European Vocational Skills Week 2020, which ran from 9th to 13th November, is an annual event, where local, regional or national organisations across the EU showcase the very best of vocational education and training (VET). It is a platform to make VET’s potential more widely known, and an opportunity to exchange information and good practice across Europe and beyond.
The fifth year of the annual event, organised by the European Commission in cooperation with the German presidency of the Council of the European Union, comprised a series of partner activities that took place online, with many running or available online up to the new year.
Brendan Kearns, Director of Training, Designer Group, was chosen as the Irish ambassador for European Vocational Skills Week 2020. He says it was a great honour for him, but, more importantly, it was an opportunity to promote vocational skills and the opportunities that exist for young people in trades.
“I was honoured to be chosen for this role and have been delighted with the response from Irish contractors and other stakeholders in Irish construction,” Brendan Kearns says. “I was particularly happy about the way CIF and Solas got behind the programme in such a positive way.
“These are very challenging times, with the current pandemic affecting all studies and training Europe-wide. The chance to convey a positive message about the fantastic opportunities vocational education offers to everyone, regardless of age, gender, or background, was really taken up in Ireland. Everyone has talent, and VET can provide the practical skills, knowledge and competencies to succeed.
“My job is training director with Designer Group, which is one of Ireland’s largest employers of apprentices,” Brendan Kearns continues. “I began my career as an apprentice. Over the years, I progressed into a role where I can encourage the development of our people at Designer Group.”
There were a total of 1,123 events in 32 countries, with 3.6 million people participating during European Vocational Skills Week 2020. There were a total of 34 Irish-based events and initiatives held during the week.
To learn more about European Vocational Skills Week, visit www.ec.europa.eu