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EARLALL invited at the International VET Congress hosted by the Basque Country


Another successful edition of the International VET Congress organized by the Basque Country took place in San Sebastian-Donostia on 10 – 11 November 2021. Participants of the Congress and EARLALL members were first welcomed by the Basque Country Vice Minister of VET, Mr. Jorge Arevalo in the evening on the 9 November 2021, for a cocktail reception, taking place in Tabakalera an old tobacco factory, rehabilitated as a cultural center. Participants had the chance to taste local gastronomy and dishes prepared by students from a VET school.

The Congress, which gathered 900 participants from all over the world and that was also web streamed live to more than 4000 people, started with a welcome from Mr. Jokin Bildarratz, Minister of Education of the Basque Government. He was followed by Mrs. Clara Sanz, General Secretary for VET at the Spanish Ministry of Education and by Mrs. Manuela Geleng, Skills Unit Director at the DG EMPL, European Commission, who highlighted the importance of the Pact for Skills for reskilling workers, on the day of its first anniversary. The president of the Basque Government, Mr. Iñigo Urkullu also welcomed the participants of the Congress. Then, Mr. Jorge Arévalo, Vice minister of VET at the Basque Government, explained the challenges of VET, facing Intelligence and Complexity. Looking towards the future, he declared: “digital transformation can’t happen without a human change in behavior and values”.

The viewpoint from the Industry and how it sees the future and its needed collaboration with the VET sector was provided by Mr. Andres Arizkorreta, CEO of CAF. Mrs Chiara Riondino, Head of Unit for VET at the DG EMPL, European Commission, highlighted recent EU policy developments in support of VET (from the Osnabruck Declaration, the Council Communication on VET, to the relaunched European Alliance for Apprenticeships all in 2020).


Mr. Iñigo Urkullu
Mrs. Manuela Geleng
Students from the VET Center Miguel Altuna

In the afternoon, participants had the opportunity to discover four innovative and inspiring VET centers in the region around the following areas:

  • Intelligent Energy and Advanced Manufacturing: CIFP Usurbil LHII
  • Intelligent Manufacturing. Industry 5.0. Intelligent digital space and immersive digital space: CIPF Miguel Altuna LHII
  • 4.0 Environment. 3D printing for Manufacturing, food and bioprinting: CIFP Tolosaldea LHII
  • Robotic additive manufacturing, high-precision industrial 3D printing, cybersecurity, food characterization, cell biology, bioprinting, precision farming: TKNIKA

The second day of the Congress started by addressing the question of digitalization of work in the COVID-19 times. It also addressed digital transformation of manufacturing in action with some examples coming from the Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, United States of America. Then, Mr. Joao Santos, Senior expert at the DG EMPL, European Commission, presented the European initiative on Vocational Excellence. He highlighted three factors of success of the European Centers of Vocational Excellence: the link to the strategies for regional development, strong enduring partnerships, but also the integration of activities. The morning ended with a round table tackling the keys to excellent vocational education and training. Mr. Iñigo Araiztegui, Director of Internationalisation at TKNIKA, and leader of the Exam 4.0 project, announced the launch of the COVE community of practice, which will enable collaboration between twelve forward looking projects.


Mr. Joao Santos
Round table discussion
EARLALL members and secretariat

The Congress ended by a presentation of the digital transformation in the gastronomic field, the gastronomy 4.0. Three stars Michelin Chef, Mr. Eneko Atxa provided an interesting masterclass about how the gastronomy sector has changed to embrace sustainability principles. It was a great occasion to meet and discuss with the hospitality students who also joined the Congress during the session.

Useful documents