Category Archives: Vocational training

Citizens must be able to acquire the skills, knowledge and competences required of them in today’s knowledge-based economy. Vocational education and training (VET) plays a key role. European cooperation in VET aims to ensure that the European labour market is open to all. Based on the Copenhagen process, it consists of the development of common European frameworks and tools that enhance the transparency, recognition and quality of competences and qualifications, as well as facilitate the mobility of learners and workers. The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) and the European Training Foundation (ETF) are the main bodies involved in supporting cooperation in VET.

Vocational training

Vocational training

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Vocational training

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Vocational training

Vocational training

Citizens must be able to acquire the skills, knowledge and competences required of them in today’s knowledge-based economy. Vocational education and training (VET) plays a key role. European cooperation in VET aims to ensure that the European labour market is open to all. Based on the Copenhagen process, it consists of the development of common European frameworks and tools that enhance the transparency, recognition and quality of competences and qualifications, as well as facilitate the mobility of learners and workers. The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) and the European Training Foundation (ETF) are the main bodies involved in supporting cooperation in VET.

VOCATIONAL TRAINING

  • Priorities for vocational education and training (2011-2020)
  • The Copenhagen process: enhanced European cooperation in vocational education and training
  • A new impetus for cooperation in vocational education and training
  • Cooperation in vocational education and training (VET)
  • European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for VET
  • European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET)
  • European Qualifications Framework
  • EUROPASS – Serving citizen mobility
  • EUROPASS-Training
  • Education and training in the nuclear energy field
  • Right of residence for students

PROGRAMMES

  • Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-13
  • Leonardo da Vinci (Phase II) 2000-2006
  • IRIS II
  • Iris
  • PETRA II
  • PETRA I
  • Force
  • Eurotecnet
  • Comett II
  • Comett I

ORGANISATIONS

  • Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency
  • European Training Foundation (ETF)
  • Advisory Committee on Vocational Training
  • Cedefop (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training)

RECOGNITION OF QUALIFICATIONS

  • System for the recognition of professional qualifications
  • Lawyers: freedom of establishment

Right of residence for students

Right of residence for students

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Right of residence for students

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Vocational training

Right of residence for students

This Directive will guarantee nationals of the Member States access to vocational training by setting out the framework within which their right of residence is to be exercised.

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 93/96/EEC of the Council of 29 October 1993 on the right of residence for students.

Repealed by:

Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States amending Regulation (EEC) 1612/68 and repealing Directives 64/221/EEC, 68/360/EEC, 72/194/EEC, 73/148/EEC, 75/34/EEC, 75/35/EEC, 90/364/EEC, 90/365/EEC and 93/96/EEC.

Summary

Following an appeal by the European Parliament, the Court of Justice annulled Council Directive 90/366/EEC on 7 July 1992 but maintained its effects until the entry into force of Directive 93/96/EEC. Each Member State will take the measures necessary to facilitate exercise of the right of residence by nationals of the other Member States in order to guarantee them access to vocational training.

Member States will recognise the right of residence to any student who is a national of a Member State and who does not enjoy this right under other provisions of Community law where the student assures the relevant national authority, by means of a declaration or by such alternative means as the student may choose that are at least equivalent, that he or she has sufficient resources to avoid becoming a burden on the social security system of the host Member State during his or her period of residence. The student must also be enrolled at an accredited establishment for the principal purpose of following a vocational training course there and must be covered by sickness insurance in respect of all risks in the host Member State.

The right of residence is extended to the student’s spouse and dependent children.

The Directive does not establish any entitlement to the payment of maintenance grants by the host Member State to students benefiting from the right of residence.

Member States will issue a residence permit the validity of which may be limited to the duration of the course of studies and which will be renewable annually. Where a member of the family does not hold the nationality of a Member State, he or she will be issued with a residence document of the same validity as that issued to the national on whom he or she depends. The spouse and dependent children of a national of a Member State will be entitled to take up an employed or self-employed activity anywhere within the territory of that Member State, even if they are not nationals of a Member State.

Member States may not derogate from the provisions of this Directive save on grounds of public policy, public security or public health.

Not more than three years following the entry into force of the Directive, and then every three years, the Commission will draw up a report on the implementation of the Directive and present it to the Council and Parliament. The Commission will pay particular attention to any difficulties to which implementation of the Article concerning the granting of the right of residence might give rise in Member States. If appropriate, it will submit proposals to the Council with the aim of remedying such difficulties.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 93/96/EEC 31.12.1993 OJ L 317 of 18.12.1993

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 18 March 1999 on the implementation of Directives 90/364, 90/365 and 93/96 (right of residence) [COM(99) 127 final].
Freedom of movement was originally limited to persons exercising an economic activity, but was subsequently extended to all Member State nationals, even those who were not economically active. This extension to the right of residence, which is subject to certain conditions, was formally confirmed by the incorporation into the EC Treaty of former Article 8a of the Treaty of Maastricht (now Article 18 of the EC Treaty). This Article gives every EU citizen a basic personal right to move and reside within the territory of the Member States.
The implementation of Directives 90/364, 90/365 and 93/96 has given rise to infringement procedures against nearly all the Member States, as only three had implemented the Directives by the deadline. The infringement procedures have, however, gradually been dropped as the Member States in question have adopted implementing measures.
The evaluation of the tangible implementation of the Directives has been based on the correspondence, complaints and petitions to the European Parliament and on a survey carried out among former Commission officials who, on retirement, have settled in a Member State other than that of their origin or last place of employment. Additional information has been provided by the Euro-Jus advisers’ network and by the Citizens Signpost Service. The assessments have highlighted the difficulties that citizens have encountered, such as uncertainties regarding the steps to be taken and the length and complexity of procedures for obtaining a residence permit. The authorities have also experienced difficulties, mainly in interpreting the conditions relating to financial resources and health insurance. The preliminary conclusions are that there is a need:

  • to step up efforts to inform citizens;
  • to continue to ensure strict compliance with existing Community law;
  • to make Community law on the free movement of persons easier to understand and to restructure it around the concept of “citizenship of the Union”;
  • to consider substantive changes to existing law.

