A new VET graduate tracking study is currently being carried out in Greece by the National Organisation for Certification of Qualifications and Vocational Guidance (EOPPEP). The project focuses on graduates of post-secondary VET programmes (IEK); it aims to provide quantitative and qualitative data about what graduates do after completing their training.

The project has taken into account the 2017 Council recommendation on the issue and EU policy priorities as expressed in policy papers such as the Riga conclusions and the New skills agenda for Europe. Using quality indicators such as the placement rate of VET graduates and the utilisation of acquired skills in the workplace, the research analyses the position of IEK graduates within the labour market. It also measures the degree of satisfaction of:

  • graduates, regarding the curriculum and the specialisation they have completed;
  • employers, regarding graduates’ knowledge, skills and competences.

The study is based on desk and field research. It has been conducted in cooperation with the National Institute for Labour and Human Resource (EIEAD), an organisation mainly responsible for managing the recently established skills diagnosis mechanism. This is the first time that such a big scale study in this topic has been carried out in Greece, with 430 employers and 4 780 graduates taking part.

Initial data stress the importance of skills certification: IEK graduates certified by EOPPEP score three times higher in terms of employment rates than IEK graduates without certification. Almost 50% of the interviewed graduates have already found a full-time job; 25% of them are still unemployed. IEK graduates tend to find a work placement relevant to their specialisation. The most prevalent way to find a job was through networking rather than through recruitment agencies.

The project itself stands as good practice for developing synergies among national and EU partners, sharing knowledge and expertise on graduate surveys and tracking systems. In this context, the project also aspires to contribute in the formation of a more comprehensive and sustainable VET graduate tracking mechanism, supporting current efforts of the education ministry to improve VET effectiveness and attractiveness. 

Following the successful pilot phase of the VET graduate tracking mechanism, EOPPEP plans to develop a broader and more systematic tracking mechanism in the near future.