Jason Holt, CEO of the Holts Group

Jason Holt, CEO of the Holts Group, has been selected as the UK’s Ambassador for the 2019 European Vocational Skills Week (14-18 October).

Organised by the European Commission, the Week will involve hundreds of events across the EU to highlight the benefits that Vocational Education and Training (VET) brings to people of all ages.

‘Discover your Talent!’ is the motto of the campaign and ‘VET for all – Skills for Life’ is the theme of this year.

Jason Holt aims to show that VET and apprenticeships are a smart choice, leading to high-quality jobs and increased employability.

Marianne Thyssen, the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said:

“I am delighted that Jason Holt has accepted to be an Ambassador for our European Vocational Skills Week in October. Vocational education is an excellent first education choice, providing people with the skills needed for the 21st century labour market and opening up many career possibilities. I have been trying to get this message across during my mandate, through initiatives such as the European Vocational Skills Week and with the help of our VET Ambassadors.” 

“It is a great honour to be representing the UK at the European Skills Week. Of all the different ways we can, as members of our community, contribute to help others I can think of no better way than to help grow the skills in our nations, the skill sets of our children and to share our own stories with others. It is gratifying that at a time of such political uncertainty in the UK, we can come together to champion skills and apprenticeships and help inspire and change the mindsets of employers, parents, students and society as a whole.”

Jason Holt is one of a group of Ambassadors from different EU Member States who have volunteered to spread the word about VET in their home countries. The European Commission and the national authorities selected Holt for the prestigious role in the UK due to his inspiring profile.

Last year, over 1800 events took place across 45 countries during the third edition of the European Vocational Skills Week. The 2019 Week is expected to attract an even bigger turnout. The total reach of the campaign on social media last year was over 34 million people.

VET statistics: Europe*

  • 60% of VET graduates find their first long-term job within a month of finishing their studies (rising to 80 % after six months)
  • 85% of vocational education and training students are happy with the skills they have acquired
  • Job openings for high-skilled people are expected to increase by 21% during 2015-2025, while there will be 17 % fewer opportunities for low-skilled workers
  • More than 120 000 vocational learners and apprentices and around 20 000 staff benefit from European mobility opportunities each year
  • The European Social Fund is investing €6.7 billion in VET and €7.2 billion in lifelong learning (2014-2020)


* Source: A quick guide to EU action on vocational education and training (VET). European Commission 2018


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