On 29 May Cedefop and LLLP in cooperation with the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU organised the policy forum “What role for Community Lifelong Learning Centres: the potential of one-stop-shops for preventing youth at risk from disconnecting”.
Building on the LLLP briefing paper Community Lifelong Learning Centres a gateway to multidisciplinary support teams and with participation from LLLP members, the event focused on how such centres, based in schools or other spaces in the local community, can meet individuals’ multiple and complex needs (e.g. education, health, psychological) by bringing the work of different services and sectors together in one location. The need for a conducive policy framework – promoting cross-sector cooperation and joint service delivery – was highlighted by several speakers as well as the need to back that framework up with a generous integrated funding model. This holistic approach was likewise reflected in discussions on education specifically with many speakers and participants stressing the importance of parity of esteem between different learning pathways – formal and non-formal, vocational and academic – and the possibility to move smoothly between them in order to prevent early leaving from education or training. In that respect, the cost of “non-education”, i.e. not investing in high-quality and flexible education systems, was also underlined by the representative of the upcoming Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU.
A number of resources were presented at the forum, including the new edition of the Cedefop VET toolkit for tacking early leaving.