Public expenditure on initial vocational education and training (IVET) indicates the scale of government investment in IVET made by governments. Trends in public expenditure give insights into how investment has changed over time. The indicator is defined as public expenditure on vocational education at ISCED 3-4 as a percentage of GDP. EU averages are estimated as weighted averages of available country data. Countries’ GDPs in current prices are used to calculate the country weights. 

IVET public expenditure (% of GDP) 

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Source: Eurostat, UOE data collection on formal education systems. EU values are weighted averages based on available country data calculated by Cedefop.

Key points

In all countries for which data are available, spending on vocational education (at ISCED 3-4) accounted for less than 1% of GDP in 2019. The EU weighted average is estimated to be 0.5%. In 2019, levels of public expenditure on IVET were lowest in Romania, Malta Lithuania, Greece, Cyprus (at or below 0.3%). Estimates were highest for Belgium (0.99%) and the Netherlands (0.69%). Between 2015 and 2019, public expenditure on IVET (as % of GDP) fell by more than 0.2 percentage points in Finland (0.23) and Malta (0.21). In all other EU countries for which data allowed comparisons over time, most changes were below 0.1 percentage point. In non-EU countries with available data, estimates of the 2019 level of expenditure was above the EU average and increasing in Switzerland and Turkey, but below the EU average in Iceland.  

Table 13. IVET public expenditure (% of GDP) 

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Source: Eurostat, UOE data collection on formal education systems. Notes: EU values are weighted averages based on available country data calculated by Cedefop; d) ‘definition differs’; p): ‘provisional; z)’not applicable’. V) Cedefop estimated weighted average based on available country data; data are not presented when they are not available and/or do not support sufficiently reliable comparisons across countries or over time.

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