European Vocational Skills Week 2020

9 - 13 November 2020

 

 

Welcome to the digital lobby of the fifth European Vocational Skills Week, organised by the European Commission in cooperation with the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are hosting a series of virtual conferences, workshops, and associated events on topics essential to the discussion about vocational education and training (VET), lifelong learning, skills and labour market developments.

In this digital lobby, you will be able to check event schedules and view speakers’ presentations, and by clicking on a session’s title, you will be able to watch debates and interact in real time.

We are looking forward to meeting and connecting with you!

About

European Vocational Skills Week is an annual event when local, regional or national organisations showcase the very best of vocational education and training (VET). VET is a path to a more fulfilling personal and professional life. European Vocational Skills Week is a platform to make VET’s potential more widely known, and an opportunity to exchange information and good practice across Europe and beyond.

The fifth edition of the Week is a 100% online event organised by the European Commission in cooperation with the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union. A series of partner activities will take place digitally across the EU. Anyone, anywhere can join in these activities.

This year’s theme is VET for Green and Digital Transitions, in line with the Commission priorities of a “European Green Deal” and a “Europe fit for the digital age”.

More information on the European Vocational Skills Week website.

PROGRAMME

FULL PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

A button will appear in the session description when it is live and you can join it.

10.00 - 11.20

Mr. Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights will officially open the 5th European Vocational Skills Week with Mr. Claude Meisch, Minister of Education, Children and Youth in Luxembourg. During the online event, apprentices, representatives of vocational education organizations, along with representatives of chambers of craft will join the official opening.

The language of the event will be French and Luxembourgish.

14.00 - 16.30

In the context of the twin ecological and digital transitions, this online European Alliance for Apprenticeships meeting will explore how green and digital skills in vocational education and training through apprenticeships can bring employment opportunities. The event, which will be opened by Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit, will look at how companies, training providers, social partners and national authorities are supporting green and digital skills in apprenticeships, in order to highlight challenges and opportunities and identify good practices across the EU that can inspire action. For more information and to register, please visit the event site here.
Please register by 13.00 on the day of the session to be able to watch and participate!

How to network

We will be using B2Match services to allow 1-to-1 meetings and direct contact between participants.
If you registered for the event and agreed to your contact information being shared, an invitation will be sent to you.
You can also click on the button below and register directly.
Networking will be available from 30 October to 13 December.

 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

SPEAKERS

Click on the speaker for more information.

A-G

Ashwani Aggarwal is the International Labour Organisation’s work area lead for work-based learning, apprenticeships, recognition of prior learning (RPL) and core work skills. He holds a PhD in skills policy, systems and institutions and has advised more than 50 countries in Asia and the Pacific, Africa, the Americas and Europe on improving skills and youth employment policy and programmes. He has 35 years of experience of working with the private sector, government and international organisations. He has led many research projects and publications and is credited with the establishment of innovative skills policy, systems and programmes including quality apprenticeships, RPL and centres for excellence in many countries.

Takes part in the following session(s):
European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) - High Level Event

Maria João Alves is head of unit of the division for Qualifica Centres Monitoring at the National Agency for Qualification and Vocational Education and Training (ANQEP). She is responsible for network management at Qualifica Centres (structures specialised in adult education and training) and for developing recognition, validation and certification of competences. She manages and monitors the Qualifica Centres network activity and is a member of the working group ET2020 Adult Learning.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Validation of non-formal and informal learning

Marta Chmielewska-Anielak is a graduate of the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Lodz and postgraduate studies from the Polish-American Management Center at the Institute of Economics in Lodz and has a mini MBA diploma. She is a project manager and specialises in overseeing and implementing international projects under the Erasmus Plus programme and other EU programmes. She has many years of practice, both as an expert and manager, and has conducted international projects such as Asia - IMTT, Leonardo da Vinci, Grundtvig II, Socrates and Synergy. She has extensive industry experience in coordinating international cooperation networks in the field of human resources management as well as professional consulting, employer branding, coaching, outsourcing, outplacement and monitoring the team management process and operational management at various administrative levels. She is not afraid of challenges! She is a member of IPMA Poland.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 1: Inclusive Excellence

Barbara Archesso is project manager of international projects on green skills and the circular economy for ENAIP NET – a consortium of leading VET providers in Italy and member of the European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA). Her career as an international project developer and manager started in 1996. Since then, she has worked on initiatives on employability, gender equality, climate change and sustainability. More recently, she has focused her attention on green skills and the circular economy – particularly in the food value chain. She also has long experience in young adult learning gained in vocational training contexts. Her educational background includes a bachelor degree in foreign languages and literatures and a specialisation course in marketing and communication of cultural products.

Takes part in the following session(s):
European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA)

Paulo Azevedo is chair of Sonae, a multinational company managing a portfolio of businesses in retail, telecoms, technology, shopping centres and financial services. He also chairs Sonae Indústria – a wood panel manufacturer – and investment group Sonae Capital. His other roles include chairship of EFANOR, and membership of the board of directors of BAGlass and the international advisory board of Allianz. He is involved in the Belmiro de Azevedo Foundation – dedicated to education – and Espaço-T – dedicated to fighting social exclusion – and was the first chair of Porto University’s board of trustees.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Launch of Pact for Skills

Minna Bálint has extensive experience in strategic planning and developing vocational education and training (VET) at national level in Finland. She has worked for the Finnish National Agency for Education and briefly for the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture since 2002. Throughout her various roles, the common denominator has been to further the status of VET. Her previous experience includes developing vocational qualifications, student assessment and entrepreneurship education. In 2021, one of her professional aims will be to find ways to apply VET more efficiently as a tool for lifelong learning. Mrs Balint holds an MSc in business administration and an MA in Finnish language. In her teacher studies she specialised in adult education.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Validation of non-formal and informal learning

Alfonso Balsamo works as an officer in the employment, welfare and human capital department of Confindustria, the main association representing manufacturing and service companies in Italy. He represents manufacturing industries in education policies. He has a PhD in human capital formation and labour relations from the University of Bergamo and has published many studies about VET and partnerships between the educational system and industry. At national level, he represents Confindustria in the University-Entreprises Observatory (Conference of Italian University Rectors), in the Scientific Degrees Project Committee and in the Guidance and Tutorship Project (Italian Ministry of Education), and is a member of the evaluation unit at LIUC University and a lecturer in education and training at Roma Tre University. At global level, he’s a member of the education committee (BIAC-OECD) and until 2018 was a task force member of the education & employment committee for B20 Argentina. Since December 2018 he has been a member of the governing board of Cedefop, Thessaloniki.

Takes part in the following session(s):
European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) - High Level Event

Lucija Baškarić was born in Gradačac, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and graduated in horticulture at the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Zagreb. His career as a teacher began in 2014 at Agricultural School Zagreb. In 2015 he completed two training courses on the writing and implementation of European projects at Business Academy Experta. In addition to being coordinator of all EU projects at Agricultural School Zagreb, he is a coordinator for Matura Exam and coordinator of practical work. Furthermore, for 22 years he has been a member of the family farm OPG Baškarić, which grows and sells vegetables, flowers and plants.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Excellence Award Nominees Celebration and Closing Ceremony

Markus Bell heads the global vocational training department at SAP and is responsible for various dual study programmes in the company. He joined SAP in 1997 and worked in different areas of the company. He was involved in the development of SAP R/3 until 2000, was a vocational trainer for four years and then led the build-up of the Shared Service Center in Prague in an international project team. Since 2005, he has been responsible for dual study programmes as global lead and implemented similar programmes in China, India, Brazil, Hungary, Ireland, the USA, Singapore, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Currently there are about 1 200 vocational training students and apprentices enrolled to the vocational training programme at SAP. He also takes part in committees at universities and is a member of the working groups Work, Education and Training, Digital Working World and Employment and Further Education.

Takes part in the following session(s):
European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) - High Level Event

Jens Bjornavold has been working on European and international education and training issues since the mid-1990s and has held posts in both the European Centre for Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) and the European Commission. He is currently the Brussels representative of Cedefop, located at the European Commission, Directorate General for Employment and Social Affairs. He has coordinated and carried out numerous research projects, notably on national qualifications frameworks, the use of learning outcomes in education and training policies and practices, on the changing roles of qualifications and validation of non-formal and informal learning. He has been actively involved in the development and implementation of the European Qualifications Framework since its start in 2004. He is currently coordinating research on the future of vocational education and training in Europe, covering 30 countries.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 2: Pathways for VET excellence, higher VET as valuable chance for all

2008-2019: CEO of Atos
2007-2008: Professor (Leadership and corporate accountability), Harvard University
2005-2007: Minister for Economy, Finance and Industry
2002-2005: CEO of France Telecom
1997-2002: CEO of Thomson Multimedia
1993-1997: Director for Strategy and Development, then Director-General of Bull
1986-1992: Elected Vice-President of the Poitou-Charentes region
1986-1990: Project leader of the Futuroscope, Poitiers
1986-1988: Adviser, Cabinet of the Minister for Education
1979: Engineer, Graduate in computer science, Supelec

Takes part in the following session(s):
Launch of Pact for Skills

Elke Büdenbender trained as an industrial clerk at a machine building company in Siegen, and went on to gain a degree in law. She has been a judge at Berlin Administrative Court since 2000 and is currently on long-term leave.
She is married to Frank-Walter Steinmeier. They have one daughter.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Excellence Award Nominees Celebration and Closing Ceremony

Ben Butters has been with EUROCHAMBRES, the European association of Chambers of Commerce & Industry, since 2008 and was appointed CEO in 2020. Prior to this, he acquired experience in both the European Commission and the European Parliament, as well as working for a network of innovation centres. Directly before joining EUROCHAMBRES, he created and for several years ran his own business providing EU advocacy support to small business associations.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Higher up! VET Excellence for Green and Digital Transitions - Part 3 - High-level discussion on VET excellence – roadmap for Europe.

