Read the press release about the event including the presentations, conclusions of the conference, photos, videos etc.
Programme of the conference: Programme_Partnership.doc (169.50 KB)
Background paper for the conference: conference_bg_paper.pdf (1.64 MB)
This conference is a flagship event of the Czech Presidency in the field of education. The conference is held for more than 200 participants and decision makers from various educational institutions, companies and authorities from the EU. It will focus on the topic of creating a partnership between education institutions and employers. In particular, the participants will discuss the issue of motivation of education institutions and employers to actively cooperate, the recognition of learning outcomes and qualification frameworks from the perspective of the employers. A special attention will be further given to the development of key competences and transversal skills at all levels of education.
GENERAL CONTEXT OF THE CONFERENCE
Present-day Europe faces several fundamental challenges. It needs to adjust to new global trends influenced mainly by
unfavourable demographic development and growing world-wide migration (on a world-wide scale) and it should
positively respond to changes in the social spheres, dynamic development of information and communication
technologies and necessary protection of the environment. Besides that, last year the economies of Europe and the
rest of the world were hit by the crisis, which has a far-reaching impact on each individual and society as a whole.
A number of Member States are experiencing a significant economic downturn with an increasing unemployment rate,
which has a negative influence on social cohesion. Only those countries that will purposefully support the
development of human resources have the potential to survive in world-wide competition.
In these difficult times the desirable development of human resources depends on the quality of educational institutions and their openness towards the outside world. This openness, demonstrated among other things in active cooperation and partnership between the fields of education and employment, has the potential to meet a number of expectations - to improve the quality of an education system so that it could provide employers with highly qualified and flexible workers, foster in their graduates entrepreneurship as a way of thinking, creativity and efforts to develop entrepreneurship initiatives and thus together within the framework of this partnership, face challenges and dynamically respond to the requirements imposed on individual countries.
The conference Partnership between Education and Training Institutions and Employers will focus on the importance of developing competences and skills, moral values and a loyal attitude towards work in the course of the lifelong learning process, which should bring an individual not only a personal fulfilment but support his or her chances of finding a suitable job as well. Incorporating all citizens into the working environment is a key to their full personality development which consequently contributes to overall social cohesion.
The conference will be opened by the Czech Minister for education, youth and sports Ondřej Liška, Member of European Commissioner Ján Figeľ and high representatives of business. The conference will continue after the opening session with the three thematically focused workshops:
The conference will host 3 workshops on following topics:
WORKSHOP A: Recognition and relevance of learning outcomes from the view of employers, development of
qualification frameworks and involvement of employers
Developing knowledge, skills and competences can take place in different settings and contexts, formal, non-formal as well as informal. In recent years there has been a growing appreciation that learning in non-formal and informal settings is seen as crucial for the realisation of lifelong learning. The validation of non-formal or informal learning is closely linked with the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and National Qualification Frameworks (NQFs). This system promotes the validation of non-formal and informal learning and shifts the focus from the traditional approach which emphasises 'learning inputs' such as the length of a learning experience, or type of institution. EQF acts also as a translation device to make national qualifications more readable across Europe, promoting workers' and learners' mobility between countries and facilitating their lifelong learning. What role should the employers play in developing NQFs and recognising learning outcomes? How are they involved in the process of creating and implementing NQFs and how are they being informed about it?
WORKSHOP B: Motivation aspects: How to enhance the cooperation between education institutions and employers and which barriers still exist in this field
Bearing in mind the obvious benefits active cooperation and partnership between education and training institutions and employers or enterprises bring, it is crucial to identify first the persisting barriers which hinder the smooth functioning of the partnership, and second the ways to overcome the barriers and the instruments to motive both sides. The barriers to the development of such cooperation may be found in legislation, administrative rules or simply in the prevalent traditions and practices of the education sector. The workshop should explore the creation of financial and other forms of incentives to secure the involvement of employers in education and training. The possible use of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with regard to education and training should be also discussed.
WORKSHOP C: Anticipation of skills needs with regard to employability; development skills within
Skills upgrading is critically important for Europe's short-term recovery and longer term growth and productivity, for its jobs and its capacity to adapt to change, for equity and social cohesion. However, upgrading skills is not enough. We need to ensure a better match between the supply of skills and labour market demand as well, in order to increase the employability of all individuals. How can the active cooperation and partnership between education and training institutions and employers or enterprises contribute to better identification of the skills needs and upgrading skills?
The conference will be concluded by a panel discussion with high representatives of business, students, universities and schools. The panellists will dwell on the main issue of the conference, which are the various forms of cooperation between education and training institutions (e.g. practical training, mobility schemes, professionals in the teaching process, etc.) as a means to acquisition of key competences, skills and values.
The event is prepared with financial contribution from the European Commission (Directorate-General for Education and Culture)
Mgr. Tomáš Bouška
Spokesperson of the MEYS for the CZ PRES
tel.: +420 257 193 426
fax: +420 257 193 753