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 Assistance to citizens in order to promote European pathways in work-linked training, including apprenticeship

The European Commission has today presented a report evaluating Europass. Launched in 2005, Europass provides a coordinated portfolio of documents helping people to describe what they know and can do in a way that is clearly and easily understood throughout Europe.

Today’s report is based on an external evaluation which concludes that Europass is achieving its objectives as a cost-efficient mobility tool for citizens, and that the service it offers is relevant to their needs. More than 12 million visits to the Europass online portal since 2005 are proof of its success, as well as the fact that more than 3 million people have already generated their CVs using the resources on the Europass website, a target that was originally expected to be reached only in 2010.

The Europass portfolio consists of five documents. The Europass CV (ECV) and the Europass Language Passport can be completed by citizens themselves, namely through an assisted online tool made available in 26 languages on the Europass portal, while the Europass Diploma Supplement, the Europass Certificate Supplement and Europass Mobility are issued to citizens by competent organisations when they have completed specific learning experiences. The total of Europass documents created online or issued to citizens since its launch comes up to more than 3.5 million.

The Europass CV is at the heart of the initiative and its single most successful component so far. About 3.1 million Europeans have created CVs on the Europass portal since 2005, with more than 900,000 since the beginning of 2008 alone. The evaluation attributes this to the fact that the Europass CV is a useful tool for self-assessment based on learning outcomes (what a learner knows, understands and is able to do).

The Europass portal has had more than 12 million visits since its launch in January 2005 and the trend is clearly upward, with almost 3 million visits in the first half of 2008. Surveys conducted for the evaluation have shown a high degree of user satisfaction. All of this confirms the relevance of the service provided and the high quality of the portal, which is developed, hosted and managed by Cedefop, the European Agency to promote the development of vocational education and training in the EU.

However, while Europass CV is overall very successful, this is in particular with the highly-educated, and one of the findings of the report is that the representation of the low-qualified and the unemployed among the users of the Europass portal and the Europass CV needs to be improved.

The overall conclusion of the evaluation report is that Europass is good value for money - a cost-efficient tool that is relevant to citizens’ needs. The total annual budget of around € 2.5 million covers both a network of national Europass centres and the running of the Internet portal. National Europass Centres (NECs), coordinated by the European Commission, play a crucial role in promoting the initiative. They also directly manage the Europass Mobility, a tool that describes skills acquired in a mobility experience, such as a participation in a student exchange or a work placement in another country. More than 100,000 such documents have already been issued.

The evaluation report makes suggestions on how to extend the success of the ECV to all Europass documents. The uptake of both the Europass Diploma Supplement and the Europass Certificate Supplement has been below potential, and a stronger focus on learning outcomes – as opposed to learning inputs, such as the length of a learning experience or the type of institution – is seen as a promising way forward.

With the support of Cedefop and the NECs, and in cooperation with guidance, employment and youth services in the Member States, the European Commission is planning to improve Europass on the basis of this first evaluation. A greater focus on learning outcomes and a wider outreach, in particular to the unemployed and the low-skilled, are among the key challenges to be tackled.

Press Room - European Commission
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