The development of a VET graduate tracking system is interlinked with a growing emphasis on the attractiveness of VET provision and occupations, and the quality of vocational education and training (VET).
Graduate tracking is an important and complex process, which should not be limited to collecting data and information on successful job searches or the achievement of salary expectations. VET graduate tracking should go beyond these questions and examine issues such as the sufficiency of acquired learning outcomes for the beginning of one’s career; understanding the relation between transferrable skills and employability; the applicability of what has been learned in an actual occupational context; and the satisfaction rates of graduates and employers with the training provision available.
Graduate tracking could be a powerful tool for VET providers on the condition that it is carried out using a methodology approved by competent State authorities. Such tracking can help them check the relevance of their training programmes to labour market demands and needs and understand whether the key skills acquired by their learners through the training content and materials offered are those mostly needed by employers. In this respect, efficient graduate tracking may contribute to a balance between employer and learner training needs. Additionally, graduate tracking can be a valuable source of information on qualifications sought by the labour market, supporting better matching between qualification offer and demand.
Projects On track and EQAVET: Vireo 2 pilot
Two recently completed pilot projects are used by Bulgaria to develop gradually a holistic VET graduate tracking system:
- the On track project is targeted at VET providers. It offers a model survey, which seeks to identify graduates’ needs based on questions related to the process of finding a job, their satisfaction with training, etc. This model aims to assist VET providers in maintaining a relationship with their graduates and constantly adapting curricula and training programmes based on graduate feedback. Information can be used in a flexible way and for various purposes depending on the provider’s evaluation;
- the EQAVET: Vireo 2 pilot project collects information at both national and regional levels, uses administrative data from various institutions, and carries out a sociological survey on quality indicators. This project has a greater scope in terms of investigating what happens after VET graduation. The results of the project’s implementation model will be used by VET institutions which participate in policy formulation.