JEF Helsinki picture

JEF Helsinki calls for the decision-makers to-be-elected to adopt a holistic approach in the advancement of the movement of vocational expertise


A functioning common market requires true movement by vocational professionals. As with the free movement of goods, the movement of professionals is affected by several causes, of which the direct regulation of minimum vocational requirements is but one. JEF Helsinki asserts that the Finnish members of the European Parliament and the Finnish commissioner are to advance the movement of vocational expertise holistically during the upcoming institutional cycle.

The pre-existing services, such as EURES and Europass are lacking from this point of view, and consequently, it is of primary importance to develop international employability proactively. At the current moment, the problems lie with the practical execution, not with the systems themselves.

JEF Helsinki draws attention to three real factors contributing to the movement of professionals: social networks, economic standing, and the recognition of competences. Social networks are a key factor in the formation of a person’s support structure. Networks are needed in job-seeking, in moving to a new locale, as well as in all the different stages of an individual’s working life. The European Union can offer support in creating networks during vocational training first and foremost through its exchange and internship programs.

JEF Helsinki brings up voluntary work and the non-formal education achieved through active recreational participation as an important additional way of creating networks. It is expedient that the planning of programs funding non-formal education ensures that they reach, and are also targeted towards, students in vocational education.

JEF Helsinki also pays attention to the economic standing of professionals in terms of accruing movement experience. This needs special attention with apprenticeship trainees, whose income levels are tied to working for their employers. The economic standing is to be improved by ensuring the acceptance of their training and subsequently the admissibility of their study–social benefits, and by paying further attention to the coverage of the funding programs for exchanges and internships. Mobility programs need to be tailored for apprenticeship trainees so that they also have the economic opportunity of building European networks. The recognition of expertise in the labor market does not actualize by mere regulation but requires also that employers and training organizers recognize accrued vocational expertise.

For the full functioning of free movement and Europass-style resumés, it is not enough that they should exist, but they must actively be brought to the attention of training organizers and, therefore, employers. In the area of the recognition of expertise, European decision-makers must press the member states to the more effective utilization of different tools and urge them to participate in programs and projects in collaboration with regions. Such projects with regional actors are to be focused on the grassroots level according to the strengths of the participant regions and would thus reach the effective employers of each region through the contacts of local actors the easiest.

The mobility of professionals has an important role when Europe is being built and when new forms of industry are being created, for example in digital services. There is a lot to improve, as the EU common market is growing clearly slower on the service sector than its rivaling economic blocks. Only the full implementation of the service directive may raise the GDP of the EU area by 2%. True mobility will, in the long term, lead to the further consolidation of education and the labor (1) market’s expectations.

JEF Helsinki sees that the issue of free movement is not solved by simple deregulation and convergence, but that in addition, it needs a far-reaching mobility-supporting approach in its support.

International work needs to be the norm also in the service sector for free movement and the common market to truly work. For this reason, JEF Helsinki calls for action from the Finnish members of the European Parliament and the Finnish commissioner to-be-elected in ensuring the creation of professionals’ networks, the securing of their economic standing, and the recognition of their expertise as a part of a holistic approach for the purpose of advancing professional mobility.


Juho Mölsä
Vice-Chair 2019
045 647 2033

Denis Shemyakin
Treasurer, Events and Partnerships Coordinator 2019
041 505 6185

The original article was published on May 4th, 2019. 

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