Under the heading, Skills, jobs and sustainable development: global trends, local challenges, the UNESCO and the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) held a conference whose goal was to analyse trends in the labour market and the role of education to mitigate possible supply and demand skills mismatches.

The conference analysed the way in which countries use the information regarding their skills needs to examine and renew education and training and, moreover, how qualifications frameworks can facilitate coordination between education, training and the jobs market, from a national and international perspective.

The Director of the Division for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems, David Atchoarena, stressed the importance of international cooperation and referred to the key role of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the context of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 and lifelong learning.  For Atchoarena, young people and adults require better skills so that they can participate fully in society and the economy. In all sectors, employers look for qualified employees who undertake permanent training. Increasingly often, governments see TVET as a policy instrument to encourage employment, inclusion and lifelong learning. What is at stake is very important, particularly for young people. Their transition from school to the working world gives rise to challenges affecting all countries.

For her part, Mara Brugia, the Deputy Director of Cedefop, states that all potential skills must be developed, thereby facilitating mobility among regions. “Qualifications frameworks based on learning outcomes together with policies to validate the skills people have acquired at work or elsewhere, may indeed help support talent and skills mobility. These frameworks can also help to make qualifications more relevant to labour market and learner needs. They could also become the new global skills currency. The joint work of UNESCO, the European Training Foundation (ETF) and Cedefop on qualifications frameworks beyond Europe could support this process,” said Cedefop’s Deputy Director.

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