Cedefop’s second apprenticeship conference, on 9 and 10 November in Thessaloniki, is addressed to a wide range of stakeholders with a role in supporting small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in increasing their offer on apprenticeships.

The conference is a learning experience. Participants will learn from:

  • success stories: how SMEs take the lead and set apprenticeship programmes – the conference special guest, Jason Holt, is a leading SME employer that set up the UK’s sole provider of government-accredited training to the wider jewellery sector;
  • national practices put in place by industry, social partners, public authorities, and other bodies that have a role in supporting SMEs;
  • messages brought forward by the employers’ representatives at European and national levels.

The conference is an opportunity for participants to identify ideas that may be turned into cross-country partnerships, and find partners.

It is also an opportunity for participants to understand how they may finance their ideas and turn them into reality. The following funding opportunities will be presented:

  • an Erasmus+ call for proposals, which aims at supporting SMEs engaging in apprenticeships;
  • ESF (to continue/further develop their projects in supporting SMEs to provide training, including apprenticeship placements; also possibilities for the SMEs themselves to access ESF to provide training, including apprenticeship placements);
  • European Investment Bank.



On 19 November 2015, Cedefop, Eurofound,  and the EESC will hold a joint event to present recent findings and initiatives on work organisation and workplace learning, including the results of Eurofound’s 3rd European Company Survey and Cedefop’s European Skills and Jobs Survey.

The half-day event will bring together up to 200 representatives from national authorities, European institutions, enterprises, trade unions, civil society and academia to explore and debate work organisation and skill development practices that benefit both employers and employees.

The event marks the 40 year anniversary of Cedefop and Eurofound - the two longest established EU Agencies - and recognises the EESC’s support in setting up the Agencies as well as its strong tripartite role in EU policymaking. Both Agencies are tripartite organisations with a governing structure of employers, trade unions and governments.

Keynote speakers will include:

  • Nicolas Schmit, President of the Council of the EU Employment Ministers
  • Pavel Trantina, President of the EESC Section on Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship (SOC)

Registration is now closed.

Event Venue: European Economic and Social Committee, Rue Belliard 99, Brussels, Jacques Delors building, ROOM JDE 62

Event Contact: Corinna Frey, Stakeholder Relations corinna.frey [at]


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.


In June 2015 EU ministers in charge of VET of EU Member States acknowledged the importance of promoting responsive vocational education and training (VET) systems able to strengthen the international competitiveness of the labour force (Riga Conclusions 2015).
Consequently, national VET programmes and qualifications must be developed with a direct reference to global technological and economic requirements and developments.

The November Conference organised by Cedefop offers an opportunity to discuss the quality and relevance of VET in the context of globalisation. It will explore how globalisation influences the review and renewal of VET content and the way it is defined and described. It will look at the synergies and competition between European and International sectoral standards and qualifications with national ones.

The following questions will be addressed:

  • How are national VET systems being influenced by global developments?
  • How are different national VET systems dealing with the challenge of globalisation?
  • Which economic sectors use international solutions and which do not?
  • How far are international VET programmes and qualifications competing with national ones?
  • Are international VET standards and curricula a way to go?
  • How can national authorities benefit from the quality and standards of international sectors and qualifications?
  • Can international sectors awarding international qualifications respond to national criteria establishing education and training programmes?

National perspectives and solutions on developing relations between the public sector, the sectoral bodies and multi‐national companies, will be discussed including mechanisms to recognise skills and qualifications that can assure quality and instill confidence. The role of economic sectors as ICT, welding, banking and finance, food and drink, automotive, social work in driving these developments will be given particular attention.

The event aims at discussing these and other issues and seeks to illustrate how solutions need to be sought at the interface of local needs and global requirements.


The workshop aims at validating the prototype for gathering information from online vacancies and their usability for skills analysis.

The final meeting of the project AO/RPA/VKVET-NSOFRO/Real-time LMI/010/14 will be dedicated to presentation and validation of working prototype of the system obtaining labour market information on skill requirements from online sources. The methodology and initial results will be validated by leading experts in the field and key stakeholders. Following discussion will enable Cedefop to shape further research and utilisation of this tools and results.

At this event Cedefop will present its new European Skills and Jobs (ESJ) survey and discuss results from its overall research agenda on skill mismatch.

The aim of the conference was to stimulate discussion and identify key policy priorities, challenges, and applicable solutions to the problem of skill mismatch, with particular emphasis on the role of public-private partnerships and of supportive public policies. Experts in skills and skill mismatch, along with representatives of governments, social partners, education and training, and the labour market engaged in a series of discussions structured around two key thematic pillars:

  1. Future challenges for VET: Impact of technology and workplace change on skill needs
  2. Fostering partnerships in the workplace: rising up to the challenge of skill mismatch

Relevant to these pillars, the major issues considered and discussed during the conference regarded:

  • strengthening the effectiveness of public policies (e.g. work-based learning, ALMPs) to facilitate transitions from school to work and unemployment back to work;
  • improving the efficiency and responsiveness of public training programmes to labour market needs;
  • ensuring that the benefits of new technologies are transformed into more and better jobs and lower wage inequality;
  • improving the responsiveness of VET systems and institutions to innovations and changing skill needs, so as to better anticipate and tackle skill shortages;
  • allowing VET providers to act as catalysts of enhanced social cooperation in tackling skill mismatch;
  • developing and using the skills of the workforce by redesigning jobs, adopting better human resource management practices and raising job quality.

The objective of the conference was to inform policies that could stimulate skills demand through innovation and better jobs and be effectively matched to the skills of young and adult workers, as stated in the revised priorities for VET agreed by the European Commission, Member States and social partners at Riga in June 2015 (‘Riga Conclusions’).


Educational providers whether in HE or VET have to become adaptable to changing labour markets realities and to learners’ diversified needs and values. The European educational landscape is evolving towards greater flexibility while safeguarding relevance and continuity through the EU transparency tools. Quality and QA are key factors for safely navigating these uncharted challenges and make learning more attractive.

The seminar addressed the needs and priorities of learning providers in relation to flexibility and the role quality is playing in it.

This seminar was addressed to education and training providers, accrediting and labelling bodies, teachers and trainers, quality and e-learning specialists, learners’ associations, social partners, European and national policy-makers, and researchers in the field of quality of learning.