The VET system has been adapted to the realities of society and economy in numerous ways in the frame of the VET reform of 2008. The study on the transition of VET learners to the labour market confirms the overall good performance of the VET system. However, reducing youth unemployment and early school leaving is still a big challenge that is tackled by many initiatives.

The VET reform of 2008 created the legal framework for the adaptation of the VET system to the current realities of the society and the labour market. The unit and modular based system of VET makes it possible to better respond to the skills needs of the labour market and update VET programmes more easily. The access to higher education has been widened with the possibility for DAP holders (vocational aptitude diploma) to follow optional preparatory modules in languages and mathematics and upon successful completion to be certified with an access to tertiary education. The requirements for training companies have been enhanced with the introduction of train the trainer courses for in-company tutors that are in charge of apprentices.

The longitudinal study on the transition of VET learners in their final year of training to the labour market and their professional career revealed an overall good performance of the VET system. Hence, from the cohort of learners in their last year of training in school year 2010/2011 leaving a VET programme with a certificate or diploma, 75 % have had access to employment in less than 4 months compared to only 60 % of those leaving VET without a certificate or diploma. The same trend applies to the employment rate where 83 % of those certified where in employment after three years on the labour market while this was only the case for 62 % of those leaving VET uncertified.

However, youth unemployment and investment in skills are still high on the policy agenda. There are continued efforts to reduce youth unemployment by reinforcing stakeholder involvement and by strengthening education and training measures. These measures aim to improve the match between young people's skills/qualifications and labour market demand. They focus on people with low education levels.

In line with the Europe 2020 headline targets, policies also focus on keeping early leavers from education and training below 10%. A systematic follow up of early school leavers by the Local Action for Youth service (Action locale pour jeunes, ALJ) aims at proposing concrete measures to early school leavers to reintegrate them into the education system or other measures favouring their employability. This measure made it possible to reduce early school leaving under the benchmark of 10 % in the last years but currently the numbers are rising again. The Second chance school (École de la deuxième chance, E2C) has been created in 2011 to give young persons who have trouble finding a new apprenticeship position the chance to reintegrate the VET system.

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