Cedefop conducts research and develops tools to support policy-makers and practitioners to promote inclusion in Vocational education and training (VET). Cedefop’s work has a dual focus: to tackle early leaving from education and training (ELET) and to empower young NEETs through VET.

Why is it important to tackle early leaving from education and training?

Early leaving from education and training (ELET) is a pressing issue in Europe with considerable costs for individuals and society. 
Young people between 18 and 24 with a qualification lower than upper secondary, classified by Eurostat as early leavers from education and training are more likely to be unemployed or inactive; to be employed in low-paid jobs with few or no prospects for training and further career progression; more prone to social exclusion and poverty, including in-work poverty; and more likely to experience lower levels of health, wellbeing and life satisfaction. 
For these reasons, fighting ELET is a key element of the Education and training 2030 strategic framework, reflected in the commitment of the EU countries to:

Despite the success in bringing down the numbers of young people who exit education with a lower secondary education qualification at most, early leaving still affects one in 10 young people – in some countries or regions even more than that.
According to Eurostat, the ELET rate has steadily decreased from 13.8% in 2010 to 9.7% in 2021. Although there has been a significant improvement overall, progress has stagnated since 2016 with significant differences across countries, regions, genders and for specific population groups, such as people of migrant background. Tackling ELET remains a top policy priority in many European countries given also the effects that extended school closure during the Covid-19 pandemic may have on dropout rates.

What is the role of VET in tackling early leaving?

01_ELET_project page

In some countries, VET suffers from high rates of dropout. This very much depends on the country, region and specific VET sector. Cedefop research shows that high-quality, inclusive and flexible VET provision may prevent and remedy ELET.

Read more about the role of VET in tackling ELET in our two-volume study ‘Leaving education early: putting vocational education and training centre stage’.


Volume I: investigating
causes and extent


Volume II: evaluating
policy impact

 

 

 

 

 

Cedefop ReferNet thematic country reports Teachers and trainers in a changing world include a specific section on inclusion, highlighting the importance of inclusive VET.

For further reading, see our Publications section.

What is Cedefop doing to tackle early leaving from VET?

Cedefop team VET4youth supports the European Commission and member states in tackling ELET by:

02_ELET_project page

Cedefop research

Cedefop conducts research on the role of VET to tackle early leaving, the role of guidance and counselling in minimising ELET, collects and analyses national data on drop out rates, conducts surveys and publishes comparative and national reports.
See here country reports on national policies to tackle early leaving form VET.
See here country reports on teachers’ and trainers’ professional development to promote inclusion in VET. 
Download the comparative synthesis report Teachers and trainers in a changing world.

Cedefop VET toolkit for tackling early leaving

To provide VET practitioners and policy-makers with practical support, Cedefop launched the VET toolkit for tackling early leaving in 2017 and constantly update it and enrich it since then. 

03_ELET_project page
Source: www.cedefop.europa.eu/TEL-toolkit

 

Cedefop VET toolkit for empowering NEETs

As early leavers from education and training, are at greater risk of becoming NEETs (young people not in education, employment or training), Cedefop launched in 2021 the VET toolkit for empowering NEETs.

04_ELET_project page
Source: https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/tools/neets

 

How can Cedefop VET toolkits be used?

The toolkits offer resources from several European countries and can be used to:

Cedefop provides a range of suggested activities for using the toolkit at national, regional and local levels.

How can I get involved?

You can:

Other related projects

 


Digital gap during COVID-19 for VET learners at risk in Europe (full report)

Digital gap during COVID-19 for VET learners at risk in Europe (Summary in English)

Fossé numérique pendant la COVID-19 pour les apprenants de l’EFP en risque de décrochage en Europe (Summary in French)

Brecha digital durante COVID-19 para estudiantes de FP en riesgo en Europa (Summary in Spanish)

Ψηφιακό χάσμα κατά τη διάρκεια του COVID-19 για τους εκπαιδευόμενους που διατρέχουν κίνδυνο πρόωρης αποχώρησης από την ΕΕΚ στην Ευρώπη (Summary in Greek)

Divario digitale durante la pandemia di COVID-19 per gli studenti a rischio di abbandono precoce dell’IeFP in Europa (Summary in Italian)

Database

VET toolkit for tackling early leaving

  • 6 profiles
  • 17 interventions
  • 47 good practices
  • 47 tools
  • 2 reflection tools
  • 27 couries
  • Become an ambassador

Country reports

Early leaving from VET

15 country reports have been developed as background material to the Cedefop study: Leaving education early: putting vocational education and training centre stage.

Volume I: investigating causes and extent

Volume II: evaluating policy impact

Country reports are available for: Austria, Belgium-Fr, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal and United Kingdom.

Older versions (2013) are available for 28 European countries and part of the series Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspectives and complement other available general information on VET systems by country.

Check country reports here.

Statistics

VET toolkit for tackling early leaving - Resources