This Europe-wide toolkit is inspired by successful VET practices is a result of Cedefop's work on tackling early leaving from education and training aiming at:

  • helping young people at risk of becoming early leavers to remain in education and training and qualify;
  • helping early leavers to reintegrate into education or training and the labour market.
Policy-makers and practitioners, working in a ministry, VET school, company, guidance centre, public employment service, social service, or youth organisation, looking for ways to:
  • identify and monitor early leavers and learners at risk of leaving education early;
  • intervene to retain them in, or bring them back to, education or training;
  • evaluate related measures undertaken within a country, region or institution.
Register to stay tuned for news and forthcoming events about tackling early leaving.
  • Reflection tool for policy-makers: how to improve the national strategy to tackle early leaving from VET – intended to help government representatives at national, regional or local level to reflect about the current strategies for tackling early leaving from education and training in the country, region or municipality, and develop an action plan to improve them.
  • Reflection tool for VET providers: how to improve your approach to tackle early leaving - intended to help VET providers to reflect about their approach to tackle early leaving, and develop an action plan to improve it.
  • Evaluation plans for policy makers or VET providers to help design an appropriate monitoring and evaluation approach.
  • Good practices – successful measures implemented in different EU countries to tackle early leaving. 
  • Tools for tackling early leaving from education and training, drawn from successful VET practices, including instruments developed as part of projects funded by the Lifelong learning and Erasmus+ programmes.
  • Quick wins – relatively simple and quick to implement activities that can contribute to tackling early leaving.

The toolkit covers resources at the European or international initiatives and also resources from 33 European countries, including all the 27 EU member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, plus information from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

You can use the toolkit to:

  • Promote reflection and dialogue among policy-makers and practitioners on the current strategies to tackle early leaving from VET;
  • Support decision-making processes through the development of action plans inspired by the toolkit guidance, tips, and good practices.

Integrate the following activities in your workshop, training session or event to promote reflection and good practice on how to tackle early leaving from education and training. The activities, available here in MS word files, can be downloaded and used independently and can be tailored to your audience. Each activity includes a set of questions to trigger reflection and discussion, guidance for consulting the relevant toolkit sections, and materials to help participants turn reflection into action.

Toolkit development

The toolkit was conceptualised by Irene Psifidou, Expert at the Department of VET and Skills and was developed under her responsibility.

Currently, the toolkit is managed by a team comprised of Irene Psifidou, Toolkit and Team Coordinator; Anthie Kyriakopoulou, Assistant, VET toolkit Administrator; and Cedefop trainee; at the Department for VET and Skills, headed by Antonio Ranieri.

The toolkit was tested at several phases of its development through interviews with policy makers and practitioners involved in the design and implementation of measures to tackle early leaving from education and training. It was launched at Cedefop ‘Policy Learning Forum: VET as a solution to leaving education early’ in May 2017, and has since been presented in a variety of regional, national and international events. These events have allowed Cedefop to test the toolkit and use the collected feedback to improve it.

The toolkit was last updated in 2019 and its new enriched edition was launched during the Cedefop - LLLP Policy Forum: "What role for Community Lifelong Learning Centres? The potential of one-stop-shops to prevent youth at risk from disconnecting" that tοοk place in May 2019 in Brussels.

Development of the reflection tool for policy makers

The ‘Reflection tool for policy makers’ is based on a matrix of structural indicators developed by Paul Downes and built on the findings of Cedefop’s research study managed by Irene Psifidou.

Selection of quick wins, good practices and tools

The selection of good practices and tools is based on a systematic review of measures with evidence of success conducted by Cedefop. This review includes national or regional developments as well as outputs of EU-funded projects in the area of education and training developed by consortiums of entities from several EU countries as well as Norway and the United Kingdom.

The selection of quick wins is based on the factors identified by interviewees in Cedefop’s study as contributing to the success of measures.

Other resources include publications and statistics relevant to the thematic focus selected by the team.

All the resources of the toolkit are regularly updated and enriched.