The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) is an agency of the European Union, with headquarters in Thessaloniki, Greece, and offices in Brussels, Belgium. The European agency was established in 1975 following an agreement amongst Member States part of the European Union’s predecessor, the European Economic Community (EEC) – as a response to the urgent need of improving vocational education and training (VET). The agency brings together a wide range of stakeholders such as policymakers, employers’ organisations and trade unions, training institutions, teachers and trainers, and students from all ages.
Cedefop performs several functions in collaboration with the European Commission, national governments and stakeholders. The agency produces policy analysis of employment statistics in Europe and offers an interactive map, containing visual data on education and training for each Member State. Together with many publications, project results, and good practices in the VET sector, public and private sector employees, and interested citizens can also access country-specific reports, analytics and trends in digital technology.
Cedefop also supports national governments and public institutions and activities to foster digital literacy, lifelong learning, and professional development across age groups and occupations. The agency engages in skills needs identification through the European Skills and Jobs Survey (ESJS), an EU-wide survey tracking skills requirements, mismatches and supports adult learning and workforce mobility in European labour markets. Cedefop also informs the development of European vocational education and training (VET) policies and contributes to their implementation throughout Member States.
Cedefop contributes to the concept, design and supports the implementation of common European tools, such as the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), Europass (a common European framework for digital competence recognised across member states), and the Skills Panorama interactive skills intelligence platform. Cedefop’s work aims to improve employment conditions and opportunities through actions aiming to facilitate young people’s entry into the job market, support the unemployed and underemployed to reskill and upskill, and help early school-leavers re-enter the education system.