More than 50% of the 5.3 million asylum seekers who arrived in OECD countries between 2014 and 2017 were 18-34 years old. The OECD’s new report Unlocking the potential of Migrants uses practical examples to highlight the advantages of vocational education and training (VET) for the inclusion of young migrants in European society.

The European Week of Action for Girls (EWAG) concludes today, Friday 11 October, with the International Day of the Girl. In its seventh year, the EWAG calls on the EU to better protect the rights of girls through external actions in order to fight discrimination and to raise awareness to persisting gender inequality issues. This year’s topic is #girlsspeakout with a focus on girls’ right to education, economic empowerment, girls’ and young women’s participation in decision-making and freedom from (gender-based) violence.

As our lives become more digital, online safety is a critical concern. Every October is European Cybersecurity Month, and this year’s event focuses on cyber hygiene and new technologies. Cybersecurity is also a vital topic for education. ETUCE advocates for all students to receive a comprehensive cybersecurity education as early as possible. Cyberbullying is devastating form of harassment, so schools must ensure that students and teachers alike get protection and support. Education personnel must also be trained on the risks new technologies pose – not only for students, but for their own safety and wellbeing.

The EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights is 10 years old. The Council of the European Union is marking the anniversary by reaffirming the importance of the common values enshrined in the Charta. These cover human rights, the right to decent working conditions and collective bargaining and the right to free education. At ETUCE we welcome the political support for these core principles, and stress the central role of education in promoting these values and fundamental human rights.

Mental health is a trade union issue. Workers across Europe face mental health difficulties as a result of work-related stress, harassment, bullying or violence. The education sector demands intense social, intellectual and emotional engagement, and workers are often under excessive pressure. Only a systematic approach can prevent psychosocial hazards in the workplace, to protect against work-related stress and its potentially devastating consequences.

The European Semester – the EU’s annual process of economic and social policy coordination – has major implications for education systems and their workers. On 1 October 2019, in Brussels, ETUCE worked with EPSU to organise the conference “Public Service Trade Unions – Effective Intervention in the European Semester”. This was the conclusion of a joint project to investigate the impact of the European Semester on public services and education and the role played by public service trade unions.