Anthony F Camilleri is a tertiary education policy consultant and founder of the Knowledge Innovation Centre. He has nearly 15 years of experience in educational policy, with a focus on quality assurance and innovation in education. He led the creation of ISO 21001 - Educational Organisation Management Systems, and has authored a major report on blockchain applications for education. His current focus is creating a European standards and technology infrastructure for recording learning digitally. This encompasses research on policy implications of micro-credentials, standardisation work on the Europass Learning Model and consultancy with the Europass project and the European Blockchain Partnership on technological solutions. In 2019, he pioneered the first European micro-credentials masterclass in Slovenia.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 4: Europass and digital credentials

Eva Cendon is professor for university continuing education and teaching and learning at the FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany, and vice-president of eucen (European Universities Continuing Education Network). As an educational scientist, she has been involved in lifelong learning with a focus on higher education in the German-speaking and European contexts for many years. Currently, she supports around 100 universities in Germany to develop new concepts and programmes for lifelong learning, building new forms of cooperation with companies and other actors outside the university. Her main expertise and research interest lies in linking academic and professional knowledge in programmes of work-based learning in higher education.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Launch of Pact for Skills
The spider VET in the Net: WBL for the future

Maxime Cerutti was appointed director of BusinessEurope’s social affairs department in 2012. He is responsible for a diverse portfolio of social affairs and labour market policy issues as well as the day-to-day management of the department. He also coordinates BusinessEurope’s engagement as a social partner in the context of the European social dialogue. He joined BusinessEurope in 2007 as social affairs adviser. Prior to this, he worked from 2005 to 2007 as a policy officer at the European Youth Forum in Brussels. He started his professional career with a six-month internship at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris, where he followed the work of the EU Council on Employment and Social Affairs. A graduate in European law and political science, he holds a master’s degree from Sciences Po Paris, a double law degree from the University of Bordeaux in France and the University of Canterbury in the UK, and he participated in a summer session at the University of California at Berkeley in the United States. His mother tongue is French. He speaks English fluently, is at ease in Italian, and is a basic user of German and Spanish.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Launch of Pact for Skills

Stelina Chatzichristou is an expert in the department for Skills and Labour Market at Cedefop. Her main areas of work are skills anticipation and governance, green skills and skill developments in sectors. She is also the coordinator of the Skills Panorama team. Before joining Cedefop, she worked in the private sector as a researcher and policy analyst. In that capacity, she has contributed to and managed projects on national and EU comparative analysis on VET, skills and entrepreneurship. She is an economist and holds a BA and an MSc from the University of Macedonia (Greece) and an MSc from the London School of Economics (UK).

Takes part in the following session(s):
European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA)

Soo-Hyang Choi was appointed director of the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training in January 2020. UNESCO-UNEVOC supports member states to ensure inclusive and equitable quality TVET and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Ms Choi has a BA in psychology (Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea), an M.Ed and a PhD in educational psychology (University of Alberta, Canada). She previously worked in the Korean Educational Development Institute and joined UNESCO as chief of the Early Childhood and Family Education Section in 1998. Subsequently, she held various chief positions at UNESCO headquarters in the areas of inclusive education, field support and coordination, and technical, vocational and secondary education. In the field, she has worked in Pakistan and Zimbabwe and served as the UNESCO representative to Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as to the Southern African Development Community. From 2012 to 2019, she was director of the Division for Peace and Sustainable Development within the Education Sector of UNESCO.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Internationalisation

Hans Daale is president of CHAIN5, the international community of practice regarding qualifications at level 5 of the EQF, i.e. in higher education, higher VET and other sectors. He is also chair of the Leido Foundation, an independent network in the Netherlands concerning developments related to lifelong learning. The connection of the VET sector to HE plays a major role in this. He was involved in the introduction of the associate degree in the Dutch education system from 2006. He started as a teacher of mathematics and economics in general secondary education and his last position was dean of faculty of the Amsterdam School of Business, before he began working full-time for Leido and CHAIN5 on a range of activities: projects, conferences, study trips, workshops, etc.

Takes part in the following session(s):
The spider VET in the Net: WBL for the future

Hans Daems is chair of the board of CSR Europe and group public affairs officer Hitachi Europe (leading strategic integrated branding, corporate communications and sustainability across EMEA). With Etienne Davignon (president CSR Europe) and Stefan Crets (executive director CSR Europe), Hans Daems was a key figure during the European Pact for Youth. As chair of the board of CSR Europe, he was key in the 380 CEOs Call for a Sustainable Europe 2030 (2019) which led to the inauguration of the European Pact for Sustainable Industry, inaugurated in October 2020 at the European SDG Summit.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Launch of Pact for Skills

Teresa has been an international teacher for more than 20 years. A lawyer, lecturer and politically active, she has a major interest in higher and non-higher education. Among her many roles, she is administrator of the Real Colégio de Portugal, administrator of Grupo Ensinus – one of the world’s largest Portuguese language teaching groups – president of the board of COFAC in Guinea-Bissau and a member of the board of the National Association of Portuguese Independent Schools. She is a researcher in capacity building and brain gain policies, multiculturalism and gender equality, and regularly participates in conferences. She is married and has three sons.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Excellence Award Nominees Celebration and Closing Ceremony

Preeti Dasgupta of Collage Arts presents Transforming Young People Through Creative Arts Learning in Unconventional Spaces (CREUS). Collage Arts and Mulab are long-standing partners who have worked on Erasmus+ lifelong learning projects for 18 years, the most recent being CREUS. Currently, the organisations are working together on a Rights, Equalities and Citizenship project called HIT – Hate Interrupter Teams.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 1: Inclusive Excellence

Rob de Vrind is the manager of sustainable vocational education and training (SVET) in the Netherlands. He is also the sustainability co-ordinator at the VET institute King William I College. He is a member of the steering group circular skills and of build-up skills for how to build zero-energy houses. He was a member of 10 European Erasmus Projects on sustainability and he created a website for SVET with more than 1 million hits.

Takes part in the following session(s):
The spider VET in the Net: WBL for the future

Tibor Dőri is the director of Euro-Contact Business School, a higher VET provider offering professional qualifications and MBAs. The school was the formal sole partner of the Open University Business School (OUBS) UK between 1989 and 2012. He was a tutor for OUBS UK in Hungary, teaching HR, marketing, change and strategy management. He has taught senior and top managers for 30 years and is a coach, trainer and senior consultant in strategy, organisational development, change management and marketing. He is an expert in adult education, developing corporate university, dual education, ICT-supported distance/blended teaching and e-learning. He represented Hungary on the board of the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities between 2005 and 2010 and founded the Hungarian Virtual University Network and Association for Hungarian Digital Education. He is a member of the steering committee of EfVET, a member of Cedefop’s working group Learning Providers and the Challenge of Technology Enhanced Learning, and COO of the Association for Hungarian Digital Education.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Higher up! VET Excellence for Green and Digital Transitions - Part 1 - Plenary session

Ivan Ebejer is a policy officer for InvestEU for Skills at the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion in the unit responsible for vocational education and training, apprenticeships and adult learning. Before joining DG EMPL, he was responsible for EU financial instruments at the Malta Development Bank, a role which, among other aspects, involved the design and development of financial products. He served as European Semester Officer and investment correspondent for the Investment Plan for Europe at the Commission Representation in Malta and an economic analyst with the Commission’s Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs in Brussels. He taught economics of European integration as a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta.

Takes part in the following session(s):
EU funding and support opportunities for education and training

Dietmar Eglseder has worked in the field of education and vocational training since 2000. Since 2019, Dietmar Eglseder has been deputy managing director and head of higher vocational education and training at ICT-vocational training in Switzerland. Before that, Dietmar Eglseder was head of vocational education and training at the Swiss and Liechtenstein Association of Technical Building Contractor suissetec. Dietmar Eglseder has a master’s of advanced studies in education management, a series of training courses in education and communication, a diploma in landscape architecture and a vocational baccalaureate.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 2: Pathways for VET excellence, higher VET as valuable chance for all

Since 2012, Lyndsey El Amoud has led the continuing education and enterprise engagement team in ACE (adult continuing education) at University College Cork. A core focus in her role as assistant director is to improve engagement between higher education and industry. Her work centres on co-designing learning opportunities with industry representatives which offer adults across a wide range of sectors a variety of opportunities to return to higher level education on a part-time basis in order to upskill or reskill and improve their overall employability. From 2008 to 2012, she was the UCC representative on the Irish government-funded research project ‘Roadmap for Employment Academic Partnerships (REAP)’, during which time her research focused on the interface between academia and industry and the wide span of engagements that this entails.

Takes part in the following session(s):
The spider VET in the Net: WBL for the future

Prof Dr Hubert Ertl began his current role as vice-president and director of research at the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) in September 2017. He completed his vocational training in the German dual system and gathered work experience in the automotive industry. He studied business education and economics at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich where he conducted his doctoral research on European Union policies in the area of vocational education. After periods as a lecturer and researcher at the universities of Munich and Paderborn, he worked as associate professor of higher education at the Department of Education, University of Oxford from 2004 to 2017. In 2010 he became senior research fellow of SKOPE (Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance, University of Oxford). At the BIBB he works on issues concerning permeability between vocational and higher education as well as challenges for vocational education and training arising from the process of digitalisation. Prof Ertl is editor of the journal Research in Comparative and International Education, associate editor of Empirical Research in Vocational Education and Training and member of the international advisory board of Oxford Review of Education.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET research in Europe: topics, structures and cooperation

Matthäus Fandrejewski has led the youth organisation of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CESI Youth) since 2013. He works on social policies on the European level. He studied international business in Berlin and Paris and is now undertaking a master’s degree in European economics. He is the founding member of the European Apprentices Network, a network of experts on VET learning representing the interests of apprentices on the EU level.

Takes part in the following session(s):
European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) - High Level Event

Anusca Ferrari is a policy officer at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, where she leads the file on validation of non-formal and informal learning. With 15 years’ expertise in education and training acquired at the Commission and in NGOs, she has a deep understanding of skills development and policies for lifelong learning.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Validation of non-formal and informal learning

Michael Fitzgerald is technical training and development manager with ESB Networks, the power utility in Ireland, where he is based at the Networks training centre. In addition to technical staff training at ESB Networks, the team is responsible for an ongoing group of approximately 300 electrical engineering apprentices during their four-year apprenticeship. Previous positions include leading the design group, major projects, technical services and international projects involving initiatives in many countries in Europe and worldwide. He holds degrees in electrical engineering, science and education and is active in the European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA), CIGRE and Engineers Ireland.

Takes part in the following session(s):
European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) - High Level Event

Marie-Luise Fuchs has been production planner and process controller at Viega Supply Chain in Großheringen, Germany, since 2019. She was previously a lean management trainer at the same company, where she also undertook an apprenticeship in industrial mechanics from 2006 to 2010. She has a BSc and MSc in industrial engineering from Ernst-Abbe-Hochschule Jena, Germany.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Higher up! VET Excellence for Green and Digital Transitions - Part 1 - Plenary session

Manuela Geleng is Director for Skills in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. She is responsible for implementing the Skills Agenda, which sets ambitious objectives for up- and reskilling Europe’s workforce and for vocational education and training. She has held several other managerial positions in the Commission. Previously, she worked in the private sector as a management consultant and for the United Nations Development Programme. She holds an MSc in financial economics and a master’s in public administration and management. She completed her postgraduate studies at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna.

Takes part in the following session(s):
European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) - High Level Event
Launch of Pact for Skills
Higher up! VET Excellence for Green and Digital Transitions - Part 3 - High-level discussion on VET excellence – roadmap for Europe.

Safet Gërxhaliu was born in 1964 in Base Studime, Vushtrri, Kosovo. He holds a dual master’s in international marketing and foreign trade and a PhD in economics. After holding various positions in Germany, England, Spain and Belgium, he returned to Kosovo where he became a member of Prime Minister Bajram Rexhepi’s cabinet. Acting as a deputy to the stability pact coordinator, he was engaged in many international and regional economic initiatives and participated in a variety of high-level conferences, workshops, and symposiums both in Kosovo and abroad. Before he became president of the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce in 2010, he served as both its director for foreign economic relations and vice-president. He has published more than 700 articles in the fields of economics, politics, regional integration and social policy in local and international journals.

