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Contributions of International Experts and Senior Specialists




Senior researcher at Panteia/Research voor Beleid (The Netherlands)

The main focus of his work concerns lifelong learning, adult education, European policies related to qualifications (European Qualifications Framework) and mobility (Lifelong Learning Programme). Simon publishes about his studies in academic journals, holds presentations both in the Netherlands and elsewhere and provides lectures for various groups of people and organisations. He is involved in many European and national research projects on education and labour market policies. Simon has a background in Philosophy.

Download Simon's & Bert-Jan's presentation here






Senior Account Manager at Panteia/Research voor Beleid (The Netherlands)

International research activities, with a special focus on European Policies in the field of education, employment and regional development. Responsible for a high number of research projects and evaluations for the European Commission, European Parliament, and several Member States. He is a recognised expert in the field of lifelong learning, doing European wide studies, writing articles, and giving workshops and lectures. He is an appointed member of the thematic working group on quality in the adult learning sector of the European Commission. He studied economic geography at the faculty of spatial science at the University of Groningen. In the past he worked as a junior policy adviser to the Cabinet of the Governor of the Netherlands Antilles.

Download Simon's & Bert-Jan's presentation here



Director General of ISFOL – Institute for the Development of Vocational Training (Italy)

International expert in employment, skills and VET policy. Since October 2010 she is leading ISFOL as Director General. She has been CEDEFOP’s Director during the past five years and gave to the European Agency a new start and outstanding reputation. She has been Director General for Vocational Training and Guidance at the Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. During her long experience as a Researcher and Research Director she developed original contributions to scientific and policy analysis in the field of employment and VET policy, as well as several scientific publications.

ISFOL - The institute researches and reports on employment, skills, vocational training and social policy in Italy. The Italian Leonardo Agency is established at ISFOL. Specific activities, responsibilities, etc. of ISFOL include: Definition and implementation of strategic, specific and operational objectives of the Institute; Scientific and operational supervision of the Institute; Development and strengthening of international and national partnerships and networks.

Download ISFOL's presentation here


Pascaline DESCY
Head of Area Research and Policy Analysis – CEDEFOP - the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Greece)

Pascaline manages a team of experts working in VET policy analysis, identification of skill needs in Europe and VET research. Her career in CEDEFOP started in 1997, with a focus on VET research and developing comparable statistics on VET, lifelong learning and skills in Europe. Prior to joining CEDEFOP, she was a researcher at the University of Liège in Belgium, where she was involved in various action research and comparative education projects in the Department of experimental pedagogy. Pascaline holds a Master’s degree in education science from the University of Liège, Belgium.

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Teacher (Primary School), Social Worker and Youth Worker (France)

David has worked in non-formal education associations since 1981. He is the head of “la Ligue de l'enseignement”, the international sector of a strong education association in France. The association has 2 million members and is the most important NGO in its field in France.  The association works on issues  regarding sports, education, youth and social work, international cooperation, struggles against discrimination, debate organisations etc. and is a member of the European Network SOLIDAR.  In addition David is the General Secretary of European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning (EUCIS-LL) and has been involved in different and important European Projects including "reducing digital gap for migrants and dis-advantaged people", "fostering European mobility for young people" and "working on social dimension of education".

Download David's presentation here


Head of Research Projects - IBW - Institute for Research on Qualifications and Training of the Austrian Economy (Austria)

Career Graduate of economics, University of Vienna.
Scientific research assistant at the Institute for Econometrics of the Vienna University of Technology.
Since 1998, Kurt's activity at IBW focuses in the areas of empirical studies on initial and continuing vocational education and training, qualification research, educational flow analyses and projections, school governance, international comparative studies.

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Specialist in Skills Policies and Systems - Skills and Employability Department, International Labour Organisation (Switzerland)

Olga is a specialist in skills policies and systems in International Labour Office (ILO), Skills and Employability Department. Her primary focus is anticipation of skill needs for the labour market. Olga is currently working on tools for skills anticipation and matching linked to national and sectoral policies and strategies. She was a lead person for the global research project Skills for Green Jobs conducted by ILO in cooperation with CEDEFOP, for the EC-ILO project on occupational and skill needs in Green Building and Renewable Energy and on methods of skill needs identification for the low carbon economy. Before joining ILO, Olga worked for CEDEFOP as an independent expert on forecasting skill needs. Between 1996 and 2003 she was a head of Czech National Observatory of Employment and Training. She started her career as a tutor at the Central European University, European Studies and International Relations Department. Olga holds degrees in Sociology, History (major in Social Anthropology), Economic and Political Sciences.

See Olga's presentation here


Sofia University / Seconded Expert at EIGE - European Institute for Gender Equality (Bulgaria/Lithuania)

Maria has been working as a project manager and director of the Bulgarian office of the German Adult Education Association in Bulgaria over the last 10 years, thus conducting projects and trainings in the field of CVET, key competences, university programmes in Management of Adult Learning (AL). She has been working as expert on behalf of the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Research and the Bulgarian Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. She has been one of the national experts developing the strategies for Adult Learning and Lifelong Learning in Bulgaria. She also has been appointed EU expert for pre-accession programmes in Bulgaria, Hungary and the countries of the Western Balkans and a member of Steering Committees of the European Social Funds programmes in Bulgaria. In September 2009, Maria has joint CEDEFOP as a seconded national expert working in the framework of the projects on Training the Trainers and the Study Visits Programme. Currently Maria is seconded at EIGE – European Institute for Gender Equality as National Expert - Gender training.

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Economist for the OECD Employment Analysis and Policy Division (France)

Before joining the OECD in May 2012, Michele was an assistant professor of economics at Bocconi University in Milan (Italy) and the Head of Welfare Studies at the Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti. He is a Research Affiliate at IGIER (Milan) and a Research Fellow at IZA (Bonn). Michele holds a PhD from the London school of Economics and has visited the Economics Departments at Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley. His main research interests lie in the area of labour economics and micro-econometrics. His research has been published in scientific journals such as the American Journal: Applied Economics, the Journal of the European Economic Association and the Industrial and Labour Relations Review. He has also authored and contributed to numerous books and occasionally writes in the popular press.

 Download Michele's presentation here 



Konstantinos POULIAKAS

Expert in Research on Education and Training, CEDEFOP (Greece)

Member of the skill analysis team, working on issues related to skills anticipation and sectoral skill needs (with emphasis on green skills). Currently, he is heading CEDEFOP's agenda on skill mismatch and obsolescence (with Jasper van Loo). Before joining CEDEFOP he held research and teaching posts at the Universities of Aberdeen (UK) and Cyprus, and has enjoyed brief stints in policymaking at the Bank of Greece and HM Treasury. He undertook his Ma. Phil studies at the University of Oxford (St. Antony's College) and completed his PhD at the University of Aberdeen. He has published several research papers in highly-esteemed peer-reviewed journals of Economics (Economica, Journal of Economic Surveys, Scottish Journal of Political Economy, ILO's International Labour Review) on issues related to human capital, organisational incentives, decent work and employee well-being. For his contributions he has been awarded an Honorary Lectureship post at the University of Aberdeen Business School and a Research Fellowship at the Institute for the Study of Labour in Bonn (IZA).

Download Kosta's presentation here



European Union / EACEA




ITC-ILO Resource persons


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