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General themes

VET in Austria has the following main features:

  • VET ranks high; about 70% of each age cohort opt for a VET path at the end of compulsory education ([1]Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Austria. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
    http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8127_en.pdf
    ).
  • early leaving is comparatively low at 7.3% in 2018 and a ‘safety net’ for young people has been in place for many years. In 2017, the training obligation until age 18 was introduced: all young people who are not in education and training, or in a job, must participate in mainstream school-based programmes, apprenticeships or other recognised training;
  • school-based VET and apprenticeships (dual track training) coexist. They cover nearly all economic sectors and lead to different qualification levels (either EQF 4 or 5).
  • there is a variety of VET programmes at tertiary level and for adults.

Distinctive features ([2]Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Austria. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8127_en.pdf
):

  • the broad range of available VET programmes is not only reflected in the various types of training and qualification levels but also in the fields of study, which include business, engineering, tourism, fashion, design, arts, and agriculture. Programmes can be adapted to regional economic contexts and skill needs, and allow learners to develop their strengths and talents in the best possible way.
  • all programmes at upper secondary level, whether school-based or dual-track, combine VET with general education and theory with practice. Work-based learning is central to VET, particularly in apprenticeships where learners spend 80% of their training time in a company. School-based VET is also practice-oriented, including learning in workshops, labs, training restaurants and practice firms, complemented by mandatory work placements in companies. Project and diploma assignments as part of the final exam of the five-year VET programme (EQF 5) are often set by companies or carried out with their collaboration. Many teachers have experience in business and industry, which, for certain areas, is also an admission requirement;
  • much attention is paid to the acquisition of key competences (e.g. team work, digital and entrepreneurial skills). At least one foreign language is mandatory − in some study fields (such as tourism) up to three − and is also used as a working language at several schools. Competence-orientation is a key principle in VET;
  • the number of apprentices (within the dual VET-track) being trained is driven by company demand. On completion of compulsory education, young people apply for apprenticeship places in companies and conclude a training contract with them. Apprentices are also assigned to the respective school-based programme, which is mandatory;
  • many VET programmes are offered outside the formal education system. A diverse range of institutions offers continuing training and progression opportunities to complement or upgrade people’s initial qualifications.

Despite its wide recognition, VET faces several challenges:

  • basic skills: OECD-PISA results in recent years suggest that the share of learners with low achievement in reading literacy and maths is comparatively high. Companies tend to point to young apprentices’ basic skills gaps. This drives the current government’s goal that no young person should leave compulsory education without having achieved basic competence levels in reading, writing and maths. 
  • early leaving from education and training: early leaving rates from education and training have been comparatively low and a ’safety net’ for young people has been in place for many years. What used to be an offer became a training obligation until age 18 in 2017: all young people who are not in post-compulsory education and training, or in a job, must participate in mainstream school-based programmes, apprenticeships or other recognised training until the age of 18.
  • value of non-formal training: Austria has a relatively segmented education system; permeability is limited, particularly between non-formal and formal programmes at higher levels. Public perception of formal and non-formal qualifications is not the same. The national qualifications framework (NQR) is expected to provide a new perspective on them, as assignment to NQF levels is based on learning outcomes, irrespective of the institutional context in which they were acquired.

Data from VET in Austria Spotlight 2017 ([3]Cedefop (2017). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Austria. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8114_en.pdf
).

Population in 2018: 8 822 267 ([4]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].)

The continuous increase in the size of the population since the mid-1980s is mainly due to the growing influx of foreign nationals, rising particularly sharply in recent years. Overall, roughly 16% of the Austrian population are foreign nationals ([5]Cedefop (forthcoming). Vocational education and training in Austria: short description. Luxembourg: Publications Office.).

It increased since 2013 by 4.4% mainly due to migration ([6]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019]). According to the projection of Statistics Austria, based on assumptions on fertility, mortality and migration, the population will continue to grow to nine million people by 2022, to over 9.3 million by the year 2030 and to 9.53 million people by 2040 (+8% compared to 2018) ([7]Statistics Austria (2018). The Austrian population will grow to 10 million inhabitants by 2080; labour force increases by 5%. Press release 11.903-214/18 published on 22.11.2018.
http://www.statistik.at/web_en/statistics/PeopleSociety/population/119618.html .
).

The demographic development reveals that the population is ageing, as in many other EU countries. In 2015 only 18.5% of the Austrian population were aged 65 years or older; the share of this population segment in the population overall is expected to increase to over 29% by 2060.

The old-age dependency ratio ([8]Old-age-dependency ratio is defined as the ratio between the number of persons aged 65 and more over the number of working-age persons (15-64). The value is expressed per 100 persons of working age (15-64).) will also continue to rise. In 2016 the number of people aged 65 and above, in relation to the 15 to 64 year-olds, was still slightly more than one to four (27.4%); projections show this ratio reaching about one to two by 2060. This means there will be less than two people in employment for every pensioner ([9]Cedefop (2018). Vocational education and training in Austria: short description [unpublished working paper].
).

 

Population forecast by age group and old-age-dependency ratio

Source: Eurostat, proj_15ndbims [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

The demographic structure and dynamics in Austria – mainly driven by migration and an aging society – will have an impact on available resources as well as on the demand for education ([10]Oberwimmer, K. et al. (2019). Nationaler Bildungsbericht Österreich 2018, Band 1 [National education report, Volume 1]; Das Schulsystem im Spiegel von Daten und Indikatoren [Education in facts and figures], p. 25.
https://www.bifie.at/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/NBB_2018_Band1_v3_final.pdf
).

Because of migration, support structures (such as classes in German) have been created for the acquisition of German as a foreign language (language of instruction) and measures have been taken to make it possible for migrants to complete VET programmes: these include transition courses, the ‘b.mobile’ programme ([11]See
https://www.wko.at/site/fachkraeftepotenzial/b_mobile.html
) of the Austrian economic chambers.

The demographic development towards an ’aging society’ will have an impact on the education sector. In order to keep pace with the (future) requirements of the economy, lifelong learning (LLL) will become imperative. Therefore it is/will be necessary to encourage participation of older employees in further and higher qualification (VET) programmes ([12]Cedefop (2018). Vocational education and training in Austria: short description [unpublished working paper].
).

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the Austrian Economy: 99.6% of all enterprises are SMEs. Around 330 000 such enterprises employ nearly two million people (2016) ([13]Austrian Institute for SME Research (2019). KMU-Daten 2016 [Key figures on SMEs, 2016].
https://www.kmuforschung.ac.at/zahlen-fakten/kmu-daten/
).

87% of them are micro-enterprises with fewer than ten employees. 11% are small enterprises employing between ten and 49 people, around 2% are medium-sized enterprises with 50 to 249 employees. Overall more than 1.9 million people are self-employed or work in dependent employment in Austrian SMEs. This means that SMEs provide work to around two thirds of the entire workforce. The share of large enterprises in the total number of Austrian companies is only 0.4%. But they employ roughly one third of all employees. Especially for SMEs – and particularly for micro and small enterprises – vocational education and training (VET) that is properly differentiated and adjusted to current and future requirements is very important because these companies, as a rule, do not have their own in-house HR (development) and research departments ([14]Cedefop (2018). Vocational education and training in Austria: short description [unpublished working paper].
).

Since the 1960s, the Austrian economy has undergone fundamental changes. In 1960, agriculture and forestry still boasted an 11% share in the gross value added. The services sector, at around 42%, was behind the manufacturing sector (47%). In the 1970s, structural change started and continues today; it has led to a shrinking of the primary and secondary sectors to the benefit of the tertiary sector. Today more than 70% of the value added is created in this sector, which also employs around 70% of the workforce. In response, new specialisations and qualifications have been introduced in the education sector (mainly in wholesale and retail trade, tourism, healthcare) to meet the requirements of the economy. In addition, increasing attention is being paid to teaching key competences, which play a major role in the services-oriented economy ([15]Cedefop (2018). Vocational education and training in Austria: short description [unpublished working paper].
).

The most important manufacturing sectors (by turnover 2017) and export sectors of the Austrian economy with the dominance of SMEs are ([16]WKÖ- Austrian Economic Chamber (2018). Statistical Yearbook 2018.
http://wko.at/statistik/jahrbuch/2018_Englisch.pdf.
):

  • energy supply;
  • machinery and motor vehicles;
  • metals and metal products;
  • electrical and electronic equipment;
  • food and feed;
  • petroleum, chemical and pharmaceutical products;
  • plastic, glass, wood, paper products.

In terms of foreign trade, tourism, environmental technology, construction and infrastructure, creative industries, training and the service sector are strong sectors ([17]WKÖ-Austrian Economic Chamber (2019). Österreichische Exportwirtschaft 2019/2020 [Austrian foreign trade 2019-20], S. 12f.
https://www.wko.at/service/aussenwirtschaft/oesterreichische-exportwirtschaft.pdf [accessed 23.5.2019].
).

In Austria around 200 professions are regulated ([18]See
http://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/regprof/index.cfm
); they require a specific professional qualification when accessing or exercising them. Certificates/diplomas are generally very important, although for most jobs they are not a formal requirement.

Total unemployment (2018): 4.3% (6 % in EU-28); it increased by 0.9 % percentage points compared to 2008 ([19]Source: Eurostat, une_rt_a [extracted 20.5.2019].).

 

Unemployment rate (aged 15-24 and 25-64) by education attainment level in 2008-18

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011; breaks in time series; low reliability for ISCED 5-8, age 15-24.
ISCED 0-2 = less than primary, primary and lower secondary education.
ISCED 3-4 = upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education.
ISCED 5-8 = tertiary education.
Source: Eurostat, lfsa_urgaed [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Unemployment differs strongly for persons with low-, medium- and high-level formal education.

In 2018 the unemployment rate of persons (aged 25-64) without an upper secondary qualification was 10.9%, almost three times higher than of persons with at least upper secondary education (3.8%) and even higher than of people with tertiary education background (3%).

Younger people (aged 15-24) with no or lower formal qualifications are especially affected by significantly higher unemployment risks and rates. However, in 2018, Austria had the sixth lowest unemployment rate (13.9%) in an EU-28 comparison (21.9%) among young people (15 to 24 year-olds). This is particularly due to the varied VET programmes offered at the upper secondary level ([20]Cedefop (forthcoming). Vocational education and training in Austria: short description. Luxembourg: Publications Office).

The employment rate of 20 to 34 year-old VET graduates increased from 86.3% in 2014 to 88.6% in 2018; it is 8.1 percentage points above the EU 28-average (80.5%) ([21]Eurostat table edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

 

Employment rate of VET graduates (20 to 34 years old, ISCED levels 3 and 4)

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011; breaks in time series.
ISCED 3-4 = upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education.
Source: Eurostat, edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

The employment of 20-34 year-old VET graduates of ISCED levels 3 and 4 increased to 88.6% (+2.3 pp) between 2014 and 2018 ([22]NB: Beaks in time series. Eurostat table edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

This is due to the wide range of vocational programmes at upper secondary level, which make it possible for graduates to enter the labour market directly ([23]Cedefop (2018). Vocational education and training in Austria: short description [unpublished working paper].
).

The employment rate and the change between 2014 and 2018 in the employment rate of 20-34 year-old VET graduates at ISCED levels 3 and 4 is higher compared to that for all 20-34 year-old graduates (2014: 83.5%, 2018 84.5%) ([24]NB: Breaks in time series. Eurostat table edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

In 2018 more than half of 25 to 64 year-olds (52.6%) acquired a qualification in an education programme at ISCED Level 3 or 4, i.e. an apprenticeship diploma or a qualification from a school for intermediate vocational education or a general secondary school. This also reflects the importance of the upper secondary sector within the Austrian education system.

About one third of the population (32.7%) between the ages of 25 and 64 years completed a tertiary education programme, also including ‘short programmes’ (ISCED 5) below the bachelor degree, such as the qualification obtained at a five-year school-based VET programme or at an industrial master college.

But many programmes aiming at vocational further and higher qualifications (such as the engineer qualification, the financial accountant qualification, qualifications obtained in the police force) are offered outside the formal education system and are not included in ISCED ([25]Cedefop (2018). Vocational education and training in Austria: short description [unpublished working paper].
).

The share of the population with no or low-level qualifications (ISCED 0-2) is significantly lower (14.7%) compared to the EU-28 average (21.8%), and the share of the medium-qualified (52.6 % at levels 3-4) significantly higher (EU-28: 45.7%). The shares of the high-qualified (ISCED 5-8) are almost balanced (AT: 32.7%, EU-28: 32.2%).

Population (aged 25 to 64) by highest education level attained in 2018

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011. Low reliability for ‘No response’ in Czechia, Iceland, Latvia, and Poland.
ISCED 0-2 = less than primary, primary and lower secondary education.
ISCED 3-4 = upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education.
ISCED 5-8 = tertiary education.
Source: Eurostat, lfsa_pgaed [extracted 16.5.2019].
 

For more information about VET in higher education in Austria please see the case study from Cedefop's changing nature and role of VET in Europe project [25a]Cedefop (2019). The changing nature and role of vocational education and training in Europe. Volume 6: vocationally oriented education and training at higher education level. Expansion and diversification in European countries. Case study focusing on Austria. Cedefop research paper; No 70. https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/austria_cedefop_changing_nature_of_vet_-_case_study.pdf

In Austria nearly 70% of all upper secondary education VET learners (ISCED level 3) are enrolled in vocational programmes compared to 47.2% in the EU-28 average (2017) ([26]Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Austria. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8127_en.pdf
).

This is primarily due to the high attractiveness and inflow of approximately 40 % – a relative constant rate since the mid- 1990s – of an age cohort to the apprenticeship training in Austria.

Share of learners in VET by level in 2017

lower secondary

upper secondary

post-secondary

not applicable

68.6%

100%

Source: Eurostat, educ_uoe_enrs01, educ_uoe_enrs04 and educ_uoe_enrs07 [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Share of initial VET learners from total learners at upper secondary level (ISCED level 3), 2017

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011.
Source: Eurostat, educ_uoe_enrs04 [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Around 70% of each age cohort opts for a VET programme at the end of compulsory education ([27]Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Austria. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8127_en.pdf
). There are more male learners in these programmes (80% choose a VET programme) than female ones (70%) ([28]Dornmayr, H.; Nowak, S. (2018). Lehrlingsausbildung im Überblick 2018 - Strukturdaten, Trends und Perspektiven [Apprenticeship overview 2018: structural data, trends and perspectives]. Vienna: ibw research report; No 193.
https://ibw.at/bibliothek/id/481/.
).

Education choices of females and males in IVET differ:

  • young males are traditionally overrepresented in apprenticeship training (77 %) with the main focus on technical trades and crafts. They also favour technical branches in school-based VET;
  • young females generally prefer school-based VET with commercial, economic, social, healthcare and pedagogical programme orientation.

In Austria the share of early leavers from education and training – 18 to 24 year-olds, who have not graduated from upper secondary level and are currently not in education and training – has further decreased from 8.8% in 2009 to 7.3% in 2018. The national target of 9.5% in 2020 has already been passed and is clearly below the EU-28 average (10.6%) with the European benchmark of less than 10% for 2020.

This relatively favourable figure in comparison to the EU-28 is attributed to the wide and differentiated range of education and training programmes after compulsory schooling, especially apprenticeship training and the VET school sector.

 

Early leavers from education and training in 2009-18

NB: Share of the population aged 18 to 24 with at most lower secondary education and not in further education or training.
Source: Eurostat, edat_lfse_14 [extracted 16.5.2019] and European Commission: https://ec.europa.eu/info/2018-european-semester-national-reform-programmes-and-stability-convergence-programmes_en [accessed 14.11.2018].

 

Austria has already achieved, even exceeded, the EU benchmark for lifelong learning of 15%, reaching 15.1% in 2018. The Austrian government in 2011 upgraded the national target for adults aged 25 to 64 years to take part in lifelong learning to 20% by 2020 ([29]https://www.qualifikationsregister.at/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Strategie1.pdf).

LLL participation is generally higher among women than men and is clearly above the EU-28 average (11.1%) ([30]Cedefop (2018). Vocational education and training in Austria: short description [unpublished working paper].
).

Especially in an aging society, lifelong learning (LLL) will become imperative to keeping pace with the (future) requirements of the economy. Encouraging participation of older employees in further and higher qualification programmes is essential ([31]Cedefop (2018). Vocational education and training in Austria: short description [unpublished working paper].
).

 

Participation in lifelong learning in 2014-18

NB: Share of adult population aged 25 to 64 participating in education and training.
Source: Eurostat, trng_lfse_01 [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

 

Adults in education and training by age group

Source: National data (Statistics Austria, Micro Census – Labour force survey).

 

According to the labour force survey, around 400 000 people between 15 and 19 were in education and training (IVET) in 2016. Just below 430 000 people aged 20 to 29 were in IVET or CVET; more than 590 000 people at the age of 30 and above participated in an education and training programme.

Structure of the Austrian education system:

  • kindergarten or preschool education (ISCED 0);
  • primary level (ISCED 1);
  • lower secondary level (ISCED 2);
  • upper secondary level (ISCED 3-4);
  • post-secondary non-tertiary level (ISCED 5);
  • tertiary level (ISCED 5-8).

General compulsory schooling starts at the age of six and lasts nine years. To promote equality of opportunity and employability, a training obligation up to the age of 18 has been established after completion of compulsory schooling; this means that young people are obliged to take part in a training programme or attend an educational measure up to the age of 18.

  • primary level (four years, learners aged 6 to 10): before entering the four-year primary school, half-day attendance at nursery school/kindergarten is obligatory. For children with special educational needs (SEN) integrative classes are set up at primary school or there are specific special needs schools which are geared towards the education requirements of individual types of disability;
  • lower secondary level (four years, learners aged 10 to 14): at this education level learners can choose to follow general secondary education offered at the academic secondary school (AHS) or at the new secondary school (NMS). In these school types, the learners with SEN can either attend integrative classes or the fifth to eight grade of a special needs school. To switch from primary school to NMS or the lower cycle of AHS, learners need a positive final certificate of the fourth class of primary school; for entering the lower cycle of AHS, additional performance requirements (such as specific marks in the main subjects) and possibly an entrance examination are foreseen;
  • upper secondary level (one to five years, learners aged 15 to 19): the first school year of upper secondary education is, at the same time, the final year of compulsory education. Compulsory education ends after attendance of nine school years; there is no separate compulsory school certificate. At the upper secondary level, learners can choose between general and (pre-)vocational education programmes. Many of these programmes support direct entry to the labour market, provide access to post-secondary programmes and/or lead to the tertiary sector either directly or upon acquisition of higher education entrance qualifications;
  • post-secondary and tertiary level (different durations; learners aged 19+): higher VET programmes (which aim to provide further and higher qualifications, especially for holders of initial VET qualifications), many of which are organised in cooperation with work-based learning in companies, are offered in the formal education context (schools and universities) but also the non-formal context (outside schools in adult education institutions). Higher education programmes, which lead to Bologna qualifications and are primarily academically oriented and designed as pre-professional, are offered at universities, universities of applied sciences and university colleges of teacher education;
  • education outside the formal education system: many adult education establishments provide programmes for personal and professional continuing education. There are also programmes which make it possible for adults to acquire qualifications in the formal education sector. For the unemployed and those threatened by unemployment, programmes are offered as part of active labour market policy.

At secondary level, learners can choose from various pre-VET and VET options in different occupations/ sectors:

  • different types of one- or two-year pre-VET (Polytechnische Schule, PTS, ISCED 341; berufsbildende mittlere Schule, BMS, ISCED 351): learners acquire general education, key competences and basic vocational skills preparing them for further school-based VET, apprenticeships and simple jobs on the labour market;
  • three- to four-year school-based VET (berufsbildende mittlere Schule, BMS, ISCED 354, EQF 4): learners strengthen their general education and acquire the respective occupational competences and qualifications to perform medium-level jobs. Those who complete an add-on programme or take the Berufsreifeprüfung (exam for people whose initial VET does not automatically qualify them for entry into higher education) also obtain general access to higher education studies;
  • five-year school-based VET (berufsbildende höhere Schule, BHS, ISCED 354-554, EQF 5): combining theory and practice, these programmes offer high-quality occupation-related training while strengthening learners’ general education. They lead to double qualifications for senior positions in business and general access to higher education at the same time (Reife- und Diplomprüfung);
  • apprenticeships (dual track training) (ISCED 354, EQF 4) in some 200 occupations and trades for learners from age 15 onwards, after compulsory education. They lead to qualifications at medium level. Graduates can progress to qualify, for instance, as master craftsperson or, following additional exams, access tertiary level training in a related field. By completing the Berufsreifeprüfung or an add-on programme they can also obtain general access to higher education;
  • training for occupations in the health sector: access to programmes preparing for care and medical assistant professions (ISCED 351 and 353) and other occupations in the health sector (ISCED 351) requires completed compulsory education, being of minimum age, and/or a specific qualification. Training to become a specialist and general care nurse (ISCED 454) is being upgraded to bachelor level. This process will be completed by 2023.

VET at post-secondary level

The introduction of ISCED-2011 has had the result that a series of VET programmes which had formerly been classified as ‘post-secondary, non-tertiary’ are now considered as ‘tertiary’. Due to this change in classification, the number of post-secondary programmes is now reduced while the number of tertiary programmes has risen. ISCED Category 4 basically only comprises schools for healthcare and nursing (ISCED 454). However, the programme to become a specialist and general care nurse offered in this school is being upgraded to a bachelor programme at universities of applied sciences. This process will be completed by 2023, so no VET programmes at ISCED level 4 will be provided in the future.

VET at tertiary level

At tertiary level (ISCED 5 to 8) a wide range of VET programmes are offered. These are provided at higher education institutions, in particular by universities of applied sciences and university colleges of teacher education.

  • Bachelor and master programmes provided at the universities of applied sciences (FH, ISCED 665 / 767) are offered both as full-time and also as part-time in the evening (with extended overall programme duration). A period of work placement is a mandatory part of the bachelor programme curriculum. The programmes are completed with an academic thesis followed by a final exam. Successful completion of an FH master’s programme entitles graduates to access subject-related PhD courses at university.
  • Teacher education programmes offered by university colleges (PH, ISCED 665) aim to train compulsory school teachers for the type of education selected in a four-year bachelor programme. These PH programmes focus on imparting knowledge and skills related to teaching and didactics as well as their application in school life. There are practical teacher training phases within the bachelor programme as well as an induction period, a one-year phase in which graduates teach at a school under the supervision of a mentor.

Tertiary VET is also provided in special schools or in adult learning centres. This includes add-on courses (Aufbaulehrgänge) and post-secondary VET programmes (Kollegs), which both lead to the same qualification as offered by the five-year school-based VET programme at secondary level. There are also special schools offering the industrial master programme (Werkmeisterschule) and the building craftsperson programme (Bauhandwerkerschule). Preparation for the master craftsperson examination (Meisterprüfung) is offered by master craftsperson schools (Meisterschulen) within the formal education system or by adult learning centres, which are not considered to be part of the formal system.

Learners can acquire qualifications in one of the 200 legally recognised apprenticeship programmes with different area specialisations (construction, electro, information technology, wholesale and retail) offered at ISCED 354 level (EQF 4). Apprenticeship training takes place at two places of learning: in the training company and at vocational school. A prerequisite for taking part in an apprenticeship is the successful completion of nine years of compulsory education. Learners need to find themselves an apprenticeship place in a company to be able to access this programme. Once a training company is found, leaners need to sign an apprenticeship agreement with the authorised apprenticeship trainer, which is recorded by the apprenticeship offices (Lehrlingsstellen).

There is an Austrian-wide training regulation (Ausbildungsordnung) for every apprenticeship. It includes the job profile (Berufsbild), a type of curriculum for the company-based part of training, which lays down the minimum knowledge and skills to be taught to apprentices by companies. The competence profile (Berufsprofil), which is also part of the training regulation, formulates in a learning- outcome-oriented manner the competences apprentices acquire by the end of their training in both learning sites. The social partners are essentially in charge of taking decisions about what in-company curriculum and/or competence profile an apprenticeship occupation is based on and they exert a decisive impact on the structure and content of apprenticeship training via their work in relevant advisory councils.

At the end of the apprenticeship period, every apprentice can take the apprenticeship-leaving examination (LAP), comprising practical and theoretical parts. The apprenticeship qualification can also be acquired via a so-called exceptional admission. For this purpose, relevant periods of professional practice and attendance of relevant course events are credited as a substitute for formal apprenticeship training.

Following successful completion of the LAP, graduates have various progression options, such as taking the master craftsperson exam for a skilled craft. Access to HE programmes can be acquired by taking the exam called Berufsreifeprüfung (BRP) during or after the apprenticeship training. For many, an apprenticeship also forms the basis for a self-employed career. Almost 40% of managers in the business sphere have completed an apprenticeship.

The increasing tendency for young people to want to acquire a professional qualification, preferably in apprenticeship training, combined with the fact that the willingness of companies to train apprentices has decreased, has led to the expansion of supra-company training (ÜBA, Überbetriebliche Berufsausbildung). Originally conceived as a temporary education offer until entry to a regular, company-based apprenticeship, ÜBA was incorporated as an equivalent part of dual VET in 2008. Now it is possible for young people who do not find a company-based apprenticeship post or have not been accepted by a VET school to spend the entire duration of the training in an ÜBA, which is funded publicly through Public Employment Service Austria. The school-based part of apprenticeship training is provided at the regular vocational school.

The heterogeneity of people interested in dual VET has also resulted in the establishment of inclusive VET in 2003. Inclusive VET is mainly intended for young people who, at the end of compulsory schooling, have special educational needs and have not graduated from lower secondary level. It can be implemented in two variants, either the training period can be extended by one or two years, or only selected competences of an apprenticeship are taught (partial qualifications). Partial qualifications are supported by vocational training assistance (Berufsausbildungsassistenz). This advises and supports the training companies and young people before and during the training.

A relevant apprenticeship training scheme has also been set up for especially talented young people who find learning easy: in 2008 the ‘apprenticeship with the matriculation certificate’ scheme (Lehre und Matura) was introduced; this enables apprentices to acquire the Berufsreifeprüfung (BRP) parallel to their apprenticeship training and to attend preparatory courses and complete partial exams free of charge. Since 1997 they have also had the option to complete the entire BRP after obtaining their apprenticeship diploma ([32]Tritscher-Archan, S. (2016). Vocational education and training in Europe – Austria. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports. http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2016/2016_CR_AT.pdf).

Learn more about apprenticeships in the national context from Cedefop’s European database on apprenticeship schemes: http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/apprenticeship-schemes/scheme-fiches

The responsibilities for VET at the upper secondary level are widespread: pre-vocational schools and most of the mainly school-based VET programmes are under the responsibility of the education ministry. This ministry is responsible for tasks such as preparing important school legislation, elaborating framework curricula, selecting, paying and providing further training for teaching staff, and maintaining schools.

The Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for building and maintaining five-year school-based VET programmes in agriculture and forestry and for selecting and paying teachers at these schools. The costs for teachers at three- to four-year VET schools of agriculture and forestry are shared equally by the Ministry of Agriculture and the provinces.

The education directorates in the provinces are responsible for enforcing school legislation, including quality assurance, school supervision and education control.

The competences for dual VET are within the spheres of the Ministry of Economy, which is responsible for the legal bases and content of the company-based part, and the Ministry of Education, which is responsible for the complementary school-based training (curricula, selection of staff).

The social partners are also involved significantly in the governance structure of apprenticeship training (designing the training regulations, carrying out the assessment procedures).

The funding of the company-based part of apprenticeship training is taken on by the training companies; State subsidies are also available. The school-based part is funded by the Ministry of Education. The costs of paying teachers are shared with the provinces. The Ministry of Agriculture and the provinces are responsible for dual VET in agriculture and forestry.

The health ministry is responsible for the legal basis of programmes in the healthcare sector. The provinces pay the teachers who are employed in these training establishments. Their construction and maintenance is also largely taken on by the provinces on behalf of the Federation.

For VET ([33]Cedefop (2018). Vocational education and training in Austria: short description [unpublished working paper].
) at the upper secondary level, the education ministry is responsible for paying teachers and providing further training for teaching staff, and maintaining schools.

The Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for building and maintaining five-year school-based VET programmes in agriculture and forestry and for selecting and paying teachers at these schools. The costs for teachers at schools of agriculture and forestry are shared equally by the Ministry of Agriculture and the provinces.

The funding of the company-based part of apprenticeship training is taken on by the training companies; State subsidies are also available. The school-based part is funded by the Ministry of Education. The costs of the paying teachers are shared with the provinces. The Ministry of Agriculture and the provinces are responsible for dual VET in agriculture and forestry.

Teachers in programmes in the healthcare sector are payed by the provinces. The construction and maintenance of the training establishments is also largely taken on by the provinces on behalf of the Federation.

The funding of CVET depends on what type of training is attended. In most cases, the costs of CET are borne by the participants and/or companies. There are, however, a number of measures (such as educational leave) and financial subsidies (in the form of grants and tax relief) in order to (partially) cover expenses. All these initiatives aim to serve as incentives to take part in CET in order to improve the companies’ economic situation and strengthen the CET participants’ position in the labour market.

Model calculation: Comparison of the public expenditure for IVET, per learner/apprentice for one year (2016)

Programme

Costs per person/apprenticeship place and year (in EUR)

Total public expenses per person/ apprenticeship place and year (in EUR)

Dual VET (company and VET school)

VET school: 4 927

State subsidies: 1 548

6 475

Supra-company training (training in a state-funded workshop and at VET school)

VET school: 4 927

PES: 12 018

Province: 1 148

18 092

School-based VET programmes

10 660

10 660

Source: Dornmayr/Nowak 2018 ([34]Dornmayr, H.; Nowak, S. (2018). Lehrlingsausbildung im Überblick 2018 - Strukturdaten, Trends und Perspektiven [Apprenticeship overview 2018: structural data, trends and perspectives]. Vienna: ibw research report; No 193.
https://ibw.at/bibliothek/id/481/. For more information on the model calculation, see p. 95ff.
).

VET has the following types of teacher:

  • general subject teachers (in school-based VET programmes, including VET schools of apprenticeship training);
  • VET-subject teachers (in school-based VET programmes, including VET schools of apprenticeship training;
  • IVET trainers (in-company trainer in apprenticeship training);
  • trainers (in adult learning centres).

Teachers

The training of teachers ([35]For detailed information about the training of teachers and trainers in Austria, see Eurypedia:
https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/national-policies/eurydice/content/teachers-and-education-staff-1_en and
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/teachers-and-trainers
) changed when the Federal Act on the New Teacher Training Scheme came into force in July 2013. Since then, all teachers have been trained as part of tertiary bachelor and master programmes (ISCED 6 and 7) at universities and university colleges of teacher education.

The study offer for teachers at secondary level comprises the following two programmes:

  • teacher training programme for secondary general education programmes (ISCED 2 to 5): this programme qualifies graduates to teach learners aged between 10 and 19 years old in the general education subjects offered at a secondary level programme;
  • teacher training programme for secondary VET (ISCED 2 to 5): this programme qualifies graduates to teach learners aged between 14 and 19 years old in the VET subjects or packages of subjects of secondary VET chosen in the study programme.

