European and national policies on Vocational Education and Training (VET) need to be informed by sound and internationally comparable statistical evidence. The VET country statistical overviews are concise, descriptive and user friendly statistical reports. For each country, they quantify and compare key aspects of VET and lifelong learning. The selection is based on the indicators' policy relevance and their importance in achieving the Europe 2020 objectives.
VET indicators for Belgium for the last available year
Index numbers (EU=100)
NB: The index numbers are derived from data summarised in the table. Data in the table have been rounded to one or two decimal places. The calculation of index numbers is instead based on not rounded data.
Belgium’s performance on a range of indicators selected to monitor progress in VET and lifelong learning across the European Union (EU) is summarised below. The chart compares the situation in Belgium with that of the EU, based on the most recent data available (this differs by indicator). Data in the chart are presented as an index where the EU average equals 100. If the index for a selected indicator for Belgium is 100, then its performance equals the EU average. If the index is 90, its performance is 90% of (or 10% below) the EU average. If the index is 200, Belgium’s performance is twice (or 200%) the EU average. For some indicators, such as early leavers from education and training, a country is performing better if its score is below that of the EU average.
Data on which the index is calculated are presented in the table, which also shows developments over time. A technical definition of each indicator is provided in the annex.
Access, attractiveness and flexibility
The percentage of all upper secondary students participating in IVET in Belgium is 59.6%, higher than the corresponding EU average of 47.3% (2015 data). Only 5.8% of upper secondary IVET students are in combined work- and school-based programmes compared with an estimated of 28.4% for the EU as a whole. In Belgium only 21.2% of upper secondary IVET students are enrolled in programmes giving direct access to tertiary education (66.7% is the EU average).
Belgium has proportionally fewer people involved in lifelong learning (7.0%) than the EU (10.8%) (data for 2016). Participation in employer-sponsored CVT courses (2010 CVTS data) is higher (52% of all employees in all enterprises surveyed) than in the EU (38%). The share of enterprises providing training is also higher (78% for Belgium compared with 66% for the EU as a whole). Participation of young VET graduates in further education and training is higher in Belgium (at 40.1% in 2016) than in the EU (at 32.8%). Older people and those with a relatively low level of educational attainment are less likely to be enrolled in lifelong learning in Belgium than in the EU as a whole. The share of unemployed participating in lifelong learning in Belgium has recently moved closer to the EU average (which has declined more in the same period), but is still below it. Participation of these three groups in lifelong learning (older, unemployed and low educated adults) is below the level of 2010.
Skill development and labour market relevance
The main differences between Belgium and the EU in skill development and labour market relevance of VET are set out below.
Public expenditure on IVET at ISCED 3-4 accounted for 1.13% of GDP in Belgium, higher than in the EU (0.54%) (data for 2014). Belgium also has higher expenditure per student (9 800 PPS units) than the EU as a whole (8 400 PPS units). Belgian upper secondary IVET students learn 1.2 foreign languages on average, while the EU average is one (in 2015).
The employment rate for IVET graduates (aged 20 to 34) at ISCED 3-4 (80.8%) is higher than the EU average of 78.1%. Their employment rate is 10.3 percentage points higher than for graduates from general education (well above the EU average premium of 5.7). The rate is also 25.6 percentage points higher than for graduates with lower-level qualifications (also above the EU average premium of 23.4). All these employment figures relate to 2016 and exclude young people in formal or non-formal further education and training.
Overall transitions and labour market trends
In this section all data refer to 2016 unless otherwise stated.
The share of early leavers from education and training (8.8%) is lower than the EU average (10.7%). After decrease by 3.1 percentage points between 2010 and 2016, it is below the national target (9.5%) and the EU-average target set by the Europe 2020 strategy (10%).
The percentage of 30 to 34 year-olds with tertiary-level education is 45.6%, higher than the EU-average of 39.1%. Belgium is above the Europe 2020 average target (40%), but has not yet surpassed the national target (47%). Also, compared to an increase by 5.3 percentage points between 2010 and 2016 in the EU, the positive change in Belgium in the same period (by 1.2 percentage points) has been modest.
The percentage of adults with low-level educational attainment is slightly higher than in the EU (24.9% compared with 23.0% in the EU). The unemployment rate for 20 to 34 year-olds has increased recently (by one percentage point between 2011 and 2016) and is close to the EU-average of 11.8%. The NEET rate at 13.1% is slightly below the EU-average of 15.2%.
Score on VET indicators in Belgium and in the EU, 2010,
last available year and recent change
EU refers to EU-28, unless otherwise specified. Arrows ↗ or ↘ signal a positive or negative change. Arrow → indicates: no change.
(A) UOE back reconstruction of 2010 values based on ISCED 2011 not yet available. (B) AES 2011, used as proxy for 2010 baseline. (C) 2014 b flags in Eurostat online tables ignored on the basis of other relevant Eurostat metadata. (D) Forecast made in 2016. (E1) Based on 28 countries, with partial information for NL. (E2) Based on 28 countries, with partial information for EL, ES, NL, PL, RO. (E3) Based on 28 countries, with partial information for IT, NL. (E4) Based on 23 countries (missing: DK, EL, HR, IT, PT), with partial information for IE and FR. (E5) Based on 23 countries (missing: DK, EL, HR, IT, PT), with partial information for IE and FR. (E6) Based on 28 countries, with partial information for DK, EL, NL. (E7) Based on 25 countries (missing: HR, IT, UK), with partial information for BE, CZ, DK, DE, EE, EL, LU, NL, PL, SE. (E8) Based on 25 countries (missing: IE, FR, UK), with partial information for BE, EL, LU. (E9) Based on 26 countries (missing: IE, UK), with partial information for DK, DE. (E10) Based on 28 countries. (b) Break after 2010, therefore baseline data not included. (u) Eurostat: ‘low reliability’. (z) Eurostat: ‘not applicable’. (e) Eurostat: ‘estimated’.