Welcome to Cedefop policy learning forum “VET as a solution to leaving education early”  #VETearlyleaving that will take place on 16-17 May 2017 at Cedefop headquarters in Thessaloniki.

This policy learning form (PLF) will involve the participation of approximately 80 national, regional and local policy makers, institutional level actors and social partners from different countries, as well as representatives from European and international organisations involved in the design and implementation of measures to tackle early leaving from education and training (ELET).

Event rationale and aims

The PLF will focus on the contribution that VET can make to reducing early leaving from education and training.

VET institutions in some countries tend to be faced with high rates of drop outs. However, high quality, inclusive and flexible VET provision may prevent and remedy leaving education early. Cedefop study Leaving education early: Putting Vocational Education and Training (VET) centre stage shows that VET can be a safety net for those at-risk learners in general education offering an alternative pathway and securing their retention in education and training. Also, VET offering a more practical, work-oriented route towards a qualification can magnetize early leavers back to education and training.

Facing up to early leaving from education and training requires a better understanding and close monitoring of the phenomenon; streamlining of existing initiatives; and a strategic alliance between policy-makers, educators, employers, trade unions and civil society. To this end, Cedefop supports evidence-based policy making through research and peer learning, and launches a new Europe-wide toolkit to support the design, implementation and evaluation of VET policies to tackle early leaving.

The aims of the policy learning forum include:

  • learning from the findings of the above mentioned Cedefop study and pilot the associated web-based toolkit;
  • enabling participants to use Cedefop evaluation tools to assess strengths and weaknesses of their policies (at national, regional or institutional level);
  • providing an opportunity to learn from others who are working in the same field through a poster exhibition on good practices from different European countries as well as panel discussions with key international experts;
  • identifying common strengths and weaknesses and recommending possible training needs or areas for further research in the future;
  • committing those taking part to disseminate the toolkit at national and international levels;
  • creating a network of high level experts working on inclusive VET policies.


The PLF will require active participation from all participants involved in dialogue, good practice description in the form of a poster exhibition and exchange of experiences in the plenary sessions as well as in working groups.

The event will be organised around plenary and parallel working group sessions according to the three following aspects of ELET:

  • Identification: identifying those at risk of early leaving and identifying and monitoring those who have already dropped out;
  • Intervention: measures to tackle early leaving;
  • Evaluation: evaluating measures to identify what works and for whom.

During the event, participants will have the opportunity to pilot the new electronic toolkit, inspired by VET practices, providing guidance, good practices and tools to help tackle ELET.

We hope that you enjoy and find this event fruitful,

Dr Irene Psifidou rena.psifidou [at] cedefop.europa.eu (Irene Psifidou)

Cedefop expert responsible for this event

Event details

Event Date(s)
16/05/2017 - 17/05/2017
Event Type
Restricted participation
Cedefop involvement


Irene Psifidou
Chryssa Zekou