VET Dropouts in Europe

VET BackgroundEfforts are being made by the Member States to improve VET offers and its attractiveness but the number of dropouts from education and training, including from initial VET (iVET) stills high and is a matter of concern as it has impacts on the overall EU economic development and on Europe’s progress.

Several EU countries are facing too many problems in implementing successful strategies to prevent this phenomenon as their dropout rates are well above of the EU-27 average, as such the case of Portugal (20,8%), Spain (26,5%), Italy (18,2%) and Malta (33,5%), according to statistics from 2012.

Having in consideration the structural problems that huge levels of early leavers from education and training without any qualification can cause, the EU adopted in 2011 a Communication (Com 2011 18 from 31.1.2011) that aims at tackling early school leaving and contribute to the Europe 2020 Agenda.

The main focus is on the need of reducing the actual rates of earlier leavers to 10% by 2020 and by that way increase the contribution to Europe’s economic growth and competitiveness, one of the major objectives of the Union. Considerable efforts must be put into practice to reduce the active population low educational levels.

What is In-VET?

“In 2011, nearly six million young people between 18 and 24 years old had not finished upper secondary education and were not in education and training. On average, 54,8% of these early school leavers are unemployed.” (EC: Europe 2020 Target: Early School Leaving).

In most European countries, the issue of Dropouts is more evident and challenging than ever. Nevertheless, considerable efforts must be put into practice to reduce the active population low educational levels. By developing successful strategies to prevent and deal with this phenomenon it is expected that the National VET systems will produce more skilled workers that are needed for the actual and future high-tech modern economies and to accomplish the Europe 2020 strategy.

Besides, it must be considered that the young early leavers of today are likely to claim social benefits, putting pressure on state resources in the future. EU macro data shows that almost 50% of the EU pupils in upper secondary levels are attending iVET studies and thus, dropouts or young trainees at risk of dropping out in iVET is part of the broader issue of early education and training leaving.

In-VET was born from the concept approached by two successful European initiatives that tackle the issue of dropouts – The School Inclusion Project and Stop Dropout!.

The School Inclusion Project

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A common challenge for the European school systems is the prevention of early school leaving.  

The School Inclusion Project, coordinated by Pixel, carried out an in depth analysis of the causes of early school leaving and of the strategies implemented to overcome it. The main output of the project is a training package for school teachers in order to provide them with the necessary skills to prevent and tackle this phenomenon.”

For further information, please visit:

Stop Dropout!

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Risk detection and flexible prevention against learners’ dropout!

Coordinated by Blickpunkt Identität, this multi-awarded European project aims to to reduce the dropout rates of learners in vocational education and training, by providing materials and tools for counsellors and trainers to develop their own skills in working with groups, to detect potential dropouts and the special characteristics of learners’ groups, provide support adjusted to individual needs, and thereby improve the quality of their vocational education systems.

For further information, please visit: