There is no common measure of Early leaving from vocational education and training (ELVET) currently available across Europe but there is evidence of under-investment in Early Leaving from education policies especially in comparison to the general education sector, even if the VET sector in most countries hosts a much larger share of students from disadvantaged backgrounds (European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice/Cedefop, 2014). The fact that VET attracts students from disadvantaged backgrounds suggests the importance of investing the field and improving the skills and capabilities of VET teachers and trainers to identify students at risk. The programme supports the study of ELVET as seeks to conduct a research in VET establishments in partners’ countries and use EU, national and regional statistic reports, data from public educational authorities, interviews with education professionals and students, in order to identify the factors that lead to early leaving from education and training in the geographical regions that it covers. By identifying the real current factors that lead to Early Leaving in VET schools and institutions, it will also be able to proceed to the implementation of a comparative study on survey findings among participating countries. The conduction of the comparative study enriched with the findings on the most or least effective strategies applied to partner countries, will provide the basis upon which the training curriculum for teachers and special scientific staff on effective strategies that increase graduation rates will be designed.

The project will provide an international and competitive training programme, specially designed for VET staff, relevant professionals and families based on international experiences. The project contributes to the development of further training of VET staff – a necessity not covered in many EU countries – and the general development and upgrading of Vocational Educational and Training, as it will provide new supportive strategies which prevent school leaving and keep students that are coming from disadvantaged backgrounds in Education and Training. The training seminar will support VET professionals in developing knowledge and competencies on strategies that help distinguish students at risk of Early Leaving from Education and Training (ELET), prevent ELET by supporting and guiding those students, and thus reduce the number of the students that abandon vocational education and training. It will strengthen the profile of education professionals by supporting teachers and related professionals to deliver high quality teaching, deal with complex and multicultural classroom realities and adopt new methods and tools. It will improve initial and continuous trainer/ educator education and induction, support teachers in dealing with diversified groups of learners (such as refugees, asylum seekers and migrants) and to adopt collaborative and innovative practices which can be applied throughout their careers.

The project addresses the constantly changing educational aspects of Vocational Education and Training and contributes to the increase of attainment levels, through its emphasis on lifelong learning and the value of education on individual development and social cohesion. The project “Reducing Early Leaving in VET” supports, through its activities and outcomes, the successful completion of studies in initial and continuing VET – focusing on areas with high ELET national levels- and it will do so by taking into account the factors that influence VET trainees when deciding to abandon studies. The programme aims to create and promote the appropriate conditions which help students overcome these factors and lead to graduation, certification and better career opportunities.

Project consortium:
o ACTA – European Centre for Socio professional Integration (Coordinator – Romania)
o EELI – European Education and Learning Institute (Greece)
o Consorzio (Italy)
o ETIC – School of Technologies, Innovation and Creation (Portugal)
o EU Trade (Lithuania)
o Inercia Digital (Spain)
o ITI “Augusto Righi” (Italy)