International conference "Education, retraining and inclusion: transformation during the crisis" 

On September 15-16 2022, a thematic conference "Education, retraining and inclusion: transformation during the crisis" was held within the framework of the Ukrainian Presidency in the EU Strategy for the Danube Region.

2 days of the conference, 4 panel discussions, 10 hours, more than 40 speakers - the event brought together representatives of the Ukrainian government, local self-government bodies, the educational community, the public sector and international partners.
👉 The conference was held in a hybrid format: online and on site at Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University.
✅ During panel discussions, the participants discussed the issues of inclusion in the field of education and the labor market, as well as considered the main problems of the transformation of professional education during the war.
"Currently, such measures are extremely necessary. After all, the topics we are discussing are extremely important for our country in the conditions of war. The conference is devoted to transformational processes in the spheres of the labor market, education and inclusion, which arose as a result of crisis processes in the world. It is this priority that Ukraine identified for the EUSDR Presidency, as the problems that accumulated over many years became most visible during global economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia's war against Ukraine," noted Ihor Korkhovy, National Coordinator of Ukraine in the EUSDR.
💻 Topics of inclusion and digital transformation were also discussed. Particularly, Oleksiy Shkuratov, Deputy Minister of Education and Science, shared examples of organizing an inclusive educational environment in Ukraine, as well as the experience of implementing digital tools in the educational process. Hanna Prorok, Deputy Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine shared the steps taken by the Ministry of Social Policy to ensure inclusion in the labor market.
International partners also joined with the welcome speech: Johan Magnusson (European Commission) and Benjamin Bobbe (Hanns Seidel Foundation).

The representatives of the departments of education and science of Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, and Odesa Oblasts shared the experience of their regions participating in the EUSDR.
The recordings of the conference:

Day 1

Day 2

As part of the first panel discussion, the transformation of education during the war was discussed.
Iryna Shumik (Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine), spoke about the internal features of inclusive education in Ukraine, shared state tools for their support and discussed legislative changes regarding professional education.

Iryna Belyaeva (Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine) shared the current situation in Ukraine regarding youth issues. The work of youth centers during the war became an important topic. The speaker also spoke about the implementation of new training programs for young people, in particular the VidNOVA:UA project.

During the conference, the importance of inclusiveness and digitization of education was noted. Oleksiy Sytnyk, the Reform Support Team of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine emphasized: "The digital transformation of education currently involves 3 components: automation of processes, increasing digital literacy and improving the accessibility of education."
Anastasia Holotenko shared her experience with Career Hub vocational and technical educational institutions. Volodymyr Melnyk (Director of Higher Vocational School No. 7 in Kalush) shared his educational institution's experience of digital and green transitions.

Oksana Jus (Vasyl Stefanyk National University of the Carpathians) spoke about the features of spatial inclusiveness of vocational education institutions.

2️⃣ As part of the second panel discussion, the participants discussed the topics of social inclusion and adaptation in the conditions of war.

"The consequences of the war are catastrophic, including for the social sphere: in particular, the number of people with disabilities is rapidly increasing," noted Oksana Polyakova, Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine.

Colleagues from Austria also shared their vision. Mariana Marginter talked about the implementation of educational projects in Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. Marina Tverdostup presented her research on the Ukrainian labor market and provided recommendations for future partnership in the field of vocational education. Jörg Myrtle talked about the project on social innovation SI PLUS - Competence Center for Social Innovation

The discussion ended with successful cases from Ukraine. Serhiy Bohdanov (NaUKMA) spoke about the Safe Space l, and Svitlana Fomina spoke about the "Center for Comprehensive Rehabilitation for Persons with Disabilities "Donbas"
As part of the third panel discussion, the participants talked about labor markets and new approaches to employment.
In particular, proposals were made to improve access to the labor market, while paying special attention to internal migration and remote regions. Speakers also talked about the retraining of the adult population and the development of an inclusive labor market.
➡️In particular, Inna Bondini (State Employment Service of Ukraine) outlined new approaches to employment under martial law, and also shared the current situation on the labor market. She told that today the number of vacancies is several times less than last year. Ms. Inna also told how the Employment Service responded to challenges related to the russian full-scale invasion. Austrian employment experience was shared by Julian Hiebl (Austrian public employment service).
➡️ Liudmyla Vasylega (Federation of Employers of Ukraine) talked about trends in the labor market, and also shared strategies for overcoming the skills gap. The speaker noted that the projects and development of professional education should be comprehensive and take into account the analysis of the labor market, prospects and real results.
➡️ Liudmyla Akimova (National Agency of Qualifications of Ukraine) spoke on how the full-scale war changed the labor market. She also shared the results of the Forbes study on the top skills and abilities for the next 10 years. Vasyl Kashevsky (President of the Volyn Resource Centre) shared the steps that will help in developing soft skills of future employees.
➡️ Oksana Lapa (Institute of Professional Education of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of
Ukraine) talked about the professional adaptation of people with disabilities caused by war.
➡️ Colleagues from the European Training Foundation, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and Employers' Confederation of Latvia also took part in the discussion.
👉 In the framework of the fourth session, participants talked about sectoral financial instruments, programs and projects.
➡️ Johan Magnusson (European Commission) talked about the priorities of the Danube Strategy and support from the European Commission.
The co-coordinators of the PA9 EUSDR from Austria spoke in more detail about the features of the Priority Area 9, actions taken for its implementation and initiatives within the framework of the Priority.
➡️ Stephen Halligan spoke about funding within the new financial period of the Danube Region Program.
➡️ Michael Paulo noted on how EU4Skills works within the vocational integration of internally displaced persons in Ukraine.
📌 The conference is implemented within the framework of Priority Area 9 of the EUSDR "People and Skills", which Ukraine coordinates together with Austria and Moldova. In 2022, "Development of human capital and labor markets" was identified as one of the central priorities of Ukrainian EUSDR Presidency.