New Network for excellent vocational centres just launched

PRESS RELEASE. More than 95 centres from 20 countries have joined ENE, the Network of Centres of Vocational Excellence, launched officially today by the European Training Foundation. In a conference dedicated to the kick-off of the initiative, participants from the EU and its neighbouring countries celebrated the launch of new opportunities to improve vocational education. This online event was attended by more than 160 participants from at least 20 countries.

The project aims at offering a platform for continuous exchange of knowledge and best practices among new and existing centres of excellence at local, national or international level. The network will support the transmission of excellence to the vocational education and training system, and the development of partnerships. Methodological tools will be developed to support the development of centres of excellence.

ETF Director, Cesare Onestini said: “ETF is the EU Agency promoting Lifelong Learning as part of the EU external action. We work supporting and complementing the international dimension of the EU Skills Agenda. Vocational Excellence and Centres of Vocational Excellence are a prominent policy area for the EU, but also in many EU neighbouring countries. The ETF Network for Excellence will support the forging of partnerships, exchange of knowledge and development of tools that can help further the transmission of excellence for the benefit of all those seeking to up their game improving their skills.”

The project will enable policy makers to understand the needs and opportunities of centres of excellence so that strategies created are informed by diverse international practices as well as the experience of practitioners. It will focus on eight themes: Lifelong Learning in vocational education and training; Education-business collaboration and cooperation; Pedagogy and professional development; Smart specialisation; Industry 4.0 and digitalisation; Autonomy and Institutional Development; Going green; Social inclusion.

For a Centre of Excellence, the membership is based on three criteria: Endorsement by the relevant national authority; Engagement in specific themes; Commitment to the network.

ENE team leader, Georgios Zisimos, highlighted: “The Network will promote a culture of peer-learning, sharing practices and high standards among vocational centres. It welcomes centres of excellence throughout the EU and its neighbours: both individual VET centres/schools and clusters, often partnered with businesses and other stakeholders".


The launch of the ENE Network is connected to the wider initiative of the European Commission to support centres of vocational excellence and platforms. The EU initiative brings together a wide range of local partners, such as providers of vocational education and training, employers, research centres, development agencies, and employment services (among others), to develop "skills ecosystems" that contribute to regional, economic and social development, innovation, and smart specialisation strategies.



Daria Santucci, Press Officer, daria.santucci@etf.europa.eu, +39 3669639638

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