As regards to subject matter the year 2008 harks back to the topic of the annual conference in 2007 with its motto: “Migration and Intercultural Competence in Vocational Education”. The choice of this topic aligns itself with the current European focal points. The topic of the year 2008 is based on the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008. Based on the results of the EVBB annual conference 2007 this topic was dealt with in more depth in the year 2008 by the work groups and the project team.
The issues, with which the EVBB dealt in this regard, were:
- the recognition of the competences of migrants
- the effects of migration from the new member states on the different needs in qualification
- the requirements of vocational training in an intercultural society
The aims that the EVBB is pursuing with regard to this topic in vocational education are:
- a better use of the existing competences of migrants, by recognizing them appropriately and helping migrants to access lifelong learning and the job market. The EVBB deals in more depth with the role of EQF and ECVET with regard to their functions in transferring the competences of migrants.
- a better social integration of migrant through vocational education. The focus here is particularly on school drop-outs and those with poor qualifications.
The specific goals of the Labour Programme 2008 and subsequent years are:
- introducing a thematic orientation of the activities in an annual cycle
- improving internal communication
- systematically making information available for external and internal actors in vocational education
- intensifying professional dialogue with those in politics
- expansion of the EVBB by soliciting new members in Eastern Europe and in the neighbouring states of the EU
- subsidizing the completion of specific projects
Within the scope of working out the topic of the year 2008 Thomas Mann, vice president of the Commission for Employment and Social Affairs, correspondent for the European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) and the EVBB sent out an invitation to a joint press breakfast on 18 September 2008 on the topic of “Migration and Intercultural Competence in Vocational Education” at the Café for the Members of the European Parliaments.
The press breakfast gave journalists the opportunity to question political and practical experts on this topic and to gain insight into the problematic nature of the issue. In addition to Thomas Mann, one of the leading experts on this topic at a European level, on behalf of the EVBB managers of large educational providers, the heads of projects for recognizing the qualifications of migrants, experts on the situations in different European countries and those who have experienced the barriers of the European vocational training systems firsthand, took part.