More than 300 delegates from 28 of the ETF’s 29 partner countries, representatives of EU and international organisations are gathering in Torino for the Changing Skills for a Changing World conference.
The two-day event is taking place at the Lingotto building that once housed Fiat’s famous modernist factory building.
Built in 1923 – and arguably made world famous when its rooftop testing track featured speeding Minis in the iconic British movie of 1969 starring Michael Caine – the Lingotto now houses cinemas, shops, university facilities and hotels.
It is a fitting venue for a conference looking forward to the key role skills training has to play in addressing the economic and social challenges of a fast changing world.
Opening the conference, Madlen Serban, who is stepping down as head of the ETF, introduced her successor Cesare Onestini, until recently the deputy head of the EU Delegation in Delhi.
Ms Serban underlined the importance of widening the scope of the ETF’s work with partner countries to meet and embrace change. “Do we want to make progress in perpetuating in what does not work or to make progress in changing the world?
‘The ETF wants to give a purpose not only through work but coming together creating communities,’ Ms Serban said.
The evolving nature of the Torino Process – from an analytical tool that, when it launched in 2010, focused on assessing the existing state of VET in partner countries, to a multi-purpose policy lever that is increasingly used to effect change and implement reform – was vividly put into context by contributions from two expert panels during the conference opening afternoon.
Arman Toskanbaev, a 26-year-old businessman and entrepreneur from Kazakhstan told a panel on ‘Setting the Context’ that although he had not benefitted from a Higher Education, by the time he was 17, taking note of inspirational teachers, he already understood that he could teach himself all that he needed to be capable in any field he chose to put his mind to.