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European cooperation in VET

From the Copenhagen Process in 2002 to the 2015 Riga Conclusions: Common objectives, priorities and benchmarks for VET have been agreed upon, their progress monitored and the orientation of the process redirected.

EU Commission website on VET

Latest developments

Commission adopts initiative to boost apprenticeships in Europe

On 5 October 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a European Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships. read more

European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA)

The European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) is a platform that brings together ministries with other stakeholders such as businesses, social partners, chambers, VET providers, youth organisations and think tanks. read more

European Ministers agree in Riga Conclusions to boost competitive and innovative vocational education and training (VET)

On 22 June 2015, the Ministers in charge of Vocational Education and Training (VET), the European social partners and the European Commission met in Riga and agreed on the following objectives:

1. Promote work-based learning

Promote work-based learning in all its forms, with a special focus on apprenticeships, by involving social partners, companies, chambers and VET providers, and by stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship. 

2. Develop quality assurance mechanisms

Further develop quality assurance mechanisms in VET in line with the EQAVET Recommendation and, as part of quality assurance systems, establish continuous information and feedback loops in I-VET and C-VET systems based on learning outcomes. 

3. Improve access to VET

Improve access to VET (initial and continuing) and qualifications for everyone through more flexible and open systems, notably by offering efficient and comprehensive guidance services, and validating non-formal and informal learning. 

4. Key competences in VET curricula

Provide an added boost to key competences in VET curricula (like foreign languages and digital skills), and offer more effective opportunities to acquire or develop these skills through IVET and CVET. 

5. Development of VET teachers, trainers and mentors

Introduce systematic approaches to, and opportunities for, initial and continuing professional development of VET teachers, trainers and mentors in both education and work-based settings. 

The Copenhagen Process and the Bruges Communiqué

The Copenhagen Process, launched in 2002, forms the basis for cooperation in the field of vocational training in Europe. Subsequently, this process has been renewed, supplemented and developed several times. 

Through a series of communiqués - notably the Bruges Communiqué of December 2010, progress on the agreed objectives is regularly reviewed and the orientation of the process redirected. Read more in the Cedefop Briefing Note "Stronger vocational education and training for better lives" and on the EU Commission website.