High-level forum
on individual
learning accounts

Online Conference

4 - 5 March 2021
9.30 - 12.30 CET


The list of speakers will be updated gradually

Nicolas Schmit took up office as European Commissioner responsible for Jobs and Social Rights in December 2019. Prior to this, and following a long career of public service in his native Luxembourg, he took up duty as Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the EU in 1998 for a six-year term. In 2004, he was appointed Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Immigration.

From 2009 to 2018, he held the position of Minister for Labour and Employment in the Luxembourgish government. He served as a Member of the European Parliament for the social-democratic Lëtzebuerger Sozialistesch Aarbechterpartei following his election in May 2019. Nicolas Schmit holds a Doctorate in International Economic Relations and a Masters in French Literature from the University of Aix-Marseille.

Chief Civil Engineer

Born 18 April 1961


Eurosept Associés (1985-1987)

Head of Office, then project manager attached to the Head of Staff of the Ministry of Public Works (1987-89)

Secretary General for the regional planning and development programme for Île-de-France, Île-de-France Regional Directorate for Public Works (1989-1991)

Technical advisor at the cabinets of Lionel Jospin (1991-92) and Jack Lang (1993), Ministers of National Education

Technical Director at Sonacotra (1993-96)

Railway Assistant Director at the Directorate for Land Transports of the Ministry of Public Works (1996-97)

Technical advisor (1997-99), then advisor at the cabinet of Lionel Jospin (1999-2002), Prime Minister

Project manager attached to the President of SNCF (2002-07)

Director of urban planning at the City Hall of Paris (2008-13)

Prefect of the Region of Poitou-Charentes (2013-14)

Head of Cabinet to Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (2014-15)

Chief executive officer of the Autonomous Administration for the ParisianTransport System- RATP (2015-17)

Minister of Transports (2017-2019)

Minister of the Ecological and Inclusive Transition (2019-2020)

Joost Korte was appointed Director General on the 16 March 2018.

Joost Korte was Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s Trade Department on January 1, 2017. Previously, the Dutch national served as Deputy Director-General in the Agriculture and Rural Development Department as well as in the Enlargement Department. Furthermore, Mr. Korte spent several years in the Commission’s Secretariat General as Director responsible for the relations with the Council of Ministers and gained extensive experience in the Private offices of Sir Leon Brittan, Chris Patten and Danuta Hübner. These professional experiences within the European institutions allowed him to develop a profound understanding of EU decision-making.

A lawyer by training, Joost Korte joined the Commission in 1991, following eight years of academic work on European law at the Universities of Utrecht and Edinburgh.

Menno Bart is Public Affairs Manager at the Adecco Group. As such, he is responsible for managing the Group's relationship with global and European policy makers, and for representing the Group in institutional settings covering topics like the future of work, (youth) employability and skills.

Menno is a Board Member of the World Employment Confederation, the industry federation representing the HR services industry. In addition, he is closely involved with employment and social policy topics working via BusinessEurope, the International Organization of Employers, and Business at OECD. Menno also acts as Co-Chair of the GFMD's Ad Hoc Working Group on the impact of Covid-19 on Migrants, Migration and Development.

Previously, Menno worked as a lobbyist in Brussels for the World Employment Confederation, and as a consultant for Russchen Consultants. Menno is a former diplomat for the Dutch government in Prague and on Aruba. Menno is currently based at the Adecco Group's headquarters in Zurich.

Andrew Bell is Head of National Skills Strategy projects at the OECD. Andrew has worked for twenty-five years in skills, education and training, labour market and social policy in the international and Canadian contexts. At the OECD, Andrew has led the national skills strategy team for more than four years. Under Andrew’s guidance, the team has worked collaboratively with 18 countries on 26 projects to help them identify policy priorities and develop concrete and tailored policy advice.

Andrew also led the preparation of OECD Skills Strategy 2019, which brings together lessons learned from across the OECD on developing and using skills, as well as on strengthening the governance of skills systems. Prior to joining the OECD, Andrew held a variety of positions in government at the federal and provincial levels in Canada. Andrew holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Queen’s University in Canada.

Brigitte Bouquet is the international expert for qualifications at the general direction of France compétences, the new organisation in charge of the regulation of VET, apprenticeship, and in charge of the French qualifications framework.
She is a French expert in the EQF AG group and participates to the French steering committee for Europass.

She was appointed in 2009 to the former « Commission Nationale de la Certification Professionnelle” (in charge of the French National Qualification Framework).
She was in charge of the registration of ministerial qualifications and Higher Education diplomas.
She was involved the development of the web portal and the evolution of the two national registers of qualification.
She has a former experience in TICE in various fields (computerization in the fields of health, and unemployment insurance).

