Workshop on the comparison of professional qualifications organised by CEDEFOP

On 28th and 29th November CEDEFOP organised a Workshop in Thessaloniki where different European and international experts were invited, among them Joan Antoni Serra, from notus-asr.

This workshop explored the comparison among the content of qualifications across European countries, an area that has been part of the work of this European institution for more than two decades. More specifically, the sessions focused on the question of how can we develop reliable and scalable methods to map, analyse and compare the content of vocational education and training (VET) qualifications to better understand similarities and differences, strengths and weaknesses across borders.

For two days, participants discussed the data sources on national qualifications, concerning their content and profile, and the establishment of a common European reference system for comparing them. The debate focused on the differences among national skills priorities, and on how education and training systems respond to changing skills needs and to the internationalisation of labour markets and technologies.

Participants concluded that a better alignment between education and training supply and labour market demand is needed. The dialogue between education and training professionals and employers needs to be closer. Participants also highlighted the social partners’ role in defining qualifications and the need to have them on board.

Another aspect that was highlighted is the need for many EU Member States to certify the foreign workers’ qualifications due to the high number of refugees and skilled workers seeking employment in those countries. In this respect, participants would welcome better descriptions and comparability. In order to facilitate the task, participants proposed to create clusters of skills, to start work at sectoral level only or to reflect on a new role for the Europass supplement to allow jobseekers to provide more details on their skills

The presentations can be consulted on CEDEFOP’s website