Second Commission Report to the Council and Parliament on the implementation of Directives 90/364, 90/365 and 93/96 (right of residence) [COM(2003) 101 final].
This is the second report on the implementation of the three Directives on the right of residence of Union citizens and their family members, of whatever nationality, who are not economically active in the host Member State; it covers the period 1999-2002.

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 5 April 2006 on the implementation of Directives 90/364, 90/365 and 93/96 (right of residence) [COM(2006) 156 final].
Fifteen years after the adoption of Directive 93/66/EEC, the application of the law on the right of residence is basically satisfactory, as the declining number of infringements shows. However, the Commission has received several complaints arising from failure to comply with the Directive.

For example, the Commission decided to send a reasoned opinion to Italy on 13 December 2005 with regard to Decree of the President of the Republic No 54 of 18 January 2002 on the grounds that the text is contrary to Directive 93/96 in that it stipulates that students must provide proof that they have sufficient resources and requires family members to present proof of sufficient resources separate to that presented by the Union citizen. According to the case law of the Court of Justice, in particular in its judgments of 25 May 2000 in Case C-424/98 Commission v Italian Republic and of 20 September 2001 in Case C-184/99 Grzelczyk, Member States may not require students to provide evidence or a guarantee of a given amount of resources but must be satisfied with a declaration or other equivalent means, at the choice of the student.

Cooperation in vocational education and training

Cooperation in vocational education and training

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Cooperation in vocational education and training

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Vocational training

Cooperation in vocational education and training (VET)

Document or Iniciative

Conclusions of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States of 24 January 2009, meeting within the Council, on the future priorities for enhanced European cooperation in vocational education and training (VET) [Official Journal C 18 of 24.1.2009].

Summary

These conclusions provide for voluntary measures whereby Member States may cooperate in order to enhance the quality and efficiency of vocational education and training (VET). They identify four priority areas for the period 2008-10 that need to be dealt with, in addition to the priorities and guidelines set out in the Copenhagen process.

Implementing common European tools and schemes to promote cooperation in VET

National qualifications systems and frameworks that are based on learning outcomes should be set up in line with the European Qualifications Framework. It is essential that these as well as the future European Credit system for VET (ECVET) and European Quality Assurance Reference Framework (EQARF) be implemented. To this end, pilot projects, coherent methods and tools, including tools to validate informal and non-formal learning outcomes, as well as quality assurance instruments should be developed.

Promoting the quality and attractiveness of VET systems

The attractiveness of VET should be promoted to all target groups, in particular among students, adults and enterprises. At the same time, it should be ensured that access to and participation in VET is open to all, with due regard given to people or groups at risk of exclusion. Similarly, information, lifelong guidance and counselling services should be made more accessible. Paths enabling the progress from one qualifications level to another should also be made easier.

Common tools should be created to promote the quality of VET systems. In particular, quality assurance mechanisms should be developed through the future EQARF. VET policies should be based on consistent data, the collection of which must be improved. In addition, more should be invested in the training of VET trainers, language learning adapted to VET should be developed, innovation and creativity in VET should be promoted, and the permeability and continuity of learning paths between different levels of education should be enhanced.

Developing the links between VET and the labour market

In order to improve the links between VET and the labour market, it is essential to continue developing forward-planning mechanisms that centre on jobs and skills, recognising possible skill shortages. Simultaneously, the participation of social partners and economic stakeholders in developing VET policies needs to be ensured.

Guidance and counselling services should be improved, so that the transition from training to employment may occur more smoothly. The mechanisms that promote adult training should also be improved to further career opportunities as well as business competitiveness. Furthermore, efforts should be made to proceed with the validation and recognition of informal and non-formal learning outcomes. The mobility of people in work-related training should also be given a boost, in particular by strengthening the appropriate Community programmes. Finally, the role of higher education in VET and in relation to labour market integration should be strengthened.

Enhancing European cooperation

Peer learning activities should be made more effective and their results used to form national policies in VET. It should also be ensured that priorities linked to VET are well integrated and visible within the future strategic framework for European cooperation in the field of education and training. VET should be better linked to policies concerning other education levels, multilingualism and youth. In addition, collaboration with third countries and international organisations needs to be strengthened.

The Commission and Member States are encouraged to implement, within the limits of their respective competences, the measures established under these four priority areas. They should use appropriate means of funding, both private and public, in order to further national level reforms and implement Community tools. They should also continue enhancing the scope and quality of VET statistics as well as developing a clearer VET element for the coherent framework of indicators and benchmarks. In addition, they should continue developing activities concerning future skills needs.

The Commission and Member States should exchange information and collaborate on VET with third countries. Cedefop (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training) and the European Training Foundation (ETF) are also closely involved in supporting the Commission on VET-related issues.

The Copenhagen process: enhanced European cooperation in vocational education and training

The Copenhagen process: enhanced European cooperation in vocational education and training

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The Copenhagen process: enhanced European cooperation in vocational education and training

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Vocational training

The Copenhagen process: enhanced European cooperation in vocational education and training

Document or Iniciative

Declaration of the European Ministers of Vocational Education and Training, and the European Commission, convened in Copenhagen on 29 and 30 November 2002, on enhanced European cooperation in vocational education and training – “The Copenhagen Declaration ” [Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Copenhagen Declaration set the priorities of the Copenhagen process on enhanced European cooperation in vocational education and training (VET). This process aims to improve the performance, quality and attractiveness of VET in Europe. It seeks to encourage the use of the various vocational training opportunities within the lifelong learning (LLL) context and with the help of the LLL tools.

The Copenhagen process consists of:

  • a political dimension, aiming to establish common European objectives and reform national VET systems;
  • the development of common European frameworks and tools that increase the transparency and quality of competences and qualifications and facilitate mobility;
  • cooperation to foster mutual learning at European level and to involve all relevant stakeholders at national level.