 

All teacher training programmes require a one-semester introductory and orientation period (Studieneingangs- und Orientierungsphase or StEOP).

The master programme can be completed immediately after the bachelor programme. In any case, new teachers are accompanied by a mentor in their first year of service (one-year induction year). From 2029 it will no longer be possible to complete the master programme on a part-time basis.

IVET trainers:

As well as having a minimum age of 18 years, an IVET trainer needs to furnish proof of certain qualifications. This proof can take the form of the IVET trainer exam, the IVET trainer course, or a substitute for exam or course attendance (such as the master craftsperson exam, or completion of the industrial master college). Most IVET trainers carry out their training as part of their main work but larger companies often have full-time trainers.

IVET trainer courses are offered by the adult education establishments of the social partners. In 40 periods of instruction completed with an expert interview, they aim to impart the necessary pedagogical, psychological, training plan-related and training method-specific as well as legal knowledge and skills required for the training of apprentices. The course contents are the same as those of the IVET trainer exam.

CVET trainers:

There are no regulations on the required qualifications of trainers in adult learning centres/CVET provider institutions, though relevant know-how in the subject they teach is essential. In many cases these are individuals who practise a profession and impart relevant specialisations. Commercial and technological courses, for example, are taught by practitioners from business, and language classes by native speakers. Didactic skills are not required, but people with teaching practice are preferred. Trainers mainly exercise their profession in a self-employed capacity.

CPD for teachers:

According to the new Service Code (Dienst- und Besoldungsrecht) ([36]See
https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/Dokument.wxe?Abfrage=BgblAuth&Dokumentnummer=BGBLA_2013_I_211
), all teachers – irrespective of the school at which they teach and which subject they teach – are obliged to undergo further development measures to improve their profession-oriented competences. By order they are required to attend in-service training events for up to 15 hours per school year while there are no lessons. In-service training programmes may be connected with absence from teaching only if in the significant interest of the service.

CPD events are primarily offered by university colleges of teacher education (PHs). Teachers can register for these events via the system ‘PH-Online’ in order (depending on the duration of the event) to be granted leave by the school management or the school supervision to attend this event.

CPD measures are financed by provincial funds. These funds are provided directly to the provider establishment so that participation is free of charge for the teachers.

CPD for trainers:

There is no CPD obligation for IVET trainers. However, CPD programmes are offered at adult education establishments; in some cases, in-house CET programmes are also available. In recent years so-called IVET trainer colleges (Ausbilderakademien) and IVET trainer forums have been set up in most Austrian provinces with the aim of providing CPD specifically for IVET trainers. For the most part they are coordinated by the regional economic chambers in cooperation with the respective chamber’s CET institution. Most of them offer certification in various stages. They also promote experience exchange and networking between IVET trainers. The latter is also the goal of regional and sector-specific get-togethers for IVET trainers.

The Economic Chamber funds measures related to the CPD of IVET trainers in their interaction with apprentices, such as pedagogy, didactics, personal development, diversity. A prerequisite for support is minimum participation of eight hours. The funding covers 75% of the course fees but no more than € 1 000 per trainer and calendar year.

Existing VET programmes are regularly developed, updated and adjusted to guarantee that VET is business- and labour-market-oriented. One major goal of this adjustment process is to achieve congruency between VET and employment as well as between qualification supply and demand, attempting to appraise future developments at an early stage and respond to them. In Austrian VET there are different anticipation processes that lead to curriculum adjustments. Major stakeholders in this process include the social partners, which can frequently support coordination between educational provision and qualification requirements and/or make statements on curriculum drafts. The outcomes of various analyses of qualification requirements are also considered in this process.

Mechanisms and processes to anticipate qualification requirements

The most important include:

  • skill needs studies: these are mostly conducted for specific sectors and industries (e.g. timber, IT), but also for regions (such as federal provinces) and education programmes (certain specialisations of colleges for higher vocational education, dual VET, etc.). The main beneficiaries of these studies are stakeholders in these sectoral/regional areas as well as staff responsible for the curriculum and other areas in the VET pathways that are of relevance for the specialisations;
  • skills barometer of PES Austria (AMS-QB) ([37]See
    http://www.ams.at/qualifikationsbarometer
    ): this online system, which was set up in 2002, summarises current and foreseeable labour market trends and qualification requirements and makes them accessible to the general public in a structured format via the internet. The AMS-QB uses existing written data (e.g. from skill needs studies) and information gathered in interviews with experts from the various occupational areas. Contents refer to the whole of Austria, and they are complemented by summary information presented for every province and analyses of job ads;
  • ’New skills’ activities: in 2009 a standing committee on news skills was founded at PES Austria. This committee, in which relevant ministries, the social partners and their CET provider establishments are represented, functions as advisory board for PES Austria in questions concerning the design of education offers within active labour market policy and the activities to be undertaken to identify future skills needs. Since the committee’s foundation, roundtable discussions have been held in which company experts from various vocational areas (such as HR) and education experts (e.g. representatives of providers) have discussed and exchanged information about current and future skills needs/trends. This should give providers a first-hand picture on skills requirements of the economy to be able to design or adjust their offers adequately. Besides these roundtable (group) discussions, one-to-one/in-depth expert interviews (mainly with key companies of a vocational area) have also been conducted. Other New skills activities have included presentations and information events, to inform learners, employers and CET interested people about skills requirements and trends. Since 2018 the New skills activities have focussed on the subjects ’digitalisation’ and ’Industry 4.0’.

See also Cedefop’s skills forecast ([38]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/skills-forecast) and European skills index ([39]https://skillspanorama.cedefop.europa.eu/en/indicators/european-skills-index).

In the following, the processes during the development of curricula are presented for various VET programmes.

School-based VET

The educational objectives and content of VET schools at the upper secondary level are laid down in framework curricula. They are issued by the education ministry. Although the acquisition of professional competences has always been a key goal of VET, competences have been defined explicitly in the curricula since 2012 as a result of the development of the national qualifications framework and its orientation towards learning outcomes. The competence-oriented curricula specify the knowledge and skills that learners have acquired by the end of their training and which qualify them to act appropriately in different situations at work. As well as subject-related competences, interdisciplinary competences are also listed as they are considered of major importance in Austrian VET.

Initiatives towards curriculum reforms and/or the introduction of new subjects/area specialisations are launched by the education establishments themselves or by the Ministry of Education. In so-called curriculum steering groups and working groups, teachers and experts of the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with representatives of the economy, prepare draft curricula for the respective subjects. As well as a number of other institutions, the social partners also receive the drafts to issue their statements. In the implementation of the framework curricula, schools are entitled to change the number of lessons of individual sub-jects autonomously within a given framework or develop their own focuses, taking account of (regional) economic requirements.

Special curricula can be established for individual school locations as school pilot projects to be able to respond swiftly and flexibly to current developments such as in technology, society or on the labour market.

Dual VET (apprenticeship)

The training content for every apprenticeship occupation is laid down in training regulations (for the company-based part) and curricula (for the school-based part). The Ministry of Economy issues the in-company curriculum and the competence profile (the activity description formulating the competences which apprentices need to have acquired by the end of their training at the company and vocational school) as part of the training regulation. The initiative to modernise existing and develop new in-company curricula/competence profiles (new apprenticeship occupations) is usually launched by companies or the social partners. The Federal Advisory Board on Apprenticeship (BABB) – which comprises social partner representatives and advises the Ministry of Economy in dual VET issues – also introduces proposals or prepares expert opinions about possible reforms. The specific designing of in-company curricula/competence profiles, and the orientation towards current and future qualification requirements, is generally conducted by BBAB subcommittees or the education research institutes of the social partners, mainly ibw Austria – Research & Development in VET. Framework curricula for vocational schools within the framework of apprenticeship training are designed in a similar way to those for school-based VET. Framework curricula are laid down in analogy to company-based training.

Programmes at universities of applied sciences (UAS)

The initiative to modify existing or introduce new fields of study at UAS frequently comes from the business sphere. For the curriculum, which is prepared by a development team, an application for accreditation needs to be submitted to the Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation Austria (AQ Austria). An important part of this application is proof that the economy has a demand for graduates and the planned degree programme can expect demand from potential participants. This proof can be furnished, for example, in the form of needs and acceptance analyses. The accreditation of a degree programme is granted for a maximum of six years by the Ministry of Education following a decision by AQ Austria. During that time it is possible to make necessary adaptations by submitting change applications. Upon expiry of this period, it is necessary to submit an application for reaccreditation, which follows the same rules as the initial accreditation.

Continuing vocational education and training (CVET)

CVET finds it easiest to adjust programmes to skills requirements and to respond to the economy’s needs most quickly. Providers often cooperate with professional organisations and companies to tailor their offers to needs. They also use the information from skills needs analyses and the results of the New skills activities.

Quality assurance in VET is a highly differentiated and permanent process.

The regular updating of curricula and training plans is a major part of quality assurance and many other measures are taken to maintain the attractiveness of VET among learners and companies and to safeguard the recognition of the qualifications.

The VET Quality Initiative (QIBB) for school-based VET ([40]See
http://www.qibb.at
) was introduced in 2004, setting up the framework conditions in a way that successful teaching and learning is guaranteed. For this purpose, processes have been defined and instruments introduced which enable systematic planning, observation, documentation, evaluation of and reflection on the quality of procedures and results ([41]With the Education Reform Act (Federal Law Gazette, I No 138/2017
https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/Dokumente/BgblAuth/BGBLA_2017_I_138/BGBLA_2017_I_138.pdfsig), in force since autumn 2017, new regulations regarding quality assurance at schools have been introduced. This act foresees the establishment of a monitoring system which comprises quality management and resource controlling. QIBB is to be merged with SQA, the quality management system of general education schools, and further developed. First results of this extensive reform are to be expected for 2020.
).

Another major element of quality assurance at five-year school-based VET programmes is the partly standardised final examination, which was introduced in the school year 2015/16. It consists of standardised exams in the language of instruction (most often German, but also Slovene, Croatian and Hungarian), in applied mathematics and in a foreign language (English, French, Italian or Spanish). The assignments for these exams, as well as the duration and time of their implementation, are laid down centrally for the whole of Austria. The uniformly defined exam assignments and assessment criteria mainly aim to ensure the objectivity and reliability of the exam results and promote the transparency and comparability of the final exam.

In dual VET, many quality-assuring measures are carried out in addition to the regular adjustment of apprenticeship occupations to economic and technological developments. These measures include the accreditation of training companies: every company that wants to train apprentices is obliged to undergo an accreditation process. This consists of an examination by the apprenticeship office with the cooperation of the Chamber of Labour to check if the company meets the legal and corporate prerequisites for apprenticeship training to teach the knowledge and skills foreseen in the competence profile.

In 2013 the Ministry of Economy set up a clearing office for apprenticeship-leaving examinations at ibw Austria – Research and Development in VET ([42]See
http://www.ibw.at [accessed 23.4.2019].
). This office’s main task is to safeguard a uniform quality standard by examining the assignments of the apprenticeship-leaving examination, the evaluation guidelines and proposed solutions for compliance with the respective examination regulation, subject-related correctness, practical relevance and didactic quality. The apprenticeship-leaving examination is organised by the apprenticeship offices and is taken before a board of examiners. This ensures that training and validation are separated, which significantly contributes to objectivity and quality assurance.

Also in 2013 the quality management in apprenticeship training initiative (QML) was launched by the social partners with the objective of reducing the number of apprenticeship dropouts and increasing the success rate in apprenticeship-leaving examinations. The QML builds on annually evaluated indicators of apprenticeship dropouts, the number of those who (do not) attempt to take the apprenticeship-leaving examination as well as (un)successful apprenticeship-leaving exams. In the case of apprenticeship occupations where the dropout rate or the failure rate in the apprenticeship-leaving examination are relatively high, more in-depth analyses are carried out jointly with the competent sectoral representations to find the reasons as far as possible and take related measures (such as adapting the in-company curricula, improving career guidance, and measures to support apprentices including private tutoring or coaching, IVET trainer courses, and supporting materials for training companies).

Quality-assurance measures are also taken in the post-secondary and tertiary sectors, as in the definition and implementation of master craftsperson and proof of competence examinations. The main basis for this is formed by the European guidelines on quality assurance in higher VET ([43]UEAPME (ed.) (2018). European guidelines on quality assurance in higher VET.
https://www.ibw.at/bibliothek/id/356/
), which have been developed in analogy to the Standards and guidelines for quality assurance in the European higher education area (ESG) with substantial involvement of Austria.

Validation of non-formal and informal (prior) learning is a topic gaining international importance. In Austria, major importance is traditionally attached to formal education qualifications from the school-based, dual and higher education sectors. However, learning also increasingly takes place outside formal education in adult learning institutions, on the job, and within the framework of voluntary activities. Rapid changes on the labour market – due to technology and globalisation – require a formal pathway to be followed by the need to learn, brush up and deepen existing knowledge. To promote competence acquisition outside the formal education context and encourage lifelong learning, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science, published a strategy to validate non-formal and informal learning in 2017 ([44]See
https://bildung.bmbwf.gv.at/euint/eubildung/vnfil.PDF [accessed 20.4.2019].
). This strategy introduces a framework for the further development, coordination and network formation of existing validation approaches. The goal is to promote quality and foster trust as well as enhance visibility and access to validation offers.

There are various incentives for VET learners (or their families) irrespective of the type of education and training they have chosen ([45]For more information about funding in education, see Eurypedia:
https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/national-policies/eurydice/content/funding-education-1_en
):

  • for learners who have reached full legal age and attend a school or HE institution, family allowance is prolonged and still granted until their 24th birthday; in certain cases this entitlement can be further prolonged;
  • learners for whom family allowance is received may apply to a public transport authority for free transport on the route between their home and school/training company (Schülerfreifahrt); in this case, they need to pay a flat-rate contribution of EUR 19.60 a year. Where no public means of transport is available, they may apply for a school or home commuting grant;
  • required school textbooks are provided to learners free of charge;
  • the Schooling Allowances Act (Schülerbeihilfengesetz) ([46]See
    https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung.wxe?Abfrage=Bundesnormen&Gesetzesnummer=10009531
    ) provides for the following three types of allowance:
  • school allowance is granted to learners from grade 10 onwards who attend an upper secondary programme and are in need of financial support;
  • boarding school and travel allowance (Heim- und Fahrtenbeihilfe) are offered to learners from grade 9 onwards, in case that they cannot stay in their parents’ house because the school location is too far away. Financial need must also be proven. The basic amounts of school allowance and boarding school allowance are EUR 1130 and EUR 1380 per year; they can be increased or reduced depending on financial needs. Travel allowance is EUR 105 per year. A further extraordinary allowance may be granted in cases of ‘social hardship’;
  • special allowance is granted to learners, who have been working for at least one year and for the last six months before their final exam, where they stop working to prepare for the exam.

In IVET, the following financial incentives are available for apprentices ([47]See
https://www.wko.at/service/bildung-lehre/Lehrlinge.html
):

  • apprentices can apply for state funding for attending a preparatory course for the apprenticeship-leaving examination (up to 100 % of the course fees);
  • the second or third attempt to sit the apprenticeship-leaving examination is free of charge (no examination fees or material costs);
  • language courses and foreign work placements organised within the Erasmus+ programme are part-funded by the state (EUR 15 per day).

Attending CVET programmes is financially supported (directly and indirectly) by the state, the provinces or municipalities. The social partners provide the following funding as do individual companies:

  • provinces and municipalities, as well as social partners, provide funding for course fees in various forms (education cheques, educational accounts, education vouchers). Preferred funding target groups are employees, young people, and those at a disadvantage on their respective regional labour markets;
  • companies often partly fund the CVET activities of their employers by providing direct funding or allowing their employers to attend courses during paid working hours;
  • PES Austria finances skills training and retraining measures within the framework of active labour market policies;
  • PES Austria is also responsible for the education leave scheme. Any employee who has been employed within the last twelve months for a minimum period of six months may take educational leave. During this, IVET or CVET as well as language courses may be attended, resumed or completed both in Austria and abroad. Written proof must be furnished that education measures of at least 16 to 20 weekly hours have been taken. During the leave period, subsidies are granted to the level of the unemployment benefit that the employee would get in the event of unemployment. There is a minimum and a maximum daily rate, depending on prior earnings;
  • employees have the possibility to write off costs as expenses for occupationally relevant CVET measures when filing their tax returns at the end of each year.

In 2008 a new funding scheme was introduced for training companies offering apprenticeship posts. This scheme is not only intended to increase the number of apprenticeship posts offered but also improve the quality of training. Within this funding scheme, there are various types of support ([48]See
https://www.wko.at/service/bildung-lehre/Gesamtuebersicht_Foerderarten_lehre.html
):

  • basic support (Basisförderung): every training company is entitled to basic support. This comprises three gross apprenticeship remunerations in line with the collective agreement in the first apprenticeship year, two in the second year, and one each in the third and fourth years. The training company can apply for basic support at the end of the respective apprenticeship year;
  • training alliances and additional VET courses: subsidies also cover inter-company and supra-company VET measures and the acquisition of competences which go beyond the in-company curriculum. Attending a preparatory course for the apprenticeship-leaving exam can also be funded;
  • apprenticeship for adults: the training of adults (18+) is funded if they are paid as unskilled workers, i.e. more than apprenticeship remuneration.
  • companies where apprentices pass the apprenticeship-leaving exam with good results or distinction can also apply for grants;
  • subsidies are also available for CET measures for IVET trainers;
  • financial means are also available for measures taken for apprentices with learning difficulties (such as tutoring courses).

Other benefits cover non-wage labour costs:

  • there are reduced rates for the company’s health insurance contribution for apprentices (3.35 % instead of 7.65 %) and for the unemployment insurance contribution (2.4 % instead of 6 %);
  • the contribution to accident insurance for apprentices is waived throughout the entire apprenticeship.

Public Employment Service Austria (AMS) also runs apprenticeship post support schemes designed to integrate problem groups into the labour market. Companies receive a flat-rate grant towards the costs of an apprenticeship. The grant includes the following categories of apprentice:

  • young women in apprenticeships with a low proportion of women (below 40%)
  • disadvantaged apprenticeship post seekers (young people who have mental or physical disabilities or emotional problems, learning deficits, or who are socially maladjusted)
  • adult apprentices (18+) with qualification/employment problems (e.g. dropouts)

In CVET, training providers can also receive subsidies in order to be able to offer courses free of charge. Two initiatives are relevant in connection to vocational training:

  • adult learning initiative ([49]See
    https://www.initiative-erwachsenenbildung.at/initiative-erwachsenenbildung/was-ist-das/
    ): financed by national and ESF means, the aim is to enable young people and adults to acquire basic skills (reading skills, basic skills in German or in another language, mathematical and digital skills) and the compulsory schooling qualification free of charge.
  • apprenticeship training and HE entrance exam ([50]See
    https://bildung.bmbwf.gv.at/schulen/bw/bm/index.html
    ): from autumn 2008 apprentices can attend preparatory courses for the Berufsreifeprüfung (HE entrance examination for graduates of NQF level 4 VET qualifications) and take the four partial exams free of charge.

There is considerable diversity of institutions, providers and initiatives in the field of information, counselling and guidance on learning and occupations. The main providers are the education institutions, the public employment service and the social partners. Counselling and guidance is offered at the following levels in education institutions:

(a) all schools of lower and upper secondary level offer counselling and guidance from the fifth school grade through counsellors and career guidance officers. They are available for schoolchildren and parents and provide information about possible education paths, access requirements, as well as the qualifications and entitlements to be acquired. They also give young people a basic overview of continuing education and training options. Guidance is conducted by teachers who have the relevant qualifications and who are termed, depending on the school type, school counsellor (Schülerberater/in) or education counsellor (Bildungsberater/in) and provide their counselling services in addition to their teaching activity. In the final two years of lower secondary level, career guidance is a compulsory subject totalling 32 hours a year. The aim of these lessons includes improving the learners’ decision-making competence, social skills, determination and perseverance. Short periods of work placement at companies and personal contacts with people from different occupations aim to help learners examine their career aspirations and take independent decisions;

(b) career guidance plays a particularly important role at prevocational schools as this school type is at the interface between obligatory and further schooling. Career guidance aims to inform learners and parents about regional possibilities in apprenticeship training and, in vocational guidance classes, prepares them for so-called real-life encounters (such as days of practical work experience) as well as important information events and job information fairs;

(c) in school-based VET programmes at upper secondary level (BMS and BHS) ([51]BMS (Berufsbildende mittlere Schule): school for intermediate vocational education; BHS (Berufsbildende höhere Schule): college for higher vocational education.) teachers with specialist qualifications also work as career guidance officers. Learners at BMS and BHS have already taken their first decision about their professional career. But, thanks to the good level of general education provided at schools, the entire range of professional development options is also open to them;

(d) most universities offer both psychological counselling offices and career planning centres, bodies which are within the sphere of responsibility of the science ministry. The psychological student counselling services at universities and university of applied sciences (Fachhochschule) offer general course guidance, psychological counselling, psychotherapy, aptitude diagnostics, coaching, and supervision, etc. to holders of the upper secondary school-leaving certificate and HE students. Career planning centres at universities support students on their entry into the world of work by offering one-to-one counselling, information events on topics such as job applications and CVs, as well as individualised career planning. The centres also organise seminars on areas such as presentation techniques, rhetoric and IT, as well as events such as careers fairs and company presentations;

(e) in the CET sector education counselling and career guidance is becoming increasingly important. This is particularly evident in the establishment of comprehensive education databases ([52]http://www.erwachsenenbildung.at ;
http://www.eduvista.com
), an Austria-wide platform for education counselling, and the merger of institutions to guarantee independent and supra-institutional information and guidance services. Major adult learning establishments, such as the institutions run by the social partners frequently offer their own guidance services. More than 60 career guidance centres (BIZ) of AMS offer comprehensive information about occupations, their contents and requirements, about initial education and training, CET paths, the labour market and employment options across Austria. Apart from information material in the form of brochures, information leaflets and videos, The Public Employment Service Austria (AMS) also develops information databases on occupations and on initial and continuing education and training programmes for different target groups ([53]Accessible online at
http://www.ams.at/berufsinfo
). For apprenticeship post seekers, AMS operates the online apprenticeship post platform http://www.ams.at/lehrstellen jointly with the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.

EURES (European job mobility portal) advisors who are employed at AMS provide information about job offers and working conditions in other countries of the European Economic Area. Anyone who is interested can use the information and service offers provided by BIZ free of charge. Print media, videos and online databases are available for customers to obtain information themselves. For young people in need of career guidance there is a selection of tools (e.g. the compass for apprenticeship occupations, interest test). The advisors working at BIZ provide support in information search and are available for one-on-one counselling talks to assist in career and education decisions. BIZ also provides services for specific target groups (learners, teachers, parents) and on specific topics (career guidance, presentations of occupations, job applications, days of technology for girls). AMS offers one-on-one counselling talks for people registered as unemployed. These talks aim to match the jobseekers’ personal requirements, strengths and intentions with the situation on the labour market. There is also the possibility to take part in training programmes and courses (vocational guidance courses, training for job applications, job trials, skills training and qualification courses). In special cases, (young) women can take advantage of assistance in career choice, skills training and qualification. AMS also supports school-based information activities by means of a large number of brochures, career guidance films, occupational information and CET databases on the internet, and by organising events and trade fairs.

The different chambers offer education counselling and career guidance. The chambers of labour and trade unions provide these services mainly via their joint adult learning institutions: the vocational training institutes (bfi). They publish information material and organise information events. The counselling services of the economic chambers and their adult education institutions, the institutes for economic promotion (WIFIs), focus on IVET and CVET. These services are offered across Austria at several locations in the BIZ. With the career guidance tool ([54]http://www.bic.at) the economic chambers have their own web portal where job descriptions, VET and CVET options, tips on career choice and job applications, as well as a large variety of service materials, are offered, in some cases in several languages. The career guidance centres of the Economic Chambers provide comprehensive information material on a self-service basis and organise events geared towards the world of work, such as sector presentations, school and information events, as well as training for job applications. As well as information for groups (such as school classes), one-on-one counselling talks are also offered. The institutes for economic promotion’s career guidance officers offer individualised counselling services on the basis of comprehensive psychological testing procedures ([55]Tritscher-Archan, S. (2016). Vocational education and training in Europe – Austria. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports.
http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2016/2016_CR_AT.pdf
).

Please see:

Vocational education and training system chart

Tertiary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

Add-on VET programmes

2-3 years

ISCED 554

Add-on VET programmes leading to EQF level 5, ISCED 554 (Aufbaulehrgänge) Add-on VET programmes provide in-depth general education and high-quality specialist training in different specialist areas including in technology, the business sphere, fashion and design, arts and crafts, tourism, agriculture and forestry as well as elementary pedagogy.
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

554

Usual entry grade

12

Usual completion grade

13

Usual entry age

18

Usual completion age

20 to 21

Length of a programme (years)

From 2 to (mostly) 3 years

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

N

To access this programme, learners need to have an IVET qualification.

Is it continuing VET?

Y

The programme is accessible to adults with relevant IVET or professional experience.

Is it offered free of charge?

Y School programmes are financed by the public, school attendance is free of charge for the learners.

For schools of private provider organisations tuition fees need to be paid.

Is it available for adults?

Y

Add-on programmes lead graduates of intermediate (EQF 4) VET programmes (school-based and dual VET programmes) to the same qualification as obtained in five-year school-based VET programmes (berufsbildende höhere Schulen, BHS)

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • practice-oriented
  • learning in workshops and labs, training restaurants, and practice firms
  • mandatory work placements (except for programmes for people in employment)
  • project and diploma assignments as part of the final exam (often set by companies or carried out with their collaboration)([121]Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Austria. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
    http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8127_en.pdf
    )
Main providers

Most schools offering these post-secondary programmes are public schools, some are private schools with public status.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

30%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • learning in workshops and labs, training restaurants, and practice firms
  • mandatory work placements of several weeks during the summer months
  • project and diploma assignments as part of final exams that are often set by companies or carried out with their collaboration([122]Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Austria. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
    http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8127_en.pdf
    )
Main target groups

These programmes are mainly targeted at adults.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

The entry requirements are:

  • successful completion of initial VET (school-based or dual VET programme in the respective field);
  • VET graduates with a non-field related qualification have to attend a bridge course prior to entering an add-on course.
Assessment of learning outcomes
  • regular assessments (written, oral exams) during the school year in each subject
  • mid-term and end-of-term reports
  • HE entrance examination

If learners fail a subject (e.g. after the first year), they can take an exam at the beginning of the following year. If they fail more than three subjects, they have to repeat the entire class. If learners fail the Matura exam, they can re-do (parts of) it.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Reife- und Diplomprüfungszeugnis, i.e. HE entrance qualification and higher VET qualification (= double qualification)

The qualification is fully recognised by VET and labour authorities and highly appreciated by labour market and economy.

Examples of qualifications

After successfully completing an add-on programme, graduates can carry out higher-level tasks in the vocational field which the programme was about (i.e. in engineering, in management and service industries, in agriculture and forestry, in administration, etc.). Add-on programmes do not lead to specific professions. The qualification (Abschlusszeugnis) opens up a broad range of activities in a specific vocational field.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates:

  • obtain general access to tertiary education (studies at universities, universities of applied science and universities of teacher training);
  • can enter a range of CVET options;
  • can directly enter the labour market.
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Y

Key competences play a crucial role in all school types of the VET sector in Austria ([123]See Tritscher-Archan, S., Petanovitsch, A. (2016). Key competences in vocational education and training – Austria. Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspectives series.
https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/ReferNet_AT_KC.pdf
).

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

With the development of the National Qualifications Framework learning outcomes have been made more explicit in the curricula of all schools in the VET sector.

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Information not available

Post-secVET

2-3 years

ISCED 554

Post-secondary VET school programmes leading to EQF level 5, ISCED 554 (Kollegs). Post-secondary school programmes provide high-quality specialist training in different specialist areas including in technology, the business sphere, fashion and design, arts and crafts, tourism, agriculture and forestry as well as elementary pedagogy.
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

554

Usual entry grade

12

Usual completion grade

13

Usual entry age

18

Usual completion age

20 to 21

Length of a programme (years)

From 2 (mostly) to 3 years

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

N

Is it continuing VET?

Y

The programmes are accessible to adults with a higher education entrance qualification.

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Kolleg programmes are financed by the public, attendance is free of charge for learners.

For programmes of private provider organisations tuition fees need to be paid.

Is it available for adults?

Y

Post-secondary VET school programmes lead graduates of general education programmes to the same qualification as obtained in five-year school-based VET programmes (berufsbildende höhere Schulen, BHS)

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • practice-oriented
  • learning in workshops and labs, training restaurants, and practice firms
  • mandatory work placements (except for programmes for people in employment)
  • project and diploma assignments as part of the final exam (often set by companies or carried out with their collaboration)([124]Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Austria. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
    http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8127_en.pdf
    )
Main providers

Most schools offering these tertiary programmes are public schools, some are private schools with public status.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

30%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • learning in workshops and labs, training restaurants, and practice firms
  • mandatory work placements of several weeks during the summer months
  • project and diploma assignments as part of final exams that are often set by companies or carried out with their collaboration([125]Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Austria. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
    http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8127_en.pdf
    )
Main target groups

These programmes are mainly targeted at adults.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

Higher education entrance qualification

Assessment of learning outcomes
  • regular assessments (written, oral exams) during the school year in each subject
  • mid-term and end-of-term reports
  • diploma examination (Diplomprüfung)

If learners fail a subject (e.g. after the first year), they can take an exam at the beginning of the following year. If they fail more than three subjects, they have to repeat the entire class. If learners fail the Matura exam, they can re-do (parts of) it.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Diplomprüfungszeugnis

In combination with the higher education entrance qualification (Reifeprüfung), graduates of the post-secondary VET school programmes have the same qualification as graduates from five-year school-based VET programmes at upper secondary level (berufsbildende höhere Schule, BHS).

The qualification is fully recognised by VET and labour authorities and highly appreciated by labour market and economy.

Examples of qualifications

After successfully completing a post-secondary VET school programme, graduates can carry out higher-level tasks in the vocational field which the programme was about (i.e. in engineering, in management and service industries, in agriculture and forestry, in administration, etc.). Post-secondary VET school programmes do not lead to specific professions. The qualification (Abschlusszeugnis) opens up a broad range of activities in a specific vocational field.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates of post-secondary VET school programmes

  • obtain general access to tertiary education (studies at university, universities of applied science, universities of teacher training);
  • can enter a range of CVET options and
  • can directly enter the labour market.
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Y

Key competences play a crucial role in all school types of the VET sector in Austria. ([126]See Tritscher-Archan, S.; Petanovitsch, A. (2016). Key competences in vocational education and training – Austria. Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspectives series.
https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/ReferNet_AT_KC.pdf
)

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

With the development of the National Qualifications Framework learning outcomes have been made more explicit in the curricula of all schools in the VET sector.

