Contribution of collective bargaining to continuing vocational training, M. Giaccone, EIROline, Dublin, Compartive study, 41 p. (2009).
Continuing vocational training (CVT) is a strategic domain in lifelong learning policies. It can benefit individual workers by enhancing their career development and skills base, which also benefits the employers and can contribute to the modernisation of business production (Parent-Thirion et al, 2005; European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) et al, 2007). Therefore, private companies and individuals are encouraged to share the responsibility of updating skills in order to reach the objective of a 12.5% adult participation rate in education and training by 2010.
The ‘Copenhagen Process’ on education and training was launched by a declaration of the European Ministers of Vocational Education and Training, and the European Commission, in Copenhagen in 2002. Reaffirmed in Maastricht in 2004 and Helsinki in 2006 and recently in Bordeaux in 2008, the process aims to contribute to the achievement of the 2010 goals in education and training. It can do so by enhancing cooperation in vocational education and training (VET) and by encouraging stronger stakeholder involvement, especially when increasing support for the development of competences and qualifications at sectoral level.
Although largely incomplete, the results at EU and national levels are consistent in showing a positive impact of collective bargaining on CVT participation. However, it should be noted that the Copenhagen Process encouraged most EU Member States to introduce or revise their national CVT systems. It paid particular attention to increasing their transparency and provided incentives to foster both companies’ and individuals’ demands for CVT. The European education and training strategy also aimed to improve the efficiency of the CVT systems in order to keep them economically sustainable.