The priorities set by the Copenhagen Declaration provide the basis for voluntary cooperation in VET. With the target of 2010, they aim at:

  • reinforcing the European dimension in VET;
  • increasing information, guidance and counselling on, as well as the transparency of, VET;
  • developing tools for the mutual recognition and validation of competences and qualifications;
  • improving quality assurance in VET.

Maastricht Communiquéof 14 December 2004 on the future priorities of enhanced European cooperation in VET

The Maastricht Communiqué confirms the success of the Copenhagen process in raising the visibility and profile of VET at the European level. At the same time, it develops the priorities set by the Copenhagen Declaration. In addition, and for the first time, specific priorities for national level work on VET are provided:

  • application of common instruments and references in reforming and developing VET systems and practices;
  • increasing public/private investment in VET;
  • drawing support from European funds (such as social and regional development) to develop VET;
  • development of VET systems to cater for the needs of disadvantaged people and groups;
  • establishment of open learning approaches as well as flexible and open VET frameworks to enable mobility between different educational levels and contexts;
  • improving the relevance and quality of VET in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders;
  • development of learning-conducive environments both in educational institutions and in the workplace;
  • promotion of VET teachers’ and trainers’ continuous competence development.

Helsinki Communiquéof 5 December 2006 on enhanced European cooperation in vocational education and training

The Helsinki Communiqué evaluates the Copenhagen process, as well as reviews its priorities and strategies. Since the adoption of the Maastricht Communiqué, progress has been achieved on the common European frameworks and tools for VET. The EUROPASS single framework for the transparency of qualifications and competencies was adopted and work is underway on the European Qualifications Framework, the European Credit System for VET (ECVET) and the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for VET. Strengthened action is now needed on the following priorities:

  • improving the image, status, attractiveness and quality of VET;
  • developing, testing and implementing common European tools for VET, so that they will be in place by 2010;
  • taking a systematic approach to strengthening mutual learning and cooperation, in particular with the use of consistent and comparable data and indicators;
  • involving all stakeholders in the implementation of the Copenhagen process.

Bordeaux Communiquéof 26 November 2008 on enhanced European cooperation in vocational education and training

The Bordeaux Communiqué reviews the priorities and strategies of the Copenhagen process in light of a future education and training programme post-2010. The process has proved to be effective in promoting the image of VET, while maintaining the diversity of national VET systems. Nevertheless, new impetus is needed, in particular regarding the:

  • implementation of VET tools and schemes to promote cooperation at the European and national levels;
  • further improvement of the quality of VET systems and promotion of the attractiveness of VET to all target groups;
  • creation of better links between VET and the labour market;
  • consolidation of European cooperation arrangements.

Bruges Communiquéof 7 December 2010 on enhanced European cooperation in vocational education and training for the period 2011-20

The Bruges Communiqué provides long-term strategic objectives for European cooperation in VET for the period 2011-20. These objectives draw from past achievements and aim to respond to current and future challenges, while taking into account the underlying principles of the Copenhagen process.

The Copenhagen process has significantly helped raise awareness of VET at the European and national levels, in particular through the implementation of the common European VET tools, principles and guidelines. It has triggered profound reforms which have lead to a shift to a learning outcomes approach. Nevertheless, there is a need to improve communication in order to better involve all relevant stakeholders, as well as to better link VET to other policies in order to address socio-economic challenges and make mobility and LLL a reality.

For VET to respond to current and future challenges, European education and training systems must:

  • be flexible and of high quality;
  • adapt to labour market evolutions and understand emerging sectors and skills;
  • ensure the provision of tailored and easily accessible continuing training;
  • ensure the sustainability and excellence of VET through a common approach to quality assurance;
  • empower people to adapt to and manage change by enabling them to acquire key competences;
  • be inclusive;
  • facilitate and encourage VET learners’ and teachers’ transnational mobility;
  • secure sustainable funding for VET and ensure the efficient and equitable use of this funding.

The Copenhagen process forms an integral part of the “Education and Training 2020” (ET2020) strategic framework and will contribute to achieving the education-related targets of the Europe 2020 strategy. With these in mind, the global vision for VET calls for European VET systems that are more attractive, inclusive, relevant, accessible, career-oriented, flexible and innovative by 2020. Based on this vision, the 11 long-term strategic objectives for European cooperation in VET for the period 2011-20, together with the 22 short-term deliverables for the period 2011-14 that provide concrete actions at national level for achieving the strategic objectives, call in particular for:

  • the strengthening of the quality and efficiency as well as the attractiveness and relevance of VET;
  • the realisation of LLL and mobility;
  • the development of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship;
  • the promotion of equity, social cohesion and active citizenship.

Background

The Lisbon European Council of March 2000 recognised the importance of developing high quality VET to promote social inclusion, cohesion, mobility, employability and competitiveness.

The Barcelona European Council of March 2002 called for the creation of a process specific to VET, which would contribute to making European education and training systems a world quality reference by 2010. As a result, the Council adopted in November 2002 a resolution on enhanced cooperation in VET.

A new impetus for cooperation in vocational education and training

A new impetus for cooperation in vocational education and training

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A new impetus for cooperation in vocational education and training

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Vocational training

A new impetus for cooperation in vocational education and training

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 9 June 2010 – A new impetus for European cooperation in Vocational Education and Training to support the Europe 2020 strategy [COM(2010) 296 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Building on and contributing to the Europe 2020 strategy and the ET 2020 strategic framework, this communication proposes a new vision for vocational education and training (VET) in the European Union (EU). It focuses on elements central to the Copenhagen process, drawing on the ET 2020 strategic objectives.

Making lifelong learning and mobility a reality

Access to all levels of training must be maximised, which might entail significant changes to the current provision of VET. It is essential that the manner in which learning outcomes are acquired, assessed and lead to qualifications is made more flexible. This includes an enhanced role of, and the need to improve the provision of continuing VET by, employers, traditional initial training providers and higher education institutions. An outcomes-based approach for vocational qualifications based on the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and the European Credit systems for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) can help validate skills acquired outside of formal education and training. At the same time, the pathways between VET and higher education must be opened up and tertiary VET programmes should be developed. The transition from training to employment as well as between jobs must also be facilitated, to which end guidance and counselling services should be provided.