Borhene Chakroun is an engineer and has a PhD in Education Sciences from Bourgogne University in France. Borhene worked, during the 1990s, as trainer, chief trainer, project manager.

He has also worked as short-term consultant for the EU, World Bank and other international organisations before coming to the European Training Foundation (ETF) in 2001. At the ETF, Borhene worked as Senior Human Capital Development specialist.

He is now Director of Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems Division at UNESCO-HQ. Borhene conducted a range of policy reviews and skills systems diagnosis in different contexts. He has authored and co-authored various articles and books in the field of skills development and lifelong learning. Much of his most recent work focuses on global trends in reforming education and training systems and global agenda for skills development in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Sofia Fernandes is Senior Research Fellow at the Jacques Delors Institute (Paris) and Director of the Académie Notre Europe. Her research focuses on European Employment and Social Policies and the European Economic Governance.

She is the co-author of a report on individual learning accounts published in December 2020 by the Jacques Delors Institute and FEPS.

She is also a lecturer at the European School of Political and Social Sciences of the Catholic University of Lille.

Martin Flier was born in The Hague in 1963, and studied Economic Science at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, specializing in public administration and finance.

In 1990 he joined the Ministry of Finance, engaging in economic policy, financial markets and foreign relations. He was also involved in the negotiations for the Maastricht Treaty.

Since 2002 Martin has fulfilled executive functions at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment: financial affairs, labour conditions and child care.

Since November 2015 he is the Director for Industrial Relations, responsible for labour relations, pension policy, labour law and life long learning.

Ms. Anni Karttunen has worked with international Lifelong Learning for over 20 years. Previously she was the head of unit of EUedu – Centre for European Educational Policy. During that period, she worked as an international expert e.g. in Russia, Egypt, Ukraine, North Macedonia and Kosovo, mainly developing and implementing validation procedures and quality assurance mechanisms for the countries (mainly VET sector). She has worked with educational authorities in various EU-countries, worked as an expert for the European Commission, Cedefop and the European Training Foundation (ETF). Additionally, she has published several international articles on validation and co-written books and other publications on Lifelong learning policies. She has trained more than a thousand trainers and educational authorities in Finland, Europe and non-EU countries. Anni has been a key-note speaker in dozens of international and national conferences.

Anni was one of the founding members of the Nordic Network for Adult Learning (NVL), which is appointed by the Nordic Council of Ministers. She is still active in the network as an expert in validation of non-formal and informal learning. She worked for five years as a Finnish country representative in EVTA (European Vocational Training Association) in Brussels, specializing in validation issues.

For three years Anni worked for the Finnish National Agency for Education as the Head of Unit for Adult Education. Her duties included management and coordination of Erasmus+ and Nordplus adult education programmes, EPALE as well as the strategic development of the adult education sector in co-operation with the Ministry of Culture and Education and the EU Commission.

Currently Anni is an entrepreneur specializing in developing Lifelong Learning policies, consulting, training and writing on issues relevant to Lifelong Learning.

Francis as a trained Career Development Practitioner, has a wealth of experience managing frontline operations of Career Centres and Career Coaches at Workforce Singapore to provide career matching services for the Singapore workforce, prior to his current stint at SkillsFuture Singapore.

As Director of Public Engagement Division, SkillsFuture Singapore, Francis plays a pivotal role to deepen and broaden the agency’s engagement and outreach to individuals, developing signposting strategies to guide and support the local workforce in making informed skills and training and career decisions. Francis was instrumental in directing the engagement efforts via online and offline platforms from self-help resources on MySkillsFuture portal, use of SkillsFuture Credit, to providing one-to-one personalised consultation to individuals on skills and training needs.

Francis’ strengths in forging strong collaborations with key partners at the ground level, with community leaders was critical in the early formation years of SkillsFuture Singapore to create awareness among Singaporeans of the various SkillsFuture programme and initiatives via the signature SkillsFuture Advice programme. The strong partnership he has built up with these community leaders become a leverage for SkillsFuture Singapore to reach out and engage the communities when COVID-19 hit Singapore in 2020 and there was need to quickly direct the individuals to available jobs and skills information and opportunities under the Singapore United Jobs and Skills Package.

Patrycja Lipińska has worked as an expert at the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) since 2005.

Her main tasks include coordinating research and policy analysis on VET financing.

