Many countries worldwide reinforce their education and training systems’ capacity to respond to the pressures of globalization and the challenges of the knowledge society. Closer cooperation between business and education is one of the tools for providing learners with new skills and competences for work. In the Southern region of the Mediterranean however, knowledge available on the current forms and modes of cooperation between the education and economic sectors, and the roles and responsibilities of the different stakeholders is limited and fragmented. Among the challenges they face, these countries suffer from the pressures of some of the fastest growing populations in the world, a large informal sector and economies run by very small and medium-sized enterprises. In the region social partners (employers and employees) play very diverse but limited roles in VET policy and decision-making according to local situation. The article will look at the different contexts in which cooperation and partnership in VET and Higher Education are activated in eight countries of the region (Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Syria and Tunisia).1 For the purpose of this article, the term education includes secondary vocational education and training (VET), postsecondary non-tertiary and tertiary education, including public and private institutions. The term business covers any entity with economic activity regardless of its legal status. This can include multi-nationals, public and private companies and small and medium sized enterprises (SME), micro-business and actors in the informal economy. Social partners (employers’ and employee organizations) are considered as key stakeholders representing business environment. After shaping the situation, the paper will look at identifying and reflecting on policy or strategically driven approaches to cooperation. In this context, cooperation and partnership is considered in a very broad sense, meaning any kind of relevant policy provision and/or formalized or non-formalized interaction between an education/training provider and a business organization. Finally the paper will suggest policy recommendations for policy makers, social partners and civil society which may facilitate the development of partnerships leading to practical solutions benefiting to the new entrants in the labour market.