Estonia has launched a strategic initiative to improve information and communication technology (ICT), and engineering study fields in vocational education and training (VET) and other education sectors. It aims to raise the popularity of these study fields among learners and meet the demands of the labour market effectively. This effort is being implemented through two programmes known as the IT academy and the Engineering academy.

Supported by EU funds, the initiative seeks to update the relevant education content, organisational structure, methodology and infrastructure.

Until 2029, VET will modernise ICT and engineering curricula, ensuring that graduates’ competences meet employer expectations. Efforts will also concentrate on reducing dropout rates and facilitating transition to higher education.

In ICT programmes, this involves developing new curricula at EQF levels 4 and 5 and supporting the professional development of teachers and trainers. Mentoring and tutoring programmes will also be launched to support learners throughout their studies.

To increase participation in engineering programmes, their quality and relevance will be improved through new curricula and modules at EQF levels 4 and 5. The new upper secondary VET programmes will be broad and interdisciplinary, focusing on Industry 4.0 requirements and integrating various engineering disciplines with product and industrial design.

The initiative also emphasises the importance of gender balance in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), aiming to increase female participation in ICT and engineering programmes. Promoting activities and collaboration with general education programmes is planned to attract more VET learners – especially girls – to ICT and engineering programmes.

The budget of the VET component of the initiative is EUR 18 million, of which 70% is from the European Social Fund. The Ministry of Education and Research will oversee the initiative's management, ensuring that its implementation aligns with national education goals and contributes to the EU priorities set in the Council Recommendation on VET and the Osnabrück Declaration.


    Please cite this news item as: ReferNet Estonia; Cedefop (2023). Estonia: better ICT and engineering skills in VET by 2029 National news on VET.