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Developing lifelong learning

Cedefop actively supports the development of lifelong learning strategies in Europe and the Member States.

The Centre monitors and reviews trends and policy developments that are related to lifelong learning. It provides policy-makers with data and analysis and offers opportunities for knowledge-sharing and best practice exchange in education and training.

Currently Cedefop focuses on lifelong guidance, validation of non-formal and informal learning, teachers and trainers in vocational pathways, apprenticeships, early leaving from education, and adult/work-based learning. In the recent past it has also studied ageing workers.##

The projects:

1. Empowering young people

Lifelong learning begins in youth, and early leaving from education and training  has a negative effect on both education and employment. Cedefop is currently reviewing European and national strategies that aim to keep young people in education and training and lower the dropout rate.

In recent years the value of apprenticeships in combating youth unemployment has come to the fore. The Centre, in cooperation with the Commission, is helping to create apprenticeship alliances across Europe. It is also preparing country reviews on apprenticeship.


2. Adult / Work-based Learning

The Adult / Work-based learning project monitors and reviews adult learning trends and policy developments  The focus is on how work-based learning help people develop the skills that give them greater chances of finding jobs and improving their careers.


3. Lifelong Guidance

Guidance and counselling should accompany learners and workers at every transition. The Lifelong guidance project reviews related policy and strategy developments in the Member States. It identifies successful initiatives and makes recommendations for future work in Europe and individual countries.


4. Validation of non-formal and informal learning

The project reviews trends in the field of Validation of non-formal and informal learning – i.e. of learning that takes place outside formal education and training bodies – and supports the development and implementation of validation systems in Member States.


5. VET Teachers and Trainers

The VET Teachers and Trainers project monitors trends affecting the roles, skills and training of teachers and trainers who work in vocational education and training, including adult learning and work-based training. The project promotes knowledge-sharing between practitioners and decision-makers and makes proposals on the professional development of vocational teachers and trainers.

Associated Projects


Designing, implementing and supporting effective work-based learning (27/03/2014) new
21/10/2014 to 22/10/2014 Thessaloniki, Greece


Return to work
6121 EN 2013
Return to work
Work-based learning and the reintegration of unemployed adults into the labour market
Briefing note - Return to learning, return to work
9082 DE EL EN ES FR IT LT PL PT 2013 Free of charge
Briefing note - Return to learning, return to work
Empowering vulnerable adults to tackle labour market challenges
4122 DE EN ES FR 2013 Free of charge ()
Empowering vulnerable adults to tackle labour market challenges
Findings from study visits 2010/11 and 2011/12
Trainers in continuing VET: emerging competence profile
4126 EN 2013 Free of charge ()
Trainers in continuing VET: emerging competence profile

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