Vocational education graduates of upper-secondary or post-secondary schools have a greater chance of being employed than graduates of general education at the same level. They are also less likely to spend prolonged periods without work, and more likely to stay on in their first job for more than four years.

These are among the findings of a new Cedefop report, From education to working life: the labour market outcomes of vocational education and training.

Comparing young graduates of 20-24 years of age shows a considerable gap in employment prospects between vocational and general streams. Almost 76 % of 20-24 year olds with secondary or post-secondary vocational education were working compared with 67 % for general graduates.

At present about 23 million young people (aged 25-34) in the European Union are graduates of upper secondary and post-secondary vocational programmes – a figure higher than the population of Romania.

Although short-term employment prospects are better for vocational graduates, project Manager Alex Stimpson warns against complacency.