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General themes

VET in Cyprus comprises the following main features:

  • a strong cultural trend towards general secondary education followed by a demand for tertiary education qualifications;
  • the enhancement of lifelong guidance and counselling services as a mean to increase VET attractiveness;
  • a shift to the learning outcomes approach (which can be considered at an early stage) followed by a strong commitment to establish their use.

Distinctive features ([1]Adapted from Cedefop (2016) Vocational education and training in Cyprus: Spotlight. http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8096_en.pdf):

Cyprus has a long-standing tradition of tripartite consultation (government, trade unions and employers’ organisations) and social dialogue. The social partners are involved in:

  • planning in an advisory and consultative capacity;
  • education reform promoted by the government;
  • boards of directors of institutions dealing with human resource issues;
  • identifying education and training needs and setting priorities in education and training.

Vocational education and training in Cyprus is mainly public. Provision of secondary VET including evening technical schools, the apprenticeship system and post upper secondary VET is free of charge, while various adult vocational training programmes are offered for a limited fee.

Financial incentives for participation in adult vocational training are provided by the Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus (HRDA) ([2]In Greek: Αρχή Ανάπτυξης Ανθρώπινου Δυναμικού Κύπρου (ΑνΑΔ).
http://www.anad.org.cy
), a semi-government organisation. The Human Resource Development Authority reports to the government through the competent minister who is the minister of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance. It is governed by a 13-strong tripartite board of directors, comprising government, employer and trade union representatives.

Funding provided by the Human Resource Development Authority has encouraged enterprises and their employees to participate in training and development activities.

Cyprus has a high level of educational attainment. There is a strong cultural trend among Cypriots in favour of general secondary education followed by higher education. The economic crisis that Cyprus faced in 2012-15, together with the efforts to increase VET attractiveness, have contributed to a significant increase in the number of students who enrol in technical schools. In 2014, VET attracted 15.1% of the upper secondary learners compared to 12.7% in 2011.

The recent economic crisis, and its adverse effects on the labour market, has been a critical challenge for education and training.

Training has been redirected to respond flexibly and effectively to the crisis, with targeted actions for the unemployed, economically inactive, and the employed.

A major challenge is to address the young as well as long-term unemployment. Actions are being taken to promote employability of young persons and the long-term unemployed, through individualised guidance, training and work placements.

Another challenge for education and training, which features prominently in the current education reform, is to encourage adult participation in lifelong learning activities and increase VET participation among the young. A comprehensive, attractive, flexible and high quality VET system is being developed to respond better to the needs of the economy. Core measures are promoting tertiary non-university programmes offered by institutes for technical and vocational education, which were accredited in 2017 by the Cyprus Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education (DIPAE) as public schools of higher vocational education and training, upgrading secondary technical and vocational education curricula and raising the quality and competences of secondary technical and vocational education teachers. There are also actions to upgrade the apprenticeship, designed to constitute a viable, alternative form of training for young people.

These measures are included in the strategic plan for technical and vocational education 2015-20 and the proposal of the education ministry for upgrading the apprenticeship, approved by the

government in 2015.

EU tools for validating acquired skills, such as the Cyprus qualifications framework (CyQF) ([3]http://www.cyqf.gov.cy/index.php/el/), will improve horizontal and vertical permeability of education and training systems. The development of a competence-based system of vocational qualifications by the Human Resource Development Authority which is an integral part of the national qualifications framework is expected to strengthen the ties between VET for young people and vocational training for adults, improving their knowledge and skills.

Data from VET in Cyprus Spotlight 2016 ([4]Adapted from Cedefop (2016). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Cyprus. Luxembourg: Publications Office. http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8096_en.pdf).

Population in 2018: 864 236 ([5]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].)

It decreased by 0.2% since 2013 due to negative natural growth ([6]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted on 16.5.2019].).

As in many other EU countries, the population is ageing.

The old-age dependency ratio is expected to increase from 21 in 2015 to 55 in 2060.

 

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

Source: Eurostat, proj_15ndbims [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

 

Participation at upper secondary VET has been increasing since 2013, despite the decreasing birth rate in the early 2000s.

Source: Eurostat, educ_uoe_enrs10 & demo_gind [extracted 14.5.2019].

