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Initiatives on women in VET and Lifelong Learning and on Youth Empowerment discussed at the #EURegions 2022 week


The European Association for Regional and Local Authorities for Lifelong Learning (EARLALL), and the European Forum of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (EfVET) carried out two successful online sessions, in the context of the #EURegionsWeek 2022, focused on the role of women in VET and Lifelong Learning sectors and to youth empowerment and inclusion, at regional and European levels. 

The sessions counted with the participation of experts from Regional authorities, Civil Society Organisations and EU institutions. This was an opportunity to present several initiatives and best practices related to the role of women in the VET and Lifelong Learning sectors and to youth empowerment and inclusion, at regional and European levels. In both sessions, participants agreed to continue working together to tackle all the challenges faced by women and young people.

“Increasing the involvement of women in the Vocational Education and Training sector at Regional and Local level” (11 October 2022) gathered more than 25 participants! 

Noelia Cantero (Director of EARLALL) opened the first workshop, moderated by Sylvia Liuti (Gender equality expert from FORMA.Azione, and from EfVET Italy) and with a panel of speakers composed by Kinga Szebeni (European Commission, DG for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion), Maria Pascual Garcia (Education Department of the Government of Catalonia, Spain), Tanja Halttunen and Michaela Voutila (Axxell VET College, Finland), Amila Suljević Melle (Vestland County Council, Norway) and Enaya Toulimat (Support Group Network, Sweden).

Gender equality and balance, gender discrimination and integration of migrant women and refugees in Education and in the labour markets, at regional and European levels, were some of the topics addressed in this session.

At the end of the session, a roundtable took place where participants agreed that it is needed for concrete data and information about the real differences between women and men in education and work-life balance, to find adequate policies and measures to promote them. Moreover, speakers agreed that is needed a further discussion on the role of men in gender balance and in the prevention of toxic masculinity as a way to fight stereotypes and foster gender equality, equal access to education and lifelong learning pathways and to the labour market.

Participants were then invited to join EfVET, EARLALL and European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) initiative entitled “Gender Equality Task Force”,  as a way to continue being engaged on the discussions about gender equality and, in particular, the participation of women and men in lifelong learning. If you would like to join, please fill-in this survey.

“Raising empowerment and inclusion among youth at regional and local level” (12 October 2022), gathered more than 35 participants!

The second session was opened by Valentina Chanina (EfVET) and moderated by Tknika Director of Internationalisation, Iñigo Araiztegui.

Jasna Maric Krajacic (European Commission, DG for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture), Irene Psifidou and Ralph Hippe (Cedefop) and Audrey Frith (Eurodesk) were the guest speakers of this session, who presented and described some of the existent EU initiatives focused on the topics of youth empowerment, inclusive and quality VET, and on the barriers to mobility and the importance of informing young people to become active citizens at regional and European levels, fully ready to be part of the green and digital transitions.

There was also time for the presentation of best practices currently being implemented. The Tuscany region (member of EARLALL) is working on an initiative named Gionavi Sí which aims to close the gap between disadvantaged youth people and the labour market, as explained Bernard Dika, Spokesperson of the President. What’s more, Mr Dika invited all the participants to follow the public event “Next Generation Fest” which will take place on 5 November 2022 in Florence (Italy). Jonas Abrahamsson from the Västra Götaland Region (member of EARLALL) introduced NEEETs for NEETs Co-creating Social Sustainability EU-funded project, which aims at improving inclusive methods to empower young adults, therefore improving the conditions of NEETs. Finally, Kornél Dóru (student at Maastricht University) presented the main results from a study on the changes in mental health of young people after COVID-19, conducted by Dóru Kornél (student at Maastricht University).

The importance of working closely with young people at regional and European levels to understand their needs and to potentiate their capacities for being active citizens, fully engaged with the development of relevant policies and initiatives that foster their educational and professional success towards were some of the main conclusions achieved with this workshop.

EARLALL and EfVET are looking forward for the #EURegions Week 2023, another opportunity to gather stakeholders and beneficiaries of relevant regional and EU policies and initiatives.

Increasing the involvement of women in the Vocational Education and Training sector at Regional and Local level