This position paper is a common manifesto of the international worker’s chambers day 2019 in Saarland held by the Saarland Chamber of Labour, the Bremen Chamber of Labour, the Luxembourg Chamber of Labour and the Austrian Chambers of Labour. Together they call for the right of initial and continuing vocational training in a more reliable and robust framework and statutory regulations. The rapid changes in the fields and nature of work are leading to various risks and chances. These are to be met with vocational training as an important factor for workers’ professional and personal development as well as to permit and safeguard societal participation and the equality of people. Improving and developing initial and continuing vocational education and training (IVET and CVET) should be the joint responsibility of the state, employers and trade unions.


Accordingly, five building blocks are proposed to meet the challenges and establish a training culture that is fit for the future. First of all, the right to an initial vocational qualification and further vocational training should be guaranteed by law. The latter ties in with companies’ responsibility to consistently provide their staff with vocational training. On a national and European level, policymakers in accordance with social partners have to continuously develop IVET and CVET to ensure their adaptation to possible structural changes. A focus should lie on the unskilled, low-skilled, part-time employees and unemployed by giving them privileged access to especially CVET. Altogether, the policies must actively support the labour market and adapt to the challenges of the changing nature of work by this focus on IVET and CVET.


The objective of this Position Paper is to stress the importance of vocational education in the developments in the world of work. Political action is required to meet the challenges of the labour market.

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Philipp Schnell

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