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Information not available

Master craftsperson et al.

programmes

and qualifications

ISCED 554

Master craftsperson et al. programmes and qualifications offered at ISCED level 554. There are various programmes subsumed under this category: master craftsperson programme (Meisterschule); industrial master programme (Werkmeisterschule, WMS); building craftsperson programme (Bauhandwerkerschule).
EQF level
EQF: 6 (master craftsperson qualification); the other qualification in this VET programme category are not yet classified
ISCED-P 2011 level

554

Usual entry grade

12

Usual completion grade

13 to 14

Usual entry age

18

Usual completion age

19 to 20

Length of a programme (years)

From 1 to 2 years

Duration varies among the different specific programmes:

  • master craftsperson programmes: 1 to 2 years
  • industrial master programme: mostly 2 years
  • building craftsperson programme: mostly 2 years
  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

N

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

N

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • special tuition in theory and practice
  • instruction by experts from the specific professions/fields
  • some programmes are full-time, some are part-time
Main providers
  • CET providers of the social partners (e.g. WIFI, bfi)
  • public schools (offering also school-based VET programmes at upper secondary level)
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

60%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • learning in workshops and labs
  • focus on learning from real-work situations
Main target groups

These programmes target adults with relevant IVET qualifications plus professional practise and the intention of acquiring intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship competences.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)
  • minimum age of 18 years
  • successful completion of an initial VET path at upper secondary level
Assessment of learning outcomes
  • in industrial and building craftsperson programmes: final examination
  • graduates of master craftsperson programmes can sit the master craftsperson examination offered by Master Craftsperson Authorities
Diplomas/certificates provided

Final certificate (Abschlusszeugnis)

The qualifications are fully recognised by VET and labour authorities and highly appreciated by labour market and economy.

Examples of qualifications
  • industrial master
  • building craftsperson
Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates can

  • directly enter the labour market (asset for improving in-company career options or changing companies);
  • set up one’s own company or take over a business;
  • can enter a range of CVET options;
  • on certain conditions can obtain access to a bachelor degree programmes at a University of Applied Science;
  • have access to the Berufsreifeprüfung (BRP) which grants access to higher education institutions.
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

N

Key competences

Y

Key competences play a crucial role in all school types of the VET sector in Austria ([127]See Tritscher-Archan, S.; Petanovitsch, A. (2016). Key competences in vocational education and training – Austria. Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspectives series.
https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/ReferNet_AT_KC.pdf
).

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

With the development of the National Qualifications Framework learning outcomes have been made more explicit in the curricula of all schools in the VET sector.

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Information not available

Bachelor programmes

(FH)

3-4 years

ISCED 665

Bachelor programmes at Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen, FH) leading to EQF level 6, ISCED 665
EQF level
6
ISCED-P 2011 level

665

Usual entry grade

12+

Usual completion grade

15+

Usual entry age

18+

Usual completion age

20+

Length of a programme (years)

From 3 to 4 years

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Yes and no

depending on the qualification obtained before entering a bachelor programme

Is it continuing VET?

Yes and no

depending on the qualification obtained before entering a bachelor programme

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

In general, bachelor programmes offered at Universities of Applied Sciences are financed by the public, so attendance is free of charge for the learners.

Providers of study programmes are, however, entitled by law to charge tuition fees (2019: 363.36 EUR per semester) ([130]https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung/Bundesnormen/10009895/FHStG%2c%20Fassung%20vom%2006.04.2017.pdf).

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • Bachelor programmes are research- and practice-oriented
  • a period of work placement is a mandatory part of the curriculum.
  • some are based on the dual principle, where theory and practice in enterprises alternate ([131]Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Austria. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
    http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8127_en.pdf
    )
Main providers

Universities of Applied Sciences

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

40 %

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • learning in workshops and labs
  • mandatory work placements
  • bachelor thesis is often set by companies or carried out with their collaboration
Main target groups

Bachelor programmes target adults with a higher entrance qualification (Matura). However, also graduates of intermediate VET programmes, which do not end with a HE entrance examination, can – under certain conditions (work experience, entrance examination) – enter bachelor programmes at UAS.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)
  • HE entrance qualification
  • work experience, if required
  • entrance examination, if required
Assessment of learning outcomes

A failed course or bachelor exam can be repeated twice. A single repetition of a study year is possible ([133]https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung/Bundesnormen/10009895/FHStG%2c%20Fassung%20vom%2006.04.2017.pdf [accessed 15.5.2019].).

Diplomas/certificates provided

A bachelor degree is given to learners who successfully completed their bachelor thesis and passed the bachelor examination.

The bachelor qualification is fully recognised by VET and labour authorities so graduates can follow further studies or enter the labour market.

Examples of qualifications

Qualifications in accordance to the specific study field.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates can further progress to a master programme offered at ISCED level 767.

Destination of graduates

Information not available.

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

General education subjects

N

Key competences

Y

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Information not available

Master programmes

(FH)

1-2 years

ISCED 767

Master programmes at Universities of Applied Sciences (Master-Studiengänge an Fachhochschulen) leading to EQF level 7, ISCED 767
EQF level
7
ISCED-P 2011 level

767

Usual entry grade

16+

Usual completion grade

17+

Usual entry age

21+

Usual completion age

22+

Length of a programme (years)

From 1 to 2 years:

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

N

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

In general, master programmes offered at Universities of Applied Sciences are financed by the public, so attendance is free of charge for the learners.

Providers of study programmes are, however, entitled by law to charge tuition fees (2019: 363.36 EUR per semester) ([136]https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung/Bundesnormen/10009895/FHStG%2c%20Fassung%20vom%2006.04.2017.pdf).

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • Master programmes are research-oriented.
  • some programmes are based on the dual principle, where theory and practice in enterprises alternate ([137]Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Austria. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
    http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8127_en.pdf
    )
Main providers

Universities of Applied Sciences

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

20 %

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • learning in workshops and labs
  • master thesis is often set by companies or carried out with their collaboration
Assessment of learning outcomes

A failed course or master exam can be repeated twice. A single repetition of a study year is possible ([139]https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung/Bundesnormen/10009895/FHStG%2c%20Fassung%20vom%2006.04.2017.pdf).

Diplomas/certificates provided

Master thesis followed by a master examination before an exam commission/diploma

The Master qualification is fully recognised by VET and labour authorities and highly appreciated by labour market and economy.

Examples of qualifications

Qualifications in accordance to the specific study field ([140]https://www.abc.berufsbildendeschulen.at/vet-schools-and-higher-colleges-in-austria/)

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates can further progress to doctoral programmes.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

General education subjects

N

Key competences

Y

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Information not available

Post-secondary

Programme Types
Not available

Secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

Apprenticeships

WBL 80%

2-4 years

ISCED 354

Apprenticeship training leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354 (Lehrlingsausbildung)
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

10

Usual completion grade

11 to 13

Usual entry age

15

Usual completion age

17 to 19

Length of a programme (years)

From two to four years, usually three years (two thirds of apprenticeship professions)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Apprenticeship starts after compulsory education. A prerequisite for taking up apprenticeship training is completion of nine years of compulsory schooling. About one third of apprentices complete this period by attending a one-year prevocational school.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Attendance at a vocational school for apprentices is free of charge. The training company is obliged to grant leave of absence to the apprentice for attending the programme offered at the vocational school while continuing to pay the apprenticeship remuneration. As compensation the company has the possibility to apply for public subsidies (‘basic funding’).

The training at the company is funded by the companies themselves. The young people are paid an apprenticeship remuneration by their employer; this is usually regulated in the (sectoral or company) collective agreement. As support for training companies, however, a number of public subsidies are available.

Is it available for adults?

Y

Around 23% start an apprenticeship at age 18 and above ([69]See statistics on page 23 of Dornmayr, H.; Nowak, S. (2018). Lehrlingsausbildung im Überblick 2018 [Apprenticeship overview, 2018]. Vienna: ibw. Research report; No 193.
https://ibw.at/bibliothek/id/481/
).

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • dual programmes consist of 80% workplace training in a company, 20% training in a vocational school
Main providers

Training companies (enterprises, free professions such as lawyers, and supra-company training providers on behalf of Public Employment Service Austria)

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

> 80%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)

Apprenticeships as dual track training combine:

  • company-based training (80%);
  • attendance of VET school for apprentices (20%).
Main target groups

Apprenticeship training is accessible to young people and adults.

Apprenticeship training is also available for learners with special educational needs either by:

  • prolongation of the apprenticeship period by one or at maximum two years;
  • acquisition of a partial qualification.

Young people who are trained in a prolonged apprenticeship period are also obliged to attend a vocational school. The training is completed with the apprenticeship-leaving examination.

The acquisition of partial qualifications is restricted to selected competences of an in-company curriculum. There is also an obligation to follow a programme offered at a vocational school, the extent being adjusted to the individual situation of the apprentice. The final examination covers the previously determined competences. The level achieved is determined by professional experts and one member of the vocational training assistance. The partial qualification is accompanied by vocational training assistance; this aims to advise and support the training companies as well as the young people before and during the training.

Both forms of training are offered by training companies. (Young) people who do not find an apprenticeship post in a company, can complete apprenticeship training at supra-company training providers (überbetriebliche Berufsausbildung, ÜBA), which offer company-like conditions in workshops on behalf of the Public Employment Service Austria as part of active labour market policy. As for the school part, ÜBA-apprentices attend the regular VET school for apprentices.

People with migrant background made up less than 11% of all apprentices in 2017 ([70]Dornmayr, H.; Nowak, S. (2018). Lehrlingsausbildung im Überblick 2018, Strukturdaten, Trends und Perspektiven [Apprenticeship overview 2018: structural data, trends and perspectives]. Vienna: ibw. Research report; No 193
https://ibw.at/bibliothek/id/481/
).

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

The only entry requirement to enrol in apprenticeship training is the fulfilment of compulsory schooling (nine school years).

Assessment of learning outcomes

After fulfilling the apprenticeship period, apprentices normally register for the apprenticeship-leaving examination (Lehrabschlussprüfung / LAP).

This exam aims to establish whether the candidate has acquired the skills and competences required for the respective apprenticeship occupation and is able to carry out the activities specific to the occupation himself or herself in an appropriate manner.

The exam consists of a practical and a theoretical examination. Provided that the apprentice has met the education objectives of the last year of the programme offered at the vocational school, he is only required to do the practical part of the exam.

The subjects the exam covers are laid down in the national exam regulation (Prüfungsordnung) for each apprenticeship occupation ([71]See
https://www.bmdw.gv.at/Nationale%20Marktstrategien/LehrberufeInOesterreich/ListeDerLehrberufe/Seiten/liste.aspx [accessed 20.4.2019].
). If the candidate fails parts of his exam, he can retake these parts.

Diplomas/certificates provided

After passing the apprenticeship-leaving examination (Lehrabschlussprüfung / LAP) the graduate receives the apprenticeship diploma (Lehrabschlussprüfungszeugnis / LAP-Zeugnis).

It certifies that the holder has the skills and competences required for the respective apprenticeship occupation and is able to carry out the activities particular to the occupation himself or herself in an appropriate manner ([72]BMWFW (2014). Apprenticeship: dual vocational education and training in Austria: modern training with a future.
https://www.bmdw.gv.at/Nationale%20Marktstrategien/LehrlingsUndBerufsausbildung/Documents/HP_Die%20Lehre%20Englisch_2014_27%208.pdf
).

Apprenticeship diplomas are fully recognised by VET and labour authorities and highly appreciated in the labour market and economy.

All apprenticeship-leaving exams are assigned to EQF level 4 ([73]For more details, see the Austrian qualifications register:
https://www.qualifikationsregister.at/nqr-register/nqr-zuordnungen/
).

Examples of qualifications

In 2018, there were 218 state-recognised apprenticeship occupations ([74]Including 15 agricultural and forestry apprenticeships occupations. See: BMDW; WKO (2018). Lehrberufe in Österreich – Ausbildungen mit Zukunft. [Apprenticeship in Austria: training with a future ].
https://www.bic.at/downloads/de/broschueren/lehrberufe_in_oesterreich_2018.pdf
See also: ibw (2019). Lehrberufsbezeichnungen Deutsch-Englisch [Dual VET qualifications German-English].
https://ibw.at/bibliothek/id/278/
), such as brick layer, bank clerk, hotel and catering assistant or dental technician.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

After passing the apprenticeship-leaving examination, graduates can either remain in the labour market or acquire further qualifications:

  • master craftsperson or aptitude examination;
  • add-on courses (ISCED 554) (Aufbaulehrgänge) with a duration of three years that lead to the qualification of a five-year school-based VET programme (BHS);
  • higher entrance exam (Berufsreifeprüfung, BRP), which grants access to higher education programmes.
Destination of graduates

Apprenticeship training focusing on different specialist areas (construction, electronic engineering, information technology, wholesale and retail trade, etc.) aims at the acquisition of a vocational qualification at intermediate level.

For many, apprenticeship training is also the basis for a career as an entrepreneur. Around 35% of executives in business have completed apprenticeship training.

The education-related employment career monitoring (Erwerbskarrierenmonitoring, BibEr) of Statistics Austria done for the graduation year 2013/14([75]The aim of this project is to render the employment career statistically evaluable of all persons living in Austria after their leaving a formal educational institution. Especially the transition from education to the labour market represents an important chapter in the employment biography. The variety of attributes allows for analyses of various aspects of those careers at the start as well as during their further development on the labour market.
http://www.statistik.at/web_en/statistics/PeopleSociety/education_culture/monitoring_education_related_employment_behaviour/index.html
), analysed labour market status 18 months after graduation. Results show that graduates are primarily orientated to the labour market entry (compared to other education pathways):

  • 73% of the apprenticeship graduates were employed and only 5% continued in (formal) education;
  • approximately 12% were registered as jobseekers at the public employment service (AMS) ([76]For the remaining 10% no data are available. Dornmayr, H.; Nowak, S. (2018). Lehrlingsausbildung im Überblick 2018: Strukturdaten, Trends und Perspektiven [Apprenticeship overview 2018: structural data, trends and perspectives]. Vienna: ibw. Research report; No 193.
    https://ibw.at/bibliothek/id/481/See also http://www.statistik.at/web_de/statistiken/menschen_und_gesellschaft/bil...
    ).

This can be considered as positive indication of the job mobility of apprenticeship graduates due to a high labour demand for skilled workers and qualified specialists.

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

The Vocational Training Act (Berufsausbildungsgesetz, BAG) ([77]https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung.wxe?Abfrage=Bundesnormen&Gesetzesnummer=10006276) also opens access to the apprenticeship-leaving exam to those who have not completed any formal training (apprenticeship or school), providing them with the possibility of acquiring a formal professional qualification. In concrete terms, they must meet the following conditions:

  • be above 18 years old;
  • furnish evidence that they have acquired the knowledge and skills required for the respective apprenticeship occupation, such as by exercising a relevant semi-skilled or other practical activity of appropriate length or by attending a relevant course event;
  • completion of at least half of the period stipulated for the respective apprenticeship occupation is accepted as evidence if there is no other possibility of entering into an apprenticeship contract for the remaining apprenticeship period.

The 2011 amendment to the Vocational Training Act has extended access to the apprenticeship-leaving exam. The new regulation specifies that apprenticeship offices can arrange for the practical apprenticeship-leaving examination to be taken in two parts. The first part comprises identification of the exam candidate’s existing qualifications while in the second part he/she is required to prove the remaining skills. This provision applies if exam candidates

General education subjects

Y

The focus of education at vocational schools is on occupation-oriented specialist instruction (with about 65%), which also includes practical training in workshops and/or laboratories. The rest covers general subjects (such as German, mathematics) ([79]https://www.bmdw.gv.at/Nationale%20Marktstrategien/LehrlingsUndBerufsausbildung/Documents/HP_Die%20Lehre%20Englisch_2014_27%208.pdf).

Key competences

Y

The competence-oriented curricula specify the knowledge and skills that learners need to have acquired by the end of their training and which qualify them to act appropriately in different situations at work. As well as subject-related competences, related key competences are also listed which vary according to the specific apprenticeship training (e.g. team work, digital and entrepreneurial sills). At least one foreign language is mandatory in all programmes. Key competences are considered of major importance in the VET sector.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

The competence profile (Berufsprofil), which is also part of the training regulation, formulates in a learning outcome-oriented manner the competences apprentices acquire by the end of their training in both learning sites. Although the acquisition of professional competences has always been a key goal of VET, competences have been defined explicitly in the curricula since 2012; this is a result of the development of the national qualifications framework and its orientation towards learning outcomes ([80]Tritscher-Archan, S. (2016). Vocational education and training in Europe – Austria. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports.
http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2016/2016_CR_AT.pdf
).

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Allocation of learners at upper secondary level / 10th school grade (2016/17) ([81]Statistics Austria (2018). Bildung in Zahlen 2016/17, Tabellenband [Education in numbers: 2016/17]. Vienna: Statistics Austria.
https://www.statistik.at/web_de/services/publikationen/5/index.html?includePage=detailedView&sectionName=Bildung&pubId=509
):

36%: apprenticeship programmes;

13%: one to four-year school-based VET programmes (intermediate level);

27%: five-year school-based VET programmes (higher level);

24%: general education programme.

School-based VET programmes

1-2 years

ISCED 351

School-based VET programmes (berufsbildende mittlere Schulen, BMS), leading to ISCED 351. These programmes are offered as one- to two-year programmes, which primarily aim to provide pre-professional qualifications rather than a full VET qualification. These programmes focus on areas such as hospitality services, agriculture, nutrition, social activities, etc. They serve as preparation for certain apprenticeship trades or as bridge courses to VET programmes which require a certain entry age (e.g. health programmes which can only be accessed at the age of 17).
EQF level
Not yet assigned to the NQF
ISCED-P 2011 level

351

Usual entry grade

9

Usual completion grade

9 to 10

Usual entry age

14

Usual completion age

15-16

Length of a programme (years)

From 1 to 2 years

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

The compulsory E & T age is 15. Obligatory schooling covers a period of nine years (i.e. from 6 years until 15 years). One- to two-year school-based pre-VET programmes are usually attended by 14 to 16-year old learners.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

These programmes include general education, basic vocational competences and key competences which prepare learners for more specific VET pathways (at upper secondary schools or in dual training) and for simple tasks on the labour market.

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

These programmes are financed by the public, school attendance is free of charge for learners.

Is it available for adults?

Y

These programmes can also be attended by adults. However, most of the learners are between 14 and 16 when they attend these schools ([65]Statistics Austria:
https://www.statistik.at/web_de/statistiken/menschen_und_gesellschaft/bildung_und_kultur/formales_bildungswesen/schulen_schulbesuch/index.html [accessed 7.5.2019].
).

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

One- to two-year pre-VET programmes are

  • full-time and
  • practice-oriented.
Main providers

Public schools (and a few private schools)

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

20%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • practice-oriented tuition (e.g. in workshops at school, in school kitchens etc.)
  • practical experiences (e.g. work shadowing, company tours, company-based practical days)
Main target groups

Most learners enter these programmes at the age of 14. However, they are also open for adults.

People with migrant background (non-German first language) made up 27% of all school-based VET programmes learners (one to two-year programmes plus three to four-year programmes) in the school year 2016/17. ([66]BMBWF (2018). Statistical guide 2017: key facts and figures about schools and adult education in Austria. Vienna: BMBWF.
https://bildung.bmbwf.gv.at/schulen/bw/ueberblick/zahlenspiegel_2017.pdf?6mfso8
)

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

The entry requirements are

  • positive completion of the eight grade,
  • a minimum age of 14 years.
Assessment of learning outcomes
  • regular assessments (written, oral exams) during the school year in each subject
  • mid-term and end-of-term reports
Diplomas/certificates provided

School leaving certificate (Abschlusszeugnis)

The certificates of the one- to two-year pre-VET programmes are recognised by VET and labour authorities, i.e. graduates can enter further education programmes or the labour market for carrying out simple tasks.

Examples of qualifications

These one- and two-year school-based VET programmes prepare learners for carrying out simple tasks on the labour market in different areas such as hospitality services, agriculture, nutrition, social activities, etc. The programmes take place in respective schools such as Schools of Social Care Professions (Schulen für Sozialbetreuungsberufe) ([67]https://www.abc.berufsbildendeschulen.at/vet-schools-and-higher-colleges-in-austria/).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates may progress to

  • dual VET programmes;
  • school-based VET programmes (three- to four-year programmes and five-year programmes);
  • postsecondary/tertiary VET programmes (e.g. healthcare);
  • CVET programmes;
  • training programmes within the ‘training obligation until 18’;
  • labour market.
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Y

These programmes include both general-education and subject-specific classes in different specialist areas.

Key competences

Y

One of the key aims of these programmes is to develop and foster key competences in all subjects and through various teaching methods (project work, open forms of teaching, etc.).

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

With the development of the National Qualifications Framework learning outcomes have been made more explicit in the curricula of all VET programmes.

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Allocation of learners at upper secondary level / 10th school grade (2016/17): ([68]Statistics Austria (2018). Bildung in Zahlen 2016/17, Tabellenband [Education in numbers: 2016/17]. Vienna: Statistics Austria.
https://www.statistik.at/web_de/services/publikationen/5/index.html?includePage=detailedView&sectionName=Bildung&pubId=509
)

36%: dual VET programmes

13%: one to four-year school-based VET programmes (intermediate level)

27%: five-year school-based VET programmes (higher level)

24%: general education

Pre-VET (PTS)

1 year

ISCED 341

Pre-VET programme (Polytechnische Schule, PTS), leading to ISCED 341
EQF level
Not yet assigned to the NQF
ISCED-P 2011 level

341

Usual entry grade

9

Usual completion grade

9

Usual entry age

14

Usual completion age

15

Length of a programme (years)

1 year

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

The compulsory E & T age is 15. Obligatory schooling covers a period of nine years (i.e. from 6 years until 15 years). The pre-VET programme is accessible to learners from age 14.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

The pre-VET programme offers both general-education and subject-specific classes in different specialist areas. Every learner is obliged to choose one specialist area from all areas offered at the respective school location. In principle, there are six specialist areas (metal, electronic engineering, construction, wood, wholesale and retail trade/office, services/tourism), with every school being entitled to offer other specialist areas autonomously while taking the needs of the local economy into account (e.g. mechatronics, healthcare and social affairs). A mix of theoretical information and practical experiences (e.g. as part of company tours and days of company-based practice in training workshops or companies, or as part of practical work experiences in classes) aims to help learners to become familiar with the world of work and additionally provide them with targeted orientation and preparation for their future profession, which they still need to choose.

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

However, 96 % (2017) are 14 when they start the pre-VET programme ([58]Statistics Austria:
https://www.statistik.at/web_de/statistiken/menschen_und_gesellschaft/bildung_und_kultur/formales_bildungswesen/schulen_schulbesuch/index.html [accessed 7.5.2019].
).

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • one-year full-time school-based programme
  • covers theoretical teaching and practical experiences (e.g. as part of company tours and days of company-based practice in training workshops or companies, or as part of practical work experiences in classes);
  • career guidance plays a particularly important role be-cause this school type is at the interface between obligatory and further schooling
Main providers

Public schools

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

20%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • a mix of theoretical teaching and
  • practical experiences (e.g. as part of company tours and days of company-based practice in training workshops or companies, or as part of practical work experiences in classes)
Main target groups

Programme is accessible to young people and adults. People with migrant background (non-German first language) made up 33% of all learners who followed this pre-VET programme in the school year 2016/17 ([59]BMBWF (2018). Statistical guide 2017: key facts and figures about schools and adult education in Austria. Vienna: BMBWF.
https://bildung.bmbwf.gv.at/schulen/bw/ueberblick/zahlenspiegel_2017.pdf?6mfso8
).

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

For entering this programme learners need to have completed eight school years.

Assessment of learning outcomes
  • regular assessments (written, oral exams) during the school year in each subject
  • mid-term and end-of-term reports
  • if a learner fails a subject (i.e. receives a ‘not sufficient’ in the end-of-term report, i.e. performance does not meet minimum pass level) he can (voluntarily) repeat the school year to get a positive certificate. In case the learner does not repeat the school year, he has to attend another training programme until the age of 18 (training obligation until 18)
Diplomas/certificates provided

School leaving certificate (Abschlusszeugnis)

On successful completion of this programme, learners receive the certificate, which is recognised by VET and labour market authorities as graduates can enter further education programmes or the labour market for carrying out simple tasks.

Examples of qualifications

With a certificate of this pre-VET programme holders can enter the labour market to carry out simple tasks.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates can progress to

  • further education programmes at upper secondary level (general education and VET);
  • CVET programmes;
  • training programmes within the ‘training obligation until 18;
  • labour market (for carrying out unskilled work).
Destination of graduates

According to Statistics Austria (2016/17) ([60]Statistics Austria (2018). Bildung in Zahlen 2016/17, Tabellenband [Education in numbers: 2016/17]. Vienna: Statistics Austria.
https://www.statistik.at/web_de/services/publikationen/5/index.html?includePage=detailedView&sectionName=Bildung&pubId=509
), graduates choose the following options:

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Y

It offers both general-education and subject-specific classes in different specialist areas.

Key competences

Y

One of the key aims of the programme is to develop and foster key competences in all subjects and through teaching methods (project work, open forms of teaching, etc.) ([63]See curriculum of PTS:
https://pts.schule.at/fileadmin/Polytechnische_Schule/Lehrplan_Fachbereichsinfos/PTS_Lehrplan-2012_Auflage_2018.pdf
).

Application of learning outcomes approach

N

The curriculum is currently under revision. One aim of this curriculum reform is to introduce learning outcomes. However, also the present curriculum foresees competences which learners should acquire. Nevertheless, as a result of the development of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), which was formally introduced in 2016, competences/learning outcomes have to be defined explicitly in all new curricula.

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Allocation of learners at upper secondary level / 9th school grade (2016/17) ([64]Statistics Austria (2018). Bildung in Zahlen 2016/17, Tabellenband [Education in numbers: 2016/17]. Vienna: Statistics Austria.
https://www.statistik.at/web_de/services/publikationen/5/index.html?includePage=detailedView&sectionName=Bildung&pubId=509
):

17%: pre VET programme 16%: one to four-year school-based VET programmes at intermediate level

37%: five-year school-based VET programmes (higher level)

28%: general education

2%: special needs school/inclusive education

School-based VET (BMS)

WBL 40%

3-4 years

ISCED 354

School-based VET programmes offered at intermediate vocational schools (berufsbildende mittlere Schulen, BMS) leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354. The three- to four-year VET programmes offered at intermediate vocational schools aim to impart full VET qualifications that entitle graduates to immediately exercise professional activities at intermediate qualification level/skilled worker’s level. These programmes are offered in different specialist areas, including in technology, the business sphere, fashion, tourism, agriculture and forestry and in the social sphere.
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

9

Usual completion grade

11 to 12

Usual entry age

14

Usual completion age

17 to 18

Length of a programme (years)

From 3 to 4 years

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

The compulsory E & T age is 15. Obligatory education covers a period of nine years (i.e. from 6 years until 15 years). Learners can start the three- to four-year BMS programmes at age 14, so in this case it still covers compulsory education.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

These programmes are financed by the public, school attendance is free of charge for the learners.

Is it available for adults?

Y

These programmes can also be attended by adults. However, most of the learners are between 14 and 17 when they enter these programmes. ([82]Statistics Austria: https://www.statistik.at/web_de/statistiken/menschen_und_gesellschaft/bildung_und_kultur/formales_bildungswesen/schulen_schulbesuch/index.html [accessed 7.5.2019].
)

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

Three- to four-year VET programmes at intermediate level are:

  • offered full-time at VET schools;
  • practice-oriented tuition (e.g. learning in workshops and labs) in some fields;
  • obligatory work placements during the summer months,
  • in technical three and a half-year programmes; (Fachschulen mit Betriebspraktikum): obligatory work placement in the last semester ([83]BMBWF - The educational offer of technical, commerce, arts and crafts schools:
    https://bildung.bmbwf.gv.at/schulen/bw/bbs/tgkg.html
    ).
Main providers

Most of these intermediate vocational schools are public schools, some are private schools with public status.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

40%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • learning in workshops and labs
  • work placements during the summer months and in some fields also during the tuition period
Main target groups

These school-based VET programmes are accessible to young people and adults. For people in employment programmes are organised in the evening.

People with migrant background (non-German first language) made up 27% of all BMS learners (one to two years programme plus three- to four-year programmes) in school year 2016/17 ([84]BMBWF (2018). Statistical guide 2017: key facts and figures about schools and adult education in Austria. Vienna: BMBWF.
https://bildung.bmbwf.gv.at/schulen/bw/ueberblick/zahlenspiegel_2017.pdf?6mfso8
).

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

The entry requirements are

  • positive completion of the eight grade;
  • depending on previous qualifications (e.g. obtained at new secondary school or the lower cycle of academic secondary school), the desired programme type and places on offer, previous educational performance (i.e. the marks achieved in the main subjects) or an entrance examination are additional selection criteria;
  • minimum age of 14 years.
Assessment of learning outcomes
  • regular assessments (written, oral exams) during the school year in each subject
  • mid-term and end-of-term reports
  • qualification exam
  • if learners fail a subject (e.g. after the first year), they can take an exam at the beginning of the following year. If they fail more than three subjects, they have to repeat the entire class. If learners fail the qualification exam, they can re-do it.
Diplomas/certificates provided

School leaving certificate (Abschlusszeugnis)

The school leaving certificates are fully recognised by VET and labour authorities and highly appreciated by labour market and economy.

Examples of qualifications

Three- and four-year programmes for intermediate vocational education providing professional education in different specialist areas (business, technology, agriculture, social affairs, tourism, etc.) lead to professional qualifications at the intermediate level. Programmes can be offered, e.g.at :

  • Schools of Engineering, Arts and Crafts (Technische, gewerbliche und kunstgewerbliche Fachschulen)
  • Schools of Agriculture and Forestry (Land- und forstwirtschaftliche Fachschulen)
  • Schools of Business Administration (Handelsschule)
  • Schools of Management and Services Industries (Fachschule für wirtschaftliche Berufe)
  • Schools of Tourism (Fachschulen für Tourismus) ([85]https://www.abc.berufsbildendeschulen.at/vet-schools-and-higher-colleges-in-austria/
    )
Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates have the following progression possibilities:

  • add-on programmes
  • post-secondary VET courses
  • Berufsreifeprüfung: exam for people whose initial VET does not automatically qualify them for entry into higher education
  • dual VET programmes
  • subject specific CVET options (e.g. master craftsperson examination, aptitude examination, industrial master school etc.)
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Y

The curricula and training contents focus on deepening of general education and VET at intermediate qualification level.

Key competences

Y

Key competences play a crucial role in all programme types of the VET sector in Austria ([86]See Tritscher-Archan, S., Petanovitsch, A. (2016). Key competences in vocational education and training – Austria. Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspectives series. https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/ReferNet_AT_KC.pdf
).

