The Vocational Education and Training Working Group (VET WG) met for the first time physically on 23rd-26th February as part of OBESSU’s 2018 Workplan. In November 2017’s Council of Members (COMEM), OBESSU membership identified VET as a priority topic to work on, and from this mandate the VET Working Group was formed. The meeting took place in Helsinki, Finland.

The Working Group members include Ema Tutic (ASuBiH), Giacomo Zolezzi (UDS), Sarah McCluney (NSoA), Bicca Olin (FSS) and Rico Martikainen (SAKKI) with Board Members Rob O’Donnell and Lasse Sjobeck. Secretariat support is provided by OBESSU Secretary General Ela Jakubek- Grootjans.

To start the weekend off, members learned about all what is happening in VET on a European scale. With dozens of acronyms of organisations and ongoing processes, it was an interesting session!

The working group reviewed all of OBESSU’s policy regarding VET and proposed changes where necessary. OBESSU began working strongly on VET in 2012 with the “Claim Your Voice” campaign, and even since then the conversation about VET in Europe has changed vastly. The Working Group will propose amendments to OBESSU’s documents at the next General Assembly to address these new areas.

Research into VET representation structures was also requested by our network at the most recent COMEM. In the coming months the Working Group members will research current structures of representation of VET students in Europe - and beyond. It is hoped this research will help school student unions who work in VET and also VET students in countries where there is limited opportunities to participate.

Sari Turunen-Swinger, a member of the Finnish Education Ministry also met with the Working Group on Sunday. She presented the Finnish VET system and its upcoming reforms, whilst OBESSU also presented our ongoing work in VET on a European level.

The Working Group will also attend the European Youth Event (EYE) in Strasbourg, France (1-2 June), leading an interactive workshop on VET issues. Watch this space!

The Working Group meets next at the EYE, but will be working continuously until then!

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Written by Rob O’Donnell, OBESSU Board member