This short description helps improve understanding of vocational education and training (VET) in Bulgaria. It covers the main features, highlighting policy developments and current challenges.
Bulgaria has strong youth education traditions. The share of those with upper secondary and post-secondary education is higher than in the EU; the share with low or no qualification is below EU average. Participation in VET is slightly higher than in general education; family traditions and personal interests are drivers for choosing VET.
Demographic changes have affected the VET population. A declining school population has led to school network optimisation, targeting greater efficiency while safeguarding quality. Many small VET schools have been merged with larger providers.
The 2015 amendments to the Pre-school and School Education Act triggered changes in the VET Act in 2016. These aim to make education pathways more flexible, allowing for greater permeability while helping create a sustainable national dual VET model.