The Cedefop conference (27-28 November) addressed how the common tools together can help to achieve the main objectives of European cooperation in vocational education and training: easier mobility and career progression for learners, better education and training for all of Europe.

In his opening speech, Cedefop Director James Calleja said that 'we have not managed to reach end users in the ways that we aspired to; there is still too wide a gap.' He added: 'The conference has come at the right time when changes at Commission level have moved Cedefop and VET to the employment directorate; when the creation of jobs is a priority for the new Commission; when the drive to reduce early school leavers and increase participation in higher education and in lifelong learning is gaining greater momentum.'

For over a decade, Cedefop has actively supported the European Commission, Member States and social partners in developing and adopting common tools for vocational education and training. Building on this experience, the conference will ask stakeholders how to take the European common tools into the next stage - from development to the end user.

'The core objective of European tools for us is to allow progression of learners and workers,' said Cedefop Deputy Director Mara Brugia at the closing panel of the conference. During the two days there was a lively exchange of ideas and proposals, including: to start discussions on technical and conceptual issues to bridge the various educational platforms (VET, Higher Education, lifelong learning), to implement the back and front office approach on design and promotion of the tools, to devise a more comprehensive strategy, which will serve end users and much more.