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Glossary of summaries

Vocational training

According to Article  14 of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights, ‘Everyone has the right to education and to have access to vocational and continuing training.’

Article  166 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union recognises that EU countries are responsible for the content and organisation of national vocational education and training (VET) and that the EU's role is to complement their actions. EU policy thus seeks to address common challenges such as ageing, skills deficits and global competition, with the goal of improving employability and skills.

VET has a pivotal role to play in the Europe 2020 strategy and the EU's strategic framework ‘Education and Training 2020’ describes the objectives, instruments and arrangements for joint work at EU level.

Erasmus+, managed by the EU's Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, aims to improve the quality of VET across the EU and offers opportunities for placements and professional development abroad. It also encourages partnerships between VET organisations and with businesses and other potential employers.

Other EU bodies active in the field of training are:

  • the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop), in Thessaloniki (set up in 1975);
  • the European Training Foundation, Turin (1994);
  • the Advisory Committee on Vocational Training, set up to assist the Commission in carrying out its policy (2004).