#EURegionsWeeek 2022 EfVET & EARLALL joint initiatives focused on Women in VET and on Youth Empowerment

The first principle of the European Pillar of Social Rights (2017) is quality and inclusive education, training and lifelong learning, focused on enabling people to develop the necessary skills to become active citizens and to be able to successfully manage the green transition in the labour market. Gender equality is the second principle, focusing on the importance of ensuring equal opportunities between women and men to participate in the labour market, considered one of the fundamental requirements for achieving sustainable development.

Such relevant issues for the green transition and for sustainability were the core topics of EfVET and EARLALL joint initiative focused on Women in VET and on Youth Empowerment.

Both organisations joined forces to organise and carry out two online workshops, held in the scope of #EURegionsWeek 2022, focused on issues related to the role of women in VET and to youth empowerment and inclusion, at regional and European levels.

With the active participation of representatives from Regional authorities and organisations and from EU institutions, both workshops were the stage for the presentation of several initiatives and best practices aimed at addressing those issues, and to discuss with all participants ways to look forward and to work collaboratively to tackle all the challenges faced by women and young people.

“Increasing the involvement of women in the Vocational Education and Training sector at Regional and Local level” (October 11th)

Noelia Cantero (Director of EARLALL) opened the first workshop, moderated by Sylvia Liuti (Gender equality expert from FORMA.Azione, IT), which gathered more than 25 participants and a panel of speakers composed by Kinga Szebeni (DG EMPL), Maria Pascual Garcia (Government of Catalonia), Tanja Halttunen & Michaela Voutila (Axxell College, Finland), Amila Suljević Melle (Vestland County Council, Norway) and Enaya Toulimat (Support Group Network, Sweden).

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

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

Participants were then invited to join EfVET, EARLALL and EAEA initiative entitled “Gender Equality Task Force”,  as a way to continue being engaged on the discussions about gender equality and, in particular, the participation of women and men in lifelong learning.

“Raising empowerment and inclusion among youth at regional and local level” (October 12th)

The second workshop, which gathered 35 participants, was opened by Valentina Chanina (EfVET) and moderated by Tknika Director of Internationalisation, Iñigo Araiztegui.

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

There was also time for the presentation of best practices currently being implemented in Tuscany region (Gionavi Sí initiative by Bernard Dika, Spokesperson of the President), on the scope of NEEET for NEETs Co-creating Social Sustainability project, coordinated by the Västra Götaland Region (represented by Jonas Abrahamsoon) and the presentation of the main results from a study on the changes in mental health of young people after COVID-19, conducted by Dóru Kornél (student at Maastricht University).

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

All presentations used on both workshops will soon be available at the European Week of Regions and Cities website.

Looking forward for the #EURegions Week 2023, another opportunity to gather stakeholders and beneficiaries of relevant regional and EU policies and initiatives!

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