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

Although the acquisition of professional competences has always been a key goal of VET in Austria, competences have been defined explicitly in the curricula since 2012 – which is a result of the development of the National Qualifications Framework and its orientation towards learning outcomes.

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Allocation of learners at upper secondary level / 10th school grade (2016/17) ([87]Statistics Austria (2018). Bildung in Zahlen 2016/17, Tabellenband [Education in numbers: 2016/17]. Vienna: Statistics Austria.
https://www.statistik.at/web_de/services/publikationen/5/index.html?includePage=detailedView&sectionName=Bildung&pubId=509
):

36%: apprenticeships

13%: one to four-year school-based VET programmes (intermediate level)

27%: five-year school-based VET programmes (higher level)

24%: general education

School based (BHS)

WBL 30%

5 years

ISCED 354/554

School based VET programmes offered at colleges for higher vocational education (berufsbildende höhere Schulen / BHS), leading to EQF level 5, ISCED 354/554. Programmes provide in-depth general education and high-quality specialist training in different specialist areas including in technology, the business sphere, fashion and design, arts and crafts, tourism, agriculture and forestry as well as elementary pedagogy. This programme type belongs to the upper secondary level. In ISCED, however, it is divided between two levels: the first three years are classified as ISCED 354 (no interim qualification is offered at this level), year four and five are classified as ISCED 554.
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

ISCED 354 (programme duration 1-3 years)

ISCED 554 (programme duration 4-5 years)

Usual entry grade

9

Usual completion grade

13

Usual entry age

14

Usual completion age

19

Length of a programme (years)

5 years

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

The compulsory E & T age is 15. Obligatory education covers a period of nine years (i.e. from 6 years until 15 years). These school-based VET programmes are usually attended by learners between 14 and 19.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

These five-year VET programmes leading to higher VET and HE entrance qualification are financed by the public, school attendance is free of charge for learners.

Is it available for adults?

Y

The degree obtained at a college for higher vocational education (berufsbildende höhere Schulen / BHS) can, as an alternative to the five-year day form, also be acquired by way of three other education programmes:

  • add-on courses (ISCED 554, Aufbaulehrgang): these modular courses usually cover three years and lead graduates of intermediate VET tracks (from schools and dual VET) to the BHS qualification. Learners with non-subject-specific VET qualifications have to attend a one- to two-semester bridge course (Vorbereitungslehrgang) before entering an add-on course;
  • post-secondary VET courses (ISCED 554, Kollegs): Kollegs mainly target graduates of general education schools, i.e. people who have not completed an initial VET pathway. A prerequisite for admission to Kollegs is successful completion of the HE entrance examination. Kollegs are provided in a modular two-year day form or a three-year evening form and are completed with a qualification examination;
  • courses offered at colleges for higher vocational education for people in employment (ISCED 554, BHS for professionals): this programme type, which is organised in the evening, leads to a BHS-qualification. Access requirements are a minimum age of 17 years and active employment.
ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

Five-year VET programmes leading to higher VET and HE entrance qualification:

  • are full-time and practice-oriented,
  • include learning in workshops and labs, training restaurants, and practice firms,
  • are complemented by mandatory work placements of several weeks during the summer months,
  • comprise project and diploma assignments as part of the final exam that are often set by companies or carried out with their collaboration([88]Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Austria. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
    http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8127_en.pdf
    ).
Main providers

Most colleges for higher vocational education (berufsbildende höhere Schulen / BHS) are public schools, some are private school with public status.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

30%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • learning in workshops and labs, training restaurants, and practice firms
  • mandatory work placements of several weeks during the summer months
  • project and diploma assignments as part of final exams that are often set by companies or carried out with their collaboration
Main target groups

Five-year VET programmes leading to higher VET and HE entrance qualification are accessible to young people and adults (e.g. for people in employment organised in the evening.

People with migrant background (non-German first language) made up nearly 19% of all school-based higher VET programmes learners in school year 2016/17 ([89]BMBWF (2018). Statistical guide 2017: key facts and figures about schools and adult education in Austria. Vienna: BMBWF.
https://bildung.bmbwf.gv.at/schulen/bw/ueberblick/zahlenspiegel_2017.pdf?6mfso8
).

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

The entry requirements are:

  • positive completion of the eight grade;
  • depending on previous qualifications (e.g. programmes offered at new secondary school or at the lower cycle of academic secondary school), the desired programme type and places on offer, previous educational performance (i.e. the marks achieved in the main subjects) or an entrance examination are additional selection criteria;
  • a minimum age of 14 years.
Assessment of learning outcomes
  • regular assessments (written, oral exams) during the school year in each subject
  • mid-term and end-of-term reports
  • higher education entrance examination ([90]See https://www.refernet.at/images/02_News_AT_RDP_neu_05_2016_EN.pdf [accessed 8.5.2019].
    )
  • if learners fail a subject (e.g. after the first year), they can take an exam at the beginning of the following year. If they fail more than three subjects, they have to repeat the entire class. If learners fail the Matura exam, they can re-do (parts of) it
Diplomas/certificates provided

Graduation with a Reife- und Diplomprüfungszeugnis, i.e. HE entrance qualification and higher VET qualification (= double qualification).

The qualification is fully recognised by VET and labour authorities and highly appreciated by labour market and economy.

Examples of qualifications

Five-year VET programmes leading to higher VET and HE entrance qualification are available in different areas which are offered by different providers, e.g.:

  • Colleges of Engineering, Arts and Crafts (Höhere technische, kunstgewerbliche und gewerbliche Lehranstalten)
  • Colleges of Business Administration (Handelsakademien)
  • Colleges of Management and Service Industries (Höhere Lehranstalten für wirtschaftliche Berufe)
  • Colleges of Agriculture and Forestry (Höhere Land- und Forstwirtschaftliche Schulen)
  • Colleges for Elementary Pedagogy (Bildungsanstalten für Elementarpädagogik) ([91]https://www.abc.berufsbildendeschulen.at/vet-schools-and-higher-colleges-in-austria/
    )
Progression opportunities for learners after graduation
  • graduates obtain general access to postsecondary and tertiary education (studies at university, UAS, universities of teacher training).
  • they can also enter a range of CVET options.
  • they can also directly enter the labour market.
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

General education subjects

Y

Programmes provide in-depth general education and high-quality specialist training in different specialist areas

Key competences

Y

Key competences play a crucial role in all programme types of the VET sector in Austria ([92]See Tritscher-Archan, S., Petanovitsch, A. (2016). Key competences in vocational education and training – Austria. Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspectives series. https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/ReferNet_AT_KC.pdf
).

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

With the development of the National Qualifications Framework learning outcomes have been made more explicit in the curricula of all VET programmes.

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Allocation of learners at upper secondary level / 10th school grade (2016/17) ([93]Statistics Austria (2018). Bildung in Zahlen 2016/17, Tabellenband [Education in numbers: 2016/17]. Vienna: Statistics Austria.
https://www.statistik.at/web_de/services/publikationen/5/index.html?includePage=detailedView&sectionName=Bildung&pubId=509
):

36%: apprenticeship

13%: one to four-year school-based VET programmes (intermediate level)

27%: five-year school-based VET programmes (higher level)

24%: general education

Healthcare

1-3 years

ISCED 351, 353

Healthcare programmes leading to ISCED 351, 353. Following specific programmes are offered in the field of healthcare: Care assistance programmes: care assistance programme, level 1 (Pflegeassistenz); care assistance programme, level 2 (Pflegefachassistenz). Medical assistance programmes: disinfection assistance (Desinfektionsassistenz); plastering assistance (Gipsassistenz); laboratory assistance (Laborassistenz); mortuary assistance (Obduktionsassistenz); operating theatre assistance (Operationsassistenz); surgery assistance (Ordinationsassistenz); radiology assistance (Röntgenassistenz); medical assistance (Medizinische Fachassistenz)
EQF level
Not yet assigned to the NQF
ISCED-P 2011 level

Care assistance programmes: 351

Medical assistance programmes: 353

Usual entry grade

10 to 11

Care assistance programmes:

  • care assistance programme, level 1: 10
  • care assistance programme, level 2: 11

Medical assistance programmes: 10

Usual completion grade

10 to12

Care assistance programmes:

  • care assistance programme, level 1: 10
  • care assistance programme, level 2: 12

Medical assistance programmes: 10-12

Usual entry age

16 to 17

Care assistance programme, level 1: 16

Care assistance programme, level 2: 17

Medical assistance programmes: 16

Usual completion age

18 to 19

Length of a programme (years)

From 1 to 3 years

Care assistance programmes:

Medical assistance programmes:

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

concerning the care assistance programme, level 1

Yes and no, concerning the care assistance programme, level 2 and the medical assistance programme.

Is it continuing VET?

Yes and no, concerning the care assistance programme, level 2 and the medical assistance programmes.

Is it offered free of charge?
  • programmes offered in public schools are financed by the public, attendance is free of charge for the learners
  • training courses for adults offered by different providers are fee-based with different funding opportunities
Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

Theoretical instruction in schools/training courses and work placements in hospitals etc. alternate during the entire training.

Main providers

Care assistance programmes:

  • public schools for healthcare (mostly at hospitals);
  • public schools for social professions;
  • different providers offering training courses for adults (also upskilling programmes).

Medical assistance programmes:

  • public schools for medical assistant professions;
  • different providers offering training courses for adults.
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies
Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)

Theoretical instruction in schools/training courses and work placements in hospitals etc. alternate during the entire training.

Main target groups

Programmes are open to young people, adults and unemployed (training courses financed by the Public Employment Service).

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

Entry requirements differ among the specific programmes:

Care assistance, level 1:

Care assistance, level 2:

Medical assistance programmes:

Assessment of learning outcomes

Ongoing und regular assessment during the programme.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Care assistance, level 1:

  • final exam before an examination commission / certificate

Care assistance, level 2:

  • final exam before an examination commission / certificate

Medical assistance programmes:

  • final exam before an examination commission / certificate

The qualifications are fully recognised by VET and labour authorities and highly appreciated by labour market.

Examples of qualifications

Care assistance programmes:

  • care assistant (Pflegeassistent/in)
  • (special) care assistant (Pflegefachassistent/in)

Medical assistance programmes:

  • disinfection assistance (Desinfektionsassistenz)
  • plastering assistance (Gipsassistenz)
  • laboratory assistance (Laborassistenz)
  • mortuary assistance (Obduktionsassistenz)
  • operating theatre assistance (Operationsassistenz)
  • surgery assistance (Ordinationsassistenz)
  • radiology assistance (Röntgenassistenz)
  • medical assistance (Medizinische Fachassistenz)
Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates of care and medical assistance programmes can progress to:

Graduates of level 2 of the care assistance programme can additionally take the:

Destination of graduates

information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

Competences acquired non-formally or informally must be validated by the principle of the school or the head of the training provider offering care/medical assistance programmes by way of procedures accepted by the health ministry ([106]https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung and https://www.sozialministerium.at/cms/site/attachments/0/8/1/CH4043/CMS1538051085664/gesundheitsberufe_2019.pdf/Bundesnormen/20009672/PA-PFA-AV%2c%20Fassung%20vom%2009.05.2019.pdf).

For care assistance programmes, level 1: the duration of the training course is reduced for persons who successfully completed studies of human medicine or dental medicine: 680 hours ([107]https://www.sozialministerium.at/cms/siteEN/attachments/9/0/5/CH4138/CMS1411979671365/healthcareprofessions_in_austria_2017.pdf).

General education subjects

N

Key competences

Y

Key competences play a crucial role in all school types of the VET sector in Austria ([108]See Tritscher-Archan, S., Petanovitsch, A. (2016). Key competences in vocational education and training – Austria. Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspectives series.
https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/ReferNet_AT_KC.pdf
).

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

With the development of the National Qualifications Framework learning outcomes have been made more explicit in the curricula of all schools in the VET sector.

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Information not available

Nursing

3 years

ISCED level 454

Nursing programme leading to ISCED level 454 (Diplomierte/r Gesundheits- und Krankenpfleger/in, GuK)
EQF level
Not yet assigned to the NQF
ISCED-P 2011 level

454

This programme is being upgraded at the moment. Until the end of 2023 this secondary-level programme will be transferred into a tertiary bachelor’s programme offered at universities of applied sciences ([109]https://www.sozialministerium.at/cms/siteEN/attachments/9/0/5/CH4138/CMS1411979671365/healthcareprofessions_in_austria_2017.pdf)

Usual entry grade

11

Usual completion grade

13

Usual entry age

17

Usual completion age

20

Length of a programme (years)

3 years (4 600 hours)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

(for adults with relevant IVET or professional experience)

Is it offered free of charge?

School programmes are financed by the public, school attendance is free of charge for the learners.

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

Theoretical instruction in schools and work placements in hospitals etc. alternate during the entire training.

Main providers
  • public schools for nurses ([110]As from 1.1.2014 it is foreseen that this programme will be provided only by universities of applied sciences (UAS) and not any longer by public schools for nurses.)
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies
Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)

Theoretical instruction in schools and work placements in hospitals etc. alternate during the entire training.

Main target groups

Programmes are accessible to young people and adults.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

Schools for nurses (until 31.12.2023):

UAS bachelor programmes:

  • general university entrance qualifications or relevant professional qualifications;
  • professional aptitude and medical fitness.
Assessment of learning outcomes

Ongoing und regular assessment during the programme.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Schools for nurses (until 31.12.2019):

  • written thesis, diploma examination before an examination commission/diploma

UAS bachelor programmes:

  • bachelor examination

The qualification is fully recognised by VET and labour authorities and highly appreciated by labour market.

Examples of qualifications

Qualified nurse

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates can progress to

Destination of graduates

information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

  • short training course for care assistants, level 2: 2 years
General education subjects

N

Key competences

Y

Key competences play a crucial role in all school types of the VET sector in Austria ([118]See Tritscher-Archan, S.; Petanovitsch, A. (2016). Key competences in vocational education and training – Austria. Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspectives series.
https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/ReferNet_AT_KC.pdf
).

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

With the development of the National Qualifications Framework learning outcomes have been made more explicit in the curricula of all schools in the VET sector.

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

In 2016/17 19 598 learners were registered in healthcare schools. Data on the allocation of learners to different programmes are not available ([119]Statistics Austria (2018). Bildung in Zahlen 2016/17, Tabellenband [Education in numbers: 2016/17]. Vienna: Statistics Austria.
https://www.statistik.at/web_de/services/publikationen/5/index.html?includePage=detailedView&sectionName=Bildung&pubId=509
).

At the UAS in the study year 2018 2 767 learners were registered in bachelor nursing programmes ([120]https://suasprod.noc-science.at/XLCubedWeb/WebForm/ShowReport.aspx?rep=004+studierende%2f002a+fachhochschulen%2f010+ordentliche+studierende+an+fhs+-+zeitreihe+wintersemester.xml&toolbar=true).

VET available to adults (formal and non-formal)

Programme Types
Not available

General themes

The main features of the Hungarian VET system are:

  • participation in both upper-secondary VET tracks is decreasing;
  • apprenticeship has been steadily increasing (25% of all IVET learners in 2017 had an apprenticeship contract);
  • early leaving from education and training is a challenge, especially in VET; it coexists with low employment rates in the age span 15-24;
  • the share of adults enrolling in VET offered in the school system to upskill is on the rise ([1]Thanks primarily to the opportunity to obtain a second vocational qualification free of charge since 2015. The share of adults enrolled in ISCED 353 skilled workers’ training programmes increased from 10.7% in 2015 to 27.1% in 2017.).

Distinctive features ([2]Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on VET in Hungary - 2017. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/publications/8126
):

The national vocational qualifications register (NVQR), in place since 1993, comprises State-recognised (partial, full or add-on) vocational qualifications that can be acquired either in formal upper and post-secondary IVET or outside the formal education system. NVQR qualifications entitle holders to practise the occupation specified in the vocational and examination requirements set for a given qualification. The register has a modular, competence-based structure and is regularly updated in accordance with labour market needs. The revision process is run by the ministry responsible for VET (currently, the Ministry for Innovation and Technology) in coordination with the ministries responsible for the qualifications and the recently created sectoral skills councils (coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with the involvement of the Chamber of Agriculture in relevant sectors). It closely follows the economy.

Young people and adults need to pass the complex examination upon completion of VET programmes ([3]Provided within or outside the school system.) in order to obtain an NVQR vocational qualification.

To improve quality and efficiency in a heavily fragmented institutional VET structure, 44 regional integrated VET centres were created in 2015 and have run under the responsibility of the ministry responsible for VET.

A shortage job list is issued each year on the basis of recommendations from the ‘county development and training committees’; it is based on employment and employability data and labour market needs forecasts. Practice providers are offered incentives to encourage training in shortage jobs and learners receive grants. In school-based VET, learners enrolled in programmes to acquire a first qualification in shortage jobs may receive a scholarship, based on their performance.

Despite a decrease since 2015, youth unemployment remains substantial and coexists with great skills shortages and mismatches. The demographic decline has negatively affected enrolment in VET, especially in skilled workers training. programmes. Nearly one third of VET learners in ISCED 3 level programmes leave education without qualifications, mainly due to disadvantaged socioeconomic background and low basic skills.

Changes in VET-related legislation in 2015 aimed to enhance the image, quality and attractiveness of vocational education and training in line with European policies and national priorities set for 2016-20.

Bridging programmes replaced the previous catching-up variants in 2013 and were reformed in 2015. They are available in both general and vocational streams, and allow underperformers (often learners from deprived backgrounds) to acquire the basic skills necessary to enrol in upper secondary education and training. In the vocational stream learners can achieve a partial NVQR ([4]National vocational qualifications register; see also Section 1. Summary of main elements and distinctive features of VET.) qualification before moving to upper secondary VET.

VET programmes updated in 2015 and offered as of 2016/17 aim to ease access to occupations in demand, balancing labour shortages and skills gaps. Upper secondary VET programmes offer a first vocational qualification while easing progression routes.

The quality and relevance of practical training is a priority. Dual training (apprenticeship training contract) is being promoted. The percentage of practical training in companies has increased considerably; minimum pedagogical knowledge has been made compulsory for in-company trainers. The chamber guarantee (2015) measure and the reform of upper secondary VET in recent years resulted in an increase in apprenticeships enrolments by 8%.

 

Increase of the number of apprentices (except for the sector of agriculture) between 1997/98 and 2017/18

Source: Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 2018.

 

Adult learning for all is being promoted. Acquiring a second NVQR qualification is free of charge ([5]In adult education provided in VET schools.) since 2015 (without any age limit); the measure opens up more than half of full or partial NVQR qualifications to older workers. The Chamber of Commerce has been developing standards for the majority of qualifications in skilled workers training since 2010. This responsibility is currently being reviewed in relation to the responsibilities of the newly created sectoral skills councils, coordinated by the chamber. Programmes supporting further education are designed to help the inclusion of the Roma in those areas where they are mostly affected.

Adapted from Spotlight on VET Hungary 2017 ([6]Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on VET in Hungary - 2017. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/publications/8126
):

Population in 2018: 9 778 371 ([7]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].)

Population in the last decades is decreasing due to low birth rates and relatively high mortality rates. It decreased by -1.3% since 2013 ([8]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

The population in Hungary is decreasing and ageing.

The old-age dependency ratio is expected to increase from 27 in 2015 to 53 in 2060 ([9]Old-age-dependency ratio is defined as the ratio between the number of persons aged 65 and more over the number of working-age persons (15-64). The value is expressed per 100 persons of working age (15-64).).

 

Population forecast by age group and old-age-dependency ratio

Source: Eurostat, proj_15ndbims [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

According to national statistics ([10]KSH (2017). Mikrocenzus 2016 - 3. Demográfiai adatok [Micro census 2016. Part 3: Demographic data]. Budapest: KSH.
http://www.ksh.hu/docs/hun/xftp/idoszaki/mikrocenzus2016/mikrocenzus_2016_3.pdf
KSH stands for Központi Statisztikai Hivatal (Central Statistical Office).
), the number of young people under 15 as well as in the age span 15-64 are falling, while the number of people aged 65+ is on the rise.

An increasing share of people over the age of 50 in the working-age population concurs with a declining number of school-age learners (see figure below). That indicates a further decrease of learners in initial vocational education and training (IVET) and an increasing demand for continuing vocational education and training (CVET) and other forms of adult learning.

 

Learners in initial education and training (aged 3-22) ([11]Education is compulsory from age 3 to 16. Learners in higher education can obtain a master degree at age 22 at the earliest.), 2008-18

Source: Hungarian Central Statistics Office, Társadalmi Haladás Mutatószám rendszere (System of Indicators of Social Development) http://www.ksh.hu/thm/2/indi2_2_1.html

 

At the 2011 census, 98.4% of the people declared that they spoke Hungarian as their native language and 4.3% identified themselves as a member of one of the recognised minority groups (Roma, Germans, Croats, Slovaks, etc.).

The largest minority group are Roma ([12]2% in the 2011 census; but their share in more recent research and surveys is much higher, around 9% and rising.). Their share among school-aged children is significantly higher ([13]According to the 2011 census data, 43% of them are aged under 20. See
http://www.ksh.hu/docs/hun/xftp/stattukor/nemzetiseg_demografia.pdf
) than their share in the population and is on the rise. The vast majority of Roma learners continue their studies after completing primary school (integrated primary and lower secondary education) in VET at upper secondary level ([14]Around 90% of Roma students continue studying at upper secondary level but around 90% of them study in VET. See
https://www.mtakti.hu/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/14_Kertesi_Kezdi_TRIP2010.pdf
), but almost half of them leave upper secondary education without any qualification. Less than a third of them obtain an NVQR ([15]The National vocational qualifications register (NVQR) includes all State-recognised vocational qualifications regulated by the 2011 VET act.) qualification and only about a quarter acquire the secondary school leaving certificate ([16]8% in upper secondary general education programmes, 16% in VET programmes. Without this certificate, they may not continue studies at post-secondary/tertiary level. Source: Hajdú, T, Kertesi, G., Kézdi, G. (2014). Roma fiatalok a középiskolában. Beszámoló a TÁRKI Életpálya-felmérésének 2006 és 2012 közötti hullámaiból [Roma youth in secondary school: report about the waves of the TÁRKI career survey between 2006 and 2012). In: Társadalmi riport, 2014. Budapest: TÁRKI, pp. 265-302.
http://old.tarki.hu/adatbank-h/kutjel/pdf/b334.pdf
).

The high drop-out rate among Roma learners can be explained mostly by their socially disadvantaged background and their competence deficiencies accumulated during their prior schooling. Roma learners and adults are therefore prioritised for receiving public scholarships and support in labour market programmes.

The economy is small and open. Small sized enterprises are 99.7% of all enterprises. The share of micro enterprises among them was 97.8% on 31 December 2017 ([17]KSH (2018). A regisztrált gazdasági szervezetek száma, 2017 [Number of registered business organisations, 2017]. Budapest: KSH.
https://www.ksh.hu/docs/hun/xftp/gyor/gaz/gaz1712.pdf
).

Only 0.3% of all enterprises are medium sized and 0.1% is large.

SMEs employed two thirds of the workforce ([18]Hungarian SMEs employ 3.3 persons on average, below the EU average of 3.9 (SBA Fact Sheet, 2017,
https://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/29489 ).
) and produced 43% of gross value added (GVA) in 2016 ([19]KSH (2018). Magyarország, 2017 [Hungary, 2017]. Budapest: KSH, pp. 150-151.
http://www.ksh.hu/docs/hun/xftp/idoszaki/mo/mo2017.pdf
).

Economy is characterised by a shift to services that produced 64.8% of total gross value added (GVA) and employed 63% of the workforce in 2017.

Industry still had a share of 26.4% of GVA and employed nearly a quarter of the workforce (23%).

The construction industry and agriculture produced 4.8% and 3.9% of total gross value added and had shares of 6.8% and 5% of total employment, respectively ([20]KSH (2018). Magyarország, 2017 [Hungary, 2017]. Budapest: KSH, pp. 36, 130-131.
http://www.ksh.hu/docs/hun/xftp/idoszaki/mo/mo2017.pdf and KSH (2016). A kis- és középvállalkozások helyzete hazánkban, 2016 [The situation of SMEs in Hungary in, 2016]. Budapest: KSH.
http://www.ksh.hu/docs/hun/xftp/idoszaki/pdf/kkv16.pdf
)).

Main export industries are:

  • automotive;
  • electronics;
  • pharmaceuticals and medical technology;
  • ICT (telecommunications, IT outsourcing, IT services, software and hardware production);
  • food processing industry;
  • chemical industry;
  • textiles and clothing industry.

The labour market is highly regulated. A list with all regulated professions in Hungary is available at the European database of regulated professions ([21]543 (2019 data); see also
http://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/regprof/index.cfm?action=regprofs&id_country=21&quid=1&mode=asc#bottom
).

In 2018, the total unemployment ([22]Percentage of active population aged 25-74.) in Hungary was 3.2% (6% in the EU-28); it decreased by 3.7 percentage points since 2008 ([23]Eurostat table une_rt_a [extracted 20.5.2019].).

 

Unemployment rate (aged 15-24 and 25-64) by education attainment level in 2008-18

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011; breaks in time series; low reliability for ISCED 5-8, age 15-24.
ISCED 0-2 = less than primary, primary and lower secondary education.
ISCED 3-4 = upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education. ISCED 5-8 = tertiary education.
Source: Eurostat, lfsa_urgaed [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Unemployment has decreased in the last decade. The unemployment rate of unskilled workers, although decreasing steadily since 2014, is considerably higher compared to the share of people with medium- and high-level qualifications.

Employment rate of 20 to 34-year-old VET graduates has increased from 78% in 2014 to 84.5% in 2017 ([24]Eurostat table edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

 

Employment rate of VET graduates (20 to 34 years old, ISCED levels 3 and 4)

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011; breaks in time series.
ISCED 3-4 = upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education.
Source: Eurostat, edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

The employment rate of 20 to 34-year old VET graduates increased by 6.1 percentage points in 2014-18 and is higher compared to the increase in employment of all 20 to 34-year old graduates (+4.8%) in the same period in Hungary ([25]NB: Break in series. Eurostat table edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16 5.2019].).

In Hungary, most people in the age group 25-64 have a medium level qualification (59.8%, against 45.7% in the EU-28), placing Hungary fifth among all EU28+ countries with the highest share in this group in 2018. People with high level qualifications represent 25.1% of the total population aged 25 to 64, which is lower than the EU average (32.2%). The share of people with no or low level qualifications (15.1%) is below the EU-28 average (21.8%) in 2018.

 

Population (aged 25 to 64) by highest education level attained in 2018

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011; low reliability for ‘no response’ in Czechia, Iceland, Latvia and Poland.
ISCED 0-2 = less than primary, primary and lower secondary education.
ISCED 3-4 = upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education.
ISCED 5-8 = tertiary education.
Source: Eurostat, lfsa_pgaed [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Share of learners in VET by level in 2017

lower secondary

upper secondary

post-secondary

0.2%

23%

100%

Source: Eurostat, educ_uoe_enrs01, educ_uoe_enrs04 and educ_uoe_enrs07 [extracted 16.5.2019].

The share of learners in lower secondary VET decreased by -0.2 percentage points from 2013 to 2017. In the same period, the share of learners in upper secondary VET decreased by -3.5 percentage points.

 

Share of initial VET learners from total learners at upper-secondary level (ISCED level 3), 2017

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011.
Source: Eurostat, educ_uoe_enrs04 [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Traditionally, there are more males in VET (63.2%, or 66.1% in full time education in 2016/17), though the share of females is nearly 50% in programmes that span upper- and post-secondary education (49.8%, or 47.5% in full time education).

Males prefer IT, engineering, transport, electronics, manufacturing and construction, while females most often enrol in health and social care, economics and office management and services (tourism, catering, the beauty industry).

The share of early leavers from education and training has increased by 1 percentage point, from 11.5% in 2009 to 12.5% in 2018. It is above the national target for 2020 of not more than 10% and the EU-28 average of 10.6%.

 

Early leavers from education and training in 2009-18

NB: Share of the population aged 18 to 24 with at most lower secondary education and not in further education or training; break in series.
Source: Eurostat, edat_lfse_14 [extracted 16.5.2019] and European Commission, https://ec.europa.eu/info/2018-european-semester-national-reform-programmes-and-stability-convergence-programmes_en [accessed 14.11.2018].

 

Reducing the high number of drop-outs from VET is a national challenge. Early leaving from education and training can be explained mainly by learners’ disadvantaged socio-economic background and low basic skills (due to quality problems with primary school education provision) and the inability of VET schools to compensate these disadvantages ([26]As shown also by the PISA results, the impact of learners’ socioeconomic background on education outcomes in Hungary is the strongest in the EU and the impact of school/programme type on outcomes is also very significant, reflecting early selection in secondary education. See also European Commission (2017). Education and Training Monitor 2017: country analysis. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/6e709b4c-bac0-11e7-a7f8-01aa75ed71a1/language-en/format-PDF/source-search
). A mid-term national strategy to prevent early leaving from education and training is in place (2014-20).

In 2014, learners in ISCED 353 level VET programmes ([27]Three-year upper secondary VET programmes offering skilled workers training (ISCED 353/EQF level 4) not leading to the end of upper secondary school-leaving certificate.) accounted for nearly half of all drop-outs whereas they represented only 21% of the whole school population. Nearly one-third of learners leave these programmes without a qualification ([28]To obtain a vocational qualification upon completion of upper and post-secondary VET programmes, learners have to take the practice-oriented complex examination which is based on the standards established for this qualification. Qualification standards are defined in the vocational and examination requirements regulated by degree for a given qualification.). The share of drop-outs from the other VET track (vocational grammar school ISCED 344 programmes combining general and vocational subjects at upper secondary level) is lower but remains high ([29]It was 19% in grades 9-12 in 2013. The dropout rate in post-secondary ISCED 454 VET programmes was 16% in 2013. Source: Mártonfi, G. (2013). Early leaving from VET - Hungary. Cedefop ReferNet Thematic perspectives [unedited].
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/events-and-projects/networks/refernet/thematic-perspectives/early-leaving-from-vet
).

More information on early leaving from E&T in Hungary ([30]Cedefop (2017). Leaving education early: putting vocational education and training centre stage - Hungary. Cedefop country fiche [unedited].
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/leaving-education-early-putting-vocational-education-an-5
).

Adult participation in lifelong learning (aged 25-64) is being promoted in Hungary, with a special focus on early leavers and people without a VET qualification.

 

Participation in lifelong learning in 2014-18

NB: Share of adult population aged 25 to 64 participating in education and training; break in series.
Source: Eurostat, trng_lfse_01 [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Participation in lifelong learning increased by 2.7 percentage points since 2014 (from 3.3% to 6.0% in 2018) and is lower than the EU-28 average (11.1% in 2018). However, this increase is due primarily to a break in the series of statistical data: in 2015, additional clarifications and reminders were added to the Hungarian survey for better coverage of compulsory training systems and introduction courses for those who started their job recently ([31]Eurostat file ‘country specific breaks’. Available at
https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/EU_labour_force_survey_%E2%80%93_data_and_publication#Comparability_over_time_and_across_countries [accessed 2.4.2019].
).

