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European Vocational Skills Week
News article29 November 2023Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion2 min read

Vocational excellence through international cooperation

etf coves seminar

Advancing vocational education and training 

The Erasmus+ Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) initiative plays a pivotal role in advancing the European Union's policy on skills and vocational excellence, by being a driving force for reforms in the Vocational Educational and Training (VET) sector. The main objective is to ensure high quality skills that lead to quality employment and career-long opportunities, swiftly responding to the needs of an innovative, inclusive, and sustainable economy.  

The EU policy on vocational education and training (VET) also has an international dimension, supported by the European Training Foundation (ETF). In 2020, ETF launched the ETF Network for Excellence (ENE network) to encourage the sharing of ideas, practices and experience between centres of vocational excellence at both national and international levels. Also the Erasmus+ CoVE initiative foster transnational cooperation including with third countries which can participate in the projects as full partners.  

International dimension of CoVEs 

Building upon the successful work and accomplishments of ENE network, ETF has been tasked by the European Commission to implement a project on vocational excellence: “The International Dimension of Centres of Vocational Excellence: Building Strong International Cooperation in Vocational Excellence.” 

At a conference in Turin, Italy on 9-10 November, gathering about 90 participants representing a broad range of stakeholders from 20 ETF partner countries, EU Member States and beyond, the results of the project so far, as well as the future work on the international dimension of vocational excellence, were presented and discussed. 

In close cooperation with their stakeholders and partners, ETF has developed an international self-assessment tool for CoVEs (ISATCOVE) to assist organisations to undertake steps towards excellence and a concept for a quality label and award for vocational excellence. ETF has further conducted studies on how centres of vocational excellence support the digital and green transition objectives, and their contribution to innovation and applied research. 

All these results were greatly appreciated by the conference participants and stimulated some important discussions on the implementation of the ISATCOVE and the excellence label and award. The conference also gave room for discussions on inspiring practices on vocational excellence. 

ETF will continue its work on supporting the international dimension of VET excellence, and the conference also facilitated good discussions on which support services the VET stakeholders need from ETF in the time to come.  

Curious about the conference? You can watch the recording here.