This first European vocational skills week will take place from 5 to 9 December 2016 with events in Brussels and parallel activities in Member States, EFTA and EU candidate countries at national, regional and local levels.

This is to improve the attractiveness and image of vocational education and training. To showcase excellence and quality and raise awareness of the wide range of opportunities.

A series of activities will take place in Brussels (press conference, 'VET for life' conference, workshops, European business forum on vocational training, closing event with award-giving) and across Europe.

Cedefop will be actively involved. You can register your event here.

Take part in the discussiοn #EUvocationalskills


Cedefop and the OECD are co-organising a one day experts’ forum on the role of VET and VET-related measures to help adult refugees, including people in clear need of international protection, to quickly integrate in the labour market and on how countries have responded to the recent arrivals.

The event aims at supporting exchange of national experiences and discussing possible European VET and VET-related solutions that could support relocation of adult people in clear need of international protection on the European territory, favouring a rapid labour market integration and possible co-operation mechanisms between a transit country and a host country.

Discussions are expected to have both a technical and policy nature, and will be interdisciplinary with issues touching upon VET, active labour market policies and migration.

The event will bring together:

  • ministerial representatives involved in policy-making in the EU and OECD countries, but also experts in ministries that directly support this process;
  • representatives of the research community;
  • representatives of EU and international institutions, including the European Commission, European social partners, ETF, UNHCR and ILO.

The ECVET Community of Practice meets once a year to discuss and exchange experiences working with ECVET.

The ECVET Annual Forum 2016 will welcome 250 participants, representing VET providers, national ECVET contact points, national ECVET experts, national Erasmus+ agencies, labour market and education and training stakeholders, social partners and policy makers from all European Member States.

The topic in focus will be "Using ECVET to improve the quality, effectiveness, flexibility and attractiveness of VET". The Annual Forum will provide the opportunity to gather information from presentations, panel debates and plenary sessions,  and to discuss this new information in workshops. The Annual Forum will also present testimonials from learners, workers and employers who will share experiences of how they benefit from ECVET.



The second Policy Learning Forum (PLF) on the writing of learning outcomes in VET will build on the positive experiences from the 2015 PLF on the same topic, further deepening the exchange of experiences between national experts in this area.

The PLF will take into account the findings of the ongoing comparative study of learning outcomes based VET qualifications (carried out in a cooperation between Cedefop, ETF and UNESCO) and will be invited to discuss the first draft of the new Cedefop ‘Handbook on writing learning outcomes’.

The PLF provides a platform for European cooperation on the application of learning outcomes; allowing for the identification of common challenges as well as solutions.

Part of the European vocational skills week.



Take part in the discussion: #VETlearningoutcomes


This joint Cedefop-UNESCO global skills conference aimed to discuss the implications of global economic trends and market forces for anticipated skill needs and mismatches, and the responses of education and training systems building on labour market intelligence.

The conference:

  • discussed how information on global trends in skill needs was used by countries to review and renew their education and training provisions and how qualifications frameworks (at sector, national, regional and global levels) could support coordination and dialogue between education and training including labour market actors across different regions of the world;
  • provided a platform for sharing best practices in skills anticipation and matching approaches and discussed possible ways forward;
  • offered possibilities for setting up and sustaining a modern infrastructure for data collection – a ‘data revolution’ – allowing robust analysis on anticipated skill needs with real-time labour market intelligence, contributing to the effectiveness of informed policy-making

Global policy priorities, challenges and applicable solutions which could be applied in different regions of the world were debated by experts in skills, along with representatives of governments and social partners in a series of discussions structured around two key themes:

  1. Global trends and skills: common forces, different challenges
  2. Education and training for a global economy: using informed decision-making to adapt to a new landscape

The 14th ReferNet annual Plenary meeting will welcome the 30 new partners under the 2016-19 Framework Partnership Agreement, and the ‘National representatives’ in charge of validation.

The meeting will aim at informing on the latest EU VET policy developments, preparing the 2017 Work plan and sharing experience on the scope and process of validation. VET policy reporting, the Mobility Scoreboard and the Thematic perspective on outreach and guidance will feature on the agenda. Various cooperation models such as knowledge-sharing on EU VET policies, peer review, hands-on workshops and joint reflection will be used.

The annual meeting also offers a space for opening new channels of cooperation and communication between partners.

Take part in the discussion #refernet

  Part of the European vocational skills week.


Cedefop is organising a policy learning forum (PLF) on developing teachers and trainers’ competences for better learners’ skills in vocational education and training (VET).

Cedefop will present the existing evidence on policies and practice to support initial and continuing professional development of VET teachers and trainers in enterprises to address today’s challenges and ensure quality VET, especially in the context of work-based learning and apprenticeship.

The participants will exchange and share the experiences from their countries through the interactive environment and networking opportunities. They will represent national, regional and local authorities, social partners, teacher professional associations, practitioners and other stakeholders.

Cedefop has recently published:

More information will be available soon.

If you are interested to know more, please contact us project manager

  Part of the European vocational skills week.



This workshop is a core activity of small ad-hoc project on supporting the development of a national skills forecasting system in Malta and Iceland.

The workshop will provide a platform for exchange of information between key stakeholders in Malta and Iceland and experts from countries having already implemented forecasting exercises.


The workshop is regularly organised as a part of the works on Cedefop’s skills supply and demand forecasts.

This workshop will primarily focus on:

  • Discuss the timing of the future works and related updates.
    • Plans for engagement with National experts
    • Expected future refinements to the overall approach
  • Methodological developments
    • Presentation of scoped ideas for more substantial development
    • Ideas for extending the analysis to occupations by 3-digit ISCO may merit an entire session?
  • Data visualisation and outputs
    • Showcase different ideas for improvements to data visualisation and outputs 

Since the late 1990’s, Cedefop has worked systematically on validation of non-formal and informal learning. It was time to come together to reflect on the past, look at the present and think of the future of validation in Europe.

On 28th and 29th of November 2016, Cedefop organised the conference ‘How to make learning visible: strategies for implementing validation of non-formal and informal learning’ in Thessaloniki, Greece. With over 200 experts from all over Europe, we discussed how to make validation of non-formal and informal learning a reality.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all participants for their involvement and active participation. All of you have contributed in making the event informative and interactive.

The conference produced a lot of material that will be used to inform European policies in the coming years! We have developed some videos and a brief summary with the main conference outcomes. You can access all presentations at the programme tab above. You can also find further information about validation at our project webpage.

Please feel free to share any of this information!

Any further inquiries on the topic can be directed to our expert Ernesto Villalba Garcia Ernesto Villalba Garcia

Don’t forget to follow updates through our twitter account and our #ValidationEurope hashtag, where you will find all discussions around the topic.

We hope to see you soon again!

  Cedefop's validation conference was part of the European vocational skills week.



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