The survey, involving 9 830 graduates of public and private vocational training institutes (IEK) of all specialities from all regions of the country, and more than 1 000 companies that employ IEK graduates, underlines issues of skills activation and skills matching. The results on labour market participation, transition to work, and skills utilisation confirm Greece’s positive developments in VET. More specifically, the findings highlight the importance of the EOPPEP certification for IEK graduates in finding a job later. Regarding their current employment situation, non-certified graduates face higher rates of unemployment than their certified peers. The importance of the EOPPEP certification process is also evident in employers’ responses, as a large percentage (48.05%) considers the EOPPEP certification process a critical factor for the recruitment of IEK graduates.
The certification process conducted by EOPPEP also seems to have a positive effect on the relevance of the graduates’ IEK speciality to their first job. Certified IEK graduates tend to work in positions that are more relevant to the speciality subject they studied (62.97%) compared to non-certified IEK graduates (49.28%).
Regarding skills utilisation, IEK graduates note that on a scale from 1 to 10 the most significant skills are teamwork (8.31), professional/ technical skills (8.28) and interpersonal & communication skills (8.28); the skills rated as less important skills are foreign languages (6.76). When questioned on skills mismatch (skills obsolescence), IEK graduates felt that the highest mismatch is observed in digital skills, Initiative & Entrepreneurship and Foreign Languages, while the lowest mismatch is in literacy and numerical skills.
From the employers’ perspective, the top-rated skills on a scale from 1 to 10 are teamwork (8.67), interpersonal & communication skills (8.44) and professional/technical skills (8.43); those of lowest importance are foreign languages (6.96). Employers felt that the highest mismatch (skills obsolescence) is observed in Problem Solving and the lowest mismatch in Digital Skills and Foreign Languages.
During the conference IVET providers had an opportunity to present the state of play in the interconnection of education and training with the labour market. The participation of IEK students in the conference, who shared their experience and proceeded to an assessment of the IVET services provided, was one of the highlights of the conference.
Closing the conference, the EOPPEP Managing Director, Ioanna Lytrivi, stressed: ‘The findings of the present survey, as well as other large-scale surveys, are of greater value, mainly because they can lead to the improvement of the quality and effectiveness of VET in Greece. They are a great opportunity to evaluate this pillar of our education system and to move forward to actions and initiatives aiming at upgrading and modernising IVET, mainly through the establishment of its interconnection with the labour market, and consequently, its institutional strengthening: actions that will make IVET, in the end, more attractive for the Greek family, but also for the Greek society.’
The conference was organised as part of the ‘EQAVET NRPs 2019-2021’ project of the ERASMUS+ programme and implemented by EOPPEP as the national benchmark of the European Network for Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training (EQAVET).