EU and VET: EU VET providers message to VET learners and workers “Use your right to vote in the EU elections”

The four biggest EU networks for the Vocational Education and Training (EfVET, EUproVET, EVBB, EVTA) are asking VET learners and workers to use their right to vote in the next European Parliament elections of May 2019. 

They are launching the #EUandVET campaign widely through various media channels to reach out to VET learners and workers. They also stimulate their members to pay attention to the elections in the schools and colleges.

In their position paper on “European Union policy after 2020 on VET“ EU VET providers give their view on the future of VET from an EU perspective.

Their key message is “True European identity and full mobility on the European Single Market can only be achieved if people perceive themselves as Europeans and gain European experiences.” Our organisations commit to support the acquisition of this sense of belonging through the promotion of the European funding programmes (Erasmus+, ESF, EaSI, etc.) and the use of their instruments. We refer in particular to the Erasmus+ programme and to the funding opportunities for education and training.

The EU has made it possible from the start of Erasmus+ (2014) until the end of 2017 for 2.8 million to widen their scope and profession through an international experience. The Erasmus+ programme will have allowed to fund, among others, 650 000 grants for vocational training students and apprentices and 800 000 mobility experiences for teachers, lecturers, trainers, education staff and youth workers to gain new skills abroad (2014-2020). Moreover, it has boosted the transnational cooperation, funding for more than 25 000 partnerships across 125 000 education, training and youth organisations and enterprises to improve the transition of young students from the education to the work environment (Annual Report 2017).

Nevertheless, the future looks even brighter and promising. The European Commission has proposed to increase the Erasmus budget to €30 billion for the EU’s next long-term budget 2021-2021, allowing up to 12 million people to have a learning experience abroad.

We have to realise that the EU creates the possibilities for greater freedom of movement across countries and especially in border regions. This makes possible for VET learners to realise their personal and professional dreams, ambitions and careers. Especially the young VET learners are increasingly sensitive to the fact that their world and their future will face challenges that cannot be met alone by individual countries. The awareness that the freedom they experience and the ability to meet those future challenges rests upon democratic rights and values which need to be stressed again and again. The right to vote is fundamental to this and should be used to safeguard democracy and the ability to influence the future in which people and countries will be connected to solve the major challenges of the future. Let us not forget that VET learners come from different national, social and cultural backgrounds. There are those that need the support of the learning providers who – in order to act – require framework conditions that enable them to become supporters of a European Union that promotes inclusiveness and diversity.

The Erasmus+ programme demonstrates that it has a real impact on our society, and it gives valuable opportunities for socio-economic integration of all people. As citizens of this Union we must ensure that Europe can develop further, safeguarding our freedom and prosperity and meeting the major challenges for the future in an ever-changing global stage. We should not take the values and liberties we cherish and benefit from, as self-evident. We can maintain and create them through our right to vote.

Now more than ever your commitment can make the difference!

Create your future and participate in the EU parliamentary elections.