From education to employment

New measures introduced to increase mobility for learning and working

Qualifications across Europe are to be recognised in a unified framework for employers and individuals, following proposals put forward by Brussels” education chief Jan Figel” earlier this week.

The new “European Qualifications Framework” (EQF) for lifelong learning sets out a common cross-EU recognition system, describing an individual’s knowledge in a particular subject, as opposed to where the qualification was obtained.

Commenting on the framework, Mr Figel” said: “People in Europe too often face obstacles when they try to move from one country to another to learn or work, or when they want to build upon previous education or training.

“The EQF will help to solve that problem: it will make different national qualifications more understandable across Europe, and so promote access to education and training. [It] will be an instrument to help people understand what a person has been doing in their home country.

“There are some professions where you do have some recognition across Europe, such as lawyers and nurses, but for the majority of qualifications it is impossible to know exactly what the person has been doing in their home country.

“It’s quite difficult for someone in Italy to understand the qualifications from someone in Ireland for example. With the EQF an employer will be able to better understand their qualifications.

“Once adopted, it will increase mobility for learning or working. We believe the EQF is a key initiative in creating more jobs and growth, helping people in Europe to face the challenges of a globalising, knowledge-based world economy”.

Sue Waddington, Development Officer for European Policies at the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) said: “NIACE welcomes this initiative. When fully implemented the new EQF system will enable the skills and qualifications gained in one European country to be recognised in another and therefore both workers and employers will benefit”.

“We hope that the system will also be developed to enable skills and qualifications gained outside Europe to be recognised so that migrants to the EU will have equal opportunities in the labour market. The important aspect of the proposals is that the knowledge and ability of individuals in the EU will be valued regardless of where it was acquired”.

And unionlearn Director Liz Smith added: “We welcome the EU Commissioners plans to help recognition of qualifications across EU member states. This will undoubtedly help employers to utilise workers skills more and will allow them to gain jobs which reflect their true level of skills and training”.

Vijay Pattni.

Next week: Boris Johnson MP and Stephen Williams MP talk exclusively to FE News

Related Articles