 

VET learners by age group (*)(2010-16)

NB: (*) In school-based VET programmes and in adult training; data about adult training excludes learners in the following programme categories: catching-up training of disadvantaged people, foreign language training, general adult training and preparatory training aimed at obtaining entry competences.
Source: Statistical yearbooks of public education (2011-18). Online OSAP 1665 statistics https://statisztika.mer.gov.hu [accessed 18.6.2019].

 

Initial education and training system comprises:

  • pre-primary (ISCED level 0);
  • integrated primary and lower secondary (ISCED levels 1 and 2);
  • integrated lower and upper secondary general education (ISCED levels 2-3);
  • general (ISCED level 2) and vocational bridging programmes (ISCED levels 2-3);
  • upper secondary general, vocational or combined education (ISCED level 3);
  • post-secondary non-tertiary VET (ISCED level 4);
  • higher education VET (ISCED level 5);
  • higher education (ISCED levels 6,7 and 8).

The term ‘public education’ (köznevelés) ([32]Regulated by the Act CXC of 2011 on public education.) refers to the right to education to all from pre-primary to post-secondary non-tertiary level, and includes general and vocational education programmes in kindergartens and schools ([33]Beside the State, church and business entities, foundations, associations, etc., can also found and maintain public education institutions; private providers can also provide public education services.).

Compulsory schooling covers age three to 16. Education is free of charge up to the obtainment of the upper secondary school leaving certificate and/or two NVQR ([34]The National vocational qualifications register (NVQR) includes all State-recognised vocational qualifications regulated by the 2011 VET act.) vocational qualifications ([35]Since 2015, the right to acquire a second VET qualification free of charge is without age limit, therefore older adults may enrol in adult education (within the formal school system, in VET schools) to upskill, at no expenses.).

Pre-primary education is provided in kindergarten (óvoda) from age three to six ([36]Attendance is compulsory from September that follows the completion of three years old to mandatory school entry age (though exemption from attendance can be applied for and permitted up until the completion of age 5).). It is followed by an integrated primary and lower secondary eight-year programme (általános iskola; age 7-14) ([37]Two integrated lower and upper secondary general education paths are also available: an eight-year programme (ages 10 to 18) and a six-year programme (ages 12 to 18). The entry requirements in these highly selective schools include a national entry exam in Hungarian and Mathematics, oral exams organised by the schools as well as very good grades in primary school. In school year 2016/17, 7% of learners in lower secondary education studied in these schools (the rest in grades 5-8 of primary school). Source: Ministry of Human Resources (2017). Köznevelési Statisztikai Évkönyv 2016/2017 [Statistical yearbook of public education 2016/17]. Budapest: EMMI.
https://www.kormany.hu/download/5/0a/81000/Köznevelés-statisztikai%20évkönyv-2016-új.pdf
). To move on to upper secondary education, learners must complete the programme and thus obtain the primary school certificate.

For learners at risk of dropping out from education, two bridging programmes are in place ([38]Since 2013, though reformed in 2015.):

  • a one-year public education bridging programme (köznevelési hídprogram) for learners who finished lower secondary education but did not get admitted to upper secondary education, to prepare them for the entrance exam; and
  • a two-year VET bridging programme (szakképzési hídprogram) for learners who completed at most two (out of four) years of lower secondary education by age 15.

Upper secondary general education is provided in the so-called gimnázium (age 14-18). To move on to higher level studies, learners must obtain the (upper) secondary school leaving certificate (érettségi bizonyítvány) at the secondary school leaving exam at the end of grade 12.

Higher education ([39]Regulated by the Act CCIV of 2011 on higher education.) includes academic programmes at EQF levels 6-8. Vocational programmes are offered in higher education at EQF level 5, but are not considered VET ([40]These programmes are regulated by the higher education act and not the VET act (Act CLXXXVII of 2011 on vocational education and training).).

Adult education programmes (felnőttoktatás) offer general and vocational education at all education levels in flexible learning forms ([41]In full- or part- time (evening, correspondence, distance learning and other) courses. See also Section 6. VET within the education and training system/ VET learning options.).

Government-regulated VET is offered:

  • within the formal school system (participants have the status of student):
    • in VET schools, regulated by the 2011 public education act ([42]Act CXC of 2011 on public education.) and 2011 VET ([43]Act CLXXXVII of 2011 on vocational education and training.) act. Programmes are offered at EQF levels 2 to 5, either:

i) in regular full-time education for school-age learners and young people up to age 25; or

ii) in flexible learning forms for those over the compulsory schooling age (16) and older adults in adult education ([44]Young people over the compulsory schooling age (16) and up to 25 may enrol in both learning forms, either in regular full-time schooling or in flexible learning courses offered in adult education. NB: School-based full-time adult education (representing 90% of regular full time schooling hours) or part-time adult education courses (evening, correspondence, distance learning and other).);

  • in higher education, regulated by the 2011 Higher education act ([45]Act CCIV of 2011 on higher education.). Following the introduction of the 2011 VET act ([46]Act CLXXXVII of 2011 on vocational education and training.), EQF level 5 higher education vocational programmes offered in HE are no longer considered part of VET;
  • outside the formal school system (adult training) regulated by the 2013 adult training act ([47]Act LXXVII of 2013 on adult training (amended in 2015, 2016 and 2017).) and the 2011 VET act. Participants have a contractual relationship with the training provider.

National legislation thus distinguishes between VET provided within the school system (iskolai rendszerű szakképzés) and VET provided outside the school system (iskolarendszeren kívüli szakképzés), in adult training. VET qualifications included in the national vocational qualifications register ([48]The National vocational qualifications register (NVQR) includes all State-recognised vocational qualifications regulated by the 2011 VET act.) can be obtained in both sectors (and only these are provided within the school system, along with a formal education qualification upon completion of the programme that allows learners access to the next qualification level). Initial and continuing VET is also available in both, though full time VET provided within the school system is typically considered IVET.

Education provided within the formal school system is free of charge up to the obtainment of the upper secondary school leaving certificate (grade 12) and/or two NVQR ([49]The National vocational qualifications register (NVQR) includes all State-recognised vocational qualifications regulated by the 2011 VET act.) vocational qualifications ([50]For both school-age learners and adults enrolled in adult education programmes.). Adult training courses are fee-paying but the training of vulnerable target groups (unemployed, Roma etc.) can be publicly funded.

Work-based practical training is a part of the curricula of all VET programmes leading to NVQR qualifications and can be provided either in a school workshop or at a company. Apprenticeship training is only available in VET provided within the school system.

The type of attendance (full-time, part-time, evening classes, distance learning) of VET programmes depends on the type of education a learner is enrolled in.

Regular full-time education is mandatory for learners in compulsory schooling (up to age 16), in both the general and vocational paths.

Adult education (felnőttoktatás) (learners over 16) provides general or vocational programmes within the school system at all levels ([51]In both public education (which covers pre-primary to post-secondary) and higher education sectors.) in the following learning options:

  • full time (corresponding to 90% of regular full-time education programme hours);
  • part time (evening classes, 50%);
  • correspondence courses (10%); or
  • in ‘other’ (e.g. distant learning) forms.

Adult education targets learners who did not obtain a formal school certificate of a certain level or a VET qualification during their compulsory schooling, or who want to attain a new qualification. Adult education courses do not differ from regular full-time courses in terms of objectives, admission criteria, structure, main characteristics of curricula, or the awarded State-recognised qualifications.

Learners in the age span 16-25 may either enrol in regular full-time school-based education or enrol in adult education.

 

Share of learners in VET (provided within the school system) by learning form (%), 2017

Source: Educational Authority (Oktatási Hivatal): http://www.oh.gov.hu/, 2018.

 

Most people in adult education attend evening classes, only a few participate in distant learning or in any other special forms. The lower-qualified, older population are offered specifically designed programmes within adult training supported by the State.

Adult training (felnőttképzés) includes general, language or vocational programmes, provided outside the school system and covers many different types and forms of learning opportunities.

The scope of the adult training act of 2013 ([52]And in contrast to previous legislation.) covers:

  • training leading to NVQR qualifications;
  • training financed from public sources (the State budget or the training levy) ([53]Including training targeted at specific groups (the unemployed, other vulnerable groups).).

Outside the scope of the adult training act, other training programmes regulated by the State include:

  • training towards licenses, diplomas, certificates etc. not listed in the national vocational qualifications register (NVQR), required to perform certain jobs or to fulfil certain positions ([54]Typically in the fields of road, water and air transport, plant and veterinary health inspection or food hygiene.); their content and objectives are defined by legislation;
  • mandatory further training programmes for a given occupation ([55]ECVET of policemen, civil servants, teachers, judges, etc.) regulated by the responsible ministers.

The VET landscape shaped by the 2011 and 2015 (ongoing) VET reforms.

The content, funding and governance of VET were reformed in 2011 ([56]The 2+2 model of VET programmes offering skilled workers’ training was reduced to three-year dual VET ISCED 353 programmes; at the same time, an enhanced VET component was added to the first phase of the other long VET track spanning upper-secondary (four or five years, ISCED 344) and post-secondary (one or two year, ISCED 454) levels. VET qualifications offered in higher education were no longer included in the national vocational qualifications register (NVQR).) with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry ([57]Magyar Kereskedelmi és Iparkamara (MKIK).) gaining an even more important role in VET delivery. The 2015 reform focused on tackling early leaving, supporting VET and apprenticeships take up to provide skilled workforce ([58]The Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been in charge of promoting and supervising apprenticeship training provision, the introduction of ‘chamber guarantee’ made apprenticeship the default form of practical training in VET provided within the school system. Another measure introduced was an opportunity to obtain a second NVQR qualification free of charge in VET in adult education (national vocational qualifications register, NVQR).). Moreover, since 2016/17, the content and names of the different VET programmes were modified to raise the prestige and attractiveness of VET ([59]The secondary vocational school programmes, three-year VET ISCED 353 (dual) programmes offering skilled workers’ training; the vocational grammar school programmes, delivered partly in upper secondary four (five, with preparatory language training) year ISCED 344 combined general education and VET and post-secondary one or two-year ISCED 454 VET programmes; and vocational school programmes for SEN learners.). New legislation in December 2017 introduced apprenticeships earlier (in grades 11 and 12) in the upper-secondary years of the (longer) VET track ([60]The vocational grammar school track offers upper-secondary ISCED 344 combined general education and VET and post-secondary ISCED 454 VET programmes; see also the section on apprenticeships.).

Dual VET and apprenticeships were enhanced especially in upper secondary VET since 2012 and have been coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The chamber’s role in shaping VET was expanded by the introduction in 2015 of a chamber guarantee ([61]A written confirmation by the Chamber that there is no practical placement available.) for securing training places for VET learners. Policy priorities in vocational education and training focus on improving the quality of dual training and increasing the number of companies offering practical training (apprenticeship training contracts) ([62]Source: Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on VET in Hungary - 2017. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/publications/8126 and
Cedefop (2018). Developments in vocational education and training policy in 2015-17 - Hungary. Cedefop monitoring and analysis of VET policies.https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/vet-policy-developments-hungary-2017
).

Provision of practical training

The share of theory and practice in vocational training is defined in the vocational and examination requirements of the pursued vocational qualification included in the national vocational qualifications register (NVQR). There are two possible legal forms of training at a workplace (in VET provided within the school system), the first one is privileged by the VET act:

  • apprenticeship contract (tanulószerződés): the contract is made between the student and the company ([63]The AC comes into effect at the moment of the beginning of the training at the given training site stipulated in apprenticeship contract. In general (if there is no extraordinary case for earlier termination, such as expulsion from the vocational training school or termination of student status, termination by mutual consent, etc.) the apprenticeship contract is terminated on the last day of the complex examination (NB: Young people and adults need to pass the complex examination upon completion of VET programmes – provided within or outside the school system – in order to obtain an NVQR vocational qualification). It means duration depends on several factors, but the AC can be effective:
    - during the whole training period in vocational programmes at ISCED 353 level (in secondary vocational schools; three years); and
    - during the post-secondary training (grade 13 or grades 13 and 14) in vocational grammar school programmes (or, since 2017, from grade 11 if the learner chooses this option).
    ); apprentices receive monthly payment and are entitled to social insurance;
  • cooperation agreement (együttműködési megállapodás): the contract is made between the school and the company and learners receive payment only for the three-to-five-week practice during the summer holiday.

Apprenticeships are supervised by the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK), which is responsible for accrediting and registering training providers, supporting learners to find one and registering apprenticeship contracts ([64]The Chamber of Commerce organises the ’level exam’ (szintvizsga) as well, at the end of the first VET year (in secondary vocational school and vocational school programmes), to assess whether learners have acquired the competences required for participating in company-based learning.).

Since 2015, learners are only allowed to participate in practical training at the school workshop or at a company, based on a cooperation agreement if there is no company (apprenticeship) placement available to them, which has to be confirmed in writing by the Chamber (the Chamber’s guarantee).

An apprenticeship contract can be signed from the beginning of the first VET year ([65]In vocational grammar schools programmes this possibility refers to the post-secondary path of the programme (grades 13 and 14). After the 2017 amendment (effective as of 2017/18), apprenticeship contracts may be concluded also in the last two upper secondary grades (grades 11 and 12).). However, in the first year (grade 9) of secondary vocational school (ISCED 353) programmes and vocational school programmes for SEN learners practical training can only be organised within the school or at a company workshop dedicated exclusively to practical training (except for the summer practice).

Practical training (as from grade 9) ([66]Practical training at a company in grade 9 is only possible in the case the company has a workshop dedicated exclusively to practical training provision.) can be organised on the basis of a school-company agreement only in special circumstances:

  • if the share of practical training is less than 40%;
  • if practical training is provided within the school and the company only provides the summer practice or supplementary practice;
  • if the practical training is provided at a State-maintained organisation; or
  • if an apprenticeship contract cannot be made due to lack of apprenticeship offer (confirmed by the Chambers guarantee) ([67]A written confirmation by the Chamber that there is no practical placement available.).

Provision of practical training by VET programme type

In 2016/17, while most vocational grammar school learners (upper and post-secondary, respectively ISCED 344/EQF4 and ISCED 454/EQF 5 programmes) still had their practical training in a school workshop or at a workplace based on a cooperation agreement, the majority of secondary vocational school learners (ISCED 353/EQF level 4 programmes) participated in dual (apprenticeship) training. The share of learners in one of the two forms of company-based learning by programme type is shown in the figure below.

 

Share of learners by type of company-based learning and programme type (%), 2016/17

NB: (*) data on cooperation agreements in ‘vocational schools for SEN learners’ are included under ‘secondary vocational schools’ – except for agreements signed in programmes that award a partial qualification that are included under ‘vocational school for SEN learners’.
(**) including 103 cooperation agreements signed in vocational bridging programmes.
Source: Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK); KSH STADAT database: http://www.ksh.hu/stadat_eves_2_6

 

Extending dual training (apprenticeships) in VET:

  • a policy target was set to increase by 2018 the share of apprenticeships in skilled worker’s training (ISCED 353 VET programmes) to 70% ([68]In 2017, almost one in four VET learners had an apprenticeship contract, most of whom (69%) were enrolled in three-year upper-secondary VET programmes. Source: Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on VET in Hungary - 2017. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
    http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/publications/8126
    ) and in the other VET track (spanning upper and post-secondary levels) to 25%;
  • the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Agriculture support learners find an apprenticeship. Since the introduction of the Chamber guarantee in 2015, apprenticeship became the default form of practical training in VET schools. Practical training may be provided at the school workshop (or at a company based on a school-company agreement) only after the written confirmation by the chamber that no apprenticeships are available;
  • apprenticeship training has been introduced in adult education programmes since 2015 ([69]Adult education targets adults who did not obtain a formal school certificate of a certain level or a vocational qualification during their compulsory schooling, or who want to obtain a new qualification. Adult education is provided within the school system, typically in the same schools that provide full time education (IVET).).

New legislation in December 2017 ([70]Government of Hungary (2017). T/18309. számú törvényjavaslat [Bill No T/18309].
http://www.parlament.hu/irom40/18309/18309.pdf
) introduced a number of measures to further extend apprenticeship training in upper-secondary VET:

  • introducing the possibility to conclude apprenticeship contracts in grades 11 and 12, when the programme involves at least 250 hours per grade (500 hours of practical training in total in two years);
  • in the last year (grade 8) of lower secondary, learners may conclude a ‘pre-apprenticeship contract’ ([71]It is a special contract, effective from 1.1.2018.) which is a company commitment to offer, at a later stage, an apprenticeship contract to the learner who would enrol in upper-secondary VET;
  • extending the range of organisations eligible to provide apprenticeship training to State organisations and NGOs ([72]This refers to the social and pedagogy sectors and qualifications supervised by the minister of defence, to include State-maintained institutions, foundations, associations and churches.);
  • the regulation that aimed to prevent enterprises set up only to train IVET learners to receive public funding from the training levy was modified because it was unfavourable for micro companies; at the same time, the number of learners that a micro or small enterprise can train was limited to 12 ([73]Except for learners with multiple disadvantages and SEN learners and in case the chamber confirms in writing that there are no other apprenticeship placements available.) to ensure more effective training;
  • an opportunity was introduced for companies to establish joint sectoral training centres.

Learn more about apprenticeships in the national context from the European database on apprenticeship schemes by Cedefop: http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/apprenticeship-schemes/scheme-fiches

Governance of the Hungarian VET system

Central governance and administration of VET and adult training, since 2018, is under the competence of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology (innovációs és technológiai miniszter) with other ministries being responsible for qualifications in their sectors. The government has responsibility on VET in issues that exceed the competences of the above.

The Ministry of Human Capacities is in charge of public ([74]Public education covers from pre-primary to post-secondary education levels, including vocational education offered from lower secondary to post-secondary education levels.) and higher education where VET within the formal school system and higher education VET ([75]These are regulated by the higher education act not the 2011 VET act, therefore vocational programmes in higher education, per legislation, are not part of VET) are provided. The Innovation ministry and the Ministry of Human Capacities are responsible for framework curricula of VET and general education, respectively. Other ministers are responsible for qualifications standards in their sectors.

The national vocational qualifications register ([76]The national vocational qualifications register (NVQR) – Országos Képzési Jegyzék (OKJ) – in place since 1993, comprises State-recognised (partial, full or add-on) vocational qualifications that can be acquired either in formal upper and post-secondary IVET or outside the formal education system.), the vocational requirement modules, examination regulations and funding of VET programmes are regulated in government decrees and the government approves education and VET strategies.

The National Office of VET and Adult Learning ([77]Nemzeti Szakképzési és Felnőttképzési Hivatal (NSZFH).), supervised by the Ministry for Innovation and Technology, ensures coordination and implementation of national VET and adult learning policies. Its main tasks include:

  • consultative role including preparation of draft legislation for decision-making;
  • qualification and curricula development in VET;
  • subsidy management;
  • operation of VET centres; and
  • career guidance.

The Education Authority is an agency of the Ministry of Human Capacities that operates:

  • the national systems of assessment in public (general) education;
  • the uniform admission procedure to upper secondary education (both general and VET);
  • the secondary school leaving exam;
  • pedagogical counselling services; and
  • qualification procedures within the teacher career system and teacher/school inspections.

The Pest County Government Office is responsible for registering vocational exams and registering and inspecting adult training providers and programmes ([78]As of 1 January 2017, taking over these tasks from the National Office of VET and Adult Learning.).

The employment departments of county/capital government offices, as part of the national employment service led by the Ministry of Finance, provide training support for vulnerable groups.

Social partners involvement – the role of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry has an important role in VET in policy advice, qualifications development for manual jobs ([79]Including standards and framework curricula.), accreditation and supervision of practice providers, provision of apprenticeship contracts (including the chamber guarantee measure ([80]Students are only allowed to participate in practical training at a school workshop or at a company based on a school-company cooperation agreement if there is no company (apprenticeship) placement available to them, which has to be confirmed in writing by the Chamber (or by the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture in relevant sectors such as agriculture, forestry, food industry and fisheries).)) and career guidance services.

Social partners shape VET policy through participation in advisory bodies, mainly:

  • the National VET and Adult Learning Council ([81]Nemzeti Szakképzési és Felnőttképzési Tanács (NSZFT).), advising strategic policy issues and allocation of development funds;
  • 18 sectoral skills councils (SSCs) ([82]Agazati készségtanács.) were set up in 2018 ([83]The SSCs took over the responsibilities of the national qualification board. Each council consist of 7 to 19 business representatives from the sector. Currently, there are19 SCCs.) operating under the coordination of the chamber of commerce (with the involvement of the chamber of agriculture in relevant sectors) to monitor labour market trends and needs for new skills and qualifications;
  • at country level, 19 country development and training councils ([84]Megyei fejlesztési és képzési bizottságok.) design short-and medium-term VET strategies on local needs, prepare lists of ‘qualifications in demand’ and propose quotas for enrolment places considered for financing VET from the State budget ([85]See Section: VET financing mechanisms - IVET financing.).

VET providers – public education sector ([86]Public education covers from pre-primary to post-secondary education levels.)

Governance of schools has been centralised (2013) and the majority of VET schools (those that came under the maintenance of the ministry responsible for VET in 2015) have been integrated into a network of 44 vocational centres ([87]The number of schools represented in each centre varies from 5 to 19. The number of students in each vocational centre must be at least 2 000 on average in the past three years. Currently, these 44 vocational centres have 380 member schools.). The vocational centres coordinate education and training activities of the member schools, manage their finances and help them offer training better aligned with labour market needs, promoting partnerships with businesses and innovation.

State-maintained VET schools in the sector of agriculture, (and forestry, fishery, food industry etc.) are operated by the Ministry of Agriculture and belong to the network of agricultural VET schools (46 schools).

The Ministries of Interior and of Defence as well as some universities also operate some VET schools that provide sector-specific programmes.

Under the public education act ([88]Act CXC of 2011 on public education.), church and business entities, foundations, associations, etc., can also maintain schools, which can get funding from the central government budget based on an agreement with the minister responsible for VET ([89]The share of students studying in VET schools maintained by churches has increased considerably since 2010, while of those studying in schools maintained by foundations decreased: in school year 2015/16, 11% studied in the former and 7-8% in the latter type, in addition to 5-6% studying in other private schools.).

Provision of practical training

Practical training is part of the curricula of all VET programmes and can be provided in school-based setting or at companies based on an apprenticeship contract (of the learner and the company) or a cooperation agreement (of the school and the company, see Section: 7. Apprenticeship).

Dual VET is provided through apprenticeship training contracts which is an integral part of initial (primarily, ISCED 353 level) VET programmes ([90]See also the scheme fiche on Hungary in Cedefop’s European database on apprenticeship schemes: Dual vocational training based on the apprenticeship training contract:
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/apprenticeship-schemes/scheme-fiches/apprenticeship-dual-vocational-training [accessed 20.3.2019].
) and is provided by companies. Apprenticeships are coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry ([91]The Chamber of Agriculture assumes the same role in the sectors under its remit of responsibilities, supervising apprenticeships and delivering the chamber guarantee.) which is responsible for accrediting and registering training providers, supporting learners to find a placement at a training provider and registering apprenticeship contracts ([92]More information on apprenticeship delivery is available in Section 7 - Apprenticeships.).

Since 2017, companies may establish joint sectoral training centres which are being set up in order to support the capacity of SMEs and micro enterprises to offer training ([93]Adapted from Cedefop (2019). Spotlight on VET: 2018 compilation: vocational education and training systems in Europe. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://data.europa.eu/doi/10.2801/009
).

VET providers – higher education sector

Vocational programmes offered at EQF level 5 are provided by higher education institutions ([94]See also Section
6. VET within education and training system.
).

Higher education VET programmes include a mandatory, one-semester-long (minimum 14 weeks) period of company-based practice in the last (4th) semester. In case that is provided in a block of six or more weeks, it must be organised on the basis of a cooperation agreement between the higher education institution and the company. The company then also has to make a student work contract (hallgatói munkaszerződés) with the student.

CVET/Adult training providers

Learners in adult training must sign a training contract with the training provider. The Adult training act of 2013 – the scope of which only covers courses that award an NVQR qualification or are publicly funded – replaced the former system of institutional and programme accreditation by a new system of licensing. Training providers have to apply for a licence that specifies the courses they offer. The license is awarded for an indefinite time by the Pest County Government Office ([95]Since 1 January 2017, instead of the National Office of VET and Adult Learning (NSZFH).), based on the opinion of an expert committee. All providers should apply a quality assurance system, which must be in line with a framework system ([96]Corresponds to the EQAVET framework:
http://eqavet.nive.hu/#!/grafikon|part=0
) defined by the minister responsible for VET and adult raining. Adult training providers include:

  • public and higher education institutions engaging in adult training as a supplementary activity;
  • other budgetary or State-funded institutions, most notably, regional training centres ([97]These are currently part of the Directorate-General for Social Affairs and Child Protection (Szociális és Gyermekvédelmi Főigazgatóság) and provide training for vulnerable groups, or specialised State agencies that provide mandatory further training programmes for public servants and employees.);
  • the chambers of economy organising the master craftsman exams and offering preparatory training;
  • private training companies;
  • NGOs (non-profit organisations, professional associations, etc.); and
  • employers providing in-company (internal) training for their own employees.

IVET funding

The public expenditure for education including primary, lower and upper secondary education, general and VET streams in 2016 was 2.37% of the GDP.

Learners may enrol free of charge in formal VET to prepare up to two VET qualifications listed in the national vocational qualifications register ([98]The second VET qualification can be obtained free of charge in adult education programmes (in VET provided within the school system).). VET schools are funded by:

  • the State budget and the contribution of the school maintainer that cover the costs of training provision in VET schools;
  • a training levy paid by enterprises ([99]Called ‘VET contribution’ (szakképzési hozzájárulás). ) that finances practical training provision at enterprises as well as the training sub-fund of the National Employment Fund ([100]Nemzeti Foglalkoztatási Alap (NFA); képzési alaprésze.); the latter funds the Adolf Szabóky VET Scholarship programme for IVET learners and various development measures (see sections: Incentives for learners and Incentives for enterprises);
  • the contribution of training provider companies that cover a part of the costs of their practical training provision ([101]20% as per estimates in 2016.).

VET is funded from the State budget on an annual basis ([102]The funding of State-maintained VET centres is based on annual institutional budget plans except for adult education, for which funding is provided on a per capita basis. Church-maintained and other privately maintained VET schools can also receive State funding if they make an agreement with the minister responsible for VET.). The aim of the so-called ‘qualification structure decisions’ regulated by the VET act is to adjust local VET supply to the needs of the economy and reduce skills mismatch. Every year (until the end of March), the county development and training councils based on local labour market information, skills analysis, and forecasts make proposals on qualifications/VET programmes to be offered from the following school year to receive State funding. The final government decision (decree) defines per county/the capital the range of those qualifications and vocational grammar school sectors for which VET school maintainers:

  • can enrol any number of learners without limitations;
  • are not entitled to any funding from the State budget;
  • can request budgetary contribution up to certain student quotas that are defined for each school maintainer in each county/the capital (for both full time attendance and adult education).

The ‘training levy’ and the National Employment Fund (NFA) training sub-fund

There are several ways enterprises may pay the vocational training levy:

  • by providing practical training to students in VET and certain higher education programmes ([103]Per legislation, VET does not cover vocational programmes offered in higher education, which are regulated by the higher education act.) and deduct their costs from the training levy, up to a certain amount, calculated on the basis of a base per capita rate and a coefficient (of 0.7 to 2) defined for each qualification ([104]The base per capita rate is defined in the annual budget laws (in 2018 it was HUF 480 000, EUR 1 528); the coefficients are defined in a government decree.). Furthermore, if the amount of the payable training levy does not cover all eligible costs, these can be claimed from the NFA training sub-fund;
  • by providing or financially supporting employees’ training, the costs of which can be deducted from the training levy up to at most 16.5% (but only if they also train at least 30 VET apprentices); or
  • by paying it directly into the NFA training sub-fund.

According to companies’ estimate, the share of VET student training costs which are deductible/reimbursable from the training levy and own funds was 80%-20% in 2016.

The training sub-fund of the National Employment Fund is also used to:

  • support training providers that do not pay the training levy ([105]E.g. central budgetary institutions in the social/health sector, farmers, etc.) to offer apprenticeships;
  • finance national programmes (and decentralised tenders) to improve infrastructure and technological capacities in VET and adult training programmes;

The training sub-fund can be used by the minister responsible for VET (assisted by the National Office of VET and AL and other advisory bodies on VET) according to the needs and policy priorities, in line with provisions regarding its use in legislation ([106]Act CLV of 2011 on VET contribution and the subsidisation of training development.).

CVET/Adult training funding

Adult training programmes provided outside the formal school system are funded by:

  • participants’ (learner) contributions;
  • employers’ contributions, including the training levy;
  • the National Employment Fund (NFA) employment sub-fund ([107]Its income derives from compulsory contributions paid by employers and employees and budgetary support.) which is used to finance training programmes for the unemployed and other vulnerable groups;
  • the NFA training sub-fund (see above); and
  • the central State budget and international (mostly ESF) assistance, which co-finance various development programmes.

Funding mechanisms include:

  • public funding (of mandatory CVET in the public sector; grants for individuals, primarily for the unemployed and at-risk groups; and grants for micro and small enterprises);
  • public-private cost-sharing (grants for at-risk groups; grants for enterprises; tax incentive for companies, see section: Incentives for learners);
  • collective (employer, employee) investment to finance CVET (training leave and playback clauses specified by the Labour Code).

Teaching staff in VET schools

The employment, initial and further training of all teachers and trainers working in public education (where VET schools are found) ([108]VET schools operate following (both the Public education and) the VET act which regulates VET within the lower-, upper- and post-secondary levels (in public education and also in adult training). It does not regulate vocational programmes offered in higher education.) are regulated by the public education act. In addition, the VET act regulates the qualification requirements of in-company trainers.

The table below lists the types of VET teachers and trainers working in VET schools, their qualification and further training requirements, respective tasks and responsibilities.

Teachers and trainers employed in VET schools, 2018

Title/

tasks and responsibilities

Required qualification

General subject teacher/ Teaching general education subjects

Relevant teacher qualification (master degree) (ISCED 766)

Vocational teacher/ Teaching vocational theoretical subjects

  • Relevant VET teacher qualification (master degree) (ISCED 766 or 767); or
  • a relevant higher education degree and qualification relevant to the taught subject or
  • a relevant higher education degree and qualification relevant to the training field (*)

Vocational teacher or trainer/ Teaching vocational practical subjects in the school

  • Relevant VET teacher qualification (master degree) (ISCED 766 or 767); or
  • a relevant vocational trainer qualification (bachelor degree) (ISCED 660); or
  • a relevant higher education degree; or
  • the secondary school leaving exam certificate and a relevant OKJ qualification and at least five years of professional experience

Instructor at an enterprise (in-company trainer)/ Instructing vocational practice at an enterprise

A relevant vocational qualification, at least 5 years of professional experience and

  • (since 2018) an instructor exam certificate (issued by the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, MKIK); or
  • (since 2015) a master craftsman certificate(issued by MKIK); or
  • a relevant higher education degree and qualification (in this case, two years of professional experience is sufficient); or
  • any higher education degree and qualification. (**)

NB: (*) In case there is no relevant VET teacher training, those with a relevant higher education degree and any teacher qualification, or if there is no relevant higher education training, those with any teacher qualification and a relevant OKJ qualification and a master craftsmen certificate can be employed permanently.

