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Finland: many VET learners come from upper secondary or tertiary education

More than a half of learners enrolling in vocational education and training (VET) have previously acquired an upper secondary or tertiary level qualification. This reflects the role on VET in lifelong learning in Finland.

According to Statistics Finland, 78% learners enrolling in further VET had acquired another qualification: initial vocational (39%), bachelor (11%) or general upper secondary (9%).

In specialist VET, only 6% of learners have no previously acquired qualification but 37% have a tertiary diploma.

Initial vocational qualifications are usually acquired by young people after completing compulsory education. But they are also attractive for other groups: with initial vocational qualification (20%) or with general upper secondary certificate / after passing the matriculation examination (8%).

Share of VET learners by programme type and qualification at entry

NB: Most recent data, 2016.
Source: Statistics Finland – Vipunen – statistical service of the education administration

The share also varies by study field. In vehicle technology and ICT vocational qualifications approximately 85% of learners have no previous education experience except for compulsory studies. In programmes leading to specialist qualifications in court interpreting, rural development and management, 36% of learners have at least a master’s degree.