Cedefop, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training
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Cedefop is the EU agency which acts as a reference centre for vocational education and training throughout Europe. Cedefop provides information and analysis on vocational education and training to policy makers in the European Union, Member States governments and social partners
A short history of Cedefop
Cedefop, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (The acronym used corresponds to the French Centre Europeen pour le Developpement de la Formation Professionnelle ) was established in 1975 as a non-profit-making body in the wake of the oil crisis which rocked the international economic system and in the light of new perspectives for the creation of a common European economy. Clearly, vocational training would be an issue of central importance for a future European labour market. The Centre’s mandate was therefore to "assist the Commission in encouraging, at Community level, the promotion and development of vocational training and continuing training".
The 1975 Regulation (Council Regulation 337/75) remains the legal basis of the Centre's activity. Although there have been significant shifts in EU priorities and a re-orientation of its primary objectives, the focus of Cedefop's activity - promoting vocational training research and thus facilitating analysis and understanding of the working of the European labour market - have never been higher on the EU agenda.
Much of the early work done by Cedefop involved studying the comparability of vocational training qualifications in the Member States. More than 200 occupations were characterized and equivalence determined, the assumption being that vocational training policies in the Member States would increasingly be brought into line with each other, leading to mutual recognition of qualifications and certificates.
The Treaty on European Union (Article 149 on education and Article 150 on vocational training) signalled a change of EU policy on training and introduced new legal bases for the activities of Cedefop and other EU bodies. The Centre's role has since been more supplementary and supportive of vocational training policies at national levell; Cedefop seeks to provide links between all groups involved in training rather than plan for harmonisation between countries.
The Centre was established in Berlin in 1976 but in October 1993 the Council of Ministers decided to relocate Cedefop to Greece (Council Regulation 1131/94 of 16 May 1994). On 1 September 1995 activities recommenced in provisional premises in Thessaloniki and since August 1999 the Centre has been moved to its own building.
The move of the headquarters to Greece allowed the Centre to implement important changes and innovations. Cedefop decided to serve a better defined target audience in order to increase the impact of its work on policy-making and research across Europe. Exploiting the potential of new electronic media has also become a focal point of Cedefop’s activities in recent years, with more and more of its work concentrating on electronic information and networking activities.
Cedefop’s organisation involves all decision-makers in the field of vocational education and training in the EU and EEA.
The Management Board of the Centre consists of representatives of:
· Member State Governments,
· National Trade Union Organisations,
· National Employers’ Organisations
· European Commission.
· The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC),
· The Union of industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe (UNICE),
· Norway and Iceland (EEA countries)
participate as observers.
How to reach Cedefop
GR-57001 Thessaloniki (Pylea)
Telephone + 30 2310 490
Fax + 30 2310 490 102
Liaison Office in Brussels
20 Avenue d’Auderghem
+32 2 230 19 78
+32 2 230 58 24