 

Not applicable

Most companies are micro-sized. According to social insurance data ([7]Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance (2018). General statistics 2018. http://www.mlsi.gov.cy/mlsi/sid/sidv2.nsf/page21_en/page21_en?OpenDocument) for 2017, 92.6% of enterprises employed 1-9 persons, while 6.2% employed 10-49 persons. Only 1.1% employed over 50 persons.

Main economic sectors:

  • financial and insurance activities;
  • wholesale and retail trade;
  • real estate activities;
  • public administration and defence;
  • professional, scientific and technical activities;
  • tourism;
  • construction.

With the exception of tourism and construction sectors, these sectors are not strongly linked to VET qualifications.

In general, there are few limitations/restrictions in the labour market, especially in occupations where health and safety is of concern.

For some occupations/professions, it is compulsory to hold specific certificates/diplomas or to be registered at the appropriate professional body.

For example, it is required by law that all engineers are registered members of the Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber ([8]In Greek: Επιστημονικό Τεχνικό Επιμελητήριο Κύπρου:
https://www.etek.org.cy/
) the statutory technical advisor to the State and the umbrella organisation for all Cypriot engineers. The chamber issues relevant certificates and licenses.

Also, the department of electrical and mechanical services of the transport ministry is the competent authority for the implementation of the legislation in fields of electrical installations and auto-mechanical repairs such as the law which regulates the profession of automobile technicians.

Furthermore, according to a recent regulation, it will become compulsory for plumbing, heating and cooling systems technicians to hold the appropriate vocational qualification issued by the Human Resource Development Authority through the system of vocational qualifications, in order to practice the profession.

Total unemployment ([9]Percentage of active population, 25 to 74 years old) (2018): 7.3% (6.0% in EU28); it increased by 4.2 percentage points since 2008 ([10]Eurostat table une_rt_a [Extracted on 20.05.2019]).

 

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 0-2 and 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 is distributed unevenly between those with low- and high-level qualifications. The gap has increased during the crisis as unskilled workers are more vulnerable to unemployment. In 2018, the unemployment rate of people with medium-level qualifications, including most VET graduates (ISCED levels 3 and 4) is still higher than in the pre-crisis years.

Employment rate of 20-34 year old VET graduates increased from 72.4% in 2014 to 76.6% in 2018.

 

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 increase (+4.2 pp) in employment of 20-34 year-old VET graduates in 2014-18 was lower compared to the increase in employment of all 20-34 year-old graduates (+6.2 pp) in the same period in Cyprus ([11]Source: Eurostat, edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

Education traditionally has high value in Cyprus. The share of the population aged up to 64 with higher education is 44.1%. The share of those with low or without qualification is 17.7% that is below the EU28 average (21.8%).

 

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 on 16.05.2019]

 

Share of learners in VET by level in 2017

lower secondary

upper secondary

post-secondary

not applicable

16.7%

100%

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

In upper secondary VET, the share has increased by 3.2 percentage points since 2013.

 

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].

 

There are more males in VET. Based on data provided by the education ministry, for the school year 2018/19, the 78.1% of learners in all VET programmes at upper Secondary level are males. Also, in tertiary (non-university) programmes offered by the education ministry (MIEEK), approximately 60% of the learners are males.

At upper secondary level, for the 2018/19 school year, the most popular field of study and specialisations among males were Cooks and waiters and Automobile engineering and car electrics and electronics. Among females the most popular fields were also ‘cooks and waiters’ and ‘hairdressing’([12]These are the names of the relevant specialisations.).

The share of early leavers from education and training has decreased from 11.7% in 2009 to 7.8% in 2018. The result is below the national target of not more than 10% and the EU28 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].

 

Drop-out rate from VET: Information not available

Lifelong learning offers training opportunities for adults, including early leavers from education.

 

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].

