Tuesday 26 May 2020

What is the European Vocational Skills Week?

Pictured above: Julian Mallia

Monday 14th to Friday 18th October 2019

This coming week will be marking the European Vocational Skills Week (EVSW), an annual initiative by the European Commission to raise awareness of the benefits of vocational education and training (VET). It will highlight the immense opportunities that VET provides for young people, adults and businesses.

As part of the week, several activities are also taking place across EU’s 28 Member States. During the coming days, Malta VET Ambassador Julian Mallia, aka Julinu, together with other national Ambassadors are actively raising awareness in their respective countries about the opportunities that VET can provide for young people as well as for adults to discover their talents.

The motto of the week is “Discover your Talent!” and this year it is centred around the theme “VET for all – Skills for Life”. Julian Mallia explained: “VET provides an opportunity for people of all ages to invest in their interests and combine talent with livelihood. I think it makes sense for anyone interested to check out the range of courses available – they can actually lead to high-quality jobs and increased employability.”

The aim of the EVSW is to make all VET stakeholders realise the enormous potential of investing in human resources by engaging in initial skills provision for the young as well as upskilling and reskilling at large. 

“Within an ever-changing work environment, investing in skills and continuous learning is a sensible approach,” said Julian Mallia who followed his talent in visual art and graduated from MCAST Institute of Art and Design, now renamed Institute of Creative Arts. “Gone are the days where you’d work for 20 years within the same company doing exactly the same thing, over and over again. So finding an area of expertise that interests you and inspires you to keep on learning will be more likely to pay off in the long run.”

Closer ties between VET and businesses are a prime way to ensure that VET provides skills that are relevant to today’s labour market.  Work-based learning and apprenticeship schemes ensure the closest links between education and the world of work.

VET in the EU One in four adults in Europe is caught in a low-skills trap, unable to find employment or progress in their career. VET represents a way out and brings multiple benefits for both the employers and the individuals (2016 Survey of Adult Skills, OECD and European Commission)
40% of Europe’s employers can’t find people with the right skills to fill their vacancies. Citizens of all ages can look towards vocational education and training to improve their job prospects or fast-track their careers.
87% of vocational graduates are happy with the skills they acquire.
  Young people with a vocational qualification earn 25% more than those with only a low level of education 

 “VET institutions, like MCAST, are in touch with what industries currently require and what they will need in the future – thus narrowing the gap between industry and education. This will lead to better-skilled workers, making Malta more competitive on an international level in a range of new emerging jobs,” said Julian Mallia.

Julian Mallia is one of a group of Ambassadors from different EU Member States who have volunteered to spread the word about VET in their home countries. The European Commission and the national authorities selected Julian for the prestigious role in Malta to his inspiring profile. His work can be viewed on www.julinu.com

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