European cooperation in VET (the Copenhagen process) considers the rich diversity of national systems and stakeholders in Member States, EFTA-EEA countries and candidate countries. It builds its success on a flexible approach for sharing experiences, working towards common goals and learning from best practices using the ‘open method of coordination’.
Understanding national VET systems, their characteristics, developments and priorities is key for cooperation. With VET in Europe, Cedefop collects reviews and disseminates up-to-date comprehensive information on education and training systems through three main products:
•VET in Europe – Country reports – available for all EU countries, plus Iceland and Norway and updated every year
•Spotlights – concise descriptions of national VET systems
•Descriptions of national VET systems prepared for the Presidency countries
•National news on VET inform on latest developments in all EU member states, plus Iceland and NorwayBetter vocational education is vital if Europe is to respond adequately to its challenges of global competition, high numbers of low-skilled workers and young unemployed, and ageing populations.
The Commission acts together with EU governments, employers’ and workers’ groups and countries outside the EU to strengthen vocational education across Europe. The basis for this is the Copenhagen Process.
The Commission’s work on vocational education is supported by 2 agencies:
- European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) – provides information and analysis of education & training systems, policies, research and practice.
- European Training Foundation (ETF) – works on the development of education & training systems in EU partner countries, strengthening cooperation and coordinating funding.