Transnational mobility must become the norm in VET pathways, particularly in initial VET, for both learners and trainers. It is also essential that mobility periods are recognised via the ECVET. Appropriate support structures should be established to facilitate training placements, and virtual mobility (through eLearning) should be used to complement physical mobility.

Improving the quality and efficiency of education and training

The quality and efficiency of VET, the high standards of VET teachers and trainers, the relevance of VET to labour market needs and the pathways VET opens to further learning contribute to its attractiveness. To improve the quality and efficiency of VET:

  • quality assurance systems must be implemented at national level on the basis of the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for VET;
  • the continuing development of skills and competencies of teachers and trainers must be reviewed in light of their evolving roles;
  • the continuing development of key competences together with vocational skills that are relevant to labour market needs must be ensured, in particular through different forms of work-based learning;
  • forward planning tools to match skills and jobs should be developed and partnerships with relevant stakeholders should be created to strengthen labour market relevance.

Promoting equity, social cohesion and active citizenship

VET systems have an important role in combating social exclusion and promoting inclusive growth. Disadvantaged learners may profit more from non-classroom work-based learning that is relevant to the local labour market. Integrated in mainstream VET, training should be flexible and modularised, providing individualised learning pathways. Upward social mobility can be strengthened by facilitating the transition from VET to higher education. At the same time, accessible and targeted guidance services must be provided. The constant monitoring of VET learners’ employment rates, particularly those of disadvantaged learners, is also essential.

Enhancing creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship

The framework in which VET is provided should foster creativity and innovation, encouraging risk-taking and experimentation. To provide accessible and flexible training, experience-based and active learning should be promoted, including through eLearning. Education for entrepreneurship should also be promoted in order to instil a sense of initiative and creativity and the ability to concretise ideas. Entrepreneurship should also form part of VET teachers’ and trainers’ competence framework.

International dimension

Dialogue and mutual learning on EU VET policy should be further developed with the international community. With the support of the European Training Foundation (ETF), structured cooperation on VET should be strengthened with neighbourhood and enlargement countries, with a view to improving:

  • transnational collaboration;
  • regional development;
  • the management of legal mobility;
  • the fight against illegal migration.

In particular, cooperation in research activities and evidence-based policy making should be further strengthened with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The way forward

At the end of 2010, cooperation in VET should be re-launched in close partnership with relevant stakeholders in EU countries and the Commission. An ambitious modernisation agenda for VET must be set out with priorities for the next 10 years, including reviewable short term objectives. The Europe 2020 national programmes should implement this VET reform.

Priorities for vocational education and training

Priorities for vocational education and training

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Priorities for vocational education and training

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Vocational training

Priorities for vocational education and training (2011-2020)

Document or Iniciative

Conclusions of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on the priorities for enhanced European cooperation in vocational education and training for the period 2011-2020 [OJ C 324 of 1.12.2010].

Summary

The Council sets the priorities of the Copenhagen process for the period 2011-2020. The Copenhagen process aims to improve the quality and attractiveness of Vocational Education and Training (VET) by strengthening cooperation at European level.

These updated objectives will help to achieve the priorities and initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. VET is crucial in achieving two of the strategy’s objectives: by 2020, to increase the percentage of 30-34 year olds graduating from tertiary education to at least 40 %, and to reduce the proportion of early school leavers to below 10 %.

A global vision

The Council estimates that, to be completely effective, VET policies must opt for a global approach taking into account social and employment policies.

By 2020, VET systems should be more attractive and accessible to all, providing quality education with high labour market relevance. They must be flexible enough to allow permeability between the different education systems (school education, higher education, etc.). Continuing VET must be easily accessible and more career-oriented. Options for undertaking part of one’s vocational education or training abroad must be increased.

2011-2020 objectives

Several strategic objectives to be achieved by 2020 are defined. Each of them is accompanied by short-term deliverables (2011-2014) to be pursued at national level, together with details of the support provided by the European Union (EU) to achieve them. Six strategic objectives have been identified, namely:

  • making initial VET an attractive learning option. In the short term, national authorities are requested to promote the attractiveness of VET, but also to support activities which enable students to become acquainted with the different vocational trades and career possibilities available.
  • fostering the excellence, quality and relevance of VET to the labour market. Between 2011 and 2014, progress must be made in establishing national quality assurance frameworks. Cooperation between VET institutions and enterprises must also be strengthened, particularly by organising traineeships for teachers in enterprises. VET institutions should receive feedback on the employability of their graduates.
  • enabling flexible access to training and qualifications. At national level and in the short term, it will be necessary to review the use of incentives for participating in VET and the rights and obligations of the stakeholders involved. National authorities should also take appropriate measures to encourage participation in continuing VET. Referencing between the levels of the European Qualifications Framework and those of the national frameworks should be established by 2012.
  • encouraging international mobility in VET. To do so, Member States should specifically encourage students and professionals to participate in a mobility programme, and also encourage local and regional authorities and VET institutions to develop internationalisation strategies. Language learning should be integrated into curricula.
  • promoting innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, and the use of new technologies. At national level, partnerships between VET institutions, higher education establishments, and design, art, research and innovation centres should be encouraged. VET institutions should be provided with the necessary equipment in terms of new technologies. Promoting practical experience should also encourage entrepreneurship.
  • making VET accessible to all, in particular by improving its contribution to tackling early school leaving. The participation of low-skilled and other ‘at risk’ groups should be encouraged through the use of appropriate guidance and support services, new technologies, and existing monitoring systems.

The Council also defines four transversal objectives:

  • increasing the involvement of VET stakeholders and making the results obtained through European cooperation better known;
  • coordinating the governance of European and national instruments in the areas of transparency, recognition, quality assurance and mobility;
  • intensifying cooperation between VET policy and other relevant policy areas;
  • improving the quality and comparability of data for EU policy-making in VET;
  • making good use of EU support.

