Centre for Skills Development, London (UK)
WorldSkills Europe

Thursday October 4th

  • 10.00 – 12.00 am: WorldSkills Europe Keynote Conference
    Organiser: WorldSkills Europe – Languages: EN/FR

Is the future in your hands?

How can skills offer solutions to the economic and employment challenges facing young people in Europe?

EuroSkills is more than just a competition. By showcasing the technical excellence of young people from across Europe the competition has a vital role to play in raising awareness of the importance of high quality vocational education and training in Europe. Thousands of young people, parents and teachers are inspired by skills on display and leave the event with a better understanding of the role of skills education and training in driving European economies and ensuring they remain competitive.

Europe’s youth unemployment rate currently stands at 21%. According to Eurostat (Jan 2012), 5.507 million young people under the age of 25 are unemployed in the E27. 3.314 million in the Euro area. The highest rates can be observed in Spain, Greece and Slovakia. And the rates are set to rise as the economic turmoil across Europe is predicted to continue.

The question of how skills education and training can offer solutions to the economic challenges facing young people in Europe continues to be hotly debated.

This conference will provide an opportunity to discuss the role skills education, training and competitions can play in tackling the issue of youth unemployment. It brings together employers, practitioners, policy makers and young people from across Europe to explore differing perspectives, examine current initiatives across Europe and put forward practical suggestions for policy and practice.

Confirmed speakers and panellists include:

Mrs Liliane Volozinskis, Social Affairs Director, UEAPME,

Mr Vincent Bovy, Director General, Economic Stimulation Agency, Liege,

Mrs Christine Davatz, Vice Director, Swiss Association of Small and medium sized Enterprises,

Mr James Higgins, Policy Officer, Employment and Social Affairs, European Youth Forum and

Mr Alex Stimpson, Expert, Area Research and Policy Analysis, CEDEFOP.


Mr David Cragg CBE, Deputy Chairman, The Skills Show UK, will chair the session.
Keynote Conference Agenda

10.00 Welcome and Introductions

10.30 Opening address

10.30 Perspectives

11.00 Panel discussion: Practical solutions

11.20 Questions and answers

11.50 Refreshment, networking and guided competition VIP tour


  • 2.00 – 6.00 pm: EuroApprenticeship: Focus on a sectorial approach to make European mobility of apprentices a reality
    Organiser: European Builders Confederation – Languages: EN/FR – Seminar lead: Riccardo Viaggi, EBC

Improving the mobility of VET students between European countries is a key priority for the European Commission. This seminar offers the chance to learn more about EuroApprenticeship, a European network and a web-based platform financed by DG Education and Culture of the European Commission to promote and facilitate cross-country mobility of apprentices in Europe. The seminar will present 2 round tables. The first will particularly focus on construction SMEs, with the overall goal of encouraging mobility as a way to attract people and young workers to the construction sector. The second round table will subsequently extend the debate to address the value of a sectorial approach towards mobility of apprentices, in the framework of the future European Programme.

  • 4.00 – 5.00 pm: The reform of technical and professional education in Belgium
    Organiser: Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles – Languages: EN/FR – Seminar lead: Patrick Beaudelot, CFWB

The secondary education has begun to reform the technical and professional education in Belgium.

This reform is inspired by the ECVET process. This seminar will explore this development from a number of angles and include a discussion of the objectives, process and include an evaluation of the first year of experimentation, joint with the European level.

Friday October 5th

  • 10.00 – 12.00 am: Initiatives for attracting and retaining young people in the construction sector
    Organiser: European Construction Industry Federation – Languages: EN/FR – Seminar lead: Domenico Campogrande, FIEC

FIEC and its partners will discuss and explore 3-4 national initiatives/campaigns, mainly developed and undertaken by employers’ organisations from the construction industry, aiming at promoting the construction sector amongst young people and to encourage them to start a career in the sector. It will also include a presentation of a brochure on “Tutorship”, developed in partnership with the EU trade unions (EFBWW), presenting examples of best practices for accompanying young people when they enter for the first time in a construction company.

  • 10.00 – 12.00 am: Competences are no contingency. The implementation of National Qualification Frameworks in different European countries and regions
    Organiser: Institut für Aus- und Weiterbildung im Mittelstand und in KMU – Languages: EN/FR/DE – Seminar lead: Martina Radermacher, IAWM
    Followed by 2 workshops

This seminar will focus on NQF best practice. This session will be followed by lunch and workshops on two themes: NQF in Belgium and competency based vocational education and training. The seminar will be followed by two workshops (1.30 – 2.30 pm).

  • 11.30 – 12.30 am: New Directions: Young people’s and parents’ views of vocational education and careers guidance
    Organiser: City & Guilds Centre for Skills Development – Language: EN – Seminar lead: Heidi Agbenyo, City & Guilds Centre for Skills Development

City & Guilds accompanied two UK employers (Retail and Automotive sectors) to Germany to compare and contrast the experiences of apprentices and employers. This seminar will share the visit findings. The seminar will draw out:

·         What we can learn from each system

·         The implications for policy

·         The implications for qualification frameworks


  • 2.30 – 3.30 pm: Exploring Europass and its role in promoting mobility across Europe
    Organiser: SBB, member of the Dutch Europass Consortium  and the National Europass Center BE FR – Language: EN – Seminar lead: Indira von Oven: SBB Policy Advisor Department for Credential Evaluation & Patrick Meuwissen : Europass Manager NEC BE fr

What is Europass and how can it be used to promote the mobility of workers, students and young people within Europe?  This seminar seeks to raise awareness of Europass amongst employers, VET students, practitioners and the general public. Launched in 2005 by the European Commission, the five documents that form Europass are key instruments of its’ strategy to improve mobility within Europe. The conference will explore the instrument and the benefits to different groups, drawing on a few case studies from across Europe. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions.

  • 1.30 – 3.00 pm: What kind of good examples for the provision of technical skills can be given in diverse European countries and what can we learn from them?
    Organiser: Techniektalent – Languages: EN/FR/DE/NL – Seminar lead: Rob Verleg, Techniektalent

What are the challenges technical companies have to face with and how can we counter the lack of good educated technicians in the future? Techniektalent works in partnership with 8 organisations in Holland. They have noticed that skills shortages and declining numbers of school students undertaking technical training is a recurring theme across Europe – and one which will be compounded by ageing populations. This seminar will explore and discuss the issue of labour shortages across Europe and share experiences and practical solutions.

  • 3.00 – 4.00 pm: Microsoft Tech Talk: The Future is Now!
    Organiser: Microsoft Europe (UK) – Language: EN – Seminar lead: Drazen Dodik, Web Design Expert Finland, Microsoft Technical Evangelist

Come learn about the latest cutting-edge technology coming out of Microsoft and how you can be a part of the technology app revolution!  We’ll cover Windows 8, Windows Phone, and the Cloud.

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