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News article2 October 2019European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion2 min read

European Vocational Skills Week 2019 promotes lifelong vocational education and training

The fourth edition of the European Vocational Skills Week will take place from 14–18 October 2019 in Helsinki, Finland. Hosted by the European Commission in partnership with the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU.

European Vocational Skills Week 2019 promotes lifelong vocational education and training
European Union

Launched in 2016, the European Vocational Skills Week is an annual campaign designed to promote VET through a combination of events taking place all over Europe: locally, regionally and nationally. The campaign brings together education and training providers, civil society organisations, public authorities, business organisations, trade unions, and the broader public to highlight the benefits of VET and showcase opportunities from across Europe.

Last year, over 1,800 events and activities were organised in the context of the 2018 campaign, reaching more than 2.4 million people. So far this year, almost 500 events and activities have already been registered, with many more expected to take place throughout the rest of the year and during the Week itself.

A smart choice for all

Despite almost 80% of young VET graduates finding employment soon after graduating, VET is still sometimes seen as a ‘second choice’ when compared to more traditional career pathways. The European Vocational Skills Week aims to change this perception among both potential employees and employers.

“The central theme of our campaign this year is ‘VET for All – Skills for Life’,” Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, says. “This is because I want vocational education and training to become a valid first choice for both young people and adults. I truly believe that VET provides a stepping stone for meaningful careers and fulfilling lives.”

Filling the skills gaps

The EU is working hard to reduce the skills gaps in the European economy caused by rapid changes in labour market needs. The European Vocational Skills Week highlights how VET can help employers to respond to the constantly evolving skills needs by providing upskilling and reskilling opportunities for existing employees. This can help people of all ages to adapt to changes in the labour market, enhance their potential and perform high-quality jobs. In addition, it can help businesses to retain their competitive edge in today’s fast-changing economy.

A message of excellence

The Week will also showcase success in VET by recognising commitments from people, organisations and projects throughout Europe during the Awards for VET Excellence. The awards will celebrate achievements in VET based on a number of different categories, with award winners selected according to votes from a jury of independent members and the public.

“The European Vocational Skills Week will serve as a platform to share our message of excellence in VET and I want this message to resonate across Europe, from north to south and east to west,” Commissioner Thyssen concludes. “Three years ago, we pioneered this ambitious initiative and every year it gets better. Every year our message reaches more people and more people engage with VET.”

Get involved!


For more information on European Vocational Skills Week 2019, check out the following links:

European Vocational Skills Week 2019 website

European Vocational Skills Week 2019 events map

European Vocational Skills Week 2019 resources

Facebook Event Page: European Vocational Skills Week 2019

Finnish Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2019 website

Follow Marianne Thyssen on Facebook and Twitter

European Vocational Skills Week on Twitter: #EUVocationalSkills, #DiscoverYourTalent


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