Context

The objectives defined in the conclusions have been endorsed by the Bruges Communiquéof 7 December 2010 adopted by the Education Ministers of thirty-three European countries, social partners and the European Commission. This Communiqué constitutes the last update of the Copenhagen process.

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

PETRA I

PETRA I

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about PETRA I

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Vocational training

PETRA I

1) Objective

PETRA is the Community action programme for the vocational training of young people and their preparation for adult and working life. It aims to supplement the internal policies of Member States with Community measures to ensure that all young people who so wish have the opportunity of one year’s or, if possible, two years’ or more vocational training in addition to their full-time compulsory education.

2) Community Action

Council Decision 87/569/EEC of 1 December 1987 concerning an action programme for the vocational training of young people and their preparation for adult and working life.

3) Contents

The programme was adopted initially for a period of five years from 1 January 1988.

The programme is intended to promote improvement and diversification of the vocational training available, encourage greater adaptability of such training to economic, technological and social change, and give a Community dimension to vocational qualifications.

The Community measures are intended to complement Member States’ activities in the following main areas:

  • strengthening links between vocational education, training and guidance systems and all sectors of the economy, including young people’s organizations;
  • improving awareness of labour market trends and changes in working conditions, particularly those affecting health and safety;
  • promoting equal opportunities for girls and young women;
  • special help for the young people most at risk (handicapped, disadvantaged, those with few or no qualifications);
  • encouraging creativity, initiative and enterprise among young people.

The Community measures are:

  • a new European network of training initiatives;
  • assistance for information projects on the transition from school to vocational training and working life and for projects encouraging the development of entrepreneurial skills, creativity and responsibility among young people;
  • exchanges of specialists;
  • technical assistance;
  • comparative research on vocational education and training issues;
  • review of developments in vocational qualifications;
  • monitoring of implementation of the programme by policy makers and the social partners.

The Commission shall draw upon the assistance of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.

4) Deadline For Implementation Of Legislation By The Member States

Not applicable.

5) Date Of Entry Into Force (If Different From The Above)

01.01.1988

6) References

Official Journal L 346, 10.12.1987

7) Follow-Up Work

Decision 91/387/EEC of 22 July 1991 amending Decision 87/569/EEC (summary 10.4.2b), incorporating the Young Workers’ Exchange Programme.

8) Commission Implementing Measures

Report from the Commission on the implementation of the PETRA programme (198891) [COM(93) 48 final].

Financial support from the Community amounted to ECU 40 million over the period 1988-91. During this period, approximately 75 000 young people benefited directly from the programme, along with more than 10 000 teachers and trainers. Support has been provided for 70 research institutes investigating the effectiveness of initial vocational training systems. Considerable progress has been made in facilitating young people’s access to initial vocational training and in offering a year’s training at the end of their schooling. The number of young people undergoing such training has increased by an average annual rate of between 0.5 % and 4.3 %. PETRA has played a part in developing transnational cooperation and exchanges, and has helped to create a unified, consistent framework for Community action in the field of young people’s initial vocational training and their preparation for working life.

 

PETRA II

PETRA II

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about PETRA II

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Vocational training

PETRA II

1) Objective

To raise the status of vocational education and initial training, and to stimulate exchanges of experience between Member States and transnational cooperation between training bodies. To extend the PETRA programme until 31 December 1994.

2) Community Measures

Council Decision 91/387/EEC of 22 July 1991 amending Decision 87/569/EEC concerning an action programme for the vocational training of young people and their preparation for adult and working life (PETRA).

3) Contents

The programme is adopted for a three-year period from 1 January 1992. Its aim is to support and supplement, through measures at Community level, the policies of the Member States, which are seeking to ensure that all young people who so wish receive two or more years’ vocational training in addition to their compulsory full-time education, leading to a recognized vocational qualification.

The programme is intended in particular to:

  • raise the quality of vocational and technical education and initial training;
  • encourage and diversify vocational-training provision;
  • add a Community dimension to vocational qualifications;
  • stimulate cooperation and the development of training partnerships transnationally and within each Member State;
  • allow the following young people to benefit from periods of training or work experience in other Member States: young people receiving technical and vocational education, young job-seekers, young workers, young unemployed people.

Support for transnational cooperation, including specific assistance for initiatives involving young people in planning, organizing and implementing activities. Such cooperation is above all intended to promote within the Community:

  • vocational training or work experience placements in another Member State; these must lead to a certificate and form a recognized part of the young person’s training course;
  • joint development of initial vocational training modules compatible with national training systems;
  • joint training of instructors working in initial vocational training.

Support for measures aimed at introducing a Community dimension into the processes and systems of vocational information and guidance, by:

  • supporting national contact points or centres to create a network for the exchange of guidance data and to explore effective means of transferring up-to-date guidance information throughout the Community:
  • standardizing the content of training programmes and supporting supplementary training for vocational guidance specialists and advisers on the European aspects of guidance.

Technical assistance, as necessary, in the implementation of the programme; comparative studies on vocational education and training issues, including surveys on the effectiveness of youth training programmes, and review of the evolution of vocational qualifications.

4) Deadline For Implementation Of The Legislation In The Member States

Not applicable.

5) Date Of Entry Into Force (If Different From The Above)

6) References

Official Journal L 214, 02.08.1991

7) Follow-Up Work

Commission report on the implementation of the PETRA programme in accordance with Article 8 of Decision 91/387/EEC (COM(93) 704 final).

The Community provided aid amounting to ECU 104.2 million for the period 1992-94. Community action under PETRA to attain the objectives set out in the Decision and to support Member States’ activities can be classified in the categories of Action I, II, III and additional measures.

Under Action I, i.e. support for vocational training placements or training periods in a company in another Member State for young people undergoing initial vocational training, young workers, young job-seekers and young people receiving advanced vocational training, from 1992-94 involved 36 000 young people.

