EESC opinion: Comparability of vocational training qualifications

Key points

The Committee considers the Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council repealing Council Decision 85/368/EEC on the comparability of vocational training qualifications between the Member States of the European Community to be conclusive, sound and properly argued. The Committee emphasises this in view of the creation of a new set of instruments designed to strengthen and facilitate the mobility of persons, i.e. the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

The Committee believes that this decision helps secure better lawmaking in that it critically examines unused and unworkable rules and replaces them with better instruments.

The Committee backs Commission moves to establish a system to help people make better use of their practical experience and skills for the purposes of mobility and easier migration within the single market in services.

In the light of past experience, the Committee calls for action to counter the uncertainty caused by the repeal of legislation by increasing transparency and reporting on the impact of such a move, and to ensure that any confusion with Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications, on which the Committee has issued a separate opinion, is avoided.

The Committee welcomes the fact that the EQF is to be implemented on a voluntary basis until 2012. This leaves time to gather practical experience and to improve acceptance of the new system through transparency and communication.

The Committee welcomes the involvement of the social partners in the work, not least because the EQF classifications may well impact on collective agreements in the medium term.