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PRESS RELEASE 26 May 2005 at 10 a.m.

”Today Finland is the world’s capital in vocational education”

EU Commissioner Ján Figel’ and Minister of Education and Science Tuula Haatainen discussed the importance of life-long learning and vocational skills during the first day of the WorldSkills competition. “It is essential to the future of European Union to invest in education and research”, Minister of Education and Science Tuula Haatainen stated and continued: “This is a question of economic growth and employment.”

Minister Haatainen explained also the objectives of Finland during its forthcoming EU presidency in year 2006: “The main objectives are life-long learning, improvement of education, equality and effectiveness. Taking better use of research and innovation work also are among the main objectives.” 

Commissioner Figel’ complimented Finnish education system and Finland’s role in enlargement of EU during its previous EU presidency: “According to several different studies measuring the level of education Finland has gained the best results. In 1999 Finland was among the countries starting the integration of Europe. Currently Finnish education system serves as a model for new member countries. At the beginning of the competition Finland is the world’s capital in vocational education.” 

Both Minister Haatainen and Commissioner Figel’ considered education which adapts to the changes, life-long learning and appreciation of vocational education as essential aspects to the growth in employment. “Education is vital to the economic growth, social well-being and good political system. Life-long learning means life-long earning.”, stated Commissioner Figel’.

The Commissioner looked around the WorldSkills Competition site.” It is not only about the competition but new things and new ways to do them. Young people from all around the world get to meet each other.”


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Updated 26.5.2005  © 2004 Skills Finland ry

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