European Education, Training and Youth Forum 2014 Report

ETYF 2014The third edition of the European Education, Training and Youth (ETY) Forum took place in Brussels on 9th and 10th of October 2014. The theme of the Forum was Future priorities of the ET2020 Strategic Framework for European Cooperation in Education and Training and Synergies with Youth Policy. The event hosted forward looking discussions to identify key priority areas for policy cooperation as part of the review of the Framework for European Cooperation in Education and Training (ET2020). It gathered more than 350 participants representing different types of stakeholders and organisations active in education, training and youth.

Key messages from the Forum

The value of the Strategic Framework for European Cooperation in Education and Training (ET2020) as an integrated framework: Forum participants underlined the great value of having a holistic strategic framework covering education and training in all contexts, sectors and dimensions. Participants advocated strong links between the education and training sectors, and between youth work and employment. They also argued for an increased cooperation between the various stakeholders.

A holistic approach is crucial for building a bridge between education, training, youth work and the labour market, and for increasing dialogue among stakeholders. This approach implies collaboration involving formal, non-formal and informal education and training, the education and youth sectors, different levels of education, different Commission services and different Ministries at national level. Several stakeholders acknowledged the value of existing EU tools, cross-policy synergies and multiprofessional cooperation, but also emphasized the need to improve the cooperation framework, by promoting networking, cross-sector collaboration and cooperative learning opportunities.

Remaining challenges

In the context of ET2020, the following main challenges are still outstanding:

  • Employability and transition between education and the labour market,
  • The social dimension of education and training, for example the provision of equal access to education and training opportunities for all, and the provision of civic competences against the background of growing mistrust of the EU – especially among young people – and of rising extremism,
  • Supporting low-achievers in gaining basic and transversal skills and combating early school leaving more effectively,
  • Diversifying and professionalising the teaching profession and finding solutions to cope with the increasing diversity in the classroom/learning environment.

Issues neglected during the past ET2020 work cycle

The areas perceived as having been neglected during the past ET2020 work cycle include:

  • The social and equity dimension of education and training, the civic objectives of learning, and the consideration of countries’ socio-economic situations when designing education and training policies,
  • Cross-sector cooperation and partnerships between all types of stakeholders,
  • Recognition of non-formal and informal skills, competences and learning outcomes,
  • The use of technology in education, in particular ICT,
  • The investment in and support to entrepreneurship education,
  • The attractiveness of and support to the teaching profession.

Priorities for the next ET2020 work cycle

The next ET 2020 work cycle should focus on the following priorities and expected outcomes:

  • Developing a holistic approach linking education, training, youth work and employment, and increasing cross-sector cooperation between stakeholders,
  • Strengthening the social dimension of education and training and delivering on the strategic objective ‘Promote equity, social cohesion and active citizenship’ of ET2020. This also means promoting learning interventions for those not in 2 employment and enhancing the recognition and validation of non-formal and informal learning outcomes, especially for low-qualified youth/adults and marginalised groups,
  • Providing additional support, especially from national authorities, to ensure the professionalization of teachers (e.g. pedagogical and digital skills),
  • Encouraging the transnational mobility of learners and educators,
  • Supporting entrepreneurship education at all levels (starting at primary school level),
  • Improving learning outcomes relative to resources used (efficiency).

ET2020 working methods/governance

The Forum participants confirmed the importance of ET2020 for mutual learning through peer learning activities and sharing of best practices. They also recognised the key role played by the European Commission in promoting these activities.

On the other hand, participants emphasised the need to improve the ET2020 governance and working methods by:

  • Focussing on a limited number of priorities and on implementation, in the sectors where the EU can add value,
  • Developing a more systematic approach to enhance peer learning; setting up platforms to learn, exchange ideas and share good practice examples,
  • Communicating results and disseminating successful policies and best practices more effectively – at both national and EU level – using clearer language to allow key messages to reach a wider audience.

Stakeholder involvement

The key messages related to stakeholder involvement can be divided in two groups. On the one hand, the Forum participants advocated a better involvement of the stakeholders in the ET 2020 governance process and working methods, including suggestions for:

  • Involving different actors in the next ET2020 work cycle – notably parents and families, youth organisations, companies and the self-employed, and social partners,
  • Widening the range of stakeholder groups involved in ET2020 debates, for example by enhancing collaboration with representatives from informal and non-formal education, training and youth work,
  • Consulting educators on what they want to achieve and how.

On the other hand, the participants suggested a number of substantive ET2020 policy priorities concerning stakeholders, including:

  • Promoting cooperation mechanisms and increasing synergies across policies and between stakeholders from the variety of formal, informal and non-formal sectors,
  • Developing a community-based approach to education and the delivery of integrated services, and support to adult participation. This may involve reinforcing the links between schools and families to assist disadvantaged parents in helping their children to succeed,
  • Promoting active citizenship to support learners’ commitment in society.