Takes part in the following session(s):
European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA)

Andrea Giacomelli is research and development director at ENAIP FVG and an expert within the EVTA network. A PhD graduate in adult training science, with domain expertise on active ageing purposes, he has been working in the VET sector for more than two decades, acquiring wide experience in managing relevant institutions and international projects to foster and improve vocational training systems across Europe. Today he is involved in promoting European mobility to enhance the global skills of people, striving to make vocational training provision more excellent and inclusive for all.

Takes part in the following session(s):
The spider VET in the Net: WBL for the future

Hrvoje Grganović has a very versatile profile, focusing on communication and project coordination in the private sector with a strong volunteering background in mobility and health and wellbeing.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 4: Europass and digital credentials

After an education in electrical engineering, Alexandre Grillat joined EDF Groupe 25 years ago. An expert in energy policies, he was a member of EDF’s board of directors, representing the employees, for 10 years. He is now the national secretary of CFE-CGC Energies, the second largest trade union in the French energy sector, responsible for public affairs in France and Europe. He is involved in the debates on French and European energy policies, believing that industrial strategies and climate and energy policies must be aligned to create good jobs for European citizens.

Takes part in the following session(s):
European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) - High Level Event

Dr Philipp Grollmann is deputy head of the section International Vocational Education and Training (VET) - Comparison, Research and Monitoring in the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB). He previously worked with two other large research institutes, Institut Technik und Bildung at Bremen University and the German Institute for International Educational Research, DIPF. He has also served as a professor of vocational education at the Otto-von Guericke University, Magdeburg. He is a specialist in the comparison of VET systems and managed more than 10 research and development projects in VET for various EU bodies. He has led several policy-related studies, such as the Cedefop Scenario Study in 2000 and the current study The Future of VET, the Maastricht Study on the progress of VET systems (2004) and a study on traineeships in the EU on behalf of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (2012).

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET research in Europe: topics, structures and cooperation

H-P

Ruth Halle works as a technical advisor for TVET and labour market projects with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). Before joining the headquarters in Germany last year, she worked in TVET projects in countries including Afghanistan, Thailand and Turkey. In her current position in the GIZ Competence Center for Education, Vocational Education and Labour Markets, she is the focal point for green questions and projects, especially concerning resource efficiency and renewable energy.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 3: VET for sustainability

Kornelia Haugg has been director-general for vocational training and lifelong learning at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) since 2006. She studied home economics and nutrition in Munich and Giessen and was a research assistant at Giessen University. She was responsible for youth and family research at the Federal Ministry for Youth, Family Affairs, Women and Health. She joined BMBF in 1989, where she has been responsible for vocational training, including programmes with other countries, BIBB and education policy cooperation in the EU and general university matters. In 1995 she was seconded to the Department for Education and Employment in London. Within BMBF she has been head of division for strategy and planning, and director for research institutions and the Council of Science and Humanities.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Higher up! VET Excellence for Green and Digital Transitions - Part 3 - High-level discussion on VET excellence – roadmap for Europe.

After completing his doctorate in economics at the University of Freiburg, Oliver Heikaus joined the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) in 2003 as a specialist in the labour market and immigration. After various other positions at the DIHK, the umbrella organisation of the 79 chambers of industry and commerce (CCIs) in Germany, he has been head of the department for Continuing Vocational Training and European Vocational Education and Training Policy since 2014. The CCIs are the competent bodies for the dual system in Germany and represent more than 3 million companies.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 2: Pathways for VET excellence, higher VET as valuable chance for all

Born on 3 November 1972 in Hildesheim; married, two children
1988: Joined the SPD
1992: Abitur (higher education entrance qualification), Gymnasium am Silberkamp, Peine
1992 - 1993: Civilian service, Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband (association of non-profit social welfare organisations), Peine
1995 - 2006: Studied political sciences and sociology at the University of Potsdam. Awarded degree by the University of Hagen, distance education university
since 1998: Member of the German Bundestag
2005 - 2009: Secretary General of the SPD
since December 2009: Chairman of the District SPD, Braunschweig
since 2011: Member of the SPD Federal Executive
2009 - 2017: Vice Chairman of the SPD parliamentary group in the German Bundestag
June 2017 - December 2017: Secretary General of the SPD
2017 - 2018: Vice Chairman of the SPD parliamentary group in the German Bundestag
since March 2018: Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs

Takes part in the following session(s):
Launch of Pact for Skills

Claire Herrmann works in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, as a policy officer in the unit responsible for schools and multilingualism. She works mainly on the implementation of the Erasmus+ programme in the vocational education and training sector. From previous positions, she has experience in international cooperation and programmes on education and youth, employment and social inclusion (European Social Fund) and anti-discrimination issues.

Takes part in the following session(s):
EU funding and support opportunities for education and training

Stephan is Chief of Staff & Communications Officer for the Adecco Group, a Swiss-based Fortune 500 company, providing the world’s leading companies with a full range of human resources services and workforce solutions. Stephan started his career as an apprentice mechanic before gaining Master’s degree in History, Philosophy & Sociology from the University of Zurich. He is a board member of economiesuisse and also holds advisory positions at the Asia Society Switzerland and Digital Switzerland. Prior to joining the Adecco Group, Stephan held senior marketing communications and public affairs positions at Swiss and international companies.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Excellence Award Nominees Celebration and Closing Ceremony

Spyros Ignatiadis has held a series of positions at executive level in management, business development, marketing and public relations and communication. For 15 years he was director of the Association of Information Technology Companies of Northern Greece (Thessaloniki). Prior to that, he served for six years as marketing director and public relations specialist for a Greek multinational software company, Singular International. His job experience is based on his tenure at several information technology companies, other non-governmental associations and consulting services companies in the fields of ICT, marketing, logistics services, public relations and communications. His research and professional interests focus on innovation issues in the ICT sector, as well as the creation of a cluster for the development and promotion of entrepreneurship for SMEs. He also has experience in the organisation and administration of national and European research programmes, focused on the development and promotion of research efforts in the ICT sector. He has also been involved in many European information technology projects and congresses, funded by the European Commission and other institutions. He is a member of the Greek National Society of Public Relations as well as various other social bodies and organisations. Finally, he is a vice-president of Elliniki Etaireia Logistics (Greek Logistics Society) of Northern Greece.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 2: Pathways for VET excellence, higher VET as valuable chance for all

Professor Joachim James Calleja is principal and CEO of Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology. He has been involved in vocational education and training since 2001. He is a graduate of the universities of Malta, Padua (Italy) and Bradford (UK), from where he obtained his PhD. He started his working life at the Foundation for International Studies of the University of Malta followed by the United Nations International Institute on Aging and the Ministry of Economic Services Malta. In 2001, he was appointed administrative director of the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology and in 2004 he moved to the European Training Foundation in Turin. He was director of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop). Before joining Cedefop, he was Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Employment in his native Malta. In 2005, he set up the Malta Qualifications Council, where he was chief executive until December 2010. He is an associate professor and was a council member of the University of Malta. He is an accredited commercial mediator with CEDR (London) and governing board member of the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Internationalisation
The spider VET in the Net: WBL for the future

Petra Jendrich undertook dual vocational education and training after A-levels and has long-term experience at a vocational school, including school management. From 2012 she was head of the Vocational Education and Training division at Senatorin fuer Bildung in Bremen. She has been chair of the Vocational Education and Training committee of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs since 2016. Since 2018, she has been head of Vocational Schools and Securing the Supply of Skilled Workers department in the Ministry of Education in Rhineland-Palatinate.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Higher up! VET Excellence for Green and Digital Transitions - Part 1 - Plenary session

Marion Kadoch has a background in English and business administration and a specialisation in vocational teaching. She has more than 20 years’ experience in vocational teaching and in organising Erasmus+ projects for students and staff with partner organisations in seven European countries. She manages Team Europe at the Hansa Berufskolleg in Unna (a vocational business school close to Dortmund, Germany). Her international cooperation experience in VET extends to South Africa and China with her college twin business school in Shanghai.

Takes part in the following session(s):
EU funding and support opportunities for education and training

Born on 29 April 1971 in Ibbenbüren; married, three children
1990: Abitur (higher education entrance qualification), followed by banking traineeship at Deutsche Bank
1993: Trained in hotel management at the family hotel
since 1994: Manager, Hotel Teutoburger Wald
2003 - 2008: Studied business at the University of Hagen, distance education university; obtained degree in business administration
since 1998: Member of the CDU
since January 2011: Chairwoman of the CDU municipal association, Tecklenburg
2004 - 2014: Member of the Tecklenburg Town Council
since 2013: Member of the German Bundestag
2017 - 2018: Parliamentary Secretary of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Bundestag
since March 2018: Federal Minister of Education and Research

Takes part in the following session(s):
Higher up! VET Excellence for Green and Digital Transitions - Part 1 - Plenary session
VET Excellence Award Nominees Celebration and Closing Ceremony

Since 2018, Mayeul Kerling has taught theory and practice of carpentry in Paris at the Ile-de-France regional federation of the Tour de France Compagnions, for the certificate of professional competence (CAP) and professional certificate (BP) qualifications. He began to learn carpentry in 2007 at 16 years old and obtained a professional certificate two years later. In 2011, he passed a Brevet Professionnel. During the course, he was trained by a compagnion (journeyman) who helped him decide to go on the Tour de France of the Compagnions after obtaining his certificate. He worked in Annecy, Lyon, Marseille, Tours and Paris. As a trainer he aims to transmit both a craft and the satisfaction of a good job done to his trainees.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Higher up! VET Excellence for Green and Digital Transitions - Part 1 - Plenary session

Franklin Kimbimbi is an education officer at the European Trade Union Institute in charge of migration, climate change, sustainability, transitions, and equality. He holds a master’s degree in labour science from the Free University of Brussels (ULB) and a master of science in healthcare ethics from the University of Birmingham (UK). He has extensive experience in adult education and digital learning gained in the higher education sector and the vocational education environment. Before joining the ETUI, he worked for 10 years as a research project officer at the Center for Educational Technology of the ULB. Over the past seven years, he has been pedagogical coordinator, head of unit and director in vocational education and training at Le Forem, the public employment service in Wallonia (Belgium).

