Speech delivered by Luca Visentini at Osnabrück Declaration event on Vocational Education and Training
Ministers, Commissioner, colleagues from the social partners.
I am glad that together we came up with the Osnabrück Declaration. I particularly thank the German Presidency for having brokered this agreement.
ETUC appreciates that this declaration addresses VET in a broad manner, covering both initial and continuous learning. Also, that it acknowledges the particular challenges that students, workers and the unemployed face in relation to skills development.
We are pleased to see that the Declaration sets out 4 objectives for VET. And that these objectives are in line with the first principle of the European Pillar of Social Rights; which stresses that every learner, regardless of age, has the right to quality and inclusive education, training and lifelong learning.
Indeed, quality and inclusive VET is even more important now that the pandemic has created further inequality in access to learning. Every person, irrespective of their work, or lack of it, of their contractual status, or gender, age, and socio-economic status; should have an equal opportunity to access high-quality VET.
Upskilling of workers is paramount now and in the future. We see many workers losing their job due to the pandemic and many others being affected by the green and digital transition.
We therefore call on you, Ministers, to ensure that VET schools are adequately funded. We ask you to fully implement the European Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeship.
We call on employers to provide financial and non-financial support for the upskilling and reskilling of their workers.
We note with satisfaction that the Declaration underlines that VET cannot be improved, nor equipped for the green and digital transition, without the strong involvement of the social partners. Therefore, Ministers, we ask you engage in effective social dialogue to implement the objectives of the Declaration. From our end you can count on our commitment.
Ladies and gentlemen, once again well done for the Osnabrück Declaration, which ETUC is happy to support.