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Commissioner Figel’ emphasizes vocation education training in Helsinki

Key note speaker, Commission Figel’ took the opportunity of the 38th WorldSkills competition to highlight European innovation in education and training. The WorldSkills competition brings together young and talented people from all over the world to test their technical and communication skills. The competition is a celebration of ability and ingenuity and competitors may go on to act as ambassadors for their respective skills, promoting excellence in vocational education and training in their own countries. The biennial competition, hosted this year in Helsinki was an opportunity for Commissioner Figel’ to put vocational education and training in the limelight.

Vocational training in a European dimension - “Training is faced with the challenge of combining traditional trades and skills with modern technologies. Young people should be trained not only in the skills of their choice, they should also be ready to adapt to an ever–changing work environment. European policies on learning are geared towards growth and prosperity. These are means to achieve excellence and to offer more learning opportunities to facilitate social inclusion. The European Union is built of high values of solidarity and social inclusion is clearly one of them. We must be mindful that not all citizens have the ability of the young people who will be competing here in Helsinki. Vocational training and particularly informal learning are essential to motivate and help all citizens develop their skills.”

Education and Training 2010 and the Bologna Process are the driving policy tools behind European level education and training reform and will play a key role in how European education and training takes shape in the half-decade ahead.

Commissioner Figel's speech, Helsinki
WorldSkills Competition 2005