My experience representing the Network in Canada – by Anna Mäkipää, Finland

The Canada-EU dialogue on Employment, Social Affair and Decent Work was organised in Ottawa – Canada – from the 14th to the 16th of November 2018. The aims of the meeting were sharing best practices and exchange on common issues related to gender, in particular participation of women in the labour market, vocational education and training, apprenticeships and lifelong learning between Canada and the EU. Also, the existing network of policy experts and stakeholders had a great networking opportunity and we heard various perspectives on these topics.

I had a very interesting possibility to participate the meeting as representative of European Apprentices Network. In my presentation, I introduced our network, the seven key priorities and told about my own learning pathway as an example.

The presentations and discussions were focused on gender issues and lifelong learning, including, of course, apprenticeships. Many thoughts and ideas were raised, and I picked up some of them here:

  • How do we ensure that the apprentices get lifelong learning skills? Of course, we put much effort on curricula and learning outcomes but how do we make sure, that apprentices have the skills not only to maintain but also learn completely new competences in the future. As we know there is always the unknown factor: we don’t know, what kind of competences are needed in the future.
  • Often the excellence of apprenticeships and the inclusion of education are seemed as opposite topics. Is it so? What does happen if part of the excellence would be measured by the fact how inclusive the apprenticeship training is? Undoubtedly the societies are stronger when everyone has possibility to participate inside them and the diversity is considered.
  • What comes the reputation and attractiveness of apprenticeships, it is crucial that the apprentices are involved themselves. It is more effective to plan the promoting actions to potential apprentices by apprentices. Also the role models are needed when the knowledge of apprenticeship training want to be enhanced.

Anna Mäkipää, Finland
Apprentice
Specialist vocational qualification in management

Photo: European delegation on site visit in Shopify

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