This synthesis report summarises the findings of the Cedefop project The changing nature and role of vocational education and training (VET) in Europe (2016-18). Research aimed at taking a step back and painting a comprehensive picture of VET developments in Europe, identifying challenges and opportunities.
The summary shows that European VET varies between countries and is changing in various fundamental ways. It is becoming more diverse in its programmes and qualifications and also expanding into higher levels, challenging the perception of higher education as exclusively academically oriented.
In some countries, this reflects a step towards making lifelong learning a reality; in others, traditional VET is coming under pressure from declining youth cohorts and a growing preference for general education and training. Such negative developments can be seen as a forewarning of future challenges.