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This report examines the economic return on vocational education and training (VET) for individuals across the EU. The benefits analysed are the private ones that accrue to individuals who receive training.


We find that returns on secondary (but non-tertiary) initial VET are of the same order of magnitude as those characterising tertiary general education. These benefits are in terms of earnings and the probability of being in employment.


The research also focused on the extent to which continuing training complements initial vocational education (the ‘skills beget skills’ hypothesis), rather than the conventional view of training as a form of compensation for low levels of initial education.


The method employed involves econometric analysis of large comparable data sets drawn from across the EU. Some attention is given to the problem of establishing the causal effect of VET. In addition to considering the overall impact of training, as far as the data allows, the report attempts to distinguish between initial vocational education, academic education and continuing training.

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The economic benefits of VET for individuals

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