Background paper on Vocational Education and Training (VET)

Vocational Education and Training (VET) is a valuable, practical education that can help secure a successful transition into the labour market and reduce youth unemployment. VET, in its many forms, provides learners with the technical skills and knowledge of a certain profession or sector, together with social and personal skills, preparing students/trainees/apprentices for the world of employment or further education after graduation.  VET supports the social inclusion and reintegration of young people by easing the transition from education to the labour market, and offering flexible and alternative learning pathways tailored to the individual needs.

In face of the economic crisis and rising unemployment, which hits young people harder than others, European countries increasingly believe that VET is a solution that better matches the skills of the workforce with the needs of employers. Across Europe, we can find many good examples that showcase the success of VET in helping to integrate people into the labour market. For instance, the dual system model in the German speaking countries where fully-fledged vocational training is provided, and apprenticeships lead to qualifications.