In the context of EU external relations, the European Training Foundation (ETF) helps neighbouring countries make the most of their people's abilities and skills by reforming their vocational education and training (VET) and labour market systems.
The ETF supports human development in 29 partner countries (in south-eastern Europe and Turkey, eastern Europe, the southern and eastern Mediterranean and central Asia). It helps with the design, implementation and evaluation of policies and programmes to:
This means the Foundation supports partner countries' efforts to cultivate effective, evidence-based policies that support civic participation and wellbeing, modernise vocational education and training provision, and match that provision to labour market demand, both national and international.
It also supports the delivery of EU assistance to its partner countries through expert input into the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of EU action and support for policy dialogue.
The Foundation's activities are described in our programming document.
The ETF's Governing Board comprises:
It is chaired by one of the 3 European Commission representatives and meets twice a year to discuss and adopt the work programme and annual budget.
The Board appoints the ETF's director for a 5-year period, which may be extended for a further 3 years.
The Foundation employs experts in vocational education and training policies and systems and the labour market, supported by communication and administrative staff.
Vocational education and training, human development, skills and migration are interlinked. The ETF's work with partner countries cuts across these 7 key areas:
The European Training Foundation cooperates closely with:
Trained and skilled workers who are more likely to find jobs in their home country, making them less prone to social exclusion, poverty and irregular migration.
Partner countries become more prosperous and stable, creating more opportunities for trade and investment.
EU countries have opportunities to recruit qualified workers who come to Europe in a better-regulated way, to fill skills gaps created by changing demography.