ARALE conference

The ARALE Conference took place in Brussels on 2nd and 3rd of October 2013.

Inspired by the youth

Combining professional organization, young activists and social media is a formula for a successful campaign for raising awareness of vocational educational training. Tiia Meuronen brought inspiration from campaigning among and with young people to the adult educators at the conference.

“We trained the school activists for the campaign,” explained Tiia Meuronen from the “Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions (OBESSU) - the platform for cooperation between the national school student unions active in general secondary and secondary vocational education in Europe.

Using the energy of the students themselves was an important asset of the OBESSU campaign, called “Claim your Voice! Stand up for VET!”

Make VET attractive

“The status of VET and VET students is still low. VET is seen as the "plan B" if nothing else works. That is why we started this campaign in 2011,” said Tiia Meuronen. She listed four objectives:

raise awareness of Vocational Education and Training (VET)secure representation of VET studentsbring value to VET systems and discuss it as a viable alternative to academic studiesmake VET more attractive

Campaign tools

OBESSU combined a number of campaign tools and elements, and they planned the effort meticulously. Before launching the campaign they made a survey, contacted stakeholders and built support.

Important politicians were involved. Online actions on web, Facebook and Twitter were part of the campaign, school student activists were gathered from many European countries to be trained, and the member organizations expanded the campaign on national level.

Tiia Meuronen acknowledged that the success of the campaign was not all up to OBESSU: “It was an important factor that VET, apprenticeships and work-based learning are priorities at the institution level,” she said.

OBESSU campaign site