Go back

Technology, Sustainability and Values for the 4th Industrial Revolution: IX International VET Conference


“VET will play a crucial role to anticipate skills needs and provide right answers.” 

Iñigo Urkullu, President of the Basque Country

The IX International Conference on VET organised by the Basque Country took place in San Sebastian on 5-6 June 2019. VET teachers, policy-makers and stakeholders from all over the world gathered in the coastal city to exchange their views on the impact of Industry 4.0 in our societies and education systems. EARLALL was present at the event, held under its Presidency by the Basque Country.

The conference was kicked-off Cristina Uriarte (Basque Regional Education Minister) and Beatriz Artolazabal (Basque Regional Education Minister), who highlighted the importance of training to provide the right skills for the 4th Industrial revolution, followed by an intervention by Iñigo Urkullu, Basque Country President. He stressed the importance of human capital and its values to face the 4th Industrial revolution challenges, with VET to play a crucial role to provide right answers to them.

“’VET for all, skills for life! Let’s make VET a first choice” were the words of Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, who wished participants a fruitful event via a video message. The European Commission was represented at the conference by Manuela Geleng (Director for Skills at DG EMPL) and Joao Santos (Deputy Head of Unit VET, Apprenticeships and Adult Learning at DG EMPL). Ms. Geleng pointed at three key areas for VET:

  1. Upskilling and reskilling should be the norm;
  2. VET to focus on needs; and
  3. Smart financing for Lifelong Learning.
Playlist: video recordings of all interventions (EN/ES/EU)

For his part, Mr. Santos introduced the Centres of Vocational Excellence initiative (CoVE), focusing on VET transformation via innovation, inclusiveness, quality, sustainability & a lifelong approach to VET.

Concrete examples were also presented by organisations such as TKNIKA, Navarra Hospital, University of Skövde, Ertzaintza, and South Central College Minnesota. Main topics were the applications of 3D printing in health provision, ciber-security, and advanced manufacture development.