Cedefop gathers and compares data from Europe and beyond to support the development of vocational education and training (VET) systems and institutions, that are responsive to the skill demands of labour market and society. Its work helps to improve the delivery of relevant and high-quality skills and competences to learners of all ages and at different stages of their careers and lives. A series of thematic work strands illustrate how this work is taken forward.
Our work on the future of VET in Europe allows better understanding of the overall challenges facing European VET and how these vary between countries. As well as monitoring to the way VET institutions and structures change, work in this area is increasingly focusing on changes in VET content, for example how best to combine occupation-specific skills with transversal skills and key competences. The changing nature of qualifications and credentials, including an increasing interest in validation and microcredentials, directly influences the value of VET skills and competences and the ability of individuals to progress in both learning and working. Attention is focused on the role of comprehensive national qualifications frameworks in improving transparency, recognition, and permeability of education and training, as well as in facilitating individual progress in education, training and learning throughout life. This work directly reflects the development and implementation of EU tools and principles for transparency and recognition of qualifications, particularly the European qualifications framework (EQF).
The delivery of VET is influenced by the use of learning outcomes – statements defining the content and profile of what a learner is expected to know, be able to do, and understand. Learning outcomes act as a common language regarding the content and profile of VET programmes and qualifications enabling dialogue among stakeholders in the labour market and education and training as well as society at large. Based on an analysis of the strengths and limitations of this approach, Cedefop develops guidance and support tools for curriculum development, learning methods, and the design and application of assessment and validation.