Table of Contents:


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


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


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)


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.


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