Shaping change in VET for the next 5 years – The Osnabrück declaration

The Osnabrück declaration is the most recent piece of VET policy in the whole of the EU, as part of the Copenhagen process started in 2002. It focuses on resilience through innovative and flexible VET, establishing a lifelong learning culture, a green link in VET and a European and international dimension in vocational education and training. 

On the 30th of November, a virtual endorsement ceremony for the Osnabrück Declaration took place where our board member Bicca Olin gave a speech on behalf of OBESSU and the European Apprentices Network EAN. In the speech, Bicca addressed some key elements from the statement on the declaration.

“Osnabruck is about shaping change. And this change cannot be implemented without a strong commitment from Member States and all stakeholders to ensure lifelong learning, equality, fair wages and employment conditions, social dialogue and equally accessible mobility opportunities for all.

When we talk about shaping change, we also need to talk about who is shaping VET. We still see big variations and even complete lack of student involvement in influencing the VET-systems on local and national levels. This is the absolute key to putting this declaration into action. I also want to take the opportunity to re-emphasize that the purpose of apprenticeship schemes is not only to foster employability. Lifelong learning is not only a need, but a right for everyone, and that includes VET learners. ” said Bicca.

They further addressed the impact of VET on sustainability and the tools required for VET to become a frontrunner on sustainability issues, as well as the impact of the current pandemic on the measures going forward.

“When it comes to sustainability: VET can be a frontrunner but only if learners and educators are equipped with adaptability skills and more importantly, equipped with the skills to participate in the public debate. Schools and employers are not separate from society, however we need to make sure that everyone regardless of school path, is part of changing our society towards a more sustainable future. 

Lastly, the pandemic is and will be impacting learners and VET learners specifically for a long time going forward, especially those in less privileged environments. This needs to be reflected in the implementation of this declaration, to ensure that the results can benefit all learners equally.” said Bicca.

OBESSU and the EAN are looking forward to working on implementing the declaration together with Member States and social partners, always bringing the critical perspective of learners to the table and making sure more and more young people are heard at all levels.

Read the statement on the declaration here>>

Read the Osnabrück declaration here>>

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