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 3: VET for sustainability

Viktoria Kis is a policy analyst with extensive experience of VET policy and is currently working on a project that focuses on higher VET across OECD countries. She is the lead author of ‘Seven Questions about Apprenticeships: Answers from International Experience’ (2018). She is the co-author of two major comparative studies: ‘Learning for Jobs’ and ‘Skills beyond School’, which synthesise findings and policy messages drawn from country reviews conducted between 2007 and 2014 around the world. She is the lead author of individual country reviews of upper secondary or post-secondary VET in eight countries. She has also worked on the OECD Survey of Adult Skills and is a co-author of the report ‘Time for the U.S. to Reskill?’ (2013). Prior to this, she worked on the OECD Thematic Review of Tertiary Education.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 2: Pathways for VET excellence, higher VET as valuable chance for all

Education and training
2011-2013 - Master's Degree in Psychology, TSU
1998-2003 - Bachelor's Degree in Economics and Law
German Technical University, Faculty of Economics and Law
2000-2001 - Exchange Bachelor Degree Certificate, University of Lüneburg, Germany
1995-1998 - Professional qualification of TV correspondent, College of Television Arts Training Center
15/01/2017 – 05/ 02/2017 - MASHAV Certificate, Aaron Ophre Educational Training Center, Jerusalem, Israel

International Platform Membership / International Conferences
since 15/10/2013 - ETF, GIZ, Innove, SCO etc.

Work experience:
13/07/2015–20/11/2019: Vocational Education Advisor / Deputy Project Manager, United Nations Development Program, National Authorization Board for Vocational Education
26/11/2018–26/11/2019: Chairman of the Board Vocational College ITVET
15/10/2017–15/12/2018: Professional education teacher
30/06/2013–29/06/2015: Head of Vocational Education Development Department, Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia
05/06/2005–05/07/2013: Head of International Relations Division, Burji Ltd / Atu Association
15/01/2009-30/07/2013: Personal and professional development trainer, Employed independently/Freelancer
05/02/2010–25/02/2012: Director, Human Capital Center HCC
05/10/2005–05/01/2006: Researcher / Coordinator, GTZ and Tbilisi City Hall - Caucasian City Network
05/04/2005–05/06/2005: Researcher / Project Manager, German Technical University, Faculty of Economics and Law
05/10/2003–30/08/2004: Project Assistant / Advisor, GTZ / Banks Foundation for International Cooperation
Languages: English, German, Russian

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Internationalisation

Academic qualifications:
1983: Meester in Rechten (law degree), University of Utrecht.

Professional experience in the European Institutions:
16/03/2018 to date: Director-General – Directorate-General "Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion" (EMPL)
01/2017 – 15/03/2018: Deputy Director-General, DG TRADE responsible for Directorates E, F, G and H.
1 January 2014 – 31 December 2016: Deputy Director-General, DG Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) responsible for Directorates C, D and E.
1 January 2012 – 31 December 2013: Deputy Director-General – Directorate-General Enlargement (ELARG).
July 2009 – 31 December 2011: Director responsible for Relations with the Council. Commission representative in Coreper II from July 2009 until January 2011. G8 Foreign Affairs Sous Sherpa since October 2010 – Secretariat General (SG).
February 2008 – June 2009: Head of Unit responsible for relations with the Council (COREPER II) and for coordination of G7/G8 activities – Secretariat General (SG).
July 2007 – February 2008: Advisor – Secretariat General (SG). Involved in the preparation of a Commission Communication on Agencies and other ad hoc issues.
May 2004 – July 2007: Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Danuta Hübner, Commissioner for Regional Policy.
July 2002 – April 2004: Deputy Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Chris Patten, Commissioner for External Relations.
September 1999 – June 2002: Head of Unit responsible for relations with the Council (COREPER II) and coordination of G7/G8 activities – Secretariat General (SG).
February 1997 – September 1999: Member of Cabinet of Sir Leon Brittan, Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade Policy.
November 1992 – February 1997: Directorate General VI – Agriculture (Unit B.I.1 – Agricultural Law).
January 1991 – November 1992: Directorate-General VI – Agriculture (Unit H1 – International Affairs relating to Agriculture (GATT).

Professional experience before joining the European Institutions:
January 1988 – January 1991: Lecturer in the Law of International Organisations at the Europa Institute, University of Utrecht.
February 1987 – August 1987: Leverhulme Visiting fellow in European Community Law at the Centre of European Governmental Studies, University of Edinburgh.
1983 – 1988: Research Assistant in the Law of International Organisations, Europa Institute, University of Utrecht.

Other professional activities:
Author of several publications of different subjects of European Law.
Frequent participation in conferences and seminars on issues relating to the functioning and the policies of the European Union.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Higher up! VET Excellence for Green and Digital Transitions - Part 1 - Plenary session
The spider VET in the Net: WBL for the future

Malgorzata Kozak is a policy officer in the unit responsible for schools and multilingualism in the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission. She works on the development and monitoring of European Union policies in the area of adult education, in particular in implementation of the Erasmus+ programme. She monitors cooperation on innovation and exchange of good practice within the Erasmus+ programme.

Takes part in the following session(s):
EU funding and support opportunities for education and training
Session 1: Inclusive Excellence

Rikardo Lamadrid Intxaurraga has been the technology and advanced learning director within the Department for Education of the Basque government since 2017. His directorate is responsible for VET excellence, the training of VET teachers, the STEAM strategy in VET centres, their applied innovation in cooperation with SMEs, the alignment of VET provision to the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, the promotion of an active participation of VET centres in European programmes, and coordinating the presidency of EARLALL on behalf of the Basque government’s Department of Education. Prior to joining the Basque government, he worked as a VET teacher and was the principal of Aretxabaleta VET Integrated Centre. He was also Vice-President of Ikaslan Gipuzkoa (Association of VET public centres in Gipuzkoa) from 2015 to 2017.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 3: VET for sustainability
VET Internationalisation

Hans Lehmann is vice-principal at EUC Syd, a regional college offering upper secondary technical education, International Baccalaureate, vocational education and adult training. He is responsible for vocational education programmes, adult training and internationalisation, and he is CIO for IT Center Syd. He holds a master’s in English and an MBA from the University of Leicester. One of the focus areas for development in his job is digital learning, and the consequences for teaching and learning. In addition, training for a global work force is important, and he has a long and wide experience from international projects and networks, EU programmes, UNESCO Learning Cities and a strong cooperation with, among others, Chinese and French companies and colleges. EUC Syd is now a UNESCO College and is strongly committed to working with the SDGs. Since 2007, his college has been heavily involved in the regional transition to be more sustainable and energy-efficient and he is now chair of the board of ProjectZero, a public-private partnership for a carbon-neutral region by 2029.

Takes part in the following session(s):
The spider VET in the Net: WBL for the future

Isabelle Le Mouillour has been head of area International VET Comparison, Research and Monitoring at Germany’s Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) since 2012. She carries out comparative research and policy advice on issues relevant to European VET policy such as permeability in education and training, in-company training and apprenticeship, governance of VET systems and education policy learning and borrowing. She is involved in European projects for the development of the dual apprenticeship approach, focusing on the development of institutional frameworks for apprenticeships, cooperation between stakeholders, development of training regulations and the training of teaching staff. She has valuable insights into the development of apprenticeships and work-based learning as well as VET systems in Europe. She is a member of the European Working Group on VET for Germany. She worked five years as senior expert at the European Agency for the Development of Vocational Education and Training (Cedefop), specialising in issues such as qualification frameworks, validation and learning outcomes in education and training; she mainly worked on conceiving and later on monitoring ECVET. She graduated in economics at the University of Amiens (France) and Kassel (Germany). She has worked for many years as a research assistant at the University of Kassel at the Centre for Research on Higher Education and the Institute for Ergonomics and Occupational Psychology. She is fluent in French, German and English.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 2: Pathways for VET excellence, higher VET as valuable chance for all

Andrea Leruste works for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, where she is deputy head of Unit for ESF & FEAD policy and legislation. Until 2017, she was responsible for microfinance and social enterprise support and previously for gender equality in the same DG. She started her career in 2005 as a teaching assistant at the College of Europe, Bruges, before joining the German Foreign Office in Berlin. She holds a degree in cultural and business studies from the University of Passau, Germany, a degree in international relations from the University March Bloch in Strasbourg and a master of European political and administrative studies from the College of Europe.

Takes part in the following session(s):
EU funding and support opportunities for education and training

Serge Linckels is assistant director of the VET department at the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth in Luxembourg. He was a secondary school teacher in computer science and a lecturer at the University of Luxembourg for more than 20 years. He holds a PhD in internet and systems technologies from the Hasso-Plattner-Institute in Potsdam, Germany, and an engineering degree in computer science. He has published three books and more than 30 conference papers.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 4: Europass and digital credentials

Salvador is the diversity manager at Repsol and president of the training committee at the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, with more than 30 years of experience in training. Passionate about the transformative capacity of learning, he also oversees the development and coordination of dual training programmes.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Excellence Award Nominees Celebration and Closing Ceremony

Julia Lubjuhn is head of unit at the National Agency Education in Europe at the German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (NA at BIBB). Her unit, Innovation and Cooperation in VET/Europass, implements the Erasmus+ programme in VET in KA2 (strategic partnerships) and the National Europass Center coordinates all activities related to the new Europass portal in Germany. Before joining the NA BIBB in 2019, she worked as an expert on international labour market mobility and integration as well as recognition of foreign professional qualifications at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and at BIBB. She studied European studies in Maastricht and holds an MSc in international public management and policy from the Erasmus University, Rotterdam.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 4: Europass and digital credentials

Aino-Maija Luukkonen has been mayor of Pori, Finland, since 2004. She studied social sciences, economics and public health and holds a licentiate’s degree in social sciences from Åbo Akademi University. Before her role as mayor of Pori, she was director of social and health services in the City of Lohja and financial manager at Pori Health Authority. During her tenure, the Pori region has seen a rapid transformation in industry and manufacturing. While many old chimneys have fallen down, the region and its companies have been able to build a new booming automation industry and robotics cluster. Accelerating digital transformation, developing education and finding new ways to help the region’s economy flourish are topics very close to her heart.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Launch of Pact for Skills

Darya Majidi is an entrepreneur, Artificial Intelligence expert, founder and CEO of strategic consulting firm Daxo Group, founder and CEO of business incubator Daxolab, and founder and CEO of Dcare, a company specialising in healthcare technologies. She has been councillor for innovation for the municipality of Livorno, president of Young Entrepreneurs of Confindustria Livorno, vice-president of Confindustria Livorno and a lecturer at prestigious international universities. She’s a mentor, speaker and author of the books Donne 4.0, the manifesto of the Community Donne 4.0, and Connected Sisterhood. She has a bachelor of science in computer science and a master’s of science in economics.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Excellence Award Nominees Celebration and Closing Ceremony

Andrew McCoshan is an independent researcher, consultant and facilitator with over 30 years’ experience in education, training and international mobility in both academia and the public and private sectors. He works regularly with the European Commission and has previously conducted evaluations of the major EU funding programmes as well as the ESF and provided support to numerous EU-funded projects.

