The Role of VET in Regional Development. Conclusions from the VET Leaders’ Webinar 4

Network of Networks / Annual meeting  / The Role of VET in Regional Development. Conclusions from the VET Leaders’ Webinar 4

Last October Network of Networks held its fourth webinar, focused on how vocational education contributes to regional development, taking the Osnabrück Declaration as the thread of the webinar.

The keynote speaker, Perttu Pölönen, opened the event. Mr. Pölönen is a Finnish futurist, inventor and author. He shared with us his view on the competences of the future, highlighting the importance of those which makes us humans, such as empathy, creativity, sense of humour or compassion: “Along history, we´ve gone from the era of the muscle to the era of the brain and now it´s the era of the heart”.

After such an inspiring speech, VET leaders attending the webinar were even more clear than ever on how important personal and social competences are in order to success in education, at work and in life.

Continuing the webinar, Mrs. Miriam Korstanje, from the Dutch organization Katapult, introduced the concept of Centres of Vocational Excellence and their role in the regional development, as an appetizer which led us to a panel discussion dealing with the four main objectives of the Osnabrück Declaration on vocational education and training: 1. resilience and excellence through quality, inclusive, and flexible VET, 2. establishing a new lifelong learning culture, 3. sustainability, and 4. European Education and the international dimension of VET.

Moderated by Isaac May, from Belfast MET, guest speakers from Tknika (Basque Country), Salpaus College (Finland), Belfast MET (Northern Ireland) and Rotterdam region (the Netherlands) shared their views on key questions such as the role of VET colleges in the dual transition, our capacity to adapt and anticipate change or our role in lifelong learning and training needs arising from workplaces.

Along an interesting and fruitful discussion, the main points highlighted by the panellists were:

  • The necessity of cooperation with local and regional stakeholders.
  • The necessity of skilling and/or reskilling people with green skills.
  • The involvement of VET colleges in sustainability since the point of view of school management and the integration of sustainability skills in the curricula.
  • The importance of the human dimension in education.
  • The permeability between vocational education and higher education.
  • And the necessity for companies to count with mechanisms to validate the learning outcomes acquired by their own workers as part of their lifelong learning and the role VET colleges play in this personal development plans.  

The whole content of the webinar is available in this link:

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