sexta-feira, junho 01, 2007

Guidance for Workforce Development

European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, Thessaloniki

Dear Chair Aviana,
Dear Secretary General,
Honourable Representatives of the Commission,
Dear Friends,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. First I would like to thank you for the invitation for this interesting Conference about “Guidance for Workforce Development”, in this magnificent town of Thessaloniki.
I come from a country where the unemployment increased during the last years, even if there is economic growth and a significant part of the employment is almost obsolete and not competitive. And we must take in account that most of our older workers do not have enough education to adapt quickly to the jobs now available in the labour market, and most of them do not know really how to move inside the new labour market.

On the other hand, most of the workers, well-qualified, go abroad to get better wages, often without the useful information for their professional careers.

2. As you know, dear friends, the problem of the employability is not only a Portuguese problem, it is really a European problem and also it exists in other regions of the world. The main concern is really how to adapt the existent workforce to the needs of the new economy, in a world of globalisation. It is also a way to fight against social exclusion. For that we need to improve the systems of long life learning and to sophisticate the guidance practices for workforce development.

3. Then we come to the concerns with the Workforce Develpment, what we will
discuss today and tomorrow, in this Conference. The people that works in a changing world, needs really to know better how they can find a quicker and solid way to a better and more qualified job.

4. Dear Friends, The strategy of Lisbon could get the employment objectives not in 2010, but possibly around 2012 or 2013, following some previsions. But, what is important is to keep the path, ensuring the application of the social component of the Lisbon Strategy. The objectives defined were not only for the economic field, concerning modernisation and competitiveness, but also they establish clearly social objectives. And it is very important for the social cohesion in Europe that together, we accomplish also, these social objectives.

5. The European Social Model exists and subsists, following specific ways in most of the regions of the Continent and in the majority of the Union Member States. And we should reinforce it, also with more and better jobs, more guidance for workforce, dynamic and positive changes inside the companies and the services, a labour market more and more adapted to the person’s needs and aspirations and the evolution of industries and services. It is not enough the economic growth. We need economic development and social solidarity. For that, we need to have the people better prepared, during all their life.

6. The better qualifications are very important for the effectiveness of the free movement and circulation of European workers across all the European Union. The benefits of the European market could not be only for the industries. These benefits should be, must be good for the people, for the workers and their families. And for getting that, we will need a better guidance for workforce, showing all the workers how they can develop their careers or overcome the difficulties of restructuring processes in a more transparent labour market.

7. Ladies and Gentlemen, When I will come back to Brussels, I will present my full report about this Conference of Thessaloniki. I am convinced that your work will be food for my mind and for my report, then for my colleagues, Members of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, dear Friends, be aware that also I will send a copy to the Portuguese Presidency, which will begin next Sunday, and I will tell them the importance that the Greek Government gives to your activity. And I hope that the support of the European Parliament to your activity will be almost enough to overcome the restrictions that exists, on the European level, concerning generally speaking, the support on the financing of the Agencies and other organisations. In our case, supporting the good work which is being done all over the Europe, by yourselves.

8. Dear Friends, Today I learnt the meaning of the nice name of Aviana. Aviana was a lady, in the older Roman times, who predicted the future through the way that birds moved and flew. I hope that the good speech of our chair could not only predict the future but also put pressure in order that it happens.

Thank you for your attention.