Anna Maria Darmanin's speech

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• Therefore more needs to be done at all levels European, national, regional, local and sectoral to diversify the VET provision at higher levels, improve permeability, reform VET systems and set financial incentives, in order to stimulate both companies and individuals regarding the provision and take-up of higher VET.

• We have to continue to modernise existing systems and improve the image of VET so that more students and workers become attracted to learning and upgrading their skills and competences.
• Quality apprenticeships and internships should be integrated into learning curricula.
• Employers should be able to find candidates for vacancies with the necessary skills – in other words: employability should be improved.
• Marrying formal education with non-formal learning will benefit all, but especially disadvantaged groups.
• And finally, civil society should be more involved in VET measures in order to create synergies between initiatives at European, national or sectoral levels. The Committee will be honoured to assist in this process.

 This hearing is very timely as all seven flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 initiative have been launched, including "Youth on the Move" and the "Agenda for New Skills and Jobs", both of which have vocational education and training at their heart.