Centres of Vocational Excellence - Building “Skills Ecosystems” For Innovation, Regional Development, Smart Specialisation and Social Inclusion
The combined effects of rapid technological change, demographic trends, and new forms of work, call for innovative ideas to ensure that VET not only adapts to change, but is also at the forefront of mastering and driving this change.
As the "shelf-life" of skills is becoming increasingly short, VET institutions must become more flexible and responsive to the need for renewing their offer, companies have to become an active partner in designing and providing opportunities for work-based learning, and individuals need to embrace lifelong learning to maintain their employability, active citizenship and quality of life.
How can VET rapidly adapt skills provision to evolving local economic and social needs, while the challenges they are facing is increasingly complex and global? How can they provide both initial training of young people as well as continuous up-skilling and re-skilling of adults?
Join Joao Santos to learn about the European Commission's initiative on Centres of Vocational Excellence, which aims to address these issues and support the paradigm shift needed for VET to collaborate internationally, as well as interact with partners in local innovation ecosystems.
Senior Expert in the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs, and Inclusion, European Commission, Belgium
João Santos is a Senior Expert in the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs, and Inclusion at the European Commission in Brussels.
The Unit is responsible for the coordination of Vocational Education and Training policy in the EU, as well as for the policy orientation of the Erasmus+ programme in this field.
He previously worked as the coordinator of a geographical desk, and 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. He also 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.
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.