Takes part in the following session(s):
EU funding and support opportunities for education and training

Steve Medlin of Collage Arts presents Transforming Young People Through Creative Arts Learning in Unconventional Spaces (CREUS). Collage Arts and Mulab are long-standing partners who have worked on Erasmus+ lifelong learning projects for 18 years, the most recent being CREUS. Currently, the organisations are working together on a Rights, Equalities and Citizenship project called HIT – Hate Interrupter Teams.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 1: Inclusive Excellence

Giulia Meschino has worked for EVTA since 2013, and is mainly responsible for the development of the organisation and the coordination of all network activities. During this time at EVTA, she has gained an in-depth knowledge of European policies on vocational training and education and developed competences in managing European funds. She also has good knowledge of stakeholders and actors working in the world of VET and outside, and harnesses them for the organisation of dissemination strategy and activities. She graduated from the University of Bologna with a master’s in international relations and diplomatic affairs and has had specific training on European funding programmes and project cycle management. She was recently awarded an executive master in management of international organisations from the Solvay Business School in Brussels.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 1: Inclusive Excellence
The spider VET in the Net: WBL for the future

Antonio Mir, principal of XABEC Vocational Training Centre, currently heads the InnMain Association, a European network of VET providers in the field of industrial maintenance and building installations that carries out international actions in the field of mobility of teachers and students, and supports members in the use and implementation of European reference tools (ECVET and EQF). He has played an active role in the introduction and implementation of the dual training system in Valencia Region (Spain), acting as an advisor to the regional government. He is also director of Eifor Foundation, an NGO focused on the social integration of immigrants.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Excellence Award Nominees Celebration and Closing Ceremony

Mónica Moso-Diez is head of the Centre for Knowledge and Innovation of Bankia Foundation for Dual Training, responsible for strategy and direction, as well as researching and monitoring R&D projects in the field of vocational education and training (VET). There are three main lines of research: the study of Spanish regional VET systems in terms of smart specialisation (RIS3); the analysis of scientific research on VET in Spain from scientific criteria and the ‘research public policy’ approach; and the analysis of Spanish VET data and indicators from a comprehensive eco-systemic approach (Spanish VET Observatory). In her professional career she has worked in research and innovation environments, combining executive direction and innovation management in Basque business associations (knowledge cluster and environment industry cluster) and researching and teaching functions in universities. She holds a PhD in political and administration science, specialising in innovation and knowledge public policies (University of the Basque Country) and an MBA (Eseune) and an MA in society, science and technology (University of Oslo). She has published books and articles in international journals.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET research in Europe: topics, structures and cooperation

Dr Christof Nägele is a lecturer and project manager at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW), School of Education, and a lecturer at the University of Basel. He is chair of VETNET, the European Reserarch Network on Vocational Education and Training. His research projects are on the development of career competences and decisions and the shaping of VET careers from initial to higher VET.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET research in Europe: topics, structures and cooperation

Martina Ní Cheallaigh is a senior expert for adult learning and vocational training at the European Commission’s DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. She works in the policy unit responsible for vocational education and training, apprenticeships and adult learning, where she is responsible for the European Agenda for Adult Learning and its network of national coordinators. Since joining the Commission she has worked on many initiatives to further lifelong learning and basic skills for adults, including preparation of the Council Recommendation on Upskilling Pathways: New Opportunities for Adults in 2016. She is closely following implementation of upskilling pathways in the Member States.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Which upskilling opportunities for whom? Identifying strengths and blind spots of the different approaches

Anna Nikowska is a seconded national expert for the European Commission. She works for the VET, Apprenticeships and Adult Learning Unit in DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. Her main task is to contribute to the development of European policies in the field of skills for adults in professional and personal development contexts. She has 16 years’ working experience and a solid educational background in this area. Before joining the Commission, she worked for the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development, where she was responsible for developing the upskilling and reskilling strategy for adult learners and implementing measures focused on adapting workers to the changes in the labour market. She was actively engaged in the consultation process of other national strategies including the National Strategy of Human Capital or Perspectives of Lifelong Learning.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 1: Inclusive Excellence

Antonio Novo combines his training as a technologist and psychologist to develop his professional life around collaborative innovation through clusters. He is managing director of the Cluster IDiA, which brings together 81 Aragonese companies and institutions that collaborate in the development of ICT projects. He holds the presidency of the European Cluster Alliance and of Clusters.es, the Spanish Federation of Clusters. He is also a member of the Expert Group on Clusters of the European Commission.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Launch of Pact for Skills

Prof Dr Gunther Olesch was a member of the board at Phoenix Contact GmbH Co. KG for 20 years. His areas of responsibility were human resources, information technology and facility management engineering. The international company is the global market leader in electrotechnical and electronic connection technology. His contract as member of the board ended at the age of 65. From August 1, 2020, he has been the company’s chief representative. In 2019, 2017, 2015, 2013, 2011 and 2009, he was named one of Germany’s leading HR managers by the German magazine Personalmagazin. In 2020 he was named HR Manager of the Year of Germany by the magazine Markt und Technik. Prof Dr Gunther Olesch has published several books and more than 180 publications on the subject of human resources. He is chair of the board of directors of the Lippe employers’ association, member of the vocational training committee for the Federation of German Employers, on the advisory board of several companies and advises several federal ministries. From 1979 to 1985 he worked for a management consultancy in Bochum. From 1985 to 1989 he was responsible for setting up and managing personnel development in the Thyssen Group.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Higher up! VET Excellence for Green and Digital Transitions - Part 1 - Plenary session

Bicca Olin was elected to the board of the Swedish-speaking school students’ union of Finland in 2014, continuing as vice-president and president until summer 2019, when she was elected to the board of the Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions (OBESSU) board. She also has a background chairing her own schools’ student and pupil councils as well as participating in the work of her hometown’s youth council. In 2016 she graduated from upper secondary school with a vocational qualification in audiovisual communication as well as a high school diploma. In her own field of studies, she has worked at newspapers and Finland’s national broadcasting company in Yle. She currently works at a youth organisation based in Helsinki, Finland, as secretary-general and is continuing with further studies in economics and leadership. She’s been a member of OBESSU’s VET working group since 2015 and was in the working group on rewieving OBESSU’s political platform in 2017. As a board member, elected in 2019, she works on VET and apprenticeships, staff management and impact assessment. She is passionate about increasing democratic participation opportunities for young people, working for equality, diversity and human rights, as well as sustainable development.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 3: VET for sustainability

Cesare Onestini took up the post of Director of the European Training Foundation in September 2017. Prior to joining the ETF, he was deputy head of the EU Delegation to India and Bhutan. He joined the European Commission in 1995, working for six years in education and training policy starting by promoting cooperation in education and training. He has developed intercultural education projects, coordinated school partnerships and teachers’ mobility across EU Member States, and was part of the team that developed proposals for the first EU programme for lifelong learning. He has since worked for the EU in international trade, security and crisis management and external relations, including as head of political and security council affairs in the EU Delegation to the United Nations in New York. Mr Onestini joined the European External Action Service in 2010, playing a key role in setting up the service, as advisor to the chief operating officer and head of the corporate board secretariat. He has been a visiting fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore and is a graduate of Oxford University, where he achieved a doctorate in higher education policy.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Internationalisation
VET Excellence Award Nominees Celebration and Closing Ceremony

James Otieno Jowi is principal education officer at the East African Community (EAC) secretariat, where he coordinates the development and implementation of regional education programmes. He is the founding executive director of the African Network for Internationalization of Education (ANIE), a pan-African organisation focused on internationalisation of higher education in Africa. Mr Jowi is a member of the ANIE board and chairs the research committee. Before joining the EAC, he was a senior lecturer at the School of Education, Moi University, Kenya, where he taught comparative and international education. He sits on several international boards including the Inter-University Council for East Africa, Austrian Partnership Programme in Higher Education & Research for Development, Norwegian Partnership Programme for Global Academic Cooperation, Association of Studies in International Education, and the IAU Expert Committee on Internationalization. Mr Jowi holds a bachelor of education and a master’s in linguistics from Moi University; a master’s in comparative & international education, University of Oslo, Norway; and a PhD from the Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies, University of Twente, Netherlands.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Internationalisation

Jacqueline Pacaud has led the team responsible for the Erasmus programme in vocational education and training, adult and school education for more than five years. She has been coordinating the implementation of the current Erasmus programme and the preparation of the next (2021-2027), based on the mid-term evaluation of the programme and consultation of many stakeholders in these fields and in close cooperation with other Commission services. Previously, she was responsible for cultural matters, mainly the selection and monitoring of the European Capitals of Culture and the implementation of the European Heritage Label within the Commission, General Directorate for Education, Sport, Youth and Culture.

Takes part in the following session(s):
EU funding and support opportunities for education and training

Chiara Palazzetti holds an MSc in anthropology and development from the London School of Economics and has more than seven years of experience in transnational project design and management, including network coordination – specifically through EU direct and structural funds. She is currently working as project manager on the following themes: gender equality and discrimination in the labour market, quality of VET and adult education provision, social inclusion and migration, active citizenship and youth participation. As a project manager, she has overseen several EU projects mainly under the Erasmus+ and REC – Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programmes. She is experienced in the European peer review methodology for quality assurance in the educational sector and has been trained as a peer trainer.

Takes part in the following session(s):
European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA)

Beatris Panas is 18 years old and comes from Remeti, Maramures county, Romania. She has studied at the LTM Marmatia in Sighetu-Marmatiei and is currently a university student at the UBB Faculty of Letters in Cluj-Napoca. Her professional dream is to become a successful entrepreneur and eventually delve deeper into politics because she genuinely believes she can make a difference and that more young people should be invested in political and socio-economic issues. She loves stand-up comedy, driving, reading, collecting books and antiques including furniture and vintage watches, cooking, arts and crafts and spending time with her family and loved ones. She is passionate and driven by nature and once she starts something will always see it through. Her life motto is ‘Everything happens for a reason’.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Excellence Award Nominees Celebration and Closing Ceremony

Olga is a postgraduate paediatric nurse who has worked in the blood donation section at the Agia Sofia General Children’s Hospital since 2002. She taught for many years at the Technological Educational Institute of Athens School and at the Public Institute of Vocational Training.
She has a radio show on volunteering, titled ‘It’s up to you. Save a Life’ at the municipal radio station of the municipality of Heraklion in Attica. She is a writer and a member of the PFVBD, Union of Nurses of Greece and UNESCO-TLEE. As well as science she enjoys many sports; she currently loves sailing and archery.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Excellence Award Nominees Celebration and Closing Ceremony

Mario Patuzzi is head of unit for VET and a member of the executive board of the German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB). Before this he was youth secretary and then head of the departments for youth and VET policy and for education, research and technology policy at DGB District Bavaria. He has qualifications in social business administration from the Katholische Stiftungshochschule München and a master’s in political science, sociology and modern and contemporary history from University Augsburg

Takes part in the following session(s):
Higher up! VET Excellence for Green and Digital Transitions - Part 1 - Plenary session

Enzo Pellegrini of Mulab presents Transforming Young People Through Creative Arts Learning in Unconventional Spaces (CREUS). Collage Arts and Mulab are long-standing partners who have worked on Erasmus+ lifelong learning projects for 18 years, the most recent being CREUS. Currently, the organisations are working together on a Rights, Equalities and Citizenship project called HIT – Hate Interrupter Teams.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 1: Inclusive Excellence

