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Building Learning Societies: Social inclusion through VET. New opportunities for NEETs

New publication: SOLIDAR Foundation – Social inclusion through VET – New opportunities for NEETs

In recent years, following the economic crisis, Europe has seen increasing unemployment especially among the young, an increasing portion of young people in Europe finding themselves in a NEET situation (not in employment, education or training) and widening inequalities within society.

Education has been among the many solutions put forward to combat these challenges; as a tool to ease the transition from education to the labour market and to match the skills of the people with the needs of employers, thus decreasing unemployment. In the discussion about vocational training, unemployment and economic growth, SOLIDAR Foundation wants to draw attention to the social challenges in and barriers to vocational training.

The briefing paper #69 Social inclusion through VET – New opportunities for NEETs provides the following key recommendations:

1. Defining wider, concrete policy measures at national and European level to support NEETs at the grass-root level.
2. Creating tailored and meaningful actions for NEETs
3. Improving support and guidance measures at national, regional and local.
4. The relationship between welfare and apprenticeship’s (as well as other vocational work-based learning) need to be reviewed, ensuring that there is not an inadvertent motivation to refrain from entering VET.
5. Promote and strengthen the recognition of skills, competencies and knowledge acquired through non-formal and informal learning within society and at the workplace
6. Securing investment in vocational training to ensure quality education and sufficient amount of training and apprenticeship placements for young people.
7. Guarantee equal access to quality vocational education and training without discrimination.
8. Proper cooperation between different actors involved in training (VET providers, NFIL providers, enterprises, learners and trade unions) to avoid exploitation of learners or apprentices.
9. Creating common guidelines for enterprises to support inclusion through apprenticeships and work-based learning.
10. Securing permeability and mobility of students during and after VET
11. Reforming and modernising national VET systems to support social inclusion, adapting policies and practices to suit the local contexts.
12. Directing European funding towards more inclusive educational systems and enabling civil society organisations to exchange good practices.

The pressing topic of NEETs in Europe and the role of vocational education and training (VET) in reintegrating NEETs into the labour market and society as a whole were debated at an expert roundtable in the European Parliament on 19 November 2014. The recommendations from the expert roundtable are an integral part of the published policy briefing and help pave the way to inclusive education and societies, and better opportunities for young people in Europe.



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