(**) Those over 60 and those who instruct practice in one of the catering facilities of outstanding quality (listed in a ministerial decree) are exempt from the latter requirements.

Source: VET and Public education acts.

VET teacher qualifications can currently be obtained in:

  • 4+1-year undivided (long) university programmes; or
  • four-semester master programmes (in which the duration of training can be reduced to three semesters by recognising previous teaching experience in public education); or
  • two-semester master programmes by those who already hold a master diploma in the professional field.

The vast majority of learners in vocational teacher training study in master programmes, in part time, correspondence learning form.

The 4+1 year programmes include subject-specific training (minimum 160 credits), a teacher training module (50 credits) and a one-year-long final external school teaching practice (40 credits). The duration of external teaching practice is one semester in the four-semester master programmes. VET teacher training programmes prepare participants for teaching several subjects of vocational theory.

Since 2006, vocational instructor training is offered in seven-term bachelor level programmes in three areas (business, technology and agriculture) and various specialisations. They consist of subject-specific training, pedagogical studies (including psychology) and practical training, the latter includes a teaching practice and a 12 week-long external vocational practice.

The qualification requirements of in-company trainers supervising the practical training of VET learners at enterprises are defined by the VET act. All instructors must have a relevant vocational qualification and at least five years of professional experience. In addition, since 2015, they either have to hold a master craftsman certificate or a higher education degree or, since 2018, a certificate awarded at the newly introduced instructor training and exam of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Teachers and trainers in higher education VET programmes

Higher education VET programmes have been fully integrated into higher education since 2013, therefore the qualification and further training requirements of VET teachers/trainers involved are regulated and vary by institutions.

VET teachers and trainers in adult training

Adult training legislation – effective for programmes that award an NVQR qualification or receive funding from the central budget or the training levy – makes a distinction between (a) instructors of vocational theory (VET teachers), (b) instructors of vocational practice (in-company trainers) and (c) instructors of language education. The former must hold a relevant VET teacher qualification or at least a relevant higher education degree or any higher education degree and a relevant vocational qualification. Those who instruct practical training must have at least a relevant vocational qualification and five years professional experience.

The continuous training of teachers and trainers working in public education (where VET schools are found) ([109]VET schools operate following (both the public education and) the VET act which regulates VET within the lower-, upper- and post-secondary levels (in public education and also in adult training). It does not regulate vocational programmes offered in higher education.) are regulated by the public education act. The VET act regulates the qualification requirements of in-company trainers but make no provision for the continuous professional development of in-company trainers (see table below).

Teachers and trainers employed in VET schools, 2018

Title/ tasks and responsibilities

In-service training

General subject teacher/ Teaching general education subjects

Compulsory in-service training of 120 hours at least once every seven years (can be accomplished by accredited in-service training, formal education and even some forms of non-formal and informal learning)

Vocational teacher/ Teaching vocational theoretical subjects

Vocational teacher or trainer/ Teaching vocational practical subjects in the school

Instructor at an enterprise (in-company trainer) / Instructing vocational practice at an enterprise

No compulsory in-service training

Source: VET and Public education acts.

Teachers/trainers who have not obtained a new degree or qualification in the past seven years must participate in in-service training that contributes to the renewal of their knowledge and skills. School leaders are required to attend courses that develop leadership skills, including those that prepare for the pedagogical professional examination, available in postgraduate specialisation programmes (ISCED 667 or 768).

The public education act of 2011 introduced a teacher career model that is divided into five categories, with each corresponding to specific career options, differentiated remunerations and possibilities to be promoted. Special provisions concerning VET teachers were introduced in 2015 and 2017, to promote the employment of practitioners with professional experience. An education inspection system was introduced in public education in 2015 that involves external experts to support the assessment and quality development of teachers’ work.

There are no legal requirements concerning the in-service training of in-company trainers.

VET teachers and trainers in adult training

In-service training for adult training instructors is not mandatory, but adult training providers have to operate a quality assurance system, including procedures to ensure the continuous training and quality of instructors. Current practice shows great variety in this respect and most adult training providers offer further training for their (full-time) instructors on an occasional basis only.

More information is available in the Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspective on teachers and trainers ([110]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/teachers-and-trainers).

Labour market forecasts

Short-term labour market forecasts have been produced by the labour organisation since 1991, since 2005 in cooperation with the Institute for Economic and Enterprise Research of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry ([111]Magyar Kereskedelmi és Iparkamara Gazdaság- és Vállalkozáskutató Intézet (MKIK GVI).). Forecasts are made annually, based on a stratified sample of companies, representative for sector and size. They provide information about current and prospective layoffs and demand by sector and occupation groups ([112]https://mmpp.hu).

The labour departments of county government offices also regularly prepare quarterly analyses of prospective layoffs and opening positions planned by companies in the following three and 12 months. These are based on data reported to the given county office ([113]https://nfsz.munka.hu/Lapok/full_afsz_kozos_statisztika/afsz_negyedeves_munkaerogazd_felmeres.aspx).

Since 2008, the Economic and Enterprise Research of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK GVI) also prepares annual surveys on labour market supply and demand specifically for skilled workers over the course of the next one and four years. These include qualitative information about employers’ satisfaction with the general and vocational competences of VET graduates ([114]http://gvi.hu/kutatasaink/szakkepzes). Data are collected by the local chambers. The results assist county development and training committees to make informed recommendations to the minister responsible for VET about enrolment in VET schools (see section: VET funding mechanisms) and to prepare the county-level lists of qualifications in-demand that serve as the basis of allocating additional funds to learners and enterprises.

One of the tasks of the newly (2018) established sectoral skills councils will be to prepare short and mid-term forecasts to define the directions and objectives of VET development and to propose updates of qualifications and curricula.

Career tracking of VET graduates

The VET act foresees data collection (by graduates, VET providers and employers) for career tracking in the formal school system and in adult training ([115]Programmes leading to State-recognised VET qualifications included in the national register of vocational qualifications or programmes financed by national funds.), implementation is yet pending.

The National Office for VET and Adult Learning will run the national career tracking system of VET graduates, collecting data from the National Tax and Customs Administration ([116]Nemzeti Adó és Vámhivatal (NAV).), the pension insurance system and the public education information system.

Currently, a national project co-financed by ESF ([117]GINOP-6.2.4-VEKOP/16 project titled Developing the quality and content of 21st century VET and adult training.) is developing a system of VET graduate tracking.

Annual VET supply and demand surveys conducted by the Economic and Enterprise Research of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK GVI) included ‘career tracking snapshots’ to map the labour-market success of those who acquired an in-demand vocational qualification through apprenticeship training. Different methodologies have been used; the latest in 2018 involves surveying a sample of learners in their last school year and then seven-eight months and again 19-20 months after graduation.

In higher education, a ‘hybrid’ system of graduate career monitoring ([118]Diplomás Pályakövető rendszer (DPR).) combining national and institutional level tracking was developed with ESF support in 2008-10. This is based on a different methodological approach (survey of graduates using a questionnaire, three and five years after graduation), and the results and analysis of the DPR ([119]https://www.felvi.hu/felsooktatasimuhely/dpr) data collection are published annually.

See also Cedefop’s skills forecast ([120]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/skills-forecast) and European Skills Index ([121]https://skillspanorama.cedefop.europa.eu/en/indicators/european-skills-index).

The national vocational qualifications register (NVQR)

The national vocational qualifications register lists all formal vocational qualifications (full, partial and add-on) regulated by the 2011 VET act ([122]NVQR (Országos Képzési Jegyzék, OKJ). The register does not include higher VET (EQF level 5) programmes which are regulated by the higher education act.). Qualifications may be acquired by completing a vocational programme, meeting all the complex vocational and examination requirements set for a given qualification and passing the final complex exam. Some of the qualifications in the register can be obtained only within the formal school system, some only in adult training, the rest in both forms. The register was created in 1993 and has since been regularly reviewed and amended ([123]Systemic reforms of the OKJ included aligning it with the ISCED (1995) and the Hungarian Unified Job Classification System (Foglalkozások Egységes Osztályozási Rendszere (FEOR) (1996), introducing occupational groups (2001), a modularised and competence-based qualification structure (2006), a sectoral system (2012) and most recently, alignment with the European qualifications framework (EQF).).

Three types of qualifications are available:

  • a vocational qualification entitles its holder to perform all jobs related to one or several occupations; its vocational and examination requirements typically include several qualification-specific modules as well as modules shared by two or more qualifications;
  • a partial vocational qualification entitles its holder to perform at least one job and its vocational and examination requirements contain only some of all modules of a qualification; no programmes to award it can be launched within the formal school system, except for vocational programmes for SEN learners and the vocational bridging programme;
  • an add-on vocational qualification can be obtained by those who have already obtained a vocational qualification; it typically includes only qualification-specific modules and entitle its holder to perform a new job that requires higher level expertise.

The classification of the register (seven-digit identification number) specifies the level of qualification, if it can be acquired in the formal school system or in adult learning, and the training field for each qualification. Detailed other data are also included in the NVQR register ([124]NVQR table is an annex of the government decree publishing it. Other information included in the register refers to occupational group; vocational grammar school sector; duration in number of years in VET within the school system; duration in number of class hours in VET outside the school system; learning form (full time, evening, correspondence or other in VET within the school system or course work or distance learning in VET outside the school system; level in the national qualifications framework (NQF) (Magyar Képesítési Keretrendszer, MKKR); and the responsible minister.).

Vocational and examination requirements (SZVK)

Standards of a qualification included in the national register (NVQR) are defined in its vocational and examination requirements ([125]Szakmai és vizsgakövetelmények (SZVK).) - published as a decree of the responsible minister - that specify (among others):

  • its entry requirements;
  • the jobs that can be performed by those holding this qualification and the occupational profile;
  • share of theoretical and practical training;
  • duration of summer practice;
  • learning outcomes: identification numbers of its ‘vocational requirements’ modules (see below); and
  • assessment standards: ‘examination requirements’, including any preconditions (e.g., foreign language exam) and the content and form of the exam activities.

Vocational requirements modules

A module may be unique or shared by two or more qualification(s) that belong to the same occupational group or sector. Modules are published in a separate government decree ([126]217/2012 (VIII.9.) government decree on the vocational requirement modules of State-recognised qualifications.) and specify for each work activity:

  • the occupational standards (its ‘task profile’); and
  • the related ‘character profile’ that specifies different types of knowledge and skills required to perform those tasks ([127](i) vocational competences: vocational knowledge and vocational skills; (ii) personal competences (e.g., independence, precision); (iii) social competences (e.g., empathy, comprehensibility); and (iv) method competences (e.g., prudence, practical thinking).) ([128]Though qualification standards were transcribed in learning outcomes as understood in the European qualification framework (EQF) when referencing them to the NQF (Source: Tót, É.; ICF (2016). 2016 update to the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning: country report on Hungary, pp. 3, 8, 10. Report commissioned by Cedefop
    https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/2016_validate_HU.pdf ), the task and character profiles in the SZVKs modules – and the framework curricula based on them – are not yet defined in the form and language of learning outcomes as understood in the EQF.
    ).

Designing and updating qualifications and standards

Any institution or person can initiate the deletion, modification or introduction of a vocational qualification in the NVQR register by submitting a proposal to the minister responsible for the given qualification (sector). The initiating institution or person must provide detailed justification for the amendment ([129]Supported by:
(a) a discussion of its objective and what alternative options to reach the same result have been considered;
(b) the estimated number of expected training participants per year;
(c) a list of training providers willing to provide the practical and the theoretical training; and
(d) a forecast of the national employment service on the number of jobs that will be available to be taken with the qualification proposed.
).

Proposals are first reviewed by the National Office of VET and Adult Learning ([130]Nemzeti Szakképzési és Felnőttképzési Hivatal (NSZFH).). Social partners are involved in the process through the National VET and Adult Learning Council ([131]Nemzeti Szakképzési és Felnőttképzési Tanács (NSZFT).), whose opinion is consulted by the minister responsible for VET before making a final decision ([132]Social partners participated also in the National Qualification Committee (Nemzeti Képesítési Bizottság, NKB) that was responsible for the continuous development of VET qualification structure and content until 1 July 2018.). Social partners and experts (practitioners as well as teachers) ([133]Teacher experts chosen from the national register of vocational experts who can participate in such development work.) were involved in all major VET qualifications development projects initiated by the government.

Standards can also be updated without modifying the national register, by the amendment of the SZVKs/vocational requirement modules only. In that case, SZVKs are developed by practitioners and teacher experts, commissioned by the responsible body/agency. The Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry ([134]Magyar Kereskedelmi és Iparkamara (MKIK).) has played a special role in qualification design, it was responsible for developing the standards of the majority of qualifications (those that are required for manual jobs). Their role in qualification design is being reviewed in 2019 in relation to the responsibilities of the newly set up sectoral skills councils.

Sectoral skills councils

Under a 2017 amendment to the VET act, as of 1 July 2018, the chamber of commerce coordinates the operation of the newly established sectoral skills councils (SSCs) ([135]Ágazati készségtanácsok.). In case of sectors which fall within the competence of the Minister for Agriculture (including also forestry, food industry and fisheries), this task will be carried out with the involvement of the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture ([136]Nemzeti Agrárkamara (NAK).).

On the government’s initiative ([137]Following a pilot phase with 13 SSCs created in 2017.), 18 SSCs covering 41 economic sectors, each with 7-19 members, were set up in 2018. These are voluntary associations of stakeholders in a given sector that will support and promote the design, update and development of qualifications standards and align them with labour market and employer demands. Their work includes:

  • monitoring of labour market trends and technological developments;
  • making proposals for new/updated qualifications in the national register and training programmes and skills;
  • making forecasts to share short- and medium-term strategies.

Framework curricula in IVET

VET schools have to prepare their own local VET curricula based on centrally prepared framework curricula issued for each VET qualification in the national register: these define the vocational subjects to be taught and their content and class hours, based on the vocational and examination requirements ([138]SZVK). They are issued in a decree by the minister responsible for VET and adult training ([139]Currently, the Minister for Innovation and Technology.), with the approval of the minister responsible for education ([140]Currently, the Minister of Human Capacities.) and the minister responsible for the given qualification. The protocol of designing and updating framework curricula is defined by the minister responsible for VET and adult training. Curricula are developed by commissioned teacher experts and practitioners and then validated by the National Office of VET and Adult learning.

The local curriculum of general education provided in VET schools is prepared by the schools based on the National Framework Curriculum published in a government decree as well as framework curricula published by the minister responsible for education.

Standards and curricula in adult training

  • Adult training courses that award a VET qualification included in the national vocational qualifications register have to observe the same standards (vocational requirement modules - SZVKs) and framework curricula as those applied in formal school education;
  • Concerning other vocational courses not included in the national vocational qualifications register, adult training providers are free to design and deliver their own curricula and they have to observe regulations of the Adult training act only if the training is financed from the State budget or the training levy ([141]See also Section: VET within education and training system - learning forms - adult training.). Curricula of such ‘supported other vocational training’ have to include all data specified in the adult training act and be designed in accordance with a programme listed in the register of ‘adult training vocational programme requirements’ ([142]Felnőttképzési programkövetelmények (FPK).).

The adult training vocational programme requirements are similar to the vocational and examination requirements ([143]SZVKs) in content and function: they define outcome standards along with NQF level, entry requirements/competences, minimum-maximum class hours etc. for each module. They were introduced by the Adult training act of 2013 to promote uniform and transparent standards in adult training.

They can be designed by anyone and submitted to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which is responsible for their registration. Under the chamber guidelines assisting their design, adult training vocational programme requirements have to define learning outcomes for each module, in accordance with the knowledge, skills, attitude and responsibility-autonomy descriptor structure of the Hungarian Qualifications Framework (HuQF/MKKR).

Proposals are approved by a five-member Programme Committee of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which includes three adult training programme experts delegated by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK) ([144]Magyar Kereskedelmi és Iparkamara (Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry).), one delegated by the Chamber of Agriculture (NAK) ([145]Nemzeti Agrárkamara (Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture).) and one by the responsible minister.

The complex vocational examination

State recognised vocational qualifications listed in the national vocational qualifications register are awarded at the final complex vocational examination. The preconditions of sitting this exam are defined in the vocational and examination requirements of the given qualification:

  • in courses provided in adult training, these include passing a final exam in all modules (‘module exam’);
  • in VET provided within the formal school system, the certificate issued upon the successful completion of the reference school year is equivalent to taking these module exams.

At the final complex vocational examination, learners’ competences are assessed in various (written, oral, interactive and/or practical) exam activities (as defined in the vocational and examination requirements) by an independent examination board. The exam board comprises four members: one is the candidate’s teacher/trainer, the others are experts from the national register of examiners. The president of the board is appointed by the minister responsible for VET and adult training. In the case of qualifications overseen by the chamber of commerce – that make up the majority of the qualifications for manual jobs – he/she is appointed from among the experts recommended by the chamber.

In principle, those who fail to meet all vocational and examination requirements of a given qualification may still receive a partial qualification. In practice, however, this seldom happens. Learners can get exemption from taking a module exam in adult training (those that they have previously passed). Learners in VET schools can also get their prior learning recognised during their training, subject to the principal’s decision.

The national quality assurance system of VET provided within the school system – as part of public education - was introduced by the 2011 Public education act from school year 2015/16. It involves regular external pedagogical-professional evaluation (inspection) of teachers, school leaders and schools, based on their self-assessments as well as the analysis of students’ performance at standardised tests. The three elements of evaluation – self-assessment, external inspection and teacher qualification (within the framework of the national teacher career model, that aims to qualify teachers to enter the next teacher category) – are linked and aligned in several aspects (using the same assessment areas and standards), albeit they serve different purposes ([146]Educational Authority (2018). Önértékelési kézikönyv szakképző iskolák számára. Negyedik, javított kiadás [Self-assessment handbook for VET schools: 4th amended edition].
https://www.oktatas.hu/pub_bin/dload/unios_projektek/kiadvanyok/2019_onertekeles/Onertekelesi_kezikonyv_szakkepzes.pdf
See also the Eurydice country report on quality assurance in Hungary:
https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/national-policies/eurydice/content/quality-assurance-early-childhood-and-school-education-29_en
).

Self-assessment must be carried out once every five years by all teachers and schools and by school leaders in the 2nd and 4th year of their mandate. Based on their self-evaluation identifying outstanding areas and areas for development, teachers, school leaders and schools prepare five-year development plans and carry out organisational and personal development programmes.

The national external evaluation (inspection) aims to evaluate teachers, school leaders and schools with the primary objective of supporting their professional development. It is carried out in all public education institutions once every five years by the Educational Authority (the inspection of a school must be preceded by or conducted in parallel to the inspection of school leaders). The experts involved in the inspection process are peers with significant professional experience in the given sector, chosen from the national register of educational experts. Based on uniform as well as sector-specific standards and using various methods (document analysis, observation, interviews, parent and student surveys) the inspection assesses:

  • teachers’ pedagogical work in the eight teacher competence areas (as defined in the common teacher qualification standards);
  • school leaders’ leadership performance in five areas, including relations with companies providing practical training for IVET students; and
  • the quality of pedagogical-professional work, implementation of the pedagogical programme and development in target areas of the school.

From school year 2018/19, the evaluation standards for VET have been adapted to the EQAVET framework ([147]Educational Authority (2018). Országos tanfelügyelet. Kézikönyv szakképző iskolák számáa. Ötödik, javított kiadás. [National educational inspection. Handbook for VET schools: 5th amended edition].
https://www.oktatas.hu/pub_bin/dload/unios_projektek/kiadvanyok/2019_psze/PSZE_szakkepzesi_kezikonyv.pdf
). Based on the results of the inspection:

  • teachers and school leaders update their five-year development plans; and
  • the school leader prepares a five-year action plan setting out development measures for the school, which is approved by the teachers.

The quality assurance of companies that provide practical training to VET school students is ensured by their accreditation and monitoring by the chambers of economy in cooperation with the VET school. The inspection covers checking the adequacy of personal and material conditions and the fulfilment of legal regulations regarding training provision.

As regards training programmes provided outside the formal school system, the adult training act of 2013 – the scope of which only extends to courses that award an NVQR qualification or are publicly funded – replaced the former system of institutional and programme accreditation by a new system of licensing. Training providers have to apply for a licence that specifies the courses they offer. The license is awarded for an indefinite time by the Pest County Government Office ([148]Since 1 January 2017, instead of the National Office of VET and Adult Learning (NSZFH).), based on the opinion of an expert committee. All providers should apply a quality assurance system, which must be in line with a framework system ([149]Which corresponds to the EQAVET framework:
http://eqavet.nive.hu/#!/grafikon|part=0
) defined by the minister responsible for VET and adult training.

Hungary does not have a nationwide validation system based on uniform principles and procedures. The validation of non-formal and informal learning outcomes appears in some policy documents as an important tool for lifelong learning but there is no evidence of an explicit national strategy ([150]Source: Tot, E.; ICF (2016). 2016 update to the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning: country report on Hungary, p.3. Commissioned by Cedefop.
https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/2016_validate_HU.pdf
). Arrangements for recognition of prior learning in place in 2018 are presented below.

The VET act provides for the opportunity to recognise previous work experience in the completion of vocational practical training, subject to the principal’s decision. Learners in VET schools can also get their prior learning recognised during their training, subject to the principal’s decision.

Furthermore, in adult training, those who have not participated in training can also take the module exams ([151]See Section: shaping VET qualifications - design - The complex vocational examination.) and then the complex vocational exam. However, though compared to general and higher education, VET is closer to the learning outcomes approach since standards are modularised and defined in competences, one of the main obstacles to the validation of prior learning is that educational and assessment standards are not yet defined in terms of genuine learning outcomes ([152]Tót, É.; ICF (2016). 2016 update to the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning: country report on Hungary, pp. 3, 8, 10. Report commissioned by Cedefop.
https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/2016_validate_HU.pdf
).

Under the adult training act of 2013, assessment of learners’ prior learning (competences) is compulsory in adult training courses that provide a vocational qualification listed in the national vocational qualifications register and in State-supported foreign language courses; in other publicly supported training programmes it must be carried out upon the request of the applicant.

Validation of prior learning in vocational courses not leading to a qualification included in the national vocational qualification register is also promoted by the fact that curricula must be based on adult training vocational programme requirements, which must be defined in terms of learning outcomes. However, assessment of prior learning is often more like a placement test that aims primarily to sort learners into ability groups and thus to increase the efficiency of training ([153]Idem, p. 6.).

For more information about arrangements for the validation of non-formal and informal learning please visit Cedefop’s European database ([154]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/european-database-on-validation-of-non-formal-and-informal-learning).

Supporting skills for jobs especially in skilled workers’ training, raising the attractiveness of and participation in VET as well as promoting apprenticeship have been high in the policy agenda in recent years. Incentives are in place to support these goals.

Financial incentives in IVET

  • regular allowance and other benefits for learners in work-based training: pay during the summer practice (cooperation agreements) or monthly salary (apprenticeship contracts, see also below). The amount of payment is regulated by the VET act: it is linked to the minimum wage but varies according to the share of practical training in the programme, its form of delivery and learners’ performance and diligence;
  • the ‘Adolf Szabóky VET scholarship’ programme ([155]Previously called ‘the VET school stipend programme’, launched in 2010.) encourages learners to enter VET and train for ‘qualifications in-demand’ (hiányszakképesítés) included in a list established by the local county development and training committees ([156]Eligible students, i.e., those who participate in a full-time vocational programme to obtain their first vocational qualification, one that is included in the county list of ‘qualifications in-demand’, receive a lump sum of HUF 10 000 (EUR 32) per month in the first semester of the first VET grade. In the subsequent semester(s), those with an average attainment of at least 2.51 in a secondary vocational school or 3.01 in a vocational grammar school (on a grading system of 1 to 5) and at most seven hours of unauthorised absence, receive a monthly stipend of up to HUF 30 000 (EUR 96) or HUF 50 000 (EUR 159) in a secondary vocational school programme (EQF 4) or vocational grammar school programme (EQF 4), respectively, depending on their school performance. The number of beneficiaries grew from 16 844 in the 2nd semester of school year 2014/15 to 33 037 in the first semester of school year 2017/18.);
  • the ‘Road to an occupation’ (Út a szakmához) scholarship programme targets early leavers; it offers a small amount of monthly scholarship to disadvantaged learners in VET schools ([157]This programme was originally launched in 2005, as a sub-programme of the multi-component programme ‘Supply for the trip’ (Útravaló). In school year 2017/18, a total programme budget of HUF 580 million (EUR 1.9 million) was available from the ‘Roma scholarships’ section of the central State budget to provide a monthly amount of HUF 7 000 to 13 000 (EUR 23 to 42) to students (depending on their school performance) and HUF 7 000 (EUR 23) to their mentors for 10 months.);
  • the regular stipend ([158]Monthly scholarship of HUF 8 000 (EUR 25) in the first and HUF 10 000 (EUR 47) in the second year, provided since 2015.) provided to participants of the vocational bridging programme; and additional funding for the payment of teachers in these programmes; and
  • some local scholarship programmes for VET school learners, especially in counties with significant industrial activity.

In apprenticeships:

  • monthly salary;
  • paid sick leave/maternity leave;
  • time spent in apprenticeship counts towards pension;
  • reduced cost meals, reimbursement of travel costs, safety and work clothes and other mandatory benefits.

Competitions and media campaigns such as

  • WorldSkills and EuroSkills (2018, held in Budapest);
  • the excellent student of the trade competition for IVET learners in programmes run under the supervision of the Chamber of Commerce;
  • final rounds of VET study competitions at the annual Trade Star Festival.

Financial incentives for adult learners

  • financial remuneration and other benefits provided to apprentices; apprenticeships are available in adult education since 2015. The number and share of adult education participants in skilled workers’ training have nearly tripled in the past three years and have also increased in vocational grammar schools ISCED 344 upper secondary and ISCED 454 post-secondary programmes ([159]See also Section 5 – Share of learners in adult education in VET schools (%), 2010-18);
  • an opportunity to obtain two VET qualifications within the formal school system free of charge:
    • the first one either in full time education (by the age of 25, or at any age in adult education ([160]In any of the flexible adult education forms: full-time (90% of regular full-time), evening courses, distance learning.);
    • the second one in adult education ([161]Up to age 25 in full time adult education, or at any age, part-time (evening courses););
    • acquire (free of charge) ‘add-on’ qualifications built on the first or second VET qualification included in the national register;
    • learners with multiple disadvantages ([162]Criteria defined by law.) or special education needs can obtain any number of qualifications free of charge, and they can study in full time learning at any age;
  • training support ([163]Reimbursement of tuition fees, related expenses (travel and accommodation costs), cost of family member/child care as well as provision of supplementary/compensatory payment.) through the national employment service available to the unemployed and vulnerable groups ([164]The unemployed, women on child care support, people on rehabilitation support, people participating in public work programme and those at risk of becoming unemployed.). Beneficiaries are selected and assisted to choose sector, a qualification-in-demand and a training provider among those available at county level; employers may also launch supported training programmes if they will provide immediate employment;
  • central, regional and county labour market programmes. These include - in addition to financial - other individual psycho-social support, mentoring, work placement or temporary employment and entrepreneurial support. ESF-supported training programmes are in place ([165]Currently with target groups such as: the unemployed in the 25-64 age group and those in public work programmes (Road to the labour market); young people aged 15-24 not in training nor in employment (Youth Guarantee); or those at risk of becoming redundant (Preventing and tackling redundancy). Under the coordination of the National Office of VET and Adult Learning, two ESF-supported programmes for people with low qualifications are also in place.).

Among job seekers participating in labour market training programmes in 2017 71% of beneficiaries were in the age group 25-54 (24% under 25), 59% were women; in terms of level of qualifications they had at most lower secondary education (39%) or a VET qualification (40%).

Learners in training organised by employers are mostly men (75%), aged 25-54 (81%) with a VET qualification (67%). Most attended training for the unemployed (and public workers) and youth guarantee programmes for NEETs.

  • The labour code includes a right to training leave/benefits ([166]Paid or unpaid and support measures, such as pay tuition fees, costs of training materials and examination fees, possibly also travel and accommodation costs, etc.) for employees to attend primary education or under a study contract concluded between the employee and the employer ([167]Tnulmányi szerződés.). In the latter case, after the end of the training programmes, employees are bound to remain in employment for a definite period of time ([168]Usually as long as the duration of the training programme, but maximum five years.).

Incentives for companies to train VET learners

Training costs of VET learners (based on a cooperation agreement with a VET school or an apprenticeship contract with a learner) may be deducted from the training levy and claimed (costs not covered by this amount) from the National Employment Fund (NFA) training sub-fund, on a per capita rate of deductible/reimbursable costs differentiated by qualification (see Section: Funding).

Training providers training apprentices can also spend a part of their training levy on financing workshop development, payment of in-company trainers (in the case of SMEs) and workshop maintenance (in case of training 9th grade VET learners).

Hospitals and other non-profit organisations ([169]Budgetary organisations, foundations, associations, church legal persons, etc.) can also claim training costs from the NFA training sub-fund.

The minister responsible for VET can also provide financial support from the NFA training sub-fund for companies to create or develop training workshops ([170]In 2017, such financial support was given to set up six workshops.). School-based VET trainers ([171]Called practical training managers; since 2015, this formal function is obligatory in all State-maintained VET schools if the number of students is more than 200.) ensure cooperation between companies and the VET schools.

Incentives for companies to provide training for employees

Companies may use part of the training levy they are obliged to pay to co-finance their employees’ vocational and foreign language training. This option is mostly used by large companies, due to strict applicable criteria ([172]This option is only available for companies that also provide practical training to at least 30 apprentices (VET school students) and only up to at most 16.5% of the amount of their training levy.).

The 2017 amendment of the Adult training act extended the definition of ‘internal training’ to include training programmes of the company’s suppliers’ and partners’ employees as well and facilitated short VET or language training courses (at most 30 hours).

Companies may also be supported financially by the State to offer training to employees if they create new jobs for at least 50 people or may participate in ESF-supported training actions for the professional development of their employees (either in-company training or other courses purchased from other training providers). In 2018, ESF support is ensured for two-year training projects targeting large companies and SMEs (respectively EUR 318 000 and EUR 159 000, corresponding to 50-70% of the total training costs).

Career guidance and counselling activities are overseen by the ministry of education as well as the ministry responsible for VET and adult training. Under the VET act, primary schools, VET schools, school maintainers, the chambers of economy, employer and employee associations, the county development and training committees (see Section 2.4) and the national employment service are all involved in such activities, coordinated by the latter. Since 2015 the National Office of VET and Adult Learning (NSZFH) is responsible for the development and supervision of lifelong guidance in VET. It set up a career orientation work team in 2015 to survey and coordinate the career orientation activities of VET centres (the majority of VET schools, see Section 2.4) and develop methodological guidelines. Based on their activities, a large-scale national career orientation event, called the ‘Night of Trades’, was introduced in 2016 (see below).

