In 2014, the rate of early leaving from education and training in the European Union had dropped to 11%, getting closer to the Europe 2020 goal of less than 10%. This encouraging trend is partly owed to the numerous projects and initiatives across Europe which have supported young people at risk of dropping out of education over the past three decades.

Yet, many of these initiatives have neither attracted attention nor found a market beyond their local context, in spite of their success. What has prevented policy-makers and practitioners in other places to reap their benefits? What does it take to make successful practices work in different settings?

Cedefop has identified several key features common to successful policies and analysed the conditions for mainstreaming successful projects and initiatives into regional/national programmes and for policy learning from one country to another. If the European Union wants to substantially improve early leavers’ perspectives, and keep in education and training learners at risk of dropping out, it needs to mainstream successful preventive and remedial measures and initiatives into national policies.

This is all the more urgent as labour market integration of thousands of young refugees and migrants will require a large-scale implementation of guidance and labour market inclusion measures, some similar to those proposed to early leavers or learners at risk of early leaving.

More information on what it takes to mainstream policies addressing early leaving can be found in Cedefop’s new briefing note.