Roberta Piazza is a full professor in adult education at the University of Catania, Italy. She is director of the University Research Centre on Community Engagement, associate director in Europe of PASCAL Observatory (Place management, Social Capital and Learning Region), and a member of the Research Network 4 National Strategies for Lifelong Learning of the ASEM Education and Research Hub for Lifelong Learning. She has a PhD in education and has participated in several EU-funded projects on learning cities, lifelong learning, lifelong guidance, recognition of prior learning, apprenticeships and teacher training. Appointed as quality assurance evaluator on a national level for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes by the National Agency of University Evaluation, she has been a scientific referee for the recognition of competences in continuing education courses funded by national trade unions and is chair of the University Committee for Validation of Competences. She is an external examiner for the postgraduate diploma in education (professional and vocational programme) of the Education University of Hong Kong.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Higher up! VET Excellence for Green and Digital Transitions - Part 1 - Plenary session

Jasmina Poličnik is general secretary at the Association of Slovene Higher Vocational Colleges (HVC). She works closely on the development of vocational and professional higher education in Slovenia. As such, she was also involved in the preparation of a national strategy for HVC and engaging employers, social representatives, students and other relevant stakeholders in the process. In previous years her work has also been related to quality assurance in apprenticeships, digitalising apprenticeship processes, and capacity building of mentors and organisers of apprenticeships.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 4: Europass and digital credentials

Manfred Polzin is senior policy advisor on international affairs at the MBO Raad, the Association for VET Colleges in the Netherlands and, since 2008, for EUproVET (European providers of VET), where he was one of the co-founders. He has more than 20 years’ experience in international project management in vocational education and training. As well as involvement in several European programmes such as Erasmus+ and its predecessors, he initiated and coordinated projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania and China on restructuring and modernising VET. The topics of his involvement were multifarious: youth at risk, promotion of work-based learning, integration of migrants, shortages in STEM areas and promotion of entrepreneurship. In 2006, he acted as external advisor for the European Commission on the issue of ‘Making best use of resources: Equity and efficiency in education’. Furthermore, through leading several study visits he has gained wide knowledge about VET systems throughout Europe and beyond.

Takes part in the following session(s):
European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA)
The spider VET in the Net: WBL for the future

Richard Pond is a policy officer for the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), responsible for collective bargaining and coordination of research. EPSU brings together more than 260 trade unions in 50 countries covering energy, waste and water, health and social services, and local, regional, national government and the European institutions.

Takes part in the following session(s):
European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA)

R-Z

Noémi Ráczová studied English language, literature and Art at the Teaching College of the Comenius University in Bratislava and after graduation Book Illustration at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. For almost 20 years, she has been a teacher at the Vocational Art School in Košice, where she is the Head of the Digital Painting - Concept Art Department. She has made many solo and collaborative exhibitions, participated in several creative and international workshops and illustrated a variety of books and book covers of which she received awards for. In 2018 she won the Public Votes at the Teacher of Slovakia competition.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Excellence Award Nominees Celebration and Closing Ceremony

Amanda Rafter Ekenman has a master’s degree in political science from Linköping University. She is head of the Skills provision department at the Swedish Installation Federation, which gathers companies that install, optimise and control heating, ventilation, water, electrical and telecommunications technology. She is involved in all aspects of skills provision, from how to interest girls in the technical installation sector, to how to upskill the present workforce to be able to promote a green digital Sweden. She is also involved in the #skills4climate campaign, which champions accelerated skill development to fulfil the climate ambitions.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Higher up! VET Excellence for Green and Digital Transitions - Part 1 - Plenary session

Barbara Rambousek is the EBRD’s Director for Gender and Economic Inclusion. She established the bank’s approach to integrating economic inclusion in its mandate, to address inequality challenges through private sector investments and policy engagement. Her focus is on creating equitable access to employment and skills, entrepreneurship and finance, as well as key infrastructure services, reflecting the specific needs of women, youth, aging populations, migrants and others. Ms Rambousek has 20 years’ leadership experience in the design and delivery of multisectoral inclusive development programmes and strategies in Central and Eastern Europe, MENA, Asia and the UK. As head of regeneration and corporate strategy for the London Development Agency, she led major urban regeneration programmes and the formulation of London’s 20-year Economic Development Strategy. Before that, she managed integrated refugee return and economic development programmes in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She is a regular speaker at major international events on topics such as inequality, inclusion, skills, just transition and gender. She holds an executive MBA from Cass Business School, London, an MSc from the London School of Economics and an MA from the University of Vienna.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Internationalisation

Tina Rapp is project manager of the ValiKom Transfer initiative and is responsible for the implementation of validation procedures for non-formal and informal learning at the Chambers of Skilled Crafts, Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Chambers of Agriculture in Germany. She trained as an industrial clerk at a metalworking company and went on to gain a degree in business administration. After several years of working in the private sector, she crossed into the vocational education sector.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Validation of non-formal and informal learning

Chiara Riondino is head of unit for vocational education and training, apprenticeships and adult learning in the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission. She previously worked as policy coordinator for employment policies and policy assistant to the Director for Employment. In this context, she focused mainly on employment opportunities and challenges in the changing world of work, active labour market policies and fair working conditions. She also worked more broadly on taking forward the European Pillar on Social Rights. Her previous experience includes the development of the Skills Agenda for Europe in 2016 and the Blueprint initiative. Before joining the Commission, she worked in both the private and the public sector, including as head of unit in the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Takes part in the following session(s):
European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA)
The spider VET in the Net: WBL for the future

Cristina Romero Aceituno graduated from the University of Huelva in business administration, management and tourism. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in economics, finance and computing, with a specialisation in digital marketing and big data at the International University of Andalusia. As a training coordinator at Inercia Digital, she is immersed in the field of education and knowledge, understanding the value and importance of apprenticeships. Her tasks include the management of internship students in her organisation and developing a programme for externally managing curricular and extracurricular internships of international trainees and those from Inercia Digital’s national vocational training programme.

Takes part in the following session(s):
European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA)

Tamsin Rose is a facilitator and trainer with two decades of experience in the European policy environment. After studying international relations at Leeds University, Tamsin Rose worked in communications, technical assistance for local and regional authorities and public health. She spent four years in Moscow, Russia, working as a radio reporter and as a press officer for the EU Delegation. She managed a EUR 6 million EU programme to twin cities in western Europe with their counterparts in the former Soviet Union. Since 1997, she has also been an independent evaluator for EU programmes on democracy, human rights, media and rule of law, local and regional authorities, NGO support and e-health. From 2002 until 2005, Tamsin Rose was the general secretary of the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), a platform of NGOs and not-for-profit organisations working on health at EU level. In 2006, she became an independent consultant for the public, philanthropic and civil society sectors, working on a range of topics from public participation to strategy development. Her particular expertise is facilitation of events and processes, ranging from team building sessions to high-level events featuring European Commissioners and ministers such as the launch of the European Alliance for Apprenticeships.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 3: VET for sustainability

Scott Ryan has a master’s in political science from the University of Zurich. Since 2017 he has worked as a project manager at the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) in the field of tertiary-level professional education. He supervises federal professional examinations (audit of examinations, assessment of competence profiles and examination regulations) and leads recognition procedures of core syllabus, study programmes and continuing education and training at professional education institutions. He implements the professional education strategic project and represents Switzerland in the Europass Advisory Group. He is fluent in French and English and proficient in German.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 2: Pathways for VET excellence, higher VET as valuable chance for all

Kęstutis Sadauskas is a Lithuanian national. He holds master’s degrees from Vilnius University in political science/international relations and geography. From 1993 until 2006 he worked at the Lithuanian Foreign Service on multilateral issues. In 2006 he was appointed Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Vilnius. From 2010 until 2014 he was Head of the Cabinet of Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta responsible for taxation, customs, anti-fraud, audit and statistics. Since 2014 he has been the director for circular economy and green growth at DG Environment of the European Commission.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 3: VET for sustainability

Belén Sánchez-Rubio is head of the International Department at the Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG), an intercultural national NGO working for equality and inclusion of the Roma community in Spain and Europe. She holds a BA in sociology and political science. She has worked for FSG for 20 years, first as national coordinator for the employment programme for Roma (Acceder Programme) funded by ESF and recognised as a good practice by EU institutions, the UN and the Spanish government. In 2009 she was in charge of transferring FSG experience to programmes and policies at EU level, especially in the Balkans, then in Romania and currently in North Macedonia. She has coordinated many EU projects in employment, education and equality. In 2015 she became head of the International Department of the FSG and is in charge of international strategy, including coordination of EU project and contacts, advocacy strategy, expert assessment and provision of technical assistance to EU institutions and Member States. She currently leads the Technical Secretariat in charge of the EURoma network (European Network on Roma inclusion under ESI Funds), a network of representatives of 15 Member States that have worked closely with the European Commission for 13 years, with the aim of improving the use of European structural and investment funds to enhance the effectiveness of policies targeting Roma people, and to promote their social inclusion.

Takes part in the following session(s):
European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) - High Level Event

João Santos is a senior expert in the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion at the European Commission in Brussels. His unit is responsible for vocational training, apprenticeships and adult education, as well as for the policy orientation of the Erasmus+ programme in these fields. From 2014 to 2019, he was the deputy head of unit. From 2009 to 2013 he was posted at the EU Delegation to China and Mongolia as a diplomatic counsellor dealing with bilateral trade and investment issues. Before that he worked at the Directorate General for Employment and Social Affairs. As the coordinator of a geographical desk, he was involved in the negotiations on the EU structural polices supported by the European Social Fund. His responsibilities included the Employment chapter of the Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs, and the Strategy on Social Protection and Social Inclusion. In the same DG he worked on international relations covering the employment and social affairs dimension of the EU bilateral cooperation with China, the USA and Canada, as well as on multilateral cooperation within the United Nations framework, on issues related to the social dimension of globalization and the decent work agenda.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Internationalisation

Alicia Leonor Sauli Miklavčič is head of development at the Slovene Association HVC, a member of the EURASHE board and working group on employability and lifelong learning, and an expert on short-cycle higher education, work-based learning (WBL), mobility of students and staff and quality assurance (QA). She established the first Slovene Erasmus Placement Consortium, the Slovene Erasmus PHE Alumni Club and Erasmus PHE Teacher & Staff Club and contributed to the selection of Wood Technology School Maribor, Higher Vocational College as an Erasmus Success Story 2012 by the European Commission. An expert on WBL and QA, she has coordinated and cooperated on numerous Erasmus+ KA2 and KA3 projects, developing various tools for institutional self-evaluation on regional engagement, a smart electronic system for Quality@WBL, quality criteria and indicators for WBL in professional higher education with supporting materials for educational institutions as well as SMEs, etc.

