This year's ECVET network meeting will take place at Cedefop. It will be an opportunity for National Coordinators of ECVET Teams, the ECVET Experts and the ECVET Users' Group to discuss 'The future of VET: ECVET in the European VET policy context’.

Outcomes from the studies below will be presented at the meeting to support the discussions:

  • "Vocational mobility in Europe outside of Erasmus+" (DG EMPL);
  • "Instruments supporting the European Union vocational education and training policy" (DG EMPL);
  • "The Future of VET" (Cedefop).

Cedefop Policy Learning Forums (PLFs) are an opportunity for countries to generate knowledge and they act as a site of consensus-building around shared problems.

One of the main outcomes of Cedefop 2017 PLF on apprenticeships is the shared need, across and within countries, for a clear vision of apprenticeship with implications for the way it is defined and placed in national education and training systems. Today, there are many different interpretations of apprenticeships, even in the same national context. Reflecting on apprenticeship’s purpose and function may be a starting point to build a shared understanding of the term and a clear vision for the policies.

Two fundamentally different function groups of apprenticeships emerge in the EU28 plus Norway and Iceland, according to a forthcoming Cedefop study[1]:

  1. Apprenticeship as an education and training system is aimed at providing people with full competency and capability in an apprenticeable occupation or trade (education and training function);
  2. Apprenticeship as a type of VET delivery is aimed at providing a diverse way to achieving formal VET qualifications by bringing people into the labour market (mixed education and training and employment functions).

The vast majority of the schemes analysed in Cedefop study come close to the features of function group B, including almost all schemes in place in the countries involved in Cedefop TCRs and flash TCRs on apprenticeships (TCR countries).

Cedefop 2018 PLF on apprenticeships starts from here: participants are called to reflect on and learn more about how apprenticeships differ in terms of purpose, function and organisation. While the 2018 PLF, like the 2017 event, principally addresses the TCR countries, it also involves experts and policy makers from non-TCR countries that have in place schemes close to the B as well as the A group or that are in transition from one group to the other.  They will be invited to support the policy learning exercise.

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • reflect on the different apprenticeship purposes and functions and discuss evolving approaches;
  • learn how countries with similar and different approaches organise apprenticeships, such as, for instance: a) training alternation and its form, b) joint design of curricula, c) sharing of responsibility between the education and training and the labour market sides, d) relationship between the apprentice and the company;
  • learn about the outcomes of the third round of TCRs and of the flash TCRs.

Discussions should lead to the following expected outcomes:

  • increased awareness of the substantial differences in approaching apprenticeships;
  • become familiar with modes of organising apprenticeships in countries with similar and different approaches;
  • learn about changes and developments in EU countries, particularly the TCR and flash TCR countries.

This PLF will take place in Cedefop (Thessaloniki, Greece), on the 18th and 19th October.

The event is linked to the European vocational skills week 2018 of which Cedefop is a partner.

[1] Cedefop, Apprenticeships: a Cross-National Overview, 2018


Cedefop organised a vocational education and training (VET) conference in cooperation with the European Commission and the Austrian Presidency, in Vienna, Austria, on 7 and 8 November 2018.

The conference 'Vocational education and training in Europe – Taking stock and looking ahead' was an opportunity for participants to reflect on the role of European vocational education and training at a time of rapidly changing demographics, technologies and labour markets.

A set of scenarios were presented at the conference to instigate a debate on alternative future VET strategies, and their respective challenges and opportunities.

The conference built the findings of the 2015-18 Cedefop project The changing nature and role of VET in Europe.  

The event was linked to the European vocational skills week 2018 of which Cedefop was a partner.

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The 16th ReferNet annual meeting was attended by National representatives for ReferNet (21-22 November), ReferNet members (22-23 November), representatives from the European Commission and the European Training Foundation and Cedefop experts involved in ReferNet activities. It aimed at:

  • informing ReferNet members and national representatives of the latest EU VET policy developments, the needs for information and analysis on VET at European level and how this impacts the network’s activities;
  • preparing the 2019 ReferNet work plan;
  • reflecting and sharing experiences on the scope and process of the validation of ReferNet deliverables;
  • focussing on Digitalisation and the future of work, through presentations from Cedefop and ReferNet partners;
  • organising a Knowledge-sharing platform on VET funding, piloted by ReferNet partners;
  • accommodating individual meetings for deeper cooperation among members and between members and Cedefop experts.
  • Participants had an opportunity to exchange good practices of dissemination at a dedicated space for displaying their national publications, newsletters, videos, etc.

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The event was linked to the European vocational skills week 2018 of which Cedefop was a partner.