Carefully designed cost-sharing policies can help increase efficiency in training provisions, and to reduce inequalities in the access to training.
The Cedefop Agora conference, Investing in people: Strategies for financing VET on 19-20 May 2008, concluded that, changing labour market requirements, a significant decrease in company expenditure on training, and improving investment in VET should be high on the political agenda. (2.3% of labour costs in 1999 at EU level to 1.6% in 2005)
Financing VET, should be the responsibility of all: governments, businesses, social partners, financial institutions and individuals. European countries need to offer more incentives, to stimulate additional financial resources from the private sector, and to increase participation in training. Cost sharing schemes, such as tax incentives, training funds, vouchers, learning accounts, loans and saving schemes can have mobilising effects, but may not equally benefit all.
Investment could be better targeted at small and medium sized enterprises, low-skilled and older workers and disadvantaged groups in the labour market.
Cedefop will continue to review and evaluate cost-sharing schemes in the EU Member States, looking at third countries to identify good examples of practice, examining how to make better use of EU funding (ESF, EIB funds) in order to support developments in VET.