For Action II, entailing support for activities of transnational cooperation to carry out joint innovatory training projects between several Member States, including youth initiative projects, within the European Network of Training Partnerships, an estimated 100 000 young people and 20 000 teachers and instructors participated directly in the network between 1992 and 1994. In all, the programme also supported over 900 youth initiative projects. A total of 25 000 young people have now been directly involved in the youth initiative projects since 1988.

Under Action III of the PETRA programme concerning support for national systems to promote the exchange of information on vocational guidance, a Community network of resource centres in the Member States was set up, and the training of guidance counsellors in the Community dimension of guidance commenced; 27 resource centres now cooperate throughout the European Union.

As for additional measures on support for the dissemination of the results of the programme, transnational cooperation on research into the vocational training of young people, technical assistance at Community and national level for the implementation, coordination and assessment of the programme, the programme has, since 1988, been present in over 200 major information events in the Community or nationally. PETRA has provided its support to national research partnerships involving over 70 research centres designated by the national authorities.

Theme-based research has been conducted on issues such as the legal and administrative obstacles to transnational training and work experience placements, the accreditation of these placements, and the access of young people to vocational training.

Commission final report of 22 July 1997 on the implementation of the PETRA programme [COM(97) 385 final, not published in the Official Journal].

This report takes stock of the development of the PETRA programme (1988-94, with a total budget of ECU 150 million over the whole period).

The PETRA programme’s twin achievements were: carrying out of numerous studies and the establishment of networks.

Five types of network have been set up:

  • the network of National Coordination Units (NCUs) dealing with placements (between 1992 and 1994, 33 719 young people benefited from the scheme);
  • other placement-related networks (e.g. the informal network of organisers of work experience placements);
  • European Network of Training Partnerships (ENTP);
  • networks associated with vocational guidance activities (guidance counsellors);
  • research networks.

The first major objective of the PETRA programme was to foster young people’s involvement in vocational training programmes by supporting and supplementing the Member States’ policies. Among the wide-ranging reforms introduced by Member States into their national systems, the following are particularly noteworthy:

  • fixing quantitative targets for participation in initial vocational training: for example, the Danish “Education and Training for all” plan is geared to ensuring that, in the year 2000, 95% of young people will be engaged in an education programme;
  • establishment of an entitlement or right to take part in vocational training: for example, in France, a 1990 Law establishes the right to a qualification for all workers in the form of a “crédit formation” (training entitlement);
  • extending the provision of initial vocational training: for example, in Greece, the number of programmes rose by 50.8% in four years;
  • raising the status and attractiveness of vocational training: for example, an initiative was launched in Germany in 1991 offering special support to particularly gifted young people in vocational training, with the aim of placing vocational education on a par with post-compulsory general education;
  • introduction of a Community dimension within vocational guidance services;
  • promoting equal opportunities for young men and women: for example, Denmark is devising training courses tailored specifically for unskilled women;
  • priority treatment for disadvantaged persons: for example, in France, “solidarity employment contracts” were created in 1990 for young people between the ages of 18 and 25 who have difficulty in finding employment.

The national reforms are also concerned with raising the quality of vocational training and adapting it to changing needs. In Portugal, a new type of vocational school has been set up (“Escolas Profissionais”), where the old technical/vocational courses are being replaced by training in the new technologies.

  • promoting creativity, initiative and entrepreneurial spirit in young people, by emphasising, as in Germany, personal development, motivation, responsibility and acquisition of key skills;
  • major efforts to train teachers and instructors: Belgium places great emphasis on this aspect;
  • certification of qualifications: for example, Luxembourg has introduced two levels of certification to increase the success rate in initial training;
  • strengthening of links between training establishments and industry: for example, the United Kingdom has launched two apprenticeship initiatives offering young people a work-based route to skills at craft, technician and junior management level;
  • more active involvement of the social partners in defining national training needs, so as to enhance the effectiveness of programmes;
  • making vocational training more responsive to local and regional requirements.

Most of the Member States have made use of the opportunities afforded by the PETRA programme to introduce or reinforce the Community dimension in their initial training systems. Transnational mobility is seen as a vital element, as is, to a lesser extent, the improvement of vocational language skills.

The ongoing major objectives of the PETRA programme are:

  • to reduce the number of young people who enter the labour market without a basic qualification;
  • to increase the attractiveness of vocational training;
  • to introduce a practical Community dimension into initial vocational training;
  • to develop key skills through initial vocational training;
  • to reinforce vocational guidance and to incorporate a European dimension;
  • to disseminate innovation in initial vocational training within and between the Member States.

These objectives are pursued under the Leonardo da Vinci programme, which brings together all the activities relating to initial or continuing vocational training.

8) Commission Implementing Measures

Comett I

Comett I

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Comett I

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Vocational training

Comett I

1) Objective

To strengthen cooperation between universities and enterprises in training relating to technology.

2) Community Measures

Council Decision 86/365/EEC of 24 July 1986 adopting the programme on cooperation between universities and enterprises regarding training in the field of technology (Comett).

3) Contents

Definitions of the terms “university” and “enterprise”

Objectives of the programme

  • to give a European dimension to cooperation between universities and enterprises in training relating to innovation and the development and application of new technologies;
  • to foster the joint development of training programmes and the exchange of experience, and also the optimum use of training resources at Community level;
  • to improve the supply of training at local, regional and national level with the assistance of the authorities concerned, thus contributing to the balanced economic development of the Community;
  • to develop the level of training in response to technological change and social changes by identifying the resulting priorities in existing training arrangements which call for supplementary action both within Member States and at Community level, and by promoting equal opportunities for men and women.

Areas covered by Comett

Comett I was divided into five interdependent fields of action, each comprising one strand of the programme:

Strand A: the development of a European network of university-enterprise training partnerships (UETPs),

Strand B: programmes for the exchange of students and staff between universities and undertakings,

Strand C: the development and testing of joint university/enterprise projects in the field of ongoing training,

Strand D: multilateral initiatives for developing multi-media training systems,

Strand E: additional measures and assessment measures aimed at the analysis and monitoring of important developments relating to Comett.