 

According to Eurostat (Labour Force Survey([13]The European Union Labour Force Survey (EU LFS) is conducted in the 28 Member States of the European Union, four candidate countries and three countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in accordance with Council Regulation (EEC) No 577/98 of 9 March 1998. At the moment, the LFS microdata for scientific purposes contain data for all Member States plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.
The EU Labour Force Survey is a large household sample survey providing quarterly results on labour participation of people aged 15 and over as well as on persons outside the labour force. All definitions apply to persons aged 15 years and over living in private households. Persons carrying out obligatory military or community service are not included in the target group of the survey, as is also the case for persons in institutions/collective households.
The data collection covers the years from 1983 onwards. In general, data for individual countries are available depending on their accession date. The Labour Force Surveys are conducted by the national statistical institutes across Europe and are centrally processed by Eurostat. The national statistical institutes are responsible for selecting the sample, preparing the questionnaires, conducting the direct interviews among households, and forwarding the results to Eurostat in accordance with the requirements of the regulation. Thus, it is possible to make available harmonised data at European level. More information available at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/microdata/european-union-labour-force-...
)), the share of 25-64 year-olds participating in education and training over the four weeks prior to the survey was 6.7% in 2018, which is lower than the EU average of 11.1% in 2018 and the national target for 2020 of 12%.

 

VET learners by age group

Source: CYSTAT and Eurostat, educ_uoe_enrs05 [extracted 24.4.2019].

 

The education and training system comprises:

  • pre-primary education(ISCED level 0);
  • integrated primary and lower secondary education (ISCED levels 1 and 2, ISCED 244) (hereafter basic education which is compulsory till the age of 15);
  • upper secondary education (ISCED levels 4 and 3 for apprenticeship-learners who leave formal education between grades 8-10) (EQF 4 (ISCED 344, 354)and respectively 3);
  • post-secondary not tertiary education (EQF 5, ISCED 554, 454);
  • higher education (EQF 6-8, ISCED 655, 766 and 767 for post-graduate studies at master level (1-2 years)), ISCED 864 for PhD programmes).

Education in Cyprus is available from the pre-primary to the postgraduate levels. It is compulsory at the pre-primary, primary (grades 1 to 6), and lower secondary (grades seven to nine) levels, until the student reaches the age of 15.

In upper secondary education, which lasts for three years (grades 10 to 12) there are two types of schools: the unified lyceum and technical schools.

The number of higher education places in Cyprus is rather limited as there are only three public and five private universities. A large proportion of young people continuing to higher education enrol in educational institutions abroad.

Government regulated VET provision leads to four qualification levels (2- 5) that are the same as in the European qualifications framework (EQF).

European qualifications framework levels 2-3 VET qualifications are only offered in the form of apprenticeship ([14]New modern apprenticeship (NMA) is directed towards young people between 14 and 21 years of age at two apprenticeship levels (preparatory and core). Participation in the NMA is not part of compulsory education and is free of charge. The new modern apprenticeship targets two distinct groups of learners:
(a) learners who have not completed compulsory education lower secondary programmes (third grade of gymnasium) can enrol at the preparatory apprenticeship level. The preparatory apprenticeship has been introduced to provide support to early school leavers between the ages of 14 and 16, by gradually introducing them to the labour market, giving them a taste of VET, and helping them to choose a specialisation when they proceed to the core level of apprenticeship; and
(b) learners who have either successfully completed compulsory education or successfully completed preparatory apprenticeship can enrol at the core apprenticeship level.
).

There are several VET learning options:

  • at upper secondary level VET is provided at technical schools for students aged 15-18 and evening technical schools, as well as in the afternoon and evening classes of technical schools for adults;
  • the education ministry also offers formal education programmes free of charge, in both the theoretical and practical directions, through the two evening technical schools, one in Nicosia and another in Limassol, to further promote participation in secondary vocational education and support the integration of school dropouts in the workplace and in society in general;
  • also three-year programmes are provided in the context of the afternoon and evening classes of technical schools, which are administered by the Department of Secondary Technical and Vocational Education and Training (STVET). They offer a variety of courses such as plumbing, electrical installations, engineering, computers, car mechanics, cooking and graphic design.

