The European Training Foundation (ETF) and the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS) signed a cooperation agreement in 2013, which was recently extended till 2020 based on the positive assessment of the cooperation from both sides.

The cooperation mainly focuses on expertise exchange and development in the area of VET skills system governance. The governance of skills development systems is high in the global agenda. In the European Union, vocational skills are seen as crucial for people employability and good quality employment. At global level, the SDGs have brought stronger attention on education and lifelong learning as effective means to reduce inequality, improve inclusion, decent employment and justice.

The 2018 institutional meeting took place on 18 September in Torino, and provided the opportunity to review the cooperation achievements as well as plan for the period 2019-2020.

Among the achievements, the mutual contribution in expert meetings and conferences was judged as extremely fruitful. Few examples among others included:

IIAS contribution on the subject of change theory to the ETF workshop “VET decentralisation, financing and innovation. Exploring governance challenges and options” held in Torino;

ETF session on VET governance in the IIAS Congress 2018 held in Tunis;

IIAS contribution to the ETF corporate conference “Skills4Future” held in Torino.

These and other expert exchanges opportunities brought benefits notably in terms of exposing the stakeholders in the ETF partner countries to academic knowledge and continuous developments in the domain of public policy governance. The stimulus for the actual expertise of the two organisations was quoted too as an advantage of the institutional cooperation. Expert exchanges and knowledge dissemination was therefore confirmed as a priority to be continued in the next period.

There are good opportunities in this respect: the IIAS Congress 2019 in Singapore; the MENAPAR Conference 2019 in Morocco; the ETF dissemination event on Public-Private Partnerships for Skills Development; and one of the ETF events in a partner country.

Publications is another area where the two organisations see reciprocal advantage. Collaboration on specific publications proved to be very effective in the early years of the cooperation, thus it was agreed that it should remain an objective for the near future.

The theme of public-private partnerships in VET has a good potential for the IIAS expert contribution in the ETF publication. Another area of interest that should be further discussed is the role of civil society in the VET policy cycle.

The ETF Torino Process will unfold in 2019-2020 in all the partner countries. This will open options for cooperating at analysis stage and dissemination events.

Last but not least, the IIAS has been associated to the ETF strategic reflection regarding the role of the ETF as an official EU agency in the post-2020 perspective.

Siria Taurelli (Italy), ETF