A top-level Cedefop delegation presented the agency’s current work at the Directors General for Vocational Education and Training (DGVT) meeting (13-14 October) and the Italian EU Presidency youth guarantee conference (15 October) in Rome.

At the DGVT meeting, Cedefop Director James Calleja discussed the results of the 2014 vocational education and training (VET) monitoring report, which include EU candidate countries (in cooperation with the European Training Foundation). He also chaired the workshop on early leaving and VET.

Deputy Director Mara Brugia analysed preliminary results of Cedefop’s work on the synergy between European transparency tools. Senior expert Lore Schmid presented the policy handbook on access to and participation in continuous vocational education and training (CVET) in Europe and senior expert Jasper van Loo introduced the fundamentals/multipliers approach in the 2015 VET review.

Cedefop prepared background texts on early leaving and VET, creating institutional partnerships between VET providers and businesses, and supporting the development of VET teachers and trainers, for the workshop discussions.

At the Presidency youth guarantee conference, which brought together youth guarantee coordinators, European Social Fund (ESF) and VET experts, Ms Brugia, a keynote speaker, explored the question of whether apprenticeship is a good remedy for youth unemployment in the EU.

She gave various reasons for promoting work-based learning (easing transition from learning to work, improving matching process, building occupational skills and key competences), and especially apprenticeship (fine-tuning of generic and occupation-specific competences, training to compensate lack of experience, overcoming recruitment bias, contributing to reduction of labour market mismatch, cost-sharing mechanisms to help compensate initial costs of employment).

The Cedefop Deputy Director also stressed that there are common features for success of the different apprenticeship types across Europe, including: providing the right mix of generic and occupation-specific competences, safeguarding young people from exploitation, ensuring quality of learning, ensuring formal recognition of learning outcomes, strong cooperation between the different actors, and collective funding approaches.

Several Cedefop publications were distributed at the two events.