Her recent and current projects include financing CVET/adult learning with a focus on demand-side schemes, financing apprenticeships and financial and non-financial instruments supporting training in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

Pedro Moreno da Fonseca undertakes research and technical support in the ILO as a Technical Specialist in Skills and Lifelong Learning.

Prior to the ILO he worked in Cedefop, the European Union agency for vocational training. He has undertaken research and policy cooperation in career guidance, career development, learning pathways, validation of skills, labour market integration of migrants as well as financing and support to training.

He has coordinated international expert networks and acted as policy advisory for employment policies and in the analysis of skills dynamics and skills anticipation.

Stefano Scarpetta has been the Director of the Employment, Labour and Social Affairs (ELS) Directorate of the OECD since 2013. He leads the work of the Organisation in a number of broad areas including Employment, Labour, Migration, Health, Skills, Gender and Tackling Inequalities and contributes to the implementation of the Secretary-General’s strategic orientations in these areas. Stefano represents the OECD in the G20 and G7 and many other high-level international fora on labour market, social, migration and health issues.  Under his leadership, ELS provides continuous assistance and support to countries in the design, implementation and evaluation of polices drawing from evidence-based analyses of how policy affects different economic, labour and social outcomes. His advice has contributed to numerous policy reforms in OECD countries and beyond, and new policy thinking in areas ranging from inequalities, labour market inclusion and the future of work, social protection for all, the integration of migrants, the economics of public health and patient-centred health care.

Prior to 2013, Mr. Scarpetta held different position in the OECD, leading a number of large-scale, innovative projects. He wrote the first assessment of the original OECD Jobs Strategy (Implementing the OECD Jobs Strategy). He was also in charge of the seminal work conducted by the Economics Department on the “Sources of Economic Growth”, which for the first time also included firm-level analyses, and later led to the regular assessment of Going for Growth. Stefano also developed a new framework to assess “The Policy Challenges of Population Ageing". From 2002 to 2006 he was the labour market advisor and lead economist at the World Bank in charge of the Bank-wide programme of Employment and Development; he authored a number of reports and was one of the leading authors of the 2005 World Development Report. Upon his return to the OECD in 2006, he led the economic reviews of Japan, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, China and India. In 2008 he moved back to ELS as the Head of the Employment Analysis and Policy Division and the editor of the Employment Outlook. In 2010, he became the Deputy Director of ELS.

Mr Scarpetta has published extensively in academic journals, including in the American Economic Review, the Economic Journal, Economic Policy, the International Journal of Industrial Organisation and Labour Economics. He holds a PhD in Economics from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris), a M.Sc. in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Laurea Summa cum Laude from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”.

Mr. Boris Sloboda has been working as the Director General of the EU Funds Section at the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic since 2016. Where he is in a position of the managing authority responsible for the implementation of The Human Resources Operational Programme.

Mr. Sloboda worked as a Seconded National Expert (SNE) of the Slovak Republic at The European Commission's Directorate-General for Education and Culture where he coordinated twelve expert groups in the context of the Strategic Framework for European Cooperation in Education and Training and the Europe 2020 Strategy (ET 2020). He was also involved in the preparation of Ex-ante conditionalities for Structural Funds in education for programming period 2014 - 2020.

He continued as a SNE at the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion in the European Commission. For Europe 2020 Strategy, he was analysing and evaluating the implementation of the national policies of EU member states. He participated on country-specific recommendations in the areas of education and training, youth employment and the labour market.

As the Director General at the Lifelong Learning Section at the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic, he coordinated the cooperation of the Ministry of Education in the field of lifelong learning with national stakeholders and developed the Lifelong Learning Strategy in Slovakia. He was responsible for the preparation of the Law on lifelong learning, in which following institutes were defined for the first time in Slovakia - System of Recognition of non-formal and informal learning, Qualification and evaluation standards, National Qualifications Framework, System for monitoring and forecasting educational needs and Quality assurance in Adult Learning.

He graduated with PhD degree in International Relations from the Faculty of Political Science and International Relations of Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia. The analysis in his dissertation focused on “Competitiveness of European countries in the context of knowledge economy”.

Inge Steen Mikkelsen’s work field covers education policy within the area of adult learning and vocational training as well as collective agreements related to these areas.

Prior to this, Inge Steen Mikkelsen had a long experience relating to labour market policy.

Prof. dr. Bas ter Weel is managing director of SEO Amsterdam Economics and a professor of economics at the University of Amsterdam. He has about 20 years of experience as a scientist, policy researcher, supervisor, and advisor. His expertise lies in the field of labour market dynamics, social security, pensions, health care and education.

Before joining SEO Amsterdam Economics he served among others as acting director of the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.