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01. How many students participate in IVET?

Indicator 1010: IVET students as a percentage of all upper secondary students
Figure 1: IVET students as % of all upper secondary students 2017
Figure 1: IVET students as % of all upper secondary students

Cedefop skills forecasts confirm that upper secondary qualifications will remain in high demand in the labour market and a key aim of IVET policy in the EU is that it should be an attractive option.

Participation in IVET contributes not only to raising education beyond lower secondary levels, but also to developing skills and professionals geared towards specific occupations in the labour market.

Participation levels in IVET provide a proxy measure of its attractiveness, even though they may not always reflect the parity of esteem with general education or the extent to which students did not enrol in IVET even though they wanted to. The indicator below refers to participation in IVET at upper secondary education level.

The indicator is defined as the percentage of all upper secondary students (ISCED 3) enrolled in the vocational stream of education (IVET). EU averages are estimated from available country data.

Figure 1: IVET students as % of all upper secondary students

Source: Cedefop calculations based on Eurostat data/UOE data collection on education.

Key points

In 2015, it was estimated that nearly half (47.3%) of all upper secondary students in the EU were enrolled in vocational programmes. The share of upper secondary students undertaking vocational programmes varies considerably between the EU Member States. In 2015, the Czech Republic had the highest share of upper secondary students in the VET stream at 73.2%. Finland, Croatia, Austria, Slovakia, the Netherlands and Slovenia reported more than 65%. Malta (12.7%), Cyprus (15.6%), Hungary (23.2%), Lithuania (26.8%) and Greece (29.9%) had the lowest shares (all below 30% in 2015).

Data for non-EU countries indicate that VET programmes account for sizeable shares of upper secondary enrolments. In 2015, the percentages ranged from 32.8% in Iceland to 65.3% in Switzerland.

On average, in the EU, the share of IVET students dropped between 2013 and 2015 (down 1.7 percentage points). The largest percentage point change was in Sweden where it fell by 8.6 percentage points to 38.2%, dropping further below the EU average. The cases of Greece (at 29.9% in 2015 after a decrease by 3.8 percentage points), the United Kingdom (at 40.1% in 2015 after a decrease by 3.7 percentage points) and Hungary (at 23.2% in 2015 after a decrease by 3.3 percentage points) are similar. In Romania, the share decreased by 3.8 percentage points between 2013 and 2015 and in Italy it fell by 3.6 percentage points, but (at 56.3% and 55.8% in 2015) still remained above the EU average.

Table 1: IVET students as % of all upper secondary students

Arrows ↗ or ↘ signal a positive or negative trend based on more than two data points and of magnitude 0.1 per year or more. Trends based on more than two data points but of smaller magnitude are indicated by →; trends based on two points only are marked ▪.Trends are estimated by means of regression models.
The UOE back reconstruction of the 2010 values based on ISCED 2011 is not yet available.
The EU28 values are based on 28 countries, with partial information for NL.
(F) Based on partial information (public sector). (b) Break after 2010. Therefore baseline data not included. (u) Eurostat: "low reliability". (z) Eurostat: "not applicable". (e) Eurostat: "estimated".

Source: Cedefop calculations based on Eurostat data/UOE data collection on education.

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01/02/2018