PraeLab: Building capacities of VET personnel to identify and advise potential VET dropouts

For many years, the dropout rate in VET programmes in Europe has remained at an unacceptably high level. This has been the case both in countries that use a dual approach to VET as well as in countries that use a purely classroom-based one. Dropout affects one's employment prospects and constitutes a risk from a social and labour market policy standpoint. For small and medium-sized companies, dropoutoften results in economic loss and reduces their willingness to offer apprenticeship positions.The PraeLab project addresses this problem: the aim is to prevent the dropout phenomenon by training practitioners in the VET field how to identify and support young people at risk.

Detailed information on the project can be found here:


The core element of the project is a three-day seminar for practitioners in the VET field (VET teachers, VET trainers, guidance counsellors, employment agents, VET case managers and social education specialists). This seminar covers topics such as generic competences, the dropout phenomenon and prevention. As part of this seminar, participants are presented with an online diagnostics tool (smK72+), which was developed in Switzerland. This tool enables one to diagnose and report the generic competences of young people in a given classroom or group and determine which learners are at risk of dropout. Participants are then shown how to use the diagnostics tool as well as how to analyse and interpret the results to ascertain generic competences and dropout risk. Finally, attention is given to the guidance process. Participants are shown how to initiate and conduct counselling sequences with young people who are at risk of dropout. Participants are also provided with an overview of how the entire process should be perceived. The seminar concept is intended as a general frame of reference whereby each country is free to adapt the training approach as needed to suit specific challenges and realities. Each national variant of the concept will then be tested in specific field phases and trial classes.

1.1.2010 to 31.12.2012