Under the public education act, career orientation of learners is a responsibility of the teachers. The National Core Curriculum defines it as an important development task, to be provided mainly as part of the ‘Way of life and practical skills’ subject area in lower secondary education. Career guidance and counselling services for primary and secondary school learners are also provided ([173]NSZFH (Euroguidance Hungary), 2017.) by:

  • the county/capital pedagogical counselling services, whose tasks include career counselling of (recommendation of school and training programme type for) learners, based on the professional analysis of their competences, attitudes and interests;
  • the local chambers of economy, who provide career orientation and information services, especially regarding qualifications in high demand on the labour market, by organising career orientation events, factory visits, skills contests for primary school learners, etc.;
  • the 44 VET centres (see Section 2.4), which provide information about their vocational programmes both to learners and adults looking for adult education/adult training opportunities. Currently, 788 teachers provide career orientation services in VET centres and their member schools, i.e., roughly two people in each school (source: NSZFH).

The most important tools of career orientation and guidance targeting primary and secondary school learners include open days in VET schools and career exhibitions and expos ([174]Examples include the Technical career orientation festival in six cities (
http://miapalya.mee.hu/mi_ez_a_fesztival) or the ’Build your future!’ professional expo for the building industry in eight cities (
https://www.epitsdajovod.com).
). Such events are often organised by some or all of the above actors in cooperation with the employment departments of government offices. In 2016, initiated by the career orientation work team of the National Office of VET and Adult Learning, a new nationally coordinated annual event was introduced. On the ‘Night of Trades’, VET schools organise local career orientation events on the same day at the same time (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.) throughout the country ([175]https://szakmakejszakaja.hu/index.php). In 2017, 8 706 teachers in 423 schools in 151 settlements organised 4 647 different activities (exhibitions, interactive programmes, factory visits etc.) at this event, that was visited by nearly 70 000 people. The primary objective is to increase the attractiveness of VET among the wider public and to provide an opportunity for schools to present themselves. An important tool for this is allowing visitors to ‘taste’ different vocations and thus obtain hands-on experiences.

Career guidance and counselling in higher education is offered at career centres that operate in most higher education institutions. Information about HE programmes, including higher education VET, is available on a website of the Education Office ([176]http://www.felvi.hu).

Adults, unemployed as well as employed people, can obtain career information and counselling at the employment departments of the county/capital government offices. A network of Employment Information Counselling centres (Foglalkozási Információs Tanácsadó, FIT központok) operates as part of these, allowing access to tools (films, brochures, tests etc.) that assist career choice and provide career information. Career information and guidance are offered also by some companies, non-profit organisations, county community centres and family service offices.

Online career information, guidance and counselling is available on the National Career Guidance Portal (Nemzeti Pályaorientációs Portál) ([177]https://npp.munka.hu). It provides information on occupations in various formats, links to relevant databases, career orientation tests, online counselling as well as methodological support materials to various target groups, including primary and secondary school learners, adults, parents, experts and institutions.

Please see:

Vocational education and training system chart

Tertiary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 5

Higher education VET

programmes,

2 years,

WBL 40-80%

ISCED 554

Higher education VET programmes leading to EQF level 5, ISCED 554 (felsőoktatási szakképzés)
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

554

Usual entry grade

n/a

Usual completion grade

n/a

Usual entry age

18

Usual completion age

20

Length of a programme (years)

2

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Schooling is compulsory for learners up to 16 years old.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

It can be considered as CVET when the learner has previously received an NVQR ([287]The National vocational qualifications register (NVQR) includes all State-recognised vocational qualifications regulated by the 2011 VET act.) vocational qualification.

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

These programmes are offered both in State-financed and self-financed form. Learners can participate in State-financed higher education for up to at most 12 semesters (total allowance for higher education VET, bachelor and master programmes). Quotas are defined annually for the number of learners who may be admitted to State-financed education.

Is it available for adults?

Y

In higher education the same programme may be offered in full or part time or distance learning forms ([286]Part-time forms involve at least 30% and at most 50% of the number of class hours in full time form; distance learning is defined as involving less than 30% of class hours in full-time education.).

ECVET or other credits

120 (ECTS) credit points ([285]https://ec.europa.eu/education/resources-and-tools/the-european-credit-system-for-vocational-education-and-training-ecvet_en)

Graduates can transfer 30-90 credits to a bachelor programme in the same field.

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • full-time education;
  • part-time education (evening or correspondence, in 30-50% of class hours of full-time education);
  • distance learning (30% of class hours)
  • minimum 14-week company-based practice (if it is provided in a block of six or more weeks, it must be organised on the basis of a cooperation agreement between the HE institution and the company; in this case, the company also has to make a student work contract with the learner) ([288]Dual training in higher education is only available in bachelor and master programmes (but ‘dual training’ is different from ‘dual VET’ offered in VET school programmes).).
Main providers

Higher education institutions

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

= 40-80% ([289]The share of practice is defined in the standards – called ’training and qualification requirements’, képzési és kimeneti követelmények (KKK) – of higher education programmes. The most typical is WBL 60-70%.)

Higher education VET programmes include a mandatory, one-semester-long (minimum 14 weeks) period of company-based practice in the last (4th) semester. In case that is provided in a block of six or more weeks, it must be organised on the basis of a cooperation agreement between the higher education institution and the company. The company then also has to make a student work contract (hallgatói munkaszerződés) with the student.

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • practical training at the HE institution
  • practical training at a company (if provided in a block of six or more weeks, on the basis of a cooperation agreement between the school and the company as well as a student work contract between the learner and the company)
Main target groups

Learners with the secondary school leaving certificate (ISCED 344), who wish to obtain a higher level certificate in a short and flexible programme. Transferability of credits can also help transition to bachelor level education.

In 2017/18, only 4.3% of all learners in higher education studied in these programmes.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

Entry requirements are:

  • holding the upper secondary school certificate (ISCED 344);
  • higher education VET providers might also require previous VET studies.
Assessment of learning outcomes

Learners who completed all study and examination requirements and the professional practice specified in the curriculum obtain the final certificate (abszolutórium). The higher education VET qualification is awarded at the final exam (záróvizsga) that involves defending a thesis and may also have oral, written and practical parts ([290]A State-recognised foreign language proficiency certificate is also a precondition of obtaining some (but not all) of these qualifications.).

Diplomas/certificates provided

Higher education VET programmes award an ISCED 554 vocational qualification (not included in the OKJ ([291]The national vocational qualifications register, which includes VET qualifications delivered in public education (for VET, this includes secondary and post-secondary levels) or in adult training) since 2013).

Examples of qualifications

Economist assistant in tourism and catering specialised in tourism’, network information technology engineer assistant ([292]These are higher education vocational qualifications, not a higher education degrees.)

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Learners having completed higher education VET programmes may:

  • progress to a bachelor programme (where they can transfer 30-90 credits in the same field); or
  • enter the labour market.
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

Although higher education legislation permits earning (ECTS) credits by validation (of prior learning/work experience), at least one-third of the credits must be earned in the institution issuing the qualification ([293]Tót, É.; ICF (2016). 2016 update to the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning: country report on Hungary, p. 5. Report commissioned by Cedefop.
https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/2016_validate_HU.pdf
) and it is not possible to acquire the higher education VET qualification by validation only.

General education subjects

N

Curricula of these programmes are modularised and involve:

  • a shared competence module of all higher education VET programmes (12 credits), including development of labour market, foreign language, VET and financial information and communication competences;
  • a shared module of all programmes in a training field (21 credits, including a shared module of the training branch of 15 credits);
  • a VET module (87 credits, including practical training of 30 credits and a specialisation module of 15 credits).
Key competences

Y

Some key competence development is included in the shared competence module of all higher education VET programmes (12 credits) that involves labour market, foreign language, VET and financial information and communication competences.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

The standards (called ‘training and qualification requirements’) of higher education VET programmes define learning outcomes in terms of knowledge, skills, attitudes and autonomy and responsibility.

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

In 2017/18, only 4.3% of all learners in higher education studied in these programmes.

3.9% (2017/18) ([294]Share of learners in higher ISCED 554 VET programmes compared to the total number of learners in secondary, post-secondary VET and higher education VET programmes (all levels, but excluding adult training provided outside the formal school system); 3.4% of full time learners. Source: Central Statistical Office STADAT database:
https://www.ksh.hu/stadat_eves_2_6 and Educational Authority KIR database:
https://www.oktatas.hu/felsooktatas/kozerdeku_adatok/felsooktatasi_adatok_kozzetetele/felsooktatasi_statisztikak
)

Post-secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 5

School-based practice-oriented

programmes,

1-2 years,

WBL 27-64%

ISCED 454

Post-secondary VET (vocational grammar school) programmes leading to EQF level 5, ISCED 454 (szakgimnázium szakképző évfolyamok)
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

454

Usual entry grade

13

Usual completion grade

13

14 ([265]For those that are coming from upper-secondary VET but continue in a different vocational grammar school sector, as well as for those who have no prior VET learning the programme takes two-years instead of one. There is also a grade 15 for those who pursue an add-on qualification.)

Usual entry age

18 ([266]Or a year later for those coming from a five-year vocational grammar school ISCED 344 programme (one with an additional language year).)

Usual completion age

19 or 20 ([267]Or a year later for those coming from a five-year vocational grammar school ISCED 344 programme (one with an additional language year). A year later (20) also if studying in a different sector.)

Length of a programme (years)

1 or 2 ([264]Graduates of upper secondary vocational grammar school ISCED 344 programmes that enrol in post-secondary VET in a different sector will complete the programme in two years; learners without any VET prior learning and certificate will also complete the programme in two years.)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Schooling is compulsory for learners up to 16 years old.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

([270]These programmes are also available to those who have already obtained an VET qualification included in the national register of vocational qualifications (NVQR) qualification, to obtain a second one or an add-on qualification. Also, graduates of skilled workers training (ISCED 353) can also obtain a higher level NVQR qualification in these programmes.)

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Public education is free of charge for learners up to the obtainment of two VET qualifications; add-on qualifications may also be offered free of charge.

Is it available for adults?

Y

In adult education (available to learners over 16) the same programme is offered in flexible learning forms ([269]Full-time (90% of regular full-time education, up to age 25), part-time (evening classes, 50%), correspondence courses (10%) or other (e.g. distance learning). See also Section 6. VET learning options.).

ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • regular school-based full-time education;
  • adult education for learners over 16 available in full-time attendance (90% of regular school-based full-time education) ), part time (evening classes, 50%), correspondence courses (10%) or other (e.g. distance learning) (see also Section 6. VET learning options);
  • practical training is part of the curriculum of all VET programmes and can be delivered in school workshops and/or at companies (see sections on WBL)
Main providers

VET schools that provide these types of programmes ([271]VET schools can provide one or more types of VET programmes. Beside the State, church and business entities, foundations, associations, etc., can also found and maintain public education institutions; private providers can also provide public education services. . The maintainer of most State-maintained VET schools is the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (these schools are integrated into 44 vocational centres with 380 member schools), except for schools providing VET in the sector of agriculture, which are maintained by the Ministry of Agriculture and belong to the Network of Agricultural VET schools with 46 schools.)

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

= 27-64% ([272]Calculated on the basis of framework curricula of general education (i.e., foreign language education in 4 lessons/week, that make up 11% of the total number of lessons in these post-secondary programmes) and for VET qualifications (based on qualification standards that define the share of vocational practice for the whole four upper secondary +one post-secondary years as varying as 30-70%).)

65% of learners received (the whole or a part of) their practical training in companies 2016/17.

 

Share of students by type of WBL and programme type (%), school year 2016/17

NB: (*) Data on cooperation agreements in ‘vocational schools for SEN learners’ are included under ‘secondary vocational schools’ – except for agreements signed in programmes that award a partial qualification, which are included under ‘vocational school for SEN learners’.
(**) including 103 cooperation agreements signed in vocational bridging programmes.
Source: Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK), KSH STADAT database http://www.ksh.hu/stadat_eves_2_6

 

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • practical training in school workshops
  • practical training in a company based either on a cooperation agreement between the school and the company or an apprenticeship contract between the learner and the company ([273]Since 2015 apprenticeship contracts can be signed also by adult education participants, only in evening and correspondent courses the monthly payment is reduced to 60% and 20% of that provided in full-time education, respectively.)
Main target groups

Programmes are mainly targeting graduates from the secondary school years of vocational grammar school programmes (having already the secondary school leaving certificate as well as prior VET) as well as graduates of grammar schools (having only the secondary school leaving certificate) that wish to acquire a technician qualification at ISCED level 454 ([274]These programmes are the so-called VET years in post-secondary of the vocational grammar school programmes which were last reformed in 2015 (effective from school year 2016/17) by changing their name with the intention to increase attractiveness.). These programmes have also become more easily accessible to graduates of skilled workers training ISCED 353 – those aiming to acquire a higher level technician qualification - since the introduction (in 2012) of the opportunity to enter without the secondary school leaving certificate, but with a craftsman certificate and five years of experience; and also because of the introduction (in 2016/17) of the optional two-year follow-up general education programme in secondary vocational schools that awards the secondary school leaving certificate.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

Entry requirements are:

  • holding the secondary school leaving certificate (ISCED 344, duration is two years, as learners do not have prior VET learning); or
  • holding the VET upper secondary school certificate (ISCED 344); duration is one year if training is followed in the same sector or two years if training is followed in a different sector; or
  • skilled workers without any of the above secondary school leaving certificates, but with an ISCED P 353 NVQR qualification, a master craftsmanship certificate (awarded by the chambers of economy) and five years of work experience may also enrol; duration is one year.
Assessment of learning outcomes

Their framework curricula for VET, based on the vocational and examination requirements of the pursued vocational qualification ([275]All public education (covering secondary and post-secondary levels) VET qualifications are included in the national vocational qualifications register (OKJ / NVQF).) are published by the minister responsible for VET, consulted by the minister of education ([276]Vocational subjects account for 89% of the curriculum, there are only four lessons/week foreign language education in these programmes The local curriculum of general education provided in VET schools is prepared by the schools based on the National Core Curriculum published in a government decree as well as framework curricula published by the minister responsible for education.).

Upon completion, these programmes award an NVQR ([277]The National vocational qualifications register (NVQR) includes all State-recognised vocational qualifications regulated by the 2011 VET act.) qualification at the final complex exam ([278]All public education (covering secondary and post-secondary levels) VET qualifications are included in the national vocational qualifications register (NVQF).). Learners’ competences are assessed in various (written, oral, interactive and/or practical) exam activities (as defined in the vocational and examination requirements) by an independent examination board. In principle, those who fail to meet all requirements may still receive a partial qualification.

Diplomas/certificates provided

VET learners prepare a technician qualification at ISCED level 454 listed in the national vocational qualifications register (NVQR) allowing them to perform several jobs.

Types and levels of NVQR (OKJ in Hungarian) ([279]The National vocational qualifications register (NVQR) includes all State-recognised vocational qualifications regulated by the 2011 VET act.) qualifications delivered in post-secondary vocational grammar school ISCED 454 programmes

NVQR/

OKJ level

Definition

ISCED level (*)

54

advanced level vocational qualification, which requires the secondary school leaving exam certificate and can be obtained primarily in VET provided within the formal school system

4

55

advanced level add-on vocational qualification, which is built on a vocational qualification(s) that requires the secondary school leaving exam certificate and can be obtained primarily in VET provided within the formal school system

4

NB: (*) Qualifications included in the national register refer to attainment levels.

Source: Refernet Hungary, based on 150/2012 (VII.6) Government decree on the OKJ and the procedure of its amendment.

Examples of qualifications

Car mechanic, dental assistant or logistics assistant

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Learners having completed post-secondary vocational grammar school programmes may:

  • move on to higher VET ISCED 554/EQF5;
  • move on to higher education bachelor ISCED 665/EQF6 programmes (where they may get their VET studies recognised in a bachelor programme of the same sector, at the discretion of the HE institution); or
  • enter the labour market.
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

The complex examination that awards NVQR qualifications does not allow for recognition of prior learning (no exemption can be obtained from taking the whole or a part of the exam).

Nevertheless, learners in VET schools can get their prior learning recognised during their training, subject to the principal’s decision. The VET act also provides for the opportunity to recognise previous work experience in the completion of vocational practical training, subject to the principal’s decision.

General education subjects

Y

11% (only one subject: foreign language, in four lessons/week)

Key competences

Y

Curricula involve foreign language education. Standards and framework curricula of NVQR ([280]The National vocational qualifications register (NVQR) includes all State-recognised vocational qualifications regulated by the 2011 VET act.) qualifications define vocational, personal, social and methodological competences, corresponding to the particular task profile, by modules. They comprise several components/parts of key competences ([281]More information is available in Bükki, E. et al. (2016). Key competences in vocational education and training – Hungary. Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspectives series.http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2016/ReferNet_HU_KC.pdf).

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

VET standards (called ‘vocational requirements’) are modularised and defined in competences, but they are not yet defined in terms of genuine learning outcomes ([282]Though qualification standards were transcribed in learning outcomes as understood in the European qualification framework (EQF) when referencing them to the NQF. (Source: Tót, É.; ICF (2016). 2016 update to the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning: country report on Hungary, pp. 3, 8, 10. Report commissioned by Cedefop.)
https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/2016_validate_HU.pdf), the task and character profiles in the vocational requirements modules – and the framework curricula based on them - are not defined in the form and language of learning outcomes (as understood in the EQF).
).

The vocational requirements modules of a VET qualification may be unique or shared by two or more qualification(s) that belong to the same occupational group or sector. They are published in a government decree (and specify for each work activity:

(a) its ‘task profile’ (occupational standards); and

(b) the related ‘character profile’ that specifies different types of knowledge and skills required to perform those tasks ([283]Though qualification standards were transcribed in learning outcomes as understood in the European qualification framework (EQF) when referencing them to the NQF (in a project led by NSZFH), the task and character profiles in the SZVKs – and the framework curricula based on them – are not defined in the form and language of learning outcomes, as understood in the EQF (Tót and ICF, 2016, p. 10).);

  • vocational competences: vocational knowledge and vocational skills;
  • personal competences (e.g., independence, precision);
  • social competences (e.g., empathy, comprehensibility); and
  • method competences (e.g., prudence, practical thinking).
Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

16.1% ([284]2017/18. NB: Compared with the total number of VET learners (secondary, post-secondary and higher education VET programmes) in full-time programmes; excluding VET learners attending part-time programmes; excluding VET learners in adult training programmes provided outside the formal school system. Source: Central Statistical Office STADAT database
https://www.ksh.hu/stadat_eves_2_6 and Educational Authority KIR database:
https://www.oktatas.hu/felsooktatas/kozerdeku_adatok/felsooktatasi_adatok_kozzetetele/felsooktatasi_statisztikak
)

Secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 2-3

Bridging programmes for those

who have completed at most

two years of lower

secondary education

by age 15

ISCED 351, 352,353

Vocational bridging programme leading to EQF level 2-3, ISCED 351, 352 and 353 (szakképzési hídprogram)
EQF level
2-3
ISCED-P 2011 level

351

352

353

Usual entry grade

SZH/1 ([180]The two grades in this programme are named as SZH/1 and SZH/2 (i.e., not as part of the normal numbering 0-12).)

Usual completion grade

SZH/2 ([181]The two grades in this programme are named as SZH/1 and SZH/2 (i.e., not as part of the normal numbering 0-12).)

Usual entry age

15 ([182]Having completed grade 6 at most, but drop-outs younger than 23 can also enrol in the VET bridging programme.)

Usual completion age

17 ([183]Or older, as the programme is accessible also to adults.)

Length of a programme (years)

2 years

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Schooling is compulsory for learners up to 16 years old.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Public education is free of charge for learners up to the obtainment of two VET qualifications

Is it available for adults?

Y

Drop-outs younger than 23 can enrol in the VET bridging programme.

ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • regular school-based full-time education
  • adult education for learners over 16 ([185]However, the vast majority of learners study in regular full time education – in school year 2017/18, only 16 out of 1837 total participants studied in adult education, but even they studied in the full time attendance (90% of regular school-based education) form.)
  • practical training is part of the curriculum of all VET programmes and can be delivered in school workshops and/or at companies
Main providers

VET schools (that provide lower or upper secondary VET) designated by the minister responsible for VET (or by the minister of agriculture in schools in that sector) to provide this type of programme ([186]Beside the State, church and business entities, foundations, associations, etc., can also found and maintain public education institutions; private providers can also provide public education services.)

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

= 7- 41% ([187]The share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies is understood as the share of practical training in the curriculum which is calculated on the basis of the framework curriculum for general education for this programme type (which defines the share of general education and VET) and the standards and the framework curricula of VET qualifications (which define the share of theory and practice within the VET part). As regards the latter, the standards of VET qualifications offered in this programme define the share of practice as between 20% and 70%.) ([188]6.8% of learners received (the whole or a part of) their practical training in companies based on cooperation agreement between the school and the company in 2016/17).)

103 cooperation agreements (Apprenticeships are not available in VET bridging programmes)

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • practical training in the school workshop
  • practical training at a company (based on cooperation agreements, no apprenticeships available)
Main target groups

Bridging programmes were introduced in 2013 to prevent and reduce early leaving from education and training for young people and adults (up to age 23).

The vocational bridging programmes prepare learners to continue studies in upper secondary education by providing complex general competence development as well as VET, to small groups of 8-10 learners.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

Learners who completed at most two years (grade 6) of (four-year) lower secondary education by age 15 must take part in two-year vocational bridging programmes offered in designated VET schools.

Drop-outs younger than 23 can enrol in the VET bridging programmes too.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Upon completion, learners take a final exam where they can obtain a certificate on the completion of lower secondary education (EQF level 2) as well as a complex vocational exam where they can obtain a partial VET qualification included in the national vocational qualifications register (NVQR).

At the complex exam learners’ competences are assessed in various (written, oral, interactive and/or practical) exam activities (as defined in the vocational and examination requirements) by an independent examination board.

Diplomas/certificates provided

VET learners receive two qualifications the lower secondary education EQF 2 certificate (education level completion - alapfokú iskolai végzettség) and a partial VET qualification at ISCED P level 351, 352, 353

Types and levels of NVQR (OKJ in Hungarian) ([189]The National vocational qualifications register (NVQR) includes all State-recognised vocational qualifications regulated by the 2011 VET act.) vocational qualifications delivered in VET bridging programmes

NB: (*) Qualifications included in the national register refer to attainment levels.

Source: Refernet Hungary, based on 150/2012 (VII.6) Government decree on the OKJ and the procedure of its amendment.

Examples of qualifications

‘Kitchen aid’, ‘Computer data recorder’, ‘Animal carer’ or ‘Agricultural worker’

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Learners having completed the VET bridging programme may:

  • enter the labour market;
  • move on to any of the two upper secondary VET tracks delivered at ISCED levels 344 and ISCED level 353 in grade 9.

Learners who do not finish the programme but complete one year can still enter a secondary vocational school programme (three-year ISCED 353 VET programmes) in grade 9 ([190]In lack of a primary school graduation certificate, the conditions of admittance to secondary vocational school ISCED 353 programmes are: (a) reaching the age of 14; and (b) completion of an academic year in the Vocational bridging programme organised in a secondary vocational school.).

However, less than 20% of learners in VET bridging programmes obtain a partial qualification ([191]Ministry of Innovation and Technology (2019). Szakképzés 4.0 A Szakképzés és Felnőttképzés Megújításának Középtávú Stratégiája, a Szakképzési Rendszer Válasza a Negyedik Ipari Forradalom Kihívásaira [VET 4.0 Mid-term strategy of the renewal of VET and adult training: response of the VET system to challenges of the 4th industrial revolution].
https://www.fvsz.hu/files/hirek/rendezv%C3%A9nyek/2019/szakkpzs-4.0-final_fvsz.pdf
).

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Y

Programmes prepare learners to continue studies in upper secondary education by providing complex general competence development as well as VET, to small groups of 8-10 learners.

There are two types of VET bridging programmes depending on the share of general education and VET, which can be 63-37% or 41-59% ([192]Calculated on the basis of class hours defined in the framework curriculum of general education for the vocational bridging programme:
https://www.nive.hu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=713:szakkepzesi-kerettantervek-302016viii31ngmrendelet&catid=10&Itemid=166
).

Key competences

Y

The curriculum of general education is based on the National Core Curriculum that includes key competence development ([193]The list of key competences in the Hungarian NCC differs from that in the EU recommendation of 2006 in one minor aspect. It breaks the EU key competence of ’mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology’ into two separate ones, thus in Hungary there are nine instead of eight key competences. More detailed information is available in: Bükki, E. et al. (2016). Key competences in vocational education and training – Hungary. Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspectives series.
http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2016/ReferNet_HU_KC.pdf
). Three key competences – foreign language, Hungarian language and competences in mathematics, science and technology – are to be developed as stand-alone subjects.

Development of other key competences is described in the outcome requirements of particular school subjects and depends on local school practices. Standards and framework curricula of NVQR qualifications define vocational, personal, social and methodological competences, corresponding to the particular task profile, by modules. They comprise several components/parts of key competences.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

VET standards (called ‘vocational requirements’) are modularised and defined in competences, but they are not yet defined in terms of genuine learning outcomes ([194]Though qualification standards were transcribed in learning outcomes as understood in the European Qualification Framework (EQF) when referencing them to the NQF (Source: Tót, É.; ICF (2016). 2016 update to the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning: country report on Hungary, pp. 3, 8, 10. Report commissioned by Cedefop.
https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/2016_validate_HU.pdf), the task and character profiles in the vocational requirements modules – and the framework curricula based on them - are not defined in the form and language of learning outcomes (as understood in the EQF).
).

The vocational requirements modules of a VET qualification may be unique or shared by two or more qualification(s) that belong to the same occupational group or sector. They are published in a government decree ([195]217/2012 (VIII.9) Government decree on the vocational requirement modules of State-recognised qualifications.) and specify for each work activity:

(a) its ‘task profile’ (occupational standards); and

(b) the related ‘character profile’ that specifies different types of knowledge and skills required to perform those tasks:

  • vocational competences: vocational knowledge and vocational skills;
  • personal competences (e.g., independence, precision);
  • social competences (e.g., empathy, comprehensibility); and
  • method competences (e.g., prudence, practical thinking).
Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

0.8% ([196]2017/18. NB: Compared with the total number of VET learners (secondary, post-secondary and higher education VET programmes); excluding VET learners in adult training programmes provided outside the formal school system. Source: Central Statistical Office STADAT database:
https://www.ksh.hu/stadat_eves_2_6 and Educational Authority KIR database:
https://www.oktatas.hu/felsooktatas/kozerdeku_adatok/felsooktatasi_adatok_kozzetetele/felsooktatasi_statisztikak.
)

The number of participants in VET bridging programmes grew from 1 521 in 2016/17 to 2 581 in 2017/18.

VET for SEN learners

2 or 4 years,

WBL 13 – 47%

ISCED 243, 253, 353

School for skills development for special education needs (SEN) learners leading to EQF level 2, ISCED 243 (készségfejlesztő iskola). Vocational school programmes for special education needs (SEN) learners leading to EQF levels 2-4, ISCED 253/353 (szakiskola)
EQF level
2 school for skills development for SEN learners (készségfejlesztő iskola) 2-4 Vocational school programmes for SEN learners (szakiskola)
ISCED-P 2011 level

243 school for skills development for SEN learners (készségfejlesztő iskola)

 

253/353 Vocational school programmes for SEN learners (szakiskola)

Usual entry grade

9 ([199]The extra preparatory year (előkészítő évfolyam) for students with less severe mental disabilities is called 9/E. and is followed by grade 9. The entry requirement is the primary school certificate (ISCED 244) and an official assessment of the person.)

Usual completion grade

10 or 12

Usual entry age

14 ([200]Programmes target students aged 14-23 in need of special education due to mental or other disabilities.)

Usual completion age

18 school for skills development for SEN learners (készségfejlesztő iskola)

16 (17) or

18 (19) Vocational school programmes for SEN learners (szakiskola) ([201]Programmes that award a partial NVQR qualification are two-year-long, those that award a full NQVR qualification are four-year-long and there is an extra preparatory year for learners with less severe mental disabilities.)

Length of a programme (years)

4 school for skills development for SEN learners (készségfejlesztő iskola) ([197]Two years of general education plus two years of ’practical grades’.)

2-5 Vocational school programmes for SEN learners (szakiskola) ([198]Programmes that award a partial NVQR qualification are two-year-long, those that award a full NQVR qualification are four-year-long and there is an extra preparatory year for students with less severe mental disabilities.)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Schooling is compulsory for learners up to 16 years old.

The programme type targets SEN learners between 14 to 23 years old.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

These programmes are also available to those who have already obtained an NVQR qualification, to obtain a second one, in that sense it can be considered also as CVET.

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Public education is free of charge for learners up to the obtainment of two VET qualifications

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • regular school-based full-time education
  • adult education (for learners over 16) ([203]The target group of this programme is learners with SEN due to different types of disabilities; therefore it is delivered almost exclusively in regular full time education. According to the statistics, merely 18 learners studied in adult education in 2017/18 (and only one learner in the previous year).)
  • practical training is part of the curriculum of all VET programmes and can be delivered in school workshops and/or at companies
Main providers

VET schools that provide these types of programmes ([204]VET schools can provide one or more types of VET programmes. Beside the State, church and business entities, foundations, associations, etc., can also found and maintain public education institutions; private providers can also provide public education services. The maintainer of most State-maintained VET schools is the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (these schools are integrated into 44 vocational centres with 380 member schools), except for schools providing VET in the sector of agriculture, which are maintained by the Ministry of Agriculture and belong to the Network of Agricultural VET schools with 46 schools.)

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

= 13-47 % ([205]The share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies is understood as the share of practical training in the curriculum which is calculated on the basis of the framework curriculum for general education for this programme type (which defines the share of general education and VET) and the standards and framework curricula of VET qualifications (which define the share of theory and practice within the VET part). As regards the latter, the standards of VET qualifications offered in this programme define the share of practice as between 20% and 70%.)

37% of learners received (the whole or a part of) their practical training in companies 2016/17.

 

Share of students by type of company-based learning and programme type (%), school year 2016/17

NB: (*) Data on cooperation agreements in ‘vocational schools for SEN learners’ are included under ‘secondary vocational schools’ – except for agreements signed in programmes that award a partial qualification, which are included under ‘vocational school for SEN learners’;
(**) Including 103 cooperation contracts signed in vocational bridging programmes.
Source: Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK), KSH STADAT database http://www.ksh.hu/stadat_eves_2_6

 

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • practical training in school workshops
  • practical training in a company (in grade 9 only in company workshop dedicated exclusively to training) based either on a cooperation agreement between the school and the company or on an apprenticeship contract between the learner and the company
Main target groups

They target learners aged 14-23 in need of special education due to mental or other disabilities ([206]These programmes were last reformed in 2015 (effective from school year 2016/17) by changing their name with the intention to increase attractiveness.).