VET at tertiary level

VET at tertiary, non-university level is provided at public and private institutes/colleges offering people the opportunity to acquire, improve, or upgrade their qualifications and skills. Successful completion of these accredited programmes, which may last for two-to-three years, lead to a diploma or higher diploma awarded by the institution (European qualifications framework level 5). The public post-secondary institutes of VET ([15]In 2012, the education ministry in cooperation with the labour ministry and other stakeholders established, within the context of the education reform, post-secondary institutes of VET, co-financed by the ESF, which offered further technical specialisation as of the academic year 2012/13. These were in April 2017 by the Cyprus Agency of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education granted them tertiary non-university level status.) were accredited in 2017 by the Cyprus Agency of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education (CYQAA) ([16]Cyprus Agency of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education (CYQAA). In Greek: Φορέας Διασφάλισης και Πιστοποίησης της Ποιότητας της Ανώτερης Εκπαίδευσης (
http://www.dipae.ac.cy/index.php/el/ )
) as public schools of higher vocational education and training. They offer two-year accredited programmes that lead to the acquisition of a diploma ([17]Private institutions of tertiary education offer a wide range of academic as well as vocational programmes of study at various levels (one- or two years diploma, three years higher diploma, four-years bachelor degree and one- or two-years master’s degree) in secretarial studies, aesthetics, food preparation, music, arts and drama, graphic design, hotel and tourism management, computer science, social sciences, education, business studies, management and engineering. English is the language of instruction for most programmes of studies offered, which attracts students from other countries. Furthermore, several private institutions of tertiary education offer academic programmes of study based on validation or franchised agreements with more than 10 European universities and following the provisions of the competent Law of the Republic of Cyprus.
Since 1996, the establishment and operation of all private institutions of tertiary education is regulated by law. Each institution sets its own internal regulations, student entry requirements and evaluation, qualifications awarded, tuition fees and teachers’ qualifications, which are published in an annual prospectus.
).

There are four public institutions of tertiary education (non-university level) offering programmes in forestry, culinary arts and other vocations.

Training for employees

The main bodies promoting training provision for the employed are the Human Resource Development Authority, the education ministry, the labour ministry, and other ministries and public institutions. Moreover, private institutions such as colleges, training institutions, consultancy firms and enterprises offer a variety of courses for adults, including many that are not subsidised by the Human Resource Development Authority.

Other ministries offer, usually relative to their mandate training:

  • the Higher Hotel institute of Cyprus (HHIC) offers upgrading courses to employees in the hotel and restaurant sector([19]Higher Hotel institute of Cyprus (HHIC). In Greek: Ανώτερο Ξενοδοχειακό Ινστιτούτο Κύπρου:
    http://www.mlsi.gov.cy/mlsi/hhic/hhic.nsf/index_gr/index_gr?OpenDocument&lang=el
    );
  • the agriculture ministry is offering training to farmers, foresters and forestry graduates. These courses are offered mostly by the agricultural educational centres;
  • the Cyprus academy of public administration is training civil servants;
  • the health ministry is responsible for the planning and coordination of continuing professional development of public sector nurses;
  • the justice and public order ministry promotes the training of police officers and sergeants provided by the Cyprus police academy. The police academy also offers part-time training in the use of computers for police members.

Training for the unemployed

The main bodies promoting training provision for the unemployed are the Human Resource Development Authority in cooperation with the labour ministry and the education ministry. The Human Resource Development Authority offers the following training activities:

  • training programmes for the unemployed aim at the participation of the unemployed who are registered with the public employment services in training programmes for specific occupations/themes that the Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus defines after consultation;
  • employment and training of tertiary education graduates;
  • training of the long-term unemployed in enterprises/organisations;
  • multi-company training programmes.

The apprenticeship system was a two-year initial VET programme providing practical and theoretical training to young people who had not successfully completed their secondary compulsory education and wished to be trained and employed in technical occupations. This was terminated with the graduation of the last intake of apprentices in June 2013 and was replaced by the New Modern Apprenticeship (NMA) which started its operation in the school year 2012/13.

In 2007, the council of ministers approved the proposal for the establishment of the New Modern Apprenticeship, which provides an alternative pathway for education, training and development for young people who withdraw from the formal education system and is geared towards meeting the needs of the labour market. As of September of 2015 the council of ministers, assigned full responsibility for the operation of the apprenticeship to the Department of Secondary Technical and Vocational Education and Training (STVET) ([20]In Greek: Διεύθυνση μέσης τεχνικής και επαγγελματικής εκπαίδευσης και κατάρτισης.) of the education ministry. The improvement of the quality of the apprenticeship and the enhancement of its relevance to labour market needs is implemented as approved by the council of ministers in August 2015.

