Haldis Holst


Haldis Holst is Deputy General Secretary of Education International (EI) which represents organisations of teachers and other education employees across the globe and is the world’s largest federation of unions.

In her keynote, Haldis Holst will address the topic “Decent work and quality learning. How to involve and engage the individual as well as the workforce in lifelong learning.”

Lifelong learning is part of the commitment countries signed on to when they adopted the Sustainable Development Goals and is specifically mentioned in Goal 4: ‘to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’. Education is an individual human right and lifelong learning should also have individual needs as a starting point. But at the same time as education is a goal in itself, it is also a means to achieve other goals. Such as decent work, gender equality and to end poverty. Therefore there is a collective interest, or a societal interest, in achieving education for all. Employers will also have a natural interest in ensuring that their workforce is qualified in the best possible way for today as well as tomorrow’s work. Lifelong learning concerns us all. Individuals, unions, employers, businesses and Governments.

ILO recommendation no 195 states clearly that the responsibility for making lifelong learning a reality should be shared between the government (primary responsibility), enterprises, the social partners, and the individual.

The ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work will present their report on 22 January. This should give us some insight in the challenge ahead and perhaps some recommendations.

  • How can the needs of the individual be partnered with the needs of the workplace and/or society?
  • How can we secure that lifelong learning opportunities are inclusive, equitable and of high quality?
  • What role can new technologies play?

And how can we link a country’s formal education system, quality assurance systems and qualification accreditation systems to lifelong learning opportunities?

Haldis Holst is also currently Chair of the Governing Board of The European Wergeland Centre (EWC). The EWC is a resource centre based in Oslo for education professionals, researchers, civil society, policymakers, parents and students across Europe. In addition Ms Holst serves on the Board of Directors of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and on the Board of the Global Campaign Against child Labour.

Ms Holst graduated as a teacher in 1983, after majoring in English and Physical Education. She has worked as a teacher in primary and secondary schools and has been a union representative at local, regional and national level. In 2001, she became Vice-President of Norsk Lærerlag (NL). After the merger of the two largest teacher unions in Norway in 2002, she was an Executive Board member and later Vice President of Utdanningsforbundet (Union of Education Norway).

Ms. Holst has also served as Norway’s representative on the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and been a member of the Executive Board of Education International. Ms. Holst was Vice-President of EI from 2009 – 2012.

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