Cedefop’s 40th anniversary exhibition charts the political and social circumstances which led to the Centre’s establishment in 1975, and the events that have shaped its work over the past four decades. The exhibition features images, texts and artefacts illustrating Cedefop’s eventful history and the main themes of its work, including vocational education and training research, policy analysis and support for mobility.

The exhibition was inaugurated at Cedefop’s anniversary event in Thessaloniki’s concert hall (Megaro Mousikis) on 11 June 2015. It was then displayed at Cedefop’s premises and at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on the occasion of the Joint seminar of Cedefop, Eurofound and EESC marking marking the 40 year anniversary of Cedefop and Eurofound - the two longest established EU Agencies (19 November).

The exhibition is on show at the European Commission Berlaymont building until 19 February 2016.


Forty years’ contribution to vocational education and training in Europe, twenty years in Greece: Cedefop will celebrate its double jubilee with a festive event in Thessaloniki‘s concert hall (Megaro Mousikis) with friends and stakeholders, Governing Board members and present and former staff. We will be open an exhibition on Cedefop’s history, spanning four decades and two European cities; there will be videos and live music.


To celebrate its double jubilee – 40 years in existence, 20 years in Greece –, Cedefop is organising a conference under its anniversary motto Old roots for new routes. In line with this motto, the conference will look at how vocational education and training has developed into its present role and discuss its future orientations up to 2020. Cedefop’s own role at the interface between education and training and the labour market will also be up for discussion: how will the Centre contribute to modernising education and training systems and designing European policies? And how will it interact with its key stakeholders, namely the European Commission, EU Member States and social partners?

The conference will be opened by the European Commission’s Director General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Michel Servoz.

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The workshop will ‘kick-start’ the new (2015-2017) Cedefop work on the changing role of vocational education and training. This work, to be based on a combination of different research methodologies, aims to provide an in-depth and detailed insight into the overall standing and role of vocational education and training compared to other sectors of the education and training system. In many countries we now observe that the number of candidates attending initial VET is diminishing, reflecting the perceived attractiveness of higher, academic oriented education. As a consequence, the lack of skilled workers is becoming a problem in certain parts of the economy. At the same time we can observe that the character and profile of VET is changing, for example by the introduction of advanced vocational courses at higher levels (levels 5-8 of the EQF). This combination of threats and opportunities signals that VET is undergoing fundamental changes. Gathering a limited number of researchers and key stakeholders from different parts of Europe, the workshop will provide an opportunity to reflect systematically on the challenges and opportunities facing VET and how these differ between countries.  The workshop will provide inputs to Cedefop’s planned research activities and help to clarify their conceptual and methodological orientation.


Cedefop has developed a methodology and a policy tool - a skills monitoring index - that can be used to evaluate the performance of EU Member States’ skills systems. 

The Skills Monitoring Index draws on international data sources regarding the following key aspects of skills systems:

  • a) the state and quality of skill development,
  • b) the extent of skills activation, and
  • c) the degree of skills utilisation.

This meets the first objective of the wider project by developing a Composite Index (CI) to support a comparative assessment of EU Member States’ (MS) skill systems. The design and implementation of the CI draws on the guidance set out in the OECD’s Handbook on Constructing Composite Indicators, which defines the key steps required to implement a CI.

Workshop rationale and objectives

The main purpose of this workshop is to bring together the research team and Cedefop experts with country experts in order to get feedback and validate the final version of the Composite Index.  The workshop will be used to:

  • introduce the concept and approach for developing a Composite Index,
  • discuss the key issues and challenges encountered when developing the skills monitoring Composite Index,
  • introduce the Excel-based Composite Index tool and its outputs,
  • provide a ‘hands-on’ session to investigate the results and provide feedback,

The aim is to involve experts closely in the validation process, drawing on their knowledge and expertise.

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