The apprenticeship, which is co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the government of Cyprus, is directed towards young people between 14 and 21 years of age at two apprenticeship levels (preparatory and core). Participation in the apprenticeship is not part of compulsory education and is free of charge. The apprenticeship targets two distinct groups of students:

  • students who have not completed compulsory education lower secondary programmes (third grade of gymnasium) can enrol at the preparatory apprenticeship level. The preparatory apprenticeship has been introduced to provide support to early school leavers between the ages of 14 and 16, by giving them a taste of VET, and helping them to choose a specialisation when they proceed to the core level of apprenticeship; and
  • students who have either successfully completed compulsory education or successfully completed preparatory apprenticeship can enrol at the core apprenticeship level.

Preparatory apprenticeship does not involve employment but constitutes an alternative form of education and training for students between 14 and 16 years of age who have the opportunity through this programme to develop their numeracy, literacy and digital skills, to explore their talents and abilities through creative arts, and to take part in workshops related to technical occupations. Such workshops include carpentry, plumbing and mechanics. The curricula are developed by the trainers. Participation in these workshops is part of the programme and does not lead to individual qualifications. Students also receive individual counselling from psychologists according to their needs. Students who complete preparatory apprenticeship (ISCED 2, EQF level 2) may proceed to the core apprenticeship level or, if they wish and provided they succeed in a special set of exams, they may re-enter the formal education system.

Core apprenticeship lasts three years and involves both training at school and practical training in enterprises. Apprentices sign a contract with their employer which mainly regulates their terms of employment. Apprentices follow practical training in enterprises for three days per week where they are remunerated for their work and receive theoretical training for two days per week by attending classes at technical schools.

New curricula have been developed for car mechanics, plumbing/central heating, welding/metal constructions, bakery/confectionery, carpentry/furniture making, electrical installations, and home appliances technicians by trainers chosen through a competitive process. The curricula have been developed for the theoretical subjects of the core apprenticeship, such as Greek, maths, physics, English, information technology, and technical specialisations. The curricula of technical specialisations incorporate the standards of vocational qualifications developed by the Human Resource Development Authority). The content of training in enterprises is based on a training plan developed by the school trainer and the enterprise trainer working together and agreed by the employer. The enterprise training of the apprentice is monitored by regular visits of the school trainer to the enterprise and a monthly report prepared and submitted to the apprenticeship officer.

Teachers of the theoretical training that takes place at school are teachers of secondary technical and vocational education. Following the development of new curricula, a training of trainers programme has been implemented for preparatory apprenticeship trainers.

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

The education ministry has overall responsibility for the development and implementation of educational policy, while labour ministry has overall responsibility for labour and social policy.

As of September 2015, the government assigned full responsibility for the operation of the New Modern Apprenticeship (NMA) to the Department of Secondary Technical and Vocational Education and Training (STVET) of the education ministry.

The Directorate General for European programmes, Coordination and Development ([21]In Greek: Γενική Διεύθυνση Ευρωπαϊκών Προγραμμάτων, Συντονισμού και Ανάπτυξης (ΓΔ ΕΠΣΑ):
http://www.dgepcd.gov.cy/dgepcd/dgepcd.nsf/index_gr/index_gr?OpenDocument
) is responsible for European funds and programmes, coordination of government work, research, technological development and innovation, lifelong learning and the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy.

The Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus has an important role in vocational training. It is a semi-government organisation whose mission is to create the necessary prerequisites for the planned and systematic training and development of the human resources of Cyprus.

Public funds administered mainly by the education ministry are the primary source for financing VET.

The financing provided by European social fund has played an important role in the promotion of participation due to the increased level of funds available which led to the introduction of new training programmes. Many training programmes that are co-financed by European social fund are addressed to the unemployed and groups at risk of exclusion from the labour market.

Expenditure on Education (% on GDP)

 

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016*

Public expenditure on education

7.2

6.4

6.6

6.5

6.5

6.5

Total expenditure on education

9.4

8.7

8.8

8.8

8.8

n.a.

NB. *: provisional. n.a.: not available

Source: CYSTAT (2018a).

Expenditure on VET (% on GDP)

 

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Public expenditure on VET

0.3

0.3

0.3

0.3

0.3

0.3

Source: CYSTAT.

 

Expenditure per student in 2010-16 (EUR)

NB: Most recent data.
Source: CYSTAT.

 

As far as VET for adults is concerned, the Human Resource Development Authority subsidises a variety of training activities, implemented by public and private institutions and enterprises, which are addressed to employed and unemployed persons.