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

The entry requirement is the primary school certificate (ISCED 244) and an official assessment of their special needs ([207]Issued by an expert committee of the pedagogical counselling services.).

Assessment of learning outcomes

The four-year school for skills development (készségfejlesztő iskola) offers two years of general education and two years of practical skills development to SEN learners. Upon completion of the last grade, learners obtain a certificate on the completion of secondary education.

The two or four -year vocational school programmes for SEN learners (szakiskola) prepare SEN learners to get a partial or a full OKJ qualification ([208]All public education (covering secondary and post-secondary levels) VET qualifications are included in the national vocational qualifications register (OKJ/NVQF).), depending on the type of disability (they may also include an extra preparatory year for learners with less severe mental disabilities). The NVQR qualification is awarded upon passing the final complex exam. Learners’ competences are assessed in various (written, oral, interactive and/or practical) exam activities (as defined in the vocational and examination requirements) by an independent examination board.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Learners in school for skills development programmes receive an ISCED 243 certificate on the completion of secondary education upon completing the last grade.

VET learners in vocational school programmes for SEN learners receive adapted education and training depending on the type of disability. Learners prepare accordingly a full or a partial NVQR qualification at ISCED levels 253 or 353 (two- and four-year programmes, with an extra preparatory year for learners with less severe mental disabilities).

Types and levels of NVQR (OKJ in Hungarian) ([209]The National vocational qualifications register (NVQR) includes all State-recognised vocational qualifications regulated by the 2011 VET act.) vocational qualifications delivered in vocational school for SEN learners programmes

NVQR/OKJ level

Definition

ISCED level (*)

21

basic level partial vocational qualification, which requires no completed school studies and may be obtained in VET provided outside the formal school system, in a vocational programme for SEN learners or in a Vocational Bridging programme

2

31

lower secondary level partial vocational qualification, which is based on primary school certificate (ISCED 244) or the theoretical and practical knowledge elements defined in its vocational and examination requirements (hereinafter: entry competences), and may be obtained in VET provided outside the formal school system, in a vocational programme for SEN learners or in a Vocational Bridging programme

3

32

lower secondary level vocational qualification, which is based on primary school certificate or the entry competences defined in the vocational and examination requirements and may be obtained in VET provided outside the formal school system

3

34

secondary level vocational qualification, which is based on primary school certificate or the entry competences defined in the vocational and examination requirements and may be typically obtained in VET provided within the formal school system

3

NB: (*) Qualifications included in the national register refer to attainment levels.

Source: Refernet Hungary, based on 150/2012 (VII.6.) Government decree on the OKJ and the procedure of its amendment.

Examples of qualifications

‘Carpenter’, ‘Pastry maker’, ‘Kitchen aid’

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Learners having completed the school for skills development or the vocational school programmes for SEN learners:

  • may enter the labour market;
  • be better prepared for an independent life (those with more severe mental disabilities in the practical skills development track).
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Y

The share of general education and VET is 33-67% or 34-66% in the shorter and longer programmes, respectively ([210]Calculated on the basis of class hours defined in the framework curriculum of general education for vocational school programmes (
http://kerettanterv.ofi.hu). If the extra preparatory year for learners with less severe mental disabilities is also considered (as general education), the share of general education and VET is 46/59%-54/44%.
).

Key competences

Y

The curriculum of general education is based on the National Core Curriculum that includes key competence development ([211]The list of key competences in the Hungarian NCC differs from that in the EU Recommendation of 2006 in one minor aspect. It breaks the EU key competence of ’mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology’ into two separate ones, thus in Hungary there are nine instead of eight key competences. More detailed information is available in Bükki, E. et al. (2016). Key competences in vocational education and training – Hungary. Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspectives series.
http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2016/ReferNet_HU_KC.pdf
). Three key competences – foreign language, Hungarian language and competences in mathematics, science and technology – are to be developed as stand-alone subjects.

Development of other key competences is described in the outcome requirements of particular school subjects and depends on local school practices. Standards and framework curricula of NVQR qualifications define vocational, personal, social and methodological competences, corresponding to the particular task profile, by modules. They comprise several components/parts of key competences.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

VET standards (called ‘vocational requirements’) are modularised and defined in competences, but they are not yet defined in terms of genuine learning outcomes ([212]Though qualification standards were transcribed in learning outcomes as understood in the European Qualification Framework (EQF) when referencing them to the NQF (Source: Tót, É.; ICF (2016). 2016 update to the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning: country report on Hungary, pp. 3, 8, 10. Report commissioned by Cedefop.
https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/2016_validate_HU.pdf ), the task and character profiles in the vocational requirements modules – and the framework curricula based on them - are not defined in the form and language of learning outcomes (as understood in the EQF).
).

The vocational requirements modules of a VET qualification may be unique or shared by two or more qualification(s) that belong to the same occupational group or sector. They are published in a government decree ([213]217/2012 (VIII.9) Government decree on the vocational requirement modules of State-recognised qualifications.) and specify for each work activity:

(a) its ‘task profile’ (occupational standards); and

(b) the related ‘character profile’ that specifies different types of knowledge and skills required to perform those tasks;

  • vocational competences: vocational knowledge and vocational skills;
  • personal competences (e.g., independence, precision);
  • social competences (e.g., empathy, comprehensibility); and
  • method competences (e.g., prudence, practical thinking).
Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

2.3% ([214]2017/18. NB: Compared with the total number of VET learners (secondary, post-secondary and higher education VET programmes) in full- or part-time programmes; excluding VET learners in adult training programmes provided outside the formal school system. Source: Central Statistical Office STADAT database:
https://www.ksh.hu/stadat_eves_2_6, and Educational Authority KIR database:
https://www.oktatas.hu/felsooktatas/kozerdeku_adatok/felsooktatasi_adatok_kozzetetele/felsooktatasi_statisztikak
)

EQF 4

Practice-oriented VET

programmes,

3 years,

WBL 38-45%

ISCED 353

Three-year secondary vocational school (practice-oriented) programmes leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 353 (szakközépiskola)
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

353

Usual entry grade

9

Usual completion grade

11

Usual entry age

14

Usual completion age

17 ([216]19 for those opting for the two-year follow up general education programme leading to the upper secondary school leaving certificate upon completing this three-year programme.)

Length of a programme (years)

3 ([215]Plus optional follow up two-year general education programme.)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y/N

Schooling is compulsory for learners up to 16 years old.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

These programmes are also available to those who have already obtained an NVQR ([219]The National vocational qualifications register (NVQR) includes all State-recognised vocational qualifications regulated by the 2011 VET act.) qualification, to prepare a second or an add-on vocational qualification.

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Public education is free of charge for learners up to the obtainment of two VET qualifications; add-on qualifications may also be offered free of charge.

Is it available for adults?

Y

In adult education (available to learners over 16) the same programme is offered in flexible learning forms ([218]Possible delivery forms: full-time (90% of regular full-time education), part time (evening classes, 50%), correspondence courses (10%) or other (e.g. distance learning). See also Section 6. VET learning options)

ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • regular school-based full-time education (up to age 25)
  • adult education for learners over 16 available in full-time attendance (90% of regular school-based full-time education), part time (evening classes, 50%), correspondence courses (10%) or other (e.g. distance learing) (see also Section 6. VET learning options)
  • practical training is part of the curriculum of all VET programmes and can be delivered in school workshops and/or at companies (see sections on WBL)

The number and share of adult education participants have nearly tripled since 2015, when the opportunity to obtain a second OKJ qualification free of charge was introduced. In school year 2017/18, 27% all learners in secondary vocational school programmes studied in adult education (see figure below).

 

Share of learners studying in adult education in VET schools (*) (%), 2010-18

NB: (*) Titles of VET schools in use as of 2016/17.
Source: KSH, STADAT database, Education http://www.ksh.hu/docs/hun/xstadat/xstadat_eves/i_zoi015.html
http://www.ksh.hu/docs/hun/xstadat/xstadat_eves/i_zoi005.html

 

Main providers

VET schools that provide these types of programmes ([220]VET schools can provide one or more types of VET programmes. Beside the State, church and business entities, foundations, associations, etc., can also found and maintain public education institutions; private providers can also provide public education services. The maintainer of most State-maintained VET schools is the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (these schools are integrated into 44 vocational centres with 380 member schools), except for schools providing VET in the sector of agriculture, which are maintained by the Ministry of Agriculture and belong to the Network of Agricultural VET schools with 46 schools.)

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

= 38-45% ([221]the share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies is understood as the share of practical training in the curriculum which is calculated on the basis of the framework curriculum for general education for this programme type (which defines the share of general education and VET) and the standards and framework curricula of VET qualifications (which define the share of theory and practice within the VET part). As regards the latter, the standards of VET qualifications offered in this programme define the share of practice as between 60-70%.)

61% of learners received (the whole or a part of) their practical training in companies 2016/17.

 

Share of students by type of WBL and programme type (%), school year 2016/17

NB: (*) Data on cooperation agreements in ‘vocational schools for SEN learners’ are included under ‘secondary vocational schools’ programmes – except for agreements signed in programmes that award a partial qualification, which are included under ‘vocational school for SEN learners programmes.
(**) Including 103 cooperation agreements signed in vocational bridging programmes
Source: Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK), KSH STADAT database http://www.ksh.hu/stadat_eves_2_6

 

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • practical training in school workshops
  • practical training in a company (in grade 9 only in company workshop dedicated exclusively to training) based either on a cooperation agreement between the school and the company or on an apprenticeship contract between the learner and the company ([222]Since 2015 apprenticeship contracts can be signed also by adult education participants, only in evening and correspondent courses the monthly payment is reduced to 60% and 20% of that provided in full-time education, respectively.)
Main target groups

They target learners aged 14 and offer skilled workers’ training ([223]These programmes were last reformed in 2015 (effective from school year 2016/17) by changing their name with the intention to increase attractiveness. As of 2016/17, after the completion of these programmes. learners may enrol to an optional two-year general education follow-up programme to obtain the secondary school leaving certificate, which is required for entering post-secondary and higher education programmes.).

Learners that enrol in programmes preparing VET qualifications in-demand (hiányszakképesítés) ([224]Such qualifications and respective training programmes are established annually by government decrees and are based on data collected by the country development and training committees at local level in specific sectors.) may participate in the Adolf Szabóky VET Scholarship’ VET stipend programme ([225]and, based on their grades, receive a lump sum of HUF 10 000 (EUR 32) per month in the first semester of the first VET grade.).

Adults over 16 can also enter these programmes at any age, delivered in the form of adult education (felnőttoktatás), to obtain their first or second NVQR ([226]The National vocational qualifications register (NVQR) includes all State-recognised vocational qualifications regulated by the 2011 VET act.) qualification free of charge.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

Learners can enter these programmes at age 14, upon completion of the eight years of primary school (end of lower secondary education) and holding the primary school certificate (ISCED 244) or upon completing at least one year of a vocational bridging programme ([227]Pursuant to the Public education act, schools may select learners based on their performance in primary school and at a uniform secondary school entry exam taken in maths and Hungarian (and, in case the number of applicants were twice as much as available spaces on average in the past three years, also an oral exam organised by the school). However, secondary vocational schools typically are not selective and they do not organise entry exams.).

Young people and adults over 16 can enter these programmes at any age, delivered in the form of adult education (felnőttoktatás).

Assessment of learning outcomes

Since school year 2013/14, under the new VET and public education acts published in 2011, these programmes provide three years of dual vocational training. The majority of learners are apprentices.

Their framework curricula for VET, based on the vocational and examination requirements of the pursued full/partial VET qualification ([228]All public education (covering secondary and post-secondary levels) VET qualifications are included in the national vocational qualifications register (OKJ/NVQF).) are published by the minister responsible for VET, consulted by the minister of education. Their framework curriculum for general education ([229]The local curriculum of general education provided in VET schools is prepared by the schools based on the National Framework Curriculum published in a government decree as well as framework curricula published by the minister responsible for education.) defines the share of general education and VET as 36-64%.

Upon completion, these programmes award a full VET qualification at the final complex exam ([230]All public education (covering secondary and post-secondary levels) VET qualifications are included in the national vocational qualifications register (OKJ/NVQF).). Learners’ competences are assessed in various (written, oral, interactive and/or practical) exam activities (as defined in the vocational and examination requirements) by an independent examination board. In principle, those who fail to meet all requirements may still receive a partial qualification.

A follow-up optional two-year general education programme leading to the ‘secondary school leaving certificate’ (érettségi bizonyítvány, ISCED 344) awarded at the secondary school leaving exam is also available (since school year 2016/17) to those wishing to access post-secondary or higher education.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Learners in three-year vocational secondary school ISCED 353 programmes receive a certificate on the completion of secondary education upon completing the last grade. They also get a full NVQR qualification at ISCED levels 353 at the final complex exam.

Those moving on to the additional and optional two-year general education follow up programme and succeed at the final exam receive also the (upper) secondary school leaving certificate (ISCED 344) allowing access to higher level studies at post-secondary VET and/or higher VET.

Types and levels of NVQR (OKJ in Hungarian) ([231]The National vocational qualifications register (NVQR) includes all State-recognised vocational qualifications regulated by the 2011 VET act.) vocational qualifications delivered in skilled workers’ training programmes

NVQR/OKJ level

Definition

ISCED level (*)

34

secondary level vocational qualification, which is based on primary school certificate or the entry competences defined in the vocational and examination requirements and may be typically obtained in VET provided within the formal school system

3

35

secondary level add-on vocational qualification, which is built on a qualification(s) that requires primary school certificate and can typically be obtained in VET provided within the formal school system

3

NB: (*) Qualifications included in the national register refer to attainment levels

Source: Refernet Hungary, based on 150/2012 (VII.6) Government decree on the OKJ and the procedure of its amendment.

Examples of qualifications

Cook, electrician or carpenter

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Learners having completed the secondary vocational school (skilled workers’ training) programme:

  • may enter the labour market;
  • enrol in the additional/optional follow up two-year general education programme to prepare the secondary school leaving certificate (ISCED 344); and move on to post-secondary VET/ISCED 454 programmes or higher VET/ISCED 554 programmes;
  • those without the end of secondary school leaving certificate (ISCED 344), but who hold a master craftsman certificate (awarded by the chambers of economy) and have five years relevant working experience may also access post-secondary VET/ISCED 454 programmes.
Destination of graduates

According to a 2012 study, around one third of graduates of skilled workers’ training (of the previous form) ([232]The structure and curriculum of skilled workers training at ISCED 353 were transformed as of 2013/14 as well as 2016/17 (see Section: VET learning options).) were studying two years after graduation (26% in full time, 9% in adult education while also working) ([233]Fehérvári, A. (2016). Pályakövetési vizsgálatok a szakképzésben. Education 2016/1, p. 76.
http://folyoiratok.ofi.hu/educatio/palyakovetesi-vizsgalatok-a-szakkepzesben
).

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

The complex examination that awards NVQR qualifications upon completion of VET programmes does not allow for recognition of prior learning (no exemption can be obtained from taking the whole or a part of the exam). Nevertheless, learners in VET schools can get their prior learning recognised during their training, subject to the principal’s decision. The VET act also provides for the opportunity to recognise previous work experience in the completion of vocational practical training, subject to the principal’s decision.

General education subjects

Y

36%

Their framework curriculum for general education ([234]The local curriculum of general education provided in VET schools is prepared by the schools based on the national framework curriculum published in a government decree as well as framework curricula published by the minister responsible for education.) define the share of general education and VET as 36-63%.

Key competences

Y

The curriculum of general education is based on the National Core Curriculum that includes key competence development ([235]The list of key competences in the Hungarian NCC differs from that in the EU recommendation of 2006 in one minor aspect. It breaks the EU key competence of ’mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology’ into two separate ones, thus in Hungary there are nine instead of eight key competences. More detailed information is available in: Bükki, E. et al. (2016). Key competences in vocational education and training – Hungary.Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspectives series.
http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2016/ReferNet_HU_KC.pdf
). Three key competences – foreign language, Hungarian language and competences in mathematics, science and technology – are to be developed as stand-alone subjects. Development of other key competences is described in the outcome requirements of particular school subjects and depends on local school practices. Standards and framework curricula of NVQR qualifications define vocational, personal, social and methodological competences, corresponding to the particular task profile, by modules. They comprise several components/parts of key competences.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

VET standards (called ‘vocational requirements’) are modularised and defined in competences, but they are not yet defined in terms of genuine learning outcomes ([236]Though qualification standards were transcribed in learning outcomes as understood in the European qualification framework (EQF) when referencing them to the NQF (Source: Tót, É.; ICF (2016). 2016 update to the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning: country report on Hungary, pp. 3, 8, 10. Report commissioned by Cedefop.
https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/2016_validate_HU.pdf ), the task and character profiles in the vocational requirements modules – and the framework curricula based on them – are not defined in the form and language of learning outcomes (as understood in the EQF).
).

The vocational requirements modules of a VET qualification may be unique or shared by two or more qualification(s) that belong to the same occupational group or sector. They are published in a government decree ([237]217/2012 (VIII.9) Government decree on the vocational requirement modules of State-recognised qualifications.) and specify for each work activity:

(a) its ‘task profile’ (occupational standards); and

(b) the related ‘character profile’ that specifies different types of knowledge and skills required to perform those tasks:

  • vocational competences: vocational knowledge and vocational skills;
  • personal competences (e.g., independence, precision);
  • social competences (e.g., empathy, comprehensibility); and
  • method competences (e.g., prudence, practical thinking).
Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

32% ([238]2017/18. NB: Compared with the total number of VET learners (secondary, post-secondary and higher education VET programmes) in full- or part-time programmes; excluding VET learners in adult training programmes provided outside the formal school system. Source: Central Statistical Office STADAT database:
https://www.ksh.hu/stadat_eves_2_6 and Educational Authority KIR database:
https://www.oktatas.hu/felsooktatas/kozerdeku_adatok/felsooktatasi_adatok_kozzetetele/felsooktatasi_statisztikak.
)

EQF 4

School-based theory-focused

VET programmes,

4 (5) years,

WBL10-26%

ISCED 344

Vocational grammar school (theory-focused) programmes leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 344 (szakgimnázium középiskolai évfolyamok)
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

344 ([239]Learners enrolled in this programme can opt to prepare in grades 11-12 also to receive a vocational qualification included in the national vocational qualifications register (NVQR) at national NVQR levels 31, 32, 34, 51 and 52. Such qualifications are not yet referenced to ISCED P 2011.)

Usual entry grade

9 ([241]Or 9/Ny, if an additional language year is added (providing foreign language education in the first year).)

Usual completion grade

12

Usual entry age

14

Usual completion age

18 ([242]19 if an additional language year is added.)

Length of a programme (years)

4 ([240]5 if an additional language year is added (providing foreign language education in the first year).)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Yes and no

Schooling is compulsory for learners up to 16 years old.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Public education is free of charge for learners up to the obtainment of the secondary school leaving certificate and two VET qualifications.

Is it available for adults?

Y

In adult education (available to learners over 16) the same programme is offered in flexible learning forms ([244]Full-time (90% of regular full-time education), part time (evening classes, 50%), correspondence courses (10%) or other (e.g. distance learning). See also Section 6. VET learning options.)

ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • regular school-based full-time education (up to age 25)
  • adult education for learners over 16 available in full-time attendance (90% of regular school-based full-time education), part time (evening classes, 50%), correspondence courses (10%) or other (e.g. distance learning) (see also Section 6. VET learning options)
  • practical training is part of the curriculum of all VET programmes and can be delivered in school workshops and/or at companies (see sections on WBL) ([245]Following the December 2017 law amendment, effective from 2019/20, apprenticeship may be offered in grades 11 and 12.)
Main providers

VET schools that provide these types of programmes ([246]VET schools can provide one or more types of VET programmes. Beside the State, church and business entities, foundations, associations, etc., can also found and maintain public education institutions; private providers can also provide public education services. The maintainer of most State-maintained VET schools is the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (these schools are integrated into 44 vocational centres with 380 member schools), except for schools providing VET in the sector of agriculture, which are maintained by the Ministry of Agriculture and belong to the Network of Agricultural VET schools with 46 schools.)

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

= 10-26% ([247]The share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies is understood as the share of practical training in the curriculum which is calculated on the basis of the framework curriculum for general education for this programme type (which defines the share of general education and VET) and the standards and framework curricula of VET qualifications (which define the share of theory and practice within the VET part). As regards the latter, the standards of VET qualifications offered in this programme define the share of practice as between 30-70%.)

22.7% (in companies, via a cooperation agreement 2016/17)

 

Share of students by type of WBL and programme type (%), school year 2016/17

NB: (*) Data on cooperation agreements in ‘vocational schools for SEN learners’ are included under ‘secondary vocational schools’ – except for agreements signed in programmes that award a partial qualification, which are included under ‘vocational school for SEN learners’.
(**) Including 103 cooperation agreements signed in vocational bridging programmes.
Source: Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK), KSH STADAT database http://www.ksh.hu/stadat_eves_2_6

 

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • practical training in school workshops
  • practical training in a company based either on a cooperation agreement between the school and the company or (as of 2018) an apprenticeship contract between the learner and the company in grades 11 and 12 ([248]Since 2015 apprenticeship contracts can be signed also by adult education participants, only in evening and correspondent courses the monthly payment is reduced to 60% and 20% of that provided in full-time education, respectively.)
Main target groups

They target learners aged 14, and provide four years of combined general education and VET (some programmes may have an extra ‘foreign language preparatory’ year) ([249]These programmes were last reformed in 2017 (effective from school year 2017/18) by providing the option to participate in a programme preparing for an ‘additional vocational qualification’ in grade 11-12, awarded at a complex exam organised in grade 12.).

Graduates with the secondary school leaving certificate (ISCED 344) can continue studies either in post-secondary VET (ISCED 454 VET years of secondary grammar school programmes) or in higher education.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

The entry requirement is holding the primary school certificate (EQF 2) and popular schools may select learners based on their performance in primary school and at a uniform secondary school entry exam taken in maths and Hungarian (and possibly also oral exam organised by the school).

Learners with the primary school (primary and lower secondary) education certificate entering these programmes at age 14 (grade 9), and older learners may also enrol in grade 9 ([250]Including graduates of the VET bridging programme.).

Young people and adults over 16 can enter these programmes at any age, delivered in the form of adult education (felnőttoktatás).

Assessment of learning outcomes

Following the 2015 VET reform, since 2016/17 learners take the ‘VET secondary school leaving exam’ ([251]Szakmai érettségi vizsga.) at the end of the four-year programmes. This differs from the exam taken in grammar schools in that - in addition to the four mandatory general education exam subjects (Hungarian language and literature, Mathematics, History and a foreign language) - the fifth optional exam subject is replaced by a mandatory vocational subject. The vocational secondary school leaving certificate therefore qualifies holders not only to progress to post-secondary/higher education but also to perform at least one job ([252]Such as ‘IT equipment repairman’ or ‘Assistant nurse’. This job (one listed in the Hungarian Standard Classification of Occupations, FEOR) is specified for each of the vocational grammar school sectors in an Annex of the government decree about the OKJ qualification (e.g. ‘solarium operator’ for the sector ‘Beauty’).).

New legislation in December 2017 introduced the possibility obtain an ‘additional vocational qualification’ that will be awarded (first in 2019/20) at the final complex examination organised in grade 12, a few months before the secondary school leaving exam.

At the complex exam, learners’ competences are assessed in various (written, oral, interactive and/or practical) exam activities (as defined in the vocational and examination requirements) by an independent examination board.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Learners in upper secondary vocational grammar school ISCED 344 programmes take the final vocational secondary school leaving exam upon completion of the upper secondary grades. This awards the VET secondary school leaving certificate (szakmai érettségi bizonyítvány, ISCED 344) that entitles them to progress on to post-secondary/higher education as well as to perform at least one job in the pursued vocational grammar school sector (since 2016/17) ([253]See previous entry: Assessment of learning outcomes.).

Learners might opt in grade 10 to prepare in grades 11-12 also an ‘additional vocational qualification’ (mellékszakképesítés), an NVQR qualification from among those specified in the annex of the government decree on the NVQR ([254]The National vocational qualifications register (NVQR) includes all State-recognised vocational qualifications regulated by the 2011 VET act.) for each vocational grammar school sector. It is awarded at the complex exam organised in grade 12, a few months before the VET secondary school leaving exam ([255]Therefore, if the pursued additional vocational qualification is of NVQR level 51 or 52, the learner will receive that qualification only upon successfully passing the VET secondary school exam. The equivalence to ISCED P levels in not available.).

Types and levels of NVQR (OKJ in Hungarian) ([256]The National vocational qualifications register (NVQR) includes all State-recognised vocational qualifications regulated by the 2011 VET act.) ‘additional vocational qualifications’ optionally delivered in upper secondary vocational grammar school ISCED 344 programmes

NVQR/OKJ level

Definition

ISCED level (*)

31

lower secondary level partial vocational qualification, which is based on primary school certificate (ISCED 244) or the theoretical and practical knowledge elements defined in its vocational and examination requirements (hereinafter: entry competences), and may be obtained in VET provided outside the formal school system, in a vocational programme for SEN learners or in a Vocational Bridging programme

3

32

lower secondary level vocational qualification, which is based on primary school certificate or the entry competences defined in the vocational and examination requirements and may be obtained in VET provided outside the formal school system

3

34

secondary level vocational qualification, which is based on primary school certificate or the entry competences defined in the vocational and examination requirements and may be typically obtained in VET provided within the formal school system

3

51

upper secondary level partial vocational qualification, which requires the secondary school leaving exam certificate and can be obtained in VET provided outside the formal school system

4

52

upper secondary level vocational qualification, which requires the secondary school leaving exam certificate and can be obtained in VET provided outside the formal school system

4

NB: (*) Qualifications included in the national register refer to attainment levels.

Source: Refernet Hungary, based on 150/2012 (VII.6) Government decree on the OKJ and the procedure of its amendment.

Examples of qualifications

The VET secondary school certificate qualifies for at least one job listed in the Hungarian Standard Classification of Occupations (FEOR), as specified for each of the vocational grammar school sectors in an Annex of the government decree about the NQR – examples: solarium operator, electronic equipment mechanic and operator, waiter.

Examples for the optionally obtainable ‘additional vocational qualification’: dental assistant, social carer, mining technician.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Learners having completed the four-year ISCED 344 vocational grammar school programmes may:

  • enrol in post-secondary ISCED 454/EQF5 programmes (called ‘VET years of vocational grammar school’ programmes) to study either in the same sector (one year programme) or a different sector (two-year programme);
  • move on to higher VET ISCED 554/EQF5 programmes offered in higher education institutions;
  • move on to higher education bachelor ISCED 665/EQF6 programmes (where they can get extra points at the admission procedure if applying for a bachelor programme in the same sector); or
  • enter the labour market.

46% of learners in these ISCED 344 upper secondary programmes of vocational grammar school do not continue studies in the post-secondary year to finish their VET programme (to obtain an ISCED 454 vocational qualification) ([257]Ministry of Innovation and Technology (2019). Szakképzés 4.0 A Szakképzés és Felnőttképzés Megújításának Középtávú Stratégiája, a Szakképzési Rendszer Válasza a Negyedik Ipari Forradalom Kihívásaira. [VET 4.0 Mid-term strategy of the renewal of VET and adult training, response of the VET system to challenges of the 4th industrial revolution].). The majority of these learners move on to higher education or continue studies in post-secondary VET in another VET sector (where their previous VET learning is not recognised).

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

The complex examination that awards NVQR ([258]The National vocational qualifications register (NVQR) includes all State-recognised vocational qualifications regulated by the 2011 VET act.) qualifications does not allow for recognition of prior learning (no exemption can be obtained from taking the whole or a part of the exam). Nevertheless, learners in VET schools can get their prior learning recognised during their training, subject to the principal’s decision. The VET act also provides for the opportunity to recognise previous work experience in the completion of vocational practical training, subject to the principal’s decision.

General education subjects

Y

66% ([259]The local curriculum of general education provided in VET schools is prepared by the schools based on the national framework curriculum published in a government decree as well as framework curricula published by the minister responsible for education.)

Key competences

Y

The curriculum of general education is based on the National Core Curriculum that includes key competence development ([260]The list of key competences in the Hungarian NCC differs from that in the EU Recommendation of 2006 in one minor aspect. It breaks the EU key competence of ’mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology’ into two separate ones, thus in Hungary there are nine instead of eight key competences. More detailed information is available in Bükki, E. et al. (2016). Key competences in vocational education and training – Hungary. Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspectives series.http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2016/ReferNet_HU_KC.pdf). Three key competences – foreign language, Hungarian language and competences in mathematics, science and technology – are to be developed as stand-alone subjects. Development of other key competences is described in the outcome requirements of particular school subjects and depends on local school practices. Standards and framework curricula of NVQR qualifications define vocational, personal, social and methodological competences, corresponding to the particular task profile, by modules. They comprise several components/parts of key competences.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

VET standards (called ‘vocational requirements’) are modularised and defined in competences, but they are not yet defined in terms of genuine learning outcomes ([261]Though qualification standards were transcribed in learning outcomes as understood in the European qualification framework (EQF) when referencing them to the NQF (Source: Tót, É.; ICF (2016). 2016 update to the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning: country report Hungary, pp. 3, 8, 10. Report commissioned by Cedefop.
https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/2016_validate_HU.pdf ), the task and character profiles in the vocational requirements modules – and the framework curricula based on them - are not defined in the form and language of learning outcomes (as understood in the EQF).
).

The vocational requirements modules of a VET qualification may be unique or shared by two or more qualification(s) that belong to the same occupational group or sector. They are published in a separate government decree and specify for each work activity:

(a) its ‘task profile’ (occupational standards); and

(b) the related ‘character profile’ that specifies different types of knowledge and skills required to perform those tasks ([262]Though qualification standards were transcribed in learning outcomes as understood in the European qualification framework (EQF) when referencing them to the NQF (in a project led by NSZFH), the task and character profiles in the SZVKs – and the framework curricula based on them - are not defined in the form and language of learning outcomes – as understood in the EQF (Tót and ICF, 2016, p. 10).);

  • vocational competences: vocational knowledge and vocational skills;
  • personal competences (e.g., independence, precision);
  • social competences (e.g., empathy, comprehensibility); and
  • method competences (e.g., prudence, practical thinking).
Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

48.2% ([263]2017/18. NB: Compared with the total number of VET learners (secondary, post-secondary and higher education VET programmes) in full-time programmes; excluding VET learners attending part-time programmes; excluding VET learners in adult training programmes provided outside the formal school system. Source: Central Statistical Office STADAT database:
https://www.ksh.hu/stadat_eves_2_6 and Educational Authority KIR database:
https://www.oktatas.hu/felsooktatas/kozerdeku_adatok/felsooktatasi_adatok_kozzetetele/felsooktatasi_statisztikak
)

VET available to adults (formal and non-formal)

Programme Types
Not available