The renewed goals of the EU action in the field of vocational education and training (VET) aim to remove the sector’s obstacles to mobility to allow a European VET area to be in place by 2010.
The second follow-up conference of the Copenhagen Process took place in Helsinki on 4-5 December 2006 and brought together education ministers, the Commission and social partners to discuss ways to ease the comparison of vocational qualifications across Europe and to remove obstacles to mobility so that people can acquire vocational qualifications in any member state and have them recognised in all. This is expected to lead to improved mobility on the European job market.
The conference adopted a Helsinki Communiqué on Enhanced European Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training defining the common VET objectives for member states for the next two years. The Communiqué calls for a “more focused approach with a limited number of priority areas and clear targets that should be ensured”.
The reviewed priorities highlight the need to improve the attractiveness and quality of VET and call for the continuous development of common European tools “to pave the way towards a European area of VET and to support the competitiveness of the European labour market”. The aim is to have the agreed tools in place by 2010.
The new priorities also underline the importance of mutual learning and the active involvement in the Copenhagen Process of all stakeholders, in particular social partners, sector organisations and VET providers.