Takes part in the following session(s):
The spider VET in the Net: WBL for the future

2019-present: Member of the European Parliament
2013-2018: Minister for Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy
2009-2013: Minister for Labour, Employment and Immigration
2004-2009: Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Immigration
1998-2004: Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the EU
1991-2004: Member of the Council of State
2001-2003: Alternate Member of the European Convention for a European Constitution
2000: Personal Representative of the Prime Minister to the Intergovernmental Conference leading to the Nice Treaty
1991-1998: Director of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in charge of Economic and European affairs and Development Cooperation, Member of the EU Trade Committee
1990-1991: Counsellor at the Permanent Representation of Luxembourg to the EU, in charge of the Intergovernmental Conference leading to the Maastricht Treaty
1979-1982: Attaché in charge of Economic Affairs at the Presidency of Government
1984-1989: Head of Cabinet of the Minister for Foreign Affairs
1982 - 1984: Counsellor at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
1979-1982: Attaché in charge of Economic Affairs at the Presidency of Government
1982: Doctorate in International Economic Relations from Faculty of Law and Economics of the University of Aix-Marseille
1978: DEA (post-graduate diploma of advanced studies) in International Economics
1977: Master in French Literature at the University of Aix-Marseille
1976: B.A. in Political Studies at the Institut d’études politiques of Aix-en-Provence

Takes part in the following session(s):
European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) - High Level Event
Launch of Pact for Skills
VET Excellence Award Nominees Celebration and Closing Ceremony

Norbert Schöbel, born 1961 in Munich, studied political sciences and business management. He started his professional career in Brussels as parliamentary assistant in the European Parliament. He then worked for the representation of Rhineland-Palatinate in Brussels and the Committee of the Regions before joining the European Commission in 2002. Since then he has been active in various Commission services, particularly in the Directorate-General Education and Culture, first as policy officer in the field of education, then as head of sector for interinstitutional relations. In 2011, he joined the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion where he coordinated the work of sectoral social dialogue at EU level. Since 2014 he has worked in the field of vocational education and training, apprenticeships and adult learning. As team leader for Policy in Action, he is in charge of policy initiatives such as the European Alliance for Apprenticeships, European Vocational Skills Week and the Pact for Skills.

Takes part in the following session(s):
European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA)

Daniel Schrapp is the project manager of #HESSENbildung.digital / Hessenkonzept (listed as a pledge at the European Alliance for Apprenticeships) and has been working as advisor for political communication and sustainability at the employers’ association HessenChemie in Wiesbaden since September 2018. He is also responsible for European labour and social policy and works closely with the Representation of the State of Hesse to the EU in Brussels. He studied at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, where he graduated with a master’s degree in political science. He is a former scholarship holder at the Hanns Seidel Foundation and a member of the board of the educational institution CV-Akademie e.V.

Takes part in the following session(s):
European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA)

Michael Schulze is part of the Task Force National Skills Strategy in the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Previously, he worked on the ministry’s white paper process Work 4.0 on the future of work and coordinated an ESF project that supports small and medium-sized enterprises in their human resource strategies. He holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Which upskilling opportunities for whom? Identifying strengths and blind spots of the different approaches

Margarida Segard is vice-president of the European Association of Institutes for Vocational Training (EVBB) and director of the ISQ Academy Training and Human Capital consultancy. She is responsible for tailor-made training solutions for companies, corporate academies for large companies, international projects, European projects, and design and innovation of training products. She is involved in project coordination and developing work in more than 35 countries in Europe, Africa and Asia, in capacity building and training, including CSR, for sectors such as oil and gas, digital transformation 4.0, automotive, construction, the blue economy and maritime, agriculture, manufacturing, process industry, aeronautics and aerospace, energy and sustainability, etc. She was national coordinator of the Qualifications and Certifications Unit at the Ministry of Labour. She was a member of the national committees for 4.0 strategy, green economy and quality in education and training. Her academic background includes a master in law from the Portuguese Catholic University, MBA from AESE, advanced executive programs from INSEAD, Lisbon Catholic School of Economics and School of Law, and the Business School of Porto.

Takes part in the following session(s):
The spider VET in the Net: WBL for the future

Jürgen Siebel joined Cedefop from the private sector in September 2019. As Executive Director, he is responsible for managing the Agency’s operations in accordance with the strategic direction of its tripartite Management Board. Jürgen has a background in human resources management with particular emphasis on learning and education, the strategic development and roll-out of work-based vocational education and training programmes, as well as related corporate social responsibility initiatives. In this context he has also collaborated with institutional actors at national, European and global levels. Before joining Cedefop in Thessaloniki, Jürgen served for 20 years in various leading operational and strategic HR roles in Siemens, mostly as senior manager with global governance or business partner responsibilities. Jürgen earned his MSc in economics at the University of Hamburg, and a PhD in business administration from the University of Vienna.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Excellence Award Nominees Celebration and Closing Ceremony

Pontus is CEO of WorldSkills Sweden, an organisation that promotes the value of skills by raising the recognition of skilled professionals as well as the status and quality of vocational education.
They are a collaboration between The Confederation of Swedish Enterprises, The Swedish Trade Union Confederation and The Swedish Government.​

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Excellence Award Nominees Celebration and Closing Ceremony

Dr Andrzej Wojciech Stępnikowski is a doctor of social sciences in the discipline of pedagogics, specialising in work pedagogy, VET, CVET and education policy on the border of economics. He has a master’s degree in international relations and is a graduate of doctoral studies on the economy of labour. He has more than 15 years of experience with 10 years of international activity as a member of ACVT and Cedefop’s governing board. He conducts research on the double transformation (VET and labour market analysis, curricula, learning outcomes), works with competence profiles and professional examination standards and training programmes (IT, economics and administration, medical and social care), and conducts national and international research projects. He is a member of Cedefop’s community of apprenticeship experts and is currently a senior researcher at Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute for Sustainable Technologies, the Centre for the Research and Development of Vocational Education.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET research in Europe: topics, structures and cooperation

Professor Dr Alex JM Straathof is professor of public management at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. He holds the chair on management of culture change. He studied psychology at the University of Leiden (1984) and obtained his PhD from the Erasmus University Rotterdam (2009), on mapping organisational cultures and culture change in the field of public administration. His research interests lies in practice-based research, in particular in culture change in public organisations and collaborating networks. He is fully aware of the importance of qualitative research methods in theory building. Former research was focused on integrity and cultural blending. He currently holds a position as deputy director of House of Skills, a public-private network focused on the transition of the education and labour market towards a skills market in the metropolitan area of Amsterdam.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 5: Future Skills Needs

Kinga Szebeni works as a policy officer in the unit for vocational education and training, adult learning and apprenticeships of the European Commission. She is involved in the modernisation of European VET policy, its key indicators and graduate tracking. Before joining the European Commission, she had worked for 15 years in the national VET and adult learning administration in Hungary. She was involved in developments related to quality assurance of adult learning and to the Hungarian qualifications framework.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET research in Europe: topics, structures and cooperation

Attila Szekely is VP for enterprise business at OpenClassrooms, the leading online education-to-employment platform in Europe, with a passionate community of 3 million students around the world. He has more than 15 years of experience in bringing disruptive technologies to the market: prior to joining OpenClassrooms he served as head of enterprise sales for Western Europe where he oversaw the introduction a joint quant analytics offering with Palantir Finance to the European market, among other responsibilities.

Takes part in the following session(s):
European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) - High Level Event

Piret Tamme (MA) is a PhD student in educational sciences specialising in the professional development of senior vocational teachers. She works at Tallinn Health Care College as head of the department of vocational education. For more than 10 years the department has provided workplace-based (apprenticeship) training for more than 150 groups on six curricula in the field of health and social welfare. To improve workplace-based training, she has implemented surveys, created curricula, trained instructors and students, and assessed and consulted other schools.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 2: Pathways for VET excellence, higher VET as valuable chance for all

Having spent her career devoted to vocational training and more particularly to qualifications, Anne Tangy was until recently in charge of the certification department at Afpa, the French agency for vocational training. Working closely with the French Ministry of Labour, she worked on several national programmes to develop the validation of competences for jobseekers, aiming at shorter and simpler pathways and offering complementary training and support opportunities based on local jobs needs. She contributed to a French national commission whose brief was to benchmark national vocational standards with the objective of a shared and common language for competence-based qualifications. As part of the French reform of VET, she also contributed to inter-ministerial workshops on the merging and harmonisation of the professional advisory bodies that regulate the creation of national vocational qualifications. Currently, she is a freelance consultant on certification systems and the validation of competences. A strong European believer, she is also a board member of EVTA, the European Vocational Training Association.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Validation of non-formal and informal learning

Dr Marianne Teräs is an associate professor in the Department of Education at Stockholm University, Sweden. She previously worked as a researcher and a lecturer at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her research focuses on vocational and professional learning, immigration and interculturality. She has also studied the challenges of technology-mediated learning and simulation-mediated learning in the professional education of healthcare personnel. Her teaching career covers over 20 years, first at vocational college and the last 12 years in higher education. Her professional background includes working as a nurse and a public health nurse. She currently leads a research project called Integration and Inclusion of Migrants in and through Vocation and Work. The objective is to identify mechanisms that can contribute to sustainable integration of skilled migrants in their vocations in Sweden.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET research in Europe: topics, structures and cooperation

Athanasia Theodoridou graduated from the Department of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), and holds an executive MBA from the Athens University of Economics and Business. She is also a graduate of the Hellenic Open University BA Studies in European Civilization. From 2015 to 2019, she was the director of international relations of OAED, the Greek public employment service. Since 2019 she has been OAED’s general director of VET, a post she also held between 2012 and 2015. She was the project manager of two Erasmus+ methodology projects on the apprenticeship/dual VET system, in which OAED was the lead partner. She has represented OAED in the European Network of Public Employment Services as assistant to the head of PES and as an alternate member of the board of the network between 2010 and 2020. Moreover, representing OAED and/or the Greek Ministry of Labour, she has participated in numerous European and international conferences. She has been involved in designing, managing and monitoring programmes co‐funded by the European Structural Funds (ESF and ERDF), in special management services of the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Education. She has also been actively involved, as deputy project manager and member of the steering committee, in the Re-engineering of OAED’s Business Model programme.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Higher up! VET Excellence for Green and Digital Transitions - Part 1 - Plenary session

Michael Tiemann holds master’s degrees in philosophy (University of Leeds, 2000) and sociology (Düsseldorf University, 2006), and obtained a doctoral degree in sociology (Cologne University, 2014). His main fields of interest are changes in occupational contents, knowledge and learning in the workplace and change in the world of work. He joined the German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) in 2007, where he now works as a senior researcher and deputy head of the division for research on qualifications, occupational integration and employment. He is currently working on a project on the effects of the economy’s transition to Industry 4.0. Bringing together different perspectives on the labour market (employer, employee, politics, education) this project analyses trends in automation and digitalisation in the past and the present situation to project long-term qualification and occupational supply and demand trends, as well as contributing to a better understanding of change processes and how they can be shaped.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 5: Future Skills Needs

Lesław’s professional path has seen him work as a primary school teacher, tutor in a child care centre, high school teacher, lecturer at Opole universities, and head and manager of the largest educational institution in Opole Voivodeship. For more than 10 years, he has supported and led many educational projects. In 2018, the project Closer to the Labour Market 2 was chosen as the best project for vocational education at the European Vocational Skills Week. His professional motto is: ‘Working for people, working for education is working for our future successes.’

