The 4th meeting of the Council of Europe Dialogue with Roma and Traveller Civil Society (18-19 September 2017) will focus on Roma Youth Employment and Vocational Education and Training.

Education as a determinant of life chances It is commonly accepted that the provision of education remains a high priority among support measures for Roma and Travellers because parameters of poor education correlate with poor health, unemployment, social isolation and exclusion.

The results of the 2011 survey in 11 EU Member States and the EU MIDIS 2016 FRA Survey covering 9 EU Member States3 confirm that largely Roma children are behind in educational achievement and show a considerable gap between Roma and non-Roma children attending schooling. Despite the efforts to expand and improve education for Roma children over the years, as many as 50% of Roma children in Europe fail to complete primary education and only a quarter complete secondary education. Participation in education drops considerably after compulsory education where only 15% of young Roma adults have completed upper-secondary general or vocational education. The levels of illiteracy amongst young Roma remain comparably high for Europe where almost 50% of Roma are illiterate or moderately literate. Without compulsory education completion, many young Roma are unable to meet the basic requirements for vocational education programmes.


It is envisaged that the two-day meeting with Roma and Traveller civil society and key Roma and non-Roma experts in the area of youth, employment and vocational education and training (hereafter “VET”) will put VET at the centre stage of advocacy efforts for increased knowledge and activities regarding the role of VET in:

  • the empowerment of Roma and Traveller youth to combat leaving education early;
  • the return to education for those who dropped out early (second chance classes);
  • the professional skills of young Roma and Travellers without diplomas;
  • career pathway and choice – linking education and training to labour market needs.

The 4th Dialogue will serve as a forum for Roma and Traveller civil society, the Council of Europe and other stakeholders to improve their knowledge, exchange experiences and share best practices, plan future co-operation activities and identify possibilities for promoting VET and Roma and Traveller youth employment.