Framework for implementation of the programme

The Commission is assisted by a Committee consisting of two representatives of each Member State. Two representatives of the social partners participate in the work as observers. The Committee members are responsible for liaison between Comett and similar initiatives in the Member States. The Committee delivers opinions on the guidelines, the financial assistance granted, the procedure for selecting the various types of projects and any measures which require a Community contribution of more than ECU 100 000.

Information centres have been set up to assist and promote the dissemination of information on Comett. A group of Comett experts has been set up by the Commission, to provide an additional source of advice and specialized technical know-how.

4) Deadline For Implementation Of The Legislation In The Member States

Not applicable.

5) Date Of Entry Into Force (If Different From The Above)

6) References

Official Journal L 222, 08.08.1986

7) Follow-Up Work

8) Commission Implementing Measures

The results

Between 1986 and 1990, more than 1 300 projects were launched throughout the European Community, with Community aid amounting to a total of ECU 52.5 million. The projects financed under Comett I have led to the establishment of 125 university-enterprise training partnerships (UETPs), more than 4 000 traineeships for students in enterprises in other Member States and 232 grants for exchanges of staff between universities and enterprises; 329 joint ongoing training projects and multinational initiatives for developing multi-media training systems have also been financed. In addition, more than 6 000 enterprises, 1 500 universities and 1 000 other types of organization were involved in carrying out the Comett I projects. Of the various technological sectors, production and manufacturing dominated, but other fields were also well represented: computer technology, management, biology, chemicals, occupation of land area. The human and social sciences accounted for 3.6 % of the total, the projects in question having been proposed by the trade unions concerned about the impact of technological change on the organization of labour, collective bargaining and the organization of the trade unions.

 

Comett II

Comett II

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Comett II

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Vocational training

Comett II

1) Objective

To reinforce training in the field of technology, with the emphasis on advanced technologies, and to foster the development of highly skilled human resources and the competitiveness of European industry.

2) Community Measures

Council Decision 89/27/EEC of 16 December 1988 adopting the second phase of the programme on cooperation between universities and industry regarding training in the field of technology (Comett II) (1990 to 1994).

3) Contents

Comett II is scheduled to run for five years from 1 January 1909 to 31 December 1949 and has been allocated a total of ECU 200 million, not including the EFTA contribution. Allocation of Community support is based on the principle of cost sharing between the Community and the project applicants.

Objectives of the programme:

  • contributing to economic and social development through technology training: “to improve the contribution of, in particular, advanced technology training at the various levels concerned and thus the contribution of training to the economic and social development of the Community”;
  • joint university-industry training schemes: “to foster the joint development of training programmes and the exchange of experience, and also the optimum use of training resources at Community level, notably through the creation of transnational, sectoral and regional networks of, in particular, advanced technology training projects”;
  • training requirements of small and medium-sized businesses: “to respond to the specific skill requirements of small and medium-sized businesses having regard to the priority measures set out in the Annex”;
  • equal opportunities for men and women in respect of training: “to promote equal opportunities for men and women in initial and continuing training in, in particular, advanced technology”;
  • encouragement of a European dimension: “to give a European dimension to cooperation between universities and industry in initial and continuing training relating to technologies and their applications and transfer”.

Areas covered by Comett II

Strand A: University-Industry Training Partnerships (UITPs)

This network, created under Comett I, should be extended and reinforced under Comett II. Its role is:

  • to identify training needs and to provide a structured, coordinated basis for meeting them;
  • to provide a support structure for the implementation of part or all of the activities;
  • to strengthen cooperation and inter-regional transfer between Member States;
  • to develop links in the form of transnational sectoral networks.

The maximum amount granted by the Community is:

  • ECU 70 000 per UITP for the first year,
  • ECU 60 000 per UITP for the second year,
  • ECU 50 000 per UITP for the third year.

This support, limited to three years, constitutes a flat-rate contribution which may not exceed 50 % of expenditure. The activities to be undertaken under strand A will not exceed 12 % of the overall budget.

Strand B: Transnational exchanges

These include:

  • integrated student placements with companies in other Member States (three to twelve months’ duration);
  • advanced training placements, with companies in other Member States, for students who have completed their initial training, for the purpose of taking part in an industrial development project (six months to two years’ duration);
  • fellowships for university staff seconded to a company in another Member State or personnel of a company seconded to a university in another Member State (two to twelve months’ duration).

The maximum amount granted by the Community is:

  • ECU 6 000 for a 12-month integrated student placement;
  • ECU 25 000 for a 24-month advanced training placement;
  • ECU 15 000 for a three-month exchange of personnel.

The activities to be undertaken under strand B will not exceed 40 % of the overall budget.

Strand C: Joint training projects, with the emphasis on advanced technologies

Such projects include:

  • crash training courses in technology with a European dimension;
  • devising, developing and testing at European level joint training projects in technology;
  • multilateral arrangements for training in technology aimed at establishing, as pilot projects, multimedia systems for distance learning.

The Community’s financial contribution, apart from exceptional cases, is limited to 50 % and may not exceed:

  • ECU 30 000 for a crash course (the normal duration of a project is one year)
  • ECU 500 000 for a joint training project, for the duration of the project, which may be between one and five years.

The activities to be undertaken under strand C will not exceed 40 % of the overall budget.

Strand D: Complementary promotion and back-up measures

Such measures include:

  • support for preparatory activities, particularly for the less-developed regions;
  • support for the network of information centres;
  • setting up of databases on projects and establishment of electronic mail facilities linking projects and partners;
  • conferences and seminars;
  • ongoing evaluation of Comett II;
  • assistance for preparatory visits (ECU 2 000 per person per week) (8 % of the overall budget).

4) Deadline For Implementation Of The Legislation In The Member States

Not applicable.