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Excellence Award Nominees Celebration and Closing Ceremony

Katharina Tomoff is senior vice-president for Global Operations at DHL Supply Chain, responsible for key operational topics such as health and safety, quality and environmental protection. One of their central areas is creating and offering business practices and products that are simultaneously innovative, commercially successful and sustainable. She has been with Deutsche Post DHL Group since 2006 and has held several positions in the area of sustainability, including head of GoGreen. This company-wide department devises and implements sustainable practices and policies for use across the world and promotes shared value for customers and society. She gained her degree in industrial psychology in Germany and Ireland, she has two children and believes it is our responsibility to make the planet a better place to live.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 3: VET for sustainability

Dita has been involved in VET developments in Latvia since 1995, managing VET reform and development programmes as director of the State Education Development Agency. Her involvement in the skills movement started when WorldSkills Europe was born, with the first EuroSkills competition in 2008. She created the Latvian National Skills body and has since organised Latvia’s young professionals’ participation in EuroSkills and WorldSkills. In 2014, she became a board member of WorldSkills Europe, and in 2017 she was elected president. Today this organisation gathers 30 countries, and is the biggest and strongest WorldSkills entity.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Internationalisation

Ana Cláudia Valente is the deputy director of the National Agency for Qualification and VET, a public body whose mission is to coordinate the implementation of policies regarding vocational education and training for young people and adults, as well as to ensure the development and management of the National System for the Recognition, Validation and Certification of Competences. She is the Portuguese representative on several European and international working groups, namely the DGVT, OECD’s Group of National Experts on Vocational Education and Training and Cedefop’s Skillsnet Network. She holds a PhD in economics, has a postgraduate degree in economics and public policies and a master’s degree in human resources management and policies and she was previously a researcher in higher education.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 3: VET for sustainability

Frank van Hout was appointed a member of the executive board at VET Friesland College in 2009. Before this he worked as an educational consultant for approximately 15 years. His assignments concerned training and advice for schools and management in vocational education. In 1985 he started his career as a teacher for speakers of Dutch as a second language. He attended training in several subjects, such as student counselling, financial management, managing change and business administration. In 2016 he became a board member of the national council for secondary VET schools.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 3: VET for sustainability

Dr Jasper van Loo is coordinator of Cedefop’s department for skills and labour market He has a master’s degree in quantitative and general economics and a PhD in social sciences. As a researcher and project manager at the Dutch research centre for education and the labour market (ROA) he led research projects on labour market issues, skills, employability and obsolescence of knowledge. He also worked on HRD and HRM, taking an economic perspective on human resources issues. He started working for Cedefop in 2007. He led the centre’s early work on skills mismatches and coordinated the centre’s work on national VET systems and policies for several years. He currently coordinates the agency’s labour market and skills analysis work and is part of the team investigating EU skills trends using online job vacancies.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 5: Future Skills Needs

Monica Verzola is the development business director in the international department of ENAIP NET, an Italian consortium bringing together nearly 90 training centres, globally delivering vocational training to more than 40,000 beneficiaries every year. She is also a board member of the European Vocational Training Association, with responsibility for network development. She is involved in the VET4EU2 platform that gathers the four EU networks representing vocational education and training and the two EU networks representing higher education. As one of the experts in this platform, she takes part in the expert group of the EU Associations of VET providers. She has been working in the field of VET for more than 20 years, as an expert in lifelong learning and vocational guidance, and manages several projects concerning job and employment services. She has experience in research and validation of skills, social inclusion, assessment and employability analysis of the labour market.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Excellence Award Nominees Celebration and Closing Ceremony

Ernesto Villalba has worked at the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Education and Training (Cedefop) since 2011. He first started working with the Europass and contributed to the development of the European Skills passport. Currently, he is responsible for Cedefop’s work on validation of non-formal and informal learning. He has worked, with the Commission, on the monitoring, implementation and evaluation of the 2012 Council Recommendation as well as in several of the European Inventory updates and the European Guidelines. Before joining Cedefop he worked as a scientific officer at the Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning (CRELL) at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, contributing to the education and training monitoring (former progress report towards Lisbon objectives) and carrying out research in the area of transversal skills and its measurement. He has served on committees and working groups of the European Commission, OECD and UNESCO. He holds a PhD in international and comparative education from Stockholm University and he is on the editorial board of the European Journal of Education and the Journal of business creativity and the creative economy.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Validation of non-formal and informal learning

Before being elected as confederal secretary at the ETUC’s May 2019 congress, Ludovic Voet was national youth leader of the Belgian union CSC from 2015. In this role, he was responsible for the development of young people’s action within the union organisations (federations and local unions), external representation, organising, affiliation and lobbying. His responsibilities at the ETUC cover sustainable development and climate change, migration, youth policy, non-standard work and the platform economy, education and training, and equality and non-discrimination, as well as organising. His trade union activity started as a student at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). From 2006 to 2011 he was active in the Federation of Francophone Students, helping to mobilise other students to take collective action. He took part in the campaigns that led to a reduction in higher education costs in the French-speaking part of Belgium in 2010. In 2011, completing his studies, he participated in the trade union demonstration against Belgian government austerity policies, and resolved to make a career in defending workers’ rights. In 2012 he was appointed local youth leader for the CSC Mons-La Louvière area.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Launch of Pact for Skills
Higher up! VET Excellence for Green and Digital Transitions - Part 3 - High-level discussion on VET excellence – roadmap for Europe.

Sarah Vuittenez is factory manager for Nestlé in Sofia. She was previously production manager at sites in the UK and Sofia, and project leader for operation performance. She is a people-oriented and results-driven professional with extensive experience in the area of continuous improvement, performance acceleration and manufacturing.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 3: VET for sustainability

Paola Vulterini is a designer and manager of projects that support people with disabilities. Since obtaining her MA in political science with a focus on disability rights legislation from the University of Rome La Sapienza 35 years ago, she has been an ally of the disability rights movement. In 1985-1986 she worked at the office of the European Commission for persons with disabilities. Since 2001, she has been the head of the international office of the Italian Association of People with Down’s Syndrome (AIPD); here, she has also promoted and managed projects aimed at training the leaders of European Down’s syndrome associations on project design, in partnership with the European Down’s Syndrome Association (EDSA). Her projects obtained European grants that allowed her to enhance new programmes directed at people with disabilities in the fields of job inclusion, exercise of political rights, training mobility, tourism and art. In addition, she has worked for the Italian government on improving the legal framework on disability issues, and has taught at the Universities of Roma Tre, la Sapienza and Foro Italico. She currently manages the European ValueAble network project.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 1: Inclusive Excellence

Born in 1970 in St Helier, Jersey, Natasha Walker is an expert in communication, focusing since 1995 on facilitation, participation and designing complex dialogue processes. She works all over the globe, enabling effective strategy implementation, sustainable change and smart organisational development. She designs and facilitates long-term corporate and large-scale participation processes and is also asked to manage and moderate exclusive high-level discussions and workshops with corporate boards and governments. She studied English literature and modern languages (German) at Oxford University and at the University of Göttingen. She also received a scholarship to study international marketing at the State University of New York.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Launch of Pact for Skills

Ana Zacharian is a start-up entrepreneur, promoter, founder, coach, mentor, leader, agile manager and philanthropist. She set up and is CEO of Albanian Skills: National Association for Skills Competitions and is project manager of the Albanian partner in the EU-funded INTERVET WB project. She has a master’s in engineering, with additional studies in business administration, qualifications in private sector growth strategies, and postgraduate courses in urban planning. She has 30 years’ experience in industry as an engineer, in the education sector as a teacher, in international cooperation through project management and senior roles including administration, finance, acquisitions and monitoring, and in a variety of programmes supporting education and vocational training, entrepreneurship and innovation. After being a volunteer at WorldSkills Leipzig 2013, she initiated the Albanian Skills initiative with international and local experts, as a platform for young talents, featuring innovative ways of learning through yearly competitions similar to WorldSkills. In 2018, she initiated Albanian Skills Week, inspired by European Vocational Skills Week.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Internationalisation
VET Excellence Award Nominees Celebration and Closing Ceremony

Marta Zieba-Szklarska is a certified financial adviser and CFO of the European Federation of Financial Professionals (EFFP) in Poland, responsible for financial adviser market development, legislation and respecting the standards for financial advisers on the Polish market. She is a representative of EFFP Poland in the EU for CIFA and FECIF, a lecturer in finance and HR, runs workshops and training courses, advises and consults. She is engaged in social projects as a Women’s Entrepreneurship Ambassador, is a mentor with the Women Entrepreneurship Fund and advises on professional programmes for athletes with disabilities. She currently manages the consulting company Xandoria Group/Świat Kadr and is interim manager in the field of consulting and development of business (accounting, taxes, HR, cooperation with people with disabilities, financial planning and law and administration). Her expertise is in the scope of cross-border employment, HR and remuneration and cooperation with labour market institutions, and she is a member of the board of the Labour Mobility Initiative Association.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 1: Inclusive Excellence

Dr Gert Zinke completed his studies at the Technical University of Dresden in the mid-1980s with a degree in engineering education/mechanical engineering. In addition to his subsequent doctorate, he worked as a vocational school teacher in Berlin. In 1991, he began working for the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) in Berlin in the areas of teaching materials development and training personnel. Later he worked in international vocational training consulting, as a short-term expert in Eastern Europe and as a permanent consultant for GIZ in China. Back at BIBB in Bonn, he worked in e-learning before moving to the department for electrical, IT and scientific occupations. There he was responsible for the renewal of electrical engineering, transport technology and other training occupations. He worked as a consultant and was project manager of the Vocational Training 4.0 initiative. He is jointly responsible for evaluation of industrial metal and electrical occupations and is project manager for the revision of electrical training ordinances in the artisan trades. In addition, he is involved in consulting for the South African vocational training system, which is organised by the German GIZ.

Takes part in the following session(s):
Session 5: Future Skills Needs

Georgios Zisimos is a senior specialist in EU education and training policies at the European Training Foundation (ETF) in Turin. He coordinates the ETF’s work on the Copenhagen process and is in charge of the initiative on vocational excellence. From 2010-2014, he was a member of the cabinet of the EU Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Youth and Sport in Brussels. Previously he was advisor to the Cypriot Minister of Education and a member of the scientific committees in Cyprus and Greece on education reform and curriculum development. In 2005, he was elected secretary-general of the Cypriot Secondary Teachers’ Union, a post he held until 2008. During this period, he was a member of the executive committee of the ETUCE. He has taught in secondary schools in the UK and Cyprus. He holds an MA in curriculum studies from the Institute of Education, London, and has Qualified Teacher Status.

Takes part in the following session(s):
VET Internationalisation