Employment opportunities in Slovenia worsened during the economic crisis. Skills and knowledge contributing to employability may improve individuals’ labour market position. For Slovenia’s small, open economy it is important that the labour force possess knowledge about foreign countries, languages and intercultural skills. Mobility schemes are a way to secure professional development and transversal skills. International mobility in education improves students’ competences and employability, quality of teaching, and cooperation between organisations in different countries (European Commission, 2012).

Data from the pilot survey as part of the labour force survey carried out in 2014 show that mobility in initial VET is relatively low.

  • Share of VET graduates aged 18 to 34 who spent at least two weeks learning abroad totalled 2.1%. It was much lower than for high school and university graduates.

Young people aged 18-34 with completed vocational education (1) or who graduated from or are studying at tertiary education and were mobile during studies, Slovenia, 2nd quarter 2014, in %

1) Short-term vocational and vocational upper secondary education and upper secondary technical education are included.
Source: Youth learning mobility, Slovenia, Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, 2nd quarter 2014, 15.

  • Participating in international mobility programmes improves students’ self-confidence when using or speaking a foreign language, interest in foreign language, collaboration with peers, respect for diversity and awareness of different cultures (Sentočnik, 2014).
  • Students, enrolled in upper secondary VET may participate in the Leonardo da Vinci programme. In 2012, 513 Slovenian students in initial VET went abroad for work experience or VET. This is more than double compared to 2008.

Leonardo da Vinci mobility, Slovenia, school years 2008/09 and 2012/13

Source: Data on Leonardo da Vinci mobility from CMEPIUS, 2015.

  • Fewer workers went abroad for work or training experience (182 in 2012), although the number increased during the crisis.
  • Average length of experience, however, is longer (students: 18.6 days; employees: 55.6 days). It increased for workers in 2008-12, while for students it did not change.
  • Staff in training institutions may also go abroad to benefit from mutual learning. Their number totalled 288 in 2012, which is the highest number during the crisis. Length of stay abroad has shortened and in average totalled 6.4 days in 2012.
  • The field of education attracted the highest number of students, employees and staff in training institutions in 2011 (latest data).

Three most frequent fields for Leonardo da Vinci mobility programme and shares by country, 2011, in %

Students in initial VET  People in labour market Staff in training institutions
Education 53.6 Education 23.6 Education 48.0
Accommodation and food service 11.5 Human health and social work 19.2 Human health and social work 15.2
Manufacturing 8.8 Manufacturing 11.4 Arts, entertainment and recreation 11.7

Source: Data on Leonardo da Vinci mobility from CMEPIUS, 2015.

  • Differences exist among destination countries. In 2012, the highest number of students went to Germany, workers to neighbouring Italy, and staff to training institutions in the United Kingdom.

Three most frequent destination countries for Leonardo da Vinci mobility programme and shares by country, 2012, in %

Total Students in initial vocational training  People in labour market Staff in training institutions
DE 17.9 DE 28.8 IT 22.0 UK 18.4
FI 12.3 FI 21.2 UK 18.7 ES 14.2
ES 11.6 ES 11.1 ES 8.8 FR 11.8

Source: Data on Leonardo da Vinci mobility from CMEPIUS, 2015.

  • In Slovenia, the Erasmus programme contributed mostly to student mobility in tertiary education (Klemenčič and Flander, 2013). Over 1 821 Slovenian Erasmus students studied or engaged in company placements in 2012/13. This number is 39% higher than in 2008/09, an increase higher than in other EU countries.

Erasmus student mobility, Slovenia, school years 2008/09 and 2012/13

Source: Data on Erasmus mobility from CMEPIUS, 2015.

  • The majority of students engaged in study (72.3%), with a minority choosing company placements (27.7%), although this share increased last year.
  • Average length of experience abroad is longer for study (5.9 months; company placements: 3.6 months). In school year 2012/13, the most attractive countries for Slovenian students were Spain, Germany and Portugal.
  • The number of outgoing Erasmus students is much higher for higher education institutions than for post-secondary VET schools, where the total number of students is smaller. There are also differences in the purpose of going abroad. In post-secondary VET schools in 2012, almost all students went for company placements. This is because they provide vocationally oriented programmes at tertiary level with strong emphasis on practical skills. Practice is part of study and may be engaged in at home or abroad. In higher educational institutions the situation is different. The share of students doing company placements was 22.9%.

Number of Slovenian Erasmus students going abroad for study or company placements, school year 2012/13

Source: Data on Erasmus mobility from CMEPIUS, 2015, own calculations.

Over 1 920 Erasmus students from abroad studied or gained working experience in Slovenia in 2012/13. Compared to 2008/09 this number was higher by 78.1%, and, for the first time, higher than the number of Slovenian students going abroad. This was because of a higher number of incoming students for study purposes, with Slovenia being less attractive for work placements. The share of students for company placements totalled 12.4% in the school year 2012/13. Slovenia was more attractive for students from Spain, Poland and Turkey. Students spent an average of 5.8 months on study and 4.1 months on doing placements.

  • Erasmus staff mobility is also increasing. Outgoing and incoming numbers of Erasmus staff for teaching and assignments increased faster than in the majority of EU countries in 2008/11. In 2012, this number kept increasing; however, the number of staff who went abroad (569) was lower than the number who came to Slovenia (678).

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