The main objective of the event, followed by more than 250 registered participants, was strengthening the cooperation, relations and the exchange of knowledge about the VET and career guidance policies between the four delegations in times of pandemic and post-pandemic recovery.
The session was organized by the Public Agency for Vocational Training and Qualification of Catalonia in the framework of the Catalan rotating presidency for the Four Motors for Europe. According to Gerard Figueras, Secretary for Foreign Action of the Government of Catalonia, the event is an excellent example of how our regions can contribute towards achieving the Agenda 2030 objectives by collaborating and exchanging information in the field of career guidance.
The webinar was an opportunity to discuss the common problems in Vocational Education and Training (VET) for the 4ME. Considering those shared difficulties, each region presented the different solutions that they were implementing and the results obtained. The main challenge discussed was the need of increasing the social recognition of VET among young people and their families but also among adults looking for career guidance. To cope with this problem, the webinar opened a round table moderated by Alèxia Malivern, technical advisor at the Public Agency for Vocational Training and Qualification of Catalonia.
The representatives of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region were Marie-Laure Gironde, Head of Orientation and Regional Animation of the Training and Orientation and Philippe Laumond, Director of public support and access to employment. They presented the “Orientation Bus”, an initiative which consisted of a mobile platform that provides training and orientation support. During the presentation, Philippe Laumond described the idea as a success by describing it as “a great tool to communicate”. The fact that the “Orientation Bus” is mobile is an opportunity to reach the rural areas, where it can sometimes be more difficult for the population to be aware of the different opportunities. Inside the bus, the visitor can discover the different training opportunities through a 3D experience.
Baden-Württemberg exposed the idea of “VET Training Ambassadors” as an effective solution that aims to motivate the young generations for Vocational Education and Training. The initiative was presented by Karsten Altenburg, Head of the Vocational Training Unit at the Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism. He defined as that the best part of this initiative the excellent communication between the Ambassadors and the audience since they communicate on an equal basis (sometimes the age difference between them is as little as 2 years).
The Lombardy region also considers that sharing real-life experiences is a good strategy to reverse the social perception of VET. Brunella Reverberi, manager of the Unit “Dual System and development of vocational training” of the Directorate General for Training and Employment presented the “It’s 4 Future” project, which focuses on sharing the message on social media platforms. In addition, Brunella Reverberi explained that, as part of the project, the regional government was in direct contact with the Chamber of Commerce and with different business lobbies in order to collect data that can be useful to make better predictions on which will be the future need of workforce demand.
In the case of Catalonia, the region had three representatives: Maria Pascual, Teaching Advisor from the Ministry of Education, Marta Masagué, responsible for the Care and Support Service for Young People from the Ministry of Business and Employment, and Pili Carballo, technical advisor at the Public Agency for Vocational Training and Qualification. The region presented the “Fair model FPCAT”, as one of the best strategies that the Catalan region has to promote career guidance and participation in vocational training and access to professional orientation. The fair model seeks for the promotion of the following six values: Career guidance, person centred, hands on experience, sectoral organization, promotion of strategic jobs and public-private collaboration.
At the end of the exchange of the different initiatives, the moderator Alèxia Malivern welcomed the open exchanges of initiatives between the regions and also raised some questions from the audience to the speakers.
The institutional closing of the event was given by Fabian Mohedano, Executive President of the Public Agency of Vocational Training and Professional Qualification of Catalonia.