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Analysing policy

The 2002 Copenhagen declaration set up a process of cooperation in vocational education and training (VET) in Europe, involving governments, social partners and EU institutions, with the participation of EU Member States, Norway, Iceland and candidate countries. While previous communiqués focused on general short-term objectives for VET (Maastricht, Helsinki, Bordeaux communiqués), a long-term vision for VET in 2020 was agreed in 2010 (Bruges communiqué), with a commitment to implement a series of actions by 2014. Building on the principles and achievements of the cooperation agreed in Bruges, actions in 2015-20 focus on five medium-term deliverables defined in the Riga conclusions (2015). These new deliverables reinforce the 2020 vision for VET forming an integral part of the Education and training 2020 strategic framework and its priorities with a proposed identical policy cycle up to 2020.

Further, the New skills agenda for Europe, adopted by the European Commission in June 2016, launched 10 actions towards a shared vision about the strategic importance of skills for sustaining jobs, growth and competitiveness. Modernisation of VET, development of key competences, upskilling of low-skilled adults and understanding of graduates’ performance after their education and training experiences are some of the cornerstones of this ambitious initiative. 

Cedefop’s in-depth analysis and reporting helps inform the preparations of the European Semester, discussions at European committees and working groups (ET 2020 working groups, Directors General for VET ((DGVTs)), the Advisory Committee on Vocational Training ((ACVT)), EQF Advisory Group, etc.) as well as policy debates at the European Council. 

How Cedefop supports policy developments

Reporting on European training policy: Following Cedefop’s mandate to support policy development and provide evidence for policy-making in VET (Copenhagen process), the Centre has been analysing and reporting on how countries are progressing towards achieving agreed VET policy goals. Main findings and conclusions from this work can be found in the project link above. A final report on the progress countries have made on five medium-term deliverables defined in the Riga conclusions (2015) will be published in 2020.

VET in Europe: Cedefop provides information on national VET systems to help policy-makers and other international readers to understand the main VET features and key characteristics in the Member States, Iceland and Norway. For the Presidency countries in the Council of the European Union, Cedefop produces a special edition of the country reports (short descriptions) and ‘Spotlight on VET’ flyers.

Research on the future of VET: Cedefop has carried out targeted research on the future of VET since 2015, seeking to identify key challenges and opportunities ahead. Initiated through The changing nature and role of VET in Europe project, work will be continued and taken forward in a new Future of VET research strand starting in 2019. Cedefop’s research in this area directly supports political discussions about VET post-2020.

Key competences in VET: Cedefop supports in-depth analysis of how key competences are integrated and promoted in vocational education and training.

Mobility scoreboard in IVET: This is a tool that monitors developments in IVET mobility policies and the implementation of the 2011 Council recommendation Youth on the move in European countries. The scoreboard is a mechanism for assisting policy-making in international learning mobility.

Cedefop supports evidence-based policy and practice in vocational education and training, lifelong learning and skills, also with quantitative data. It contributes to developing and monitoring European indicators and benchmarks in collaboration with the European Commission and international partners. Users may find VET related stats and indicators’ articles under the resources Statistics and indicators