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Poland: VET graduate tracking

A report on the results of the first round of tracing the professional trajectories of VET graduates was published by the Educational Research Institute. This is the first study that provides information on VET students’ education experiences and their professional journey. The study aims to build a VET graduate tracking system.

The report is based on a survey and follow-up interviews. Some 10 102 VET learners who were studying in the last year of vocational programmes in 2016/17 participated in the survey, and 7 717 VET graduates were interviewed in spring 2018.

The report presents the sociodemographic characteristics of VET learners, their incentives and other factors influencing their education and occupation choices. The report shows that the education choices of VET learners were planned and thought-out. Around 56% of basic vocational school students and 48% of vocational upper secondary school students declared that, from the beginning, they knew the profession and the school where they wanted to study. Another finding was that the most important motive for choosing a profession is the expected earnings. Slightly less important is the feeling that a person will be good in a given profession, the ease of finding a job, the feeling that the profession provides stable and trouble-free work, and that it is linked to the interests of the learner.

According to the study, VET school graduates are generally satisfied with the programmes they have completed, highlighting relationships with other students, vocational teachers’ ability to transfer knowledge and relationships between students and teachers as the most satisfactory aspects of their schooling experience. The less satisfactory aspects – though still considered good – were the proportion of practical classes to theoretical ones and the equipment of school workshops/laboratories.

The study shows that in the ninth month after graduation 56% of graduates of basic vocational schools and 48% of graduates of upper secondary technical schools are working, often combining work and study (17% to 20% of graduates). Among basic vocational school graduates, the percentage of employed persons is clearly higher (76%) than in the case of vocational upper secondary school graduates (65%). Many VET school graduates continue their education. Around 38% of vocational upper secondary school graduates were in higher education, while some attended post-graduate studies. Over one third of basic vocational school graduates declared that they had started attending general upper secondary schools for adults.

 

The Ministry of National Education commissioned the Educational Research Institute to implement an ESF jointly financed project aimed at developing a system to trace the education and professional trajectories of VET graduates on the basis of register data. The project includes developing IT solutions and legal and organisational arrangements required for the use of administrative data in tracing graduates. The launch of the system is planned for the first quarter of 2022.