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EACEA National Policies Platform



Last update: 28 November 2023

Apprenticeship: Systematic, long-term training alternating periods at the workplace and in an educational institution or training centre. The apprentice is contractually linked to the employer and receives remuneration (wage or allowance). The employer assumes responsibility for providing the trainee with training leading to a specific occupation. In French, the term ‘apprentissage’ relates to both apprenticeship and the process of learning. The German ‘dual system’ is an example of apprenticeship. (Cedefop 2008 p.29)

Career guidance and counseling services: specific services, special courses and contacts with the world of work aiming at young people's development of career management skills.

Cross-sector cooperation: coordination and integration of measures across different policy sectors. Horizontal coordination between different actors and vertical coordination through different levels of government are equally important.

Early school leaving (ESL) refers to all forms of leaving initial education and training before completing the upper secondary level.

Europass is an initiative which aims to help people make their skills and qualifications clearly and easily understood in Europe, thus facilitating the mobility of both learners and workers. Specific Europass documents have been designed in such a way as to help people chronicle their skills and competences in a coherent manner, whether they are planning to enroll in an education or training programme, looking for a job, or getting experience abroad.  Europass consists of a portfolio of five documents. Two documents which individuals can complete independently: Europass Curriculum Vitae (CV) and Europass Language Passport. Three documents which are completed by the competent organisation on behalf of the individual:  Europass Mobility, Europass Certificate Supplement and Europass Diploma Supplement.

Financial exclusion: a process whereby people encounter difficulties accessing and/or using financial services and products in the mainstream market that are appropriate to their needs and enable them to lead a normal social life in the society in which they belong (European Commission, 2008).

Flexicurity measures/policies: Flexicurity is a strategy to enhance both flexibility and security in the labour market. There are four policy components:

- flexible and reliable contracts through modern labour laws, collective agreements and work organisation (from the perspective of both the employers and workers);

- comprehensive lifelong learning to ensure the continuous adaptability and employability of workers, particularly the most vulnerable;

- effective active labour market policies to help people cope with rapid change

- modern social security systems including broad social security provisions that help people combine work with private responsibilities.

(Eurofound 2012 and European Commission 2007)

Formal education: education provided in the system of schools, colleges, universities and other formal educational institutions that normally constitutes a continuous ‘ladder’ of full-time education for children and young people, generally beginning at the age of five to seven and continuing up to 20 or 25 years old. In some countries, the upper parts of this ‘ladder’ are organised programmes of joint part-time employment and part-time participation in the regular school and university system: such programmes have come to be known as the ‘dual system’ or equivalent terms in these countries (Eurostat 2006, p. 13).

Formal learning:  is defined as learning that occurs in an organised and structured environment (i.e. in an education or training institution or on the job) and is explicitly designated as learning (in terms of objectives, time and resources). Formal learning is intentional from the learner's point of view. It typically leads to validation and certification (Cedefop 2008, p. 85).

Informal learning: intentional learning, but less organised and less structured than non-formal learning It may include, for example, learning events (activities) that occur in the family, in the work place, and in the daily life of every person, on a self-directed, family-directed or socially directed basis (adapted from Eurostat, p. 13). Informal learning is learning resulting from daily activities related to work, family or leisure. It is not organised or structured in terms of objectives, time or learning support. Informal learning is in most cases unintentional from the learner's perspective (Cedefop 2008, p. 133)

Information and communication services: refers to any of several types of voice and/or data information and communications systems, typically incorporating digital technology, that allow people to access, place and store information through the aid of devices such as personal computers, cellular mobile, and Internet applications.

Labour market/skills forecasting system: a system analysing future labour market trends. Most typically, skills supply and demand is forecasted in order to help different labour market actors – employees, employers, students and parents, social partners, policy makers – to take informed decisions and appropriate action concerning the labour market (Cedefop, 2012).

NEETs (Not in Employment, Education or Training): young persons between 15 and 24 years of age, who are not in education/training or in employment.

Non-formal education:  any organised and sustained educational activities that do not correspond exactly to the above definition of formal education. Non-formal education may therefore take place both within and outside educational institutions, and cater to persons of all ages. Depending on country contexts, it may cover educational programmes to impart adult literacy, basic education for out of school children, life-skills, work-skills, and general culture.  Non-formal education programmes do not necessarily follow the ‘ladder’ system, and may have a differing duration (Eurostat 2006, p. 13).

Non-formal learning is defined as: learning which is embedded in planned activities not explicitly designed as learning (in terms of learning objectives, learning time or learning support). Non-formal learning is intentional from the learner's point of view (Cedefop 2008, p. 93).

Traineeship: A work practice including an educational component (either as part of a study curriculum or not) which is limited in time. The purpose of these traineeships is to help the trainee's education to work transition by providing the practical experience, knowledge and skills that complete his/her theoretical education (European Commission 2012, p.4)

Youthpass is a tool for participants of projects funded by the Youth in Action Programme to describe what they have done and to show what they have learnt, though Youthpass certificates.

Youth work refers to a diverse range of activities, topics and measures provided by a range of actors in assorted fields and settings. Not all countries have a formal definition of youth work and amongst those that do, there is a variety of definitions. However, three core features define youth work distinct as distinct from other policy fields: a focus on young people, personal development, and voluntary participation.  (GHK on behalf of EACEA & DG EAC, 2014)