The funds of the Human Resource Development Authority come from the human resource development levy of 0.5% on the payroll of employers excluding the government. Enterprises and vocational training centres are directly involved in training activities and prepare and submit training programmes to the Human Resource Development Authority on a continuous basis. In general, the subsidisation covers about 80% of the eligible total costs.

In VET there are:

  • teachers of the theoretical part;
  • apprentice tutors;
  • trainers of vocational training.

Teachers of the theoretical part teach in upper secondary vocational schools, in the school-based component of apprenticeships and in VET Higher education (non-tertiary) institutes. Teachers at all levels of school education are university graduates with a Bachelor’s degree as a minimum qualification. A very small number of VET teachers employed at technical schools hold a diploma or similar qualification from colleges or other similar educational establishments of tertiary (non-higher) education in courses of at least three years duration and were appointed at a lower salary scale.

Apprentice tutors are employees of the enterprise where the in-company training component takes place. No specific training is needed to perform these duties.

Upgrading the continuous professional development of teachers and the enhancement of the quality, attractiveness and efficiency of VET and new modern apprenticeship are important challenges for the education system of Cyprus. This is reflected in the education reform, which is a long process involving all VET stakeholders, as well as in the strategies and policies of the education ministry.

People who want to become trainers of vocational training must successfully go through the assessment and certification procedure following the system of vocational qualifications and acquire the trainer of vocational training qualification (European qualifications framework/Cyprus qualifications framework level 5, system of vocational qualifications level 5). Through the multi-company training programmes scheme, train the trainer programmes are offered to prepare trainers for assessment and certification.

Certified trainers of vocational training, deliver approved and subsidised courses, by the Human Resource Development Authority, both at vocational training centres as well as in companies for in-house training.

The Cyprus Pedagogical lnstitute ([22]Cyprus Pedagogical lnstitute(CPI). In Greek: Παιδαγωγικό Ινστιτούτο Κύπρου:
http://www.pi.ac.cy/pi/index.php?lang=el
) (CPI), according to a council of ministers decision (August 2015), is the official department of the education ministry which runs teachers’ professional learning. It offers a variety of free-of-charge training programmes that are repetitive and compulsory for teachers, mainly because they are provided by the education laws or their service plans or because these programmes are developed with reference to the current needs and the context of schools.

For example, the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute provides compulsory courses for newly appointed VET head teachers and deputy head teachers. These courses are offered once a week, during a school year, from October to May.

In addition, the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute in collaboration with the directorate of secondary technical and vocational education offers training programmes on various subjects of the curricula to all teachers. Optional seminars on instruction and pedagogy are also offered by the institute during the afternoons and they are open and free for all teachers.

Based on the new decision of the council of ministers (July 2017) emphasis is given on schools-based professional learning which is closely related to the annual school improvement plan.

The technical schools have the opportunity to receive systematic support from the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute on an annual basis. At the beginning of the school year, schools are expected to utilise a needs assessment procedure in order to define their specific needs and target a single priority theme. Then, according to their needs, each school has to organise its own training programme for the teachers, making use of plethora of training programmes offered by the Institute or elsewhere. Based on its training, each school designed its own action plan.

Some technical schools participated in this programme of systematic support from the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute and followed the methodology of action research as well as other methodologies for teachers’ professional learning, like lesson studies or teachers’ rounds. Teacher rounds is a collaborative form of lesson planning, peer observation and occurs in the classroom, in real-time. It entails intentional reflection, observation, inquiry and collaboration. Every member of the group of teachers are reflective partners and take-away something from the lesson.

At the same time, a legislative framework for professional learning at an individual level is currently being discussed in the negotiations on the new teachers’ evaluation framework.

For trainers of vocational training, the Human Resource Development Authority offers programmes through the multi-company training programmes scheme to prepare trainers for assessment and certification or further enhance their training skills in ad hoc subjects.

More information is available in the Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspective on teachers and trainers([23]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/teachers-and-trainers).

The assessment of skill needs is operated by the Human Resource Development Authority. The finance ministry provides projections for the growth of the economy. The education ministry is responsible for the identification of educational and special skill needs.

For the systematic employment forecasting and the identification of skills gaps, the Human Resource Development