Workshops took place on the following topics, and gathered stakeholders’ key policy proposals and processes and synergies:

  1. Promoting excellence and innovation
  2. Tackling the low-skills gap
  3. Supporting a new generation of educators
  4. Recognising and valuing skills and competences
  5. Promoting equity, social cohesion and active citizenship

European Education, Training and Youth Forum 2014 webpage

DG EAC Education, Training and Youth Forum 2014 event page (including video)

Poitiers, 27-28 August – European Forum for Engaged Young People

AFEV_logo_HDAs part of the European Forum for Engaged Young People due to take place in the University of Poitiers on 27 and 28 August next, the French SIRIUS partner, Association de la Fondation Etudiante pour la ville (AFEV), will be highlighting the issue of inclusion and exclusion of migrants in education in it’s SIRIUS National Round Table on Migrant Education.

Under the title Integrating migrants: Our responsibility to host, AFEV will lead work sessions dealing with:

  • The state of affairs of reception and accompanying migrants in France
  • Social marginalisation and educational accompaniment – Schools as the first integration lever for migrant children
  • What solutions exist today? Is our reception good enough? What can France learn from European experiences

Download Programme

SALTO-YOUTH New Publication – We Are All Europeans

salto youthThe We Are All Europeans booklet aims to convey a positive and empowering image of youth with a migrant and minority background by highlighting how youth projects can empower young people to see cultural diversity as an asset, and migration as an opportunity.

In Europe, there continues to be inequality faced by young people from a migrant background, who are often victims of discrimination and are stereotyped negatively by the media.

It was in this context that SALTO Cultural Diversity felt the need to create the We Are All Europeans booklet. It aims to:

  • inspire ideas to set up youth projects;
  • inform about funding opportunities;
  • inform more about migrant and minority youth in the EU;
  • give tips and inspiration to include and value culturally diverse youth.

The guide is designed to support young people and youth workers to create intercultural youth projects using effective educational and project planning tools and, if applicable, Youth in Action funding.

The structure of the guide follows the project planning cycle and is divided into three main parts:

  • Five key actions, around the themes of ‘empowering’, ‘informing’, ‘including’, ‘bringing communities together’ and ‘participating’ (ideas generation and project planning);
  • Funding for your youth project (financial tools to transform ideas into reality);
  • Reaching more young people and connecting to others (project promotion and dissemination).

Download the Booklet

Via Salto Youth

Education, Training and Youth Forum 2013 – Working together for reforms

ETYForum

The Education, Training and Youth Forum took place in Brussels on 17 and 18 October 2013, and brought together 350 policy-makers and stakeholders from 34 European countries to discuss key policy developments linked to the Europe 2020 strategy, the strategic framework for European cooperation in Education and Training (ET2020) and the European Youth strategy. Under the title “Working together for Reforms”, the Forum emphasised the need for policy-makers and key stakeholders to work in partnership, in order to foster the successful implementation of reforms at national and regional level, in particular through the opportunities offered by the new EU education, training and youth programme 2014-2020 “Erasmus+”.

IMG_1867Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, opened the Forum by highlighting the increased European Union support which will be available from January under the new Erasmus+ programme. The Commissioner also presented the outcomes of her High-Level meeting on education and training on 16 October with the leaders of the European Social Partners.

Five parallell workshops took place on the afternoon of 17 October on key policy issues:

  1. Transversal skills and employability
  2. Work based learning
  3. Cooperation and synergies between formal and non-formal education to reduce early school leaving
  4. How will Erasmus+ support worldwide university cooperation?
  5. Access and inclusion of education and training systems

IMG_1910

SIRIUS took part in the Workshop on Access and Inclusion which highlighted the importance of learner-centred policies that allow everyone to become European learning citizens. The main outcomes called for the creation of learning partnerships which include all levels of society, supporting document competence for education gained outside schools and encouraging a change of attitudes towards the recognition of competences.

The final Roundtable that took place on 18 October was given the title “A stronger link between policy and programme. Contributing to the objectives of Europe 2020 regarding education, employment and social inclusion through partnerships at European, national and regional level”. One panel member, the Executive Director of ILGA – Europe, Evelyne Paradis, reminded everyone that ethnic minority and other disadvantaged groups need particular help in accessing education and should not be overlooked when formulating and implementing policies.

Documents and programmes of interest to SIRIUS that were referred to during the Forum include:

 

References from EUCIS-LLL, the European Commission – Education and Training webpage and other material gathered at the Forum.