European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) - (Decentralised Agencies)

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Decentralised Agencies

Decentralised agencies contribute to the implementation of EU policies. They also support cooperation between the EU and national governments by pooling technical and specialist expertise from both the EU institutions and national authorities. Decentralised agencies are set up for an indefinite period and are located across the EU.


European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop)



  • Role: Cedefop provides the data on which vocational education and training policy in the EU is based
  • Acting Director: Mara Brugia
  • Established in: 1975
  • Number of staff: 98
  • Location: Thessaloniki (Greece)
  • Website: Cedefop

The European Centre for the Development of Vocational training (Cedefop) helps develop and implement EU vocational training policies. It monitors labour market trends and helps the European Commission, EU countries, employers' organisations and trade unions to match training provision to labour market needs.


What it does

Cedefop is the EU organisation that brings together policymakers, employers' organisations and trade unions, training institutions, teachers and trainers, and learners of all ages – everyone with a stake in vocational education and training.

At the crossroads between education systems and the world of work, Cedefop operates as a forum, allowing the organisations with a stake in its work to share ideas and debate how best to improve vocational education and training in Europe. It shares its expertise with political organisations and the 2 sides of industry in the EU countries to help them generate learning and working opportunities.



Cedefop is a tripartite agency. Its Governing Board comprises representatives of:

  • national governments
  • employers’ organisations and trade unions
  • the European Commission.

The director is responsible for the overall management of the agency's work and staff.

Experts in the labour market and in vocational education and training carry out the day-to-day work. They are supported by administrative and communication staff.


How it works

The agency:

  • examines how socioeconomic and demographic trends affect employment, the nature of jobs and demand for skills
  • helps focus vocational training provision on labour market needs by forecasting future skills needs and alerting policymakers to skills mismatches
  • supports the use of EU-wide tools such as qualifications frameworks that enable qualifications from different education systems to be compared and recognised or informal learning to be validated
  • reviews work-based learning models and provides policy advice to EU governments to help reduce joblessness, early school leaving and other labour market imbalances.

Cedefop cooperates with other agencies:


Who benefits?

Cedefop’s work:

  • helps young people move from education into the labour market
  • helps early school-leavers return to education and training
  • helps unemployed or underemployed adults return to learning and refocus their careers
  • provides guidance and counselling staff with an EU-wide outlook
  • helps EU citizens move between countries and systems, while 'taking their qualifications with them'
  • helps EU countries reform their apprenticeship provision
  • helps European, national and regional policymakers take informed decisions on vocational education and training provision.


See also




Press releases

Country specific data

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