5) Date Of Entry Into Force (If Different From The Above)

6) References

Official Journal L 13, 17.01.1989

7) Follow-Up Work

Council Decisions of 29 March 1990 concerning the conclusion of agreements between the European Economic Community and certain Member States establishing cooperation in the field of training in the context of the implementation of Comett II (1990-1994):

A Decision 90/190/EEC, Official Journal L 102, 21.04.1990
SF Decision 90/191/EEC, Official Journal L 102, 21.04.1990
ISL Decision 90/192/EEC, Official Journal L 102, 21.04.1990
N Decision 90/193/EEC, Official Journal L 102, 21.04.1990
S Decision 90/194/EEC, Official Journal L 102, 21.04.1990
CH Decision 90/195/EEC, Official Journal L 102, 21.04.1990

8) Commission Implementing Measures

1991 activity report [SEC(92) 1299 final]
Over the entire programme, Comett II is expected to give rise to more than 25 000 exchanges of persons (chiefly placements for students within companies), and a minimum of 5 000 courses aimed at some 150 000 persons in Europe (chiefly engineers and scientists). In 1991, 414 projects were submitted by 153 of the 158 UITPs for a total sum of ECU 73 million. Placements for nearly 15 000 students were proposed in 140 projects, ten times the figure for Comett I; 55 projects proposed 215 exchanges of personnel between industry and universities; 131 projects concerned the organisation of 1 038 courses, and 88 proposed 1 043 preparatory visits for new projects. In terms of total cost, the best-represented sectors are: environment, informatics, automation, foodstuffs and materials. 392 projects were selected in 1991, including 139 transnational placements for 5 083 students; 53 other projects will involve exchanges for 121 employees of industry or universities; 724 crash courses will be organised under 130 projects and, finally, 63 projects concern preparatory visits. These projects account for a total of ECU 21 million, including one million for the environment sector. A further 25 million is required to finance projects accepted in 1990. The projects accepted in 1991 involve 3 000 businesses, 1 000 universities and higher education establishments, and 1 000 professional organisations.

EFTA participation

Following the decision adopted by the Council on 22 May 1989, the European Community has concluded a formal agreement with the EFTA countries enabling universities and industry in those countries to participate.

Each EFTA country may participate in all strands of Comett, for the five years for which Comett II will run, but their level of participation may not exceed that of the Member States of the European Community; the criteria for eligibility and selection are the same. Every project submitted by an EFTA country must involve at least two Member States of the Community. Transnational exchanges between two EFTA countries are not allowed. Each EFTA country will make a financial contribution proportionate to its gross national product in relation to that of the European Community and the Comett budget for the year in question. The EFTA countries and the Member States of the European Community will take the necessary steps to facilitate the free movement and residence of students and other persons participating in Comett activities. Advisory services will be provided through a joint committee comprising representatives of the European Community and the country in question.

1992 activity report [COM(93) 409 final]
In 1992, 555 new projects benefited from Comett funding. 42 new UITPs (University-Industry Training Partnerships) were accepted, bringing to 205 the total of UITPs under Comett II. This total includes 23 regional UITPs (operating in a specific geographical area) and 19 sectoral UITPs (specialising in a particular technological sector).

The projects accepted in 1992 involved more than 5 000 European businesses, some 1 700 higher education establishments and around 2 000 other bodies. 80% of the projects covered at least one SME (a SME is defined as an enterprise employing less than 500 persons).

In 1992, Comett financed more than 6 900 student training courses (up 38% from 1991). 67 projects were accepted under strands B and C, entailing the organisation of 124 exchanges of personnel. 1 300 training sessions were organised in conjunction with the 154 crash training projects. Participation by EFTA countries in 1992 more than doubled (18% of all projects, compared with 7% in 1990).

1993 activity report [COM(94) 368 final]
In 1993, more than 7 700 transnational student placements and more than 200 exchanges of personnel from universities and industry were funded by Comett.

Approximately 500 joint training courses were supported by the programme.

In all, 1993 Comett projects involved 10 800 European organisations, i.e. 6 200 businesses, 1 900 universities and 2 400 other bodies.

More than 43 000 persons benefited from the Comett-funded training courses, with more than 75 000 teaching hours being delivered and some 1 000 different training materials developed during this period.

1994 activity report [COM(95) 409 final]
More than 7 800 transnational student placements, 250 personnel exchanges from universities and industry, and 700 joint training courses were funded by Comett in 1994.

175 513 Europeans benefited from Comett technology training courses.

206 698 hours of technology training were delivered.

A vast range of training materials were developed, including videos, CD-Is, CD-ROMs, audio cassettes, books and slides.

A final evaluation has been undertaken by the Commission, in collaboration with the Member States, to consider how results have been achieved, what benefits have been generated for university-industry cooperation and in which contexts such cooperation is successful.

Final evaluation report [COM(96) 410 final]
Five calls for applications were organised between 1990 and 1994; the projects submitted required a Community contribution totalling almost ECU 1.2 billion.

The selection procedure led to the acceptance of some 3 000 projects, giving rise to:

  • the creation of over 200 University-Industry Training Partnerships covering nearly all European regions as well as many technological and sectoral areas;
  • the organisation of some 40 000 transnational exchanges of students, graduates and personnel;
  • the organisation of almost 10 000 advanced training courses, attended by a quarter of a million Europeans; and
  • the development of more than 4 500 training materials, of which over one third were software or video based.

These projects entailed the participation of more than 30 000 organisations from 19 European countries across the entire higher education sector, more than 20 000 companies (of which over three quarters were SMEs) and some 5 000 other types of organisations. They covered training needs in virtually all technology-related areas, and were often a catalyst for cooperation and innovation beyond the Comett programme itself.

A unique European network has been created, capable of organising efficiently, on an annual basis, thousands of transnational industry-university exchanges (notably student placements) and intensive international advanced training courses.

Cooperation with other European programmes in the fields of education, training, R&D and innovation has been a permanent feature throughout the programme.

Both the quantity and quality of advanced training supply has improved, particularly in peripheral areas, thereby helping to enhance European competitiveness. Awareness and understanding of the advantages of industry-university cooperation in respect of advanced training and technological transfer has increased greatly.

The main elements of Comett have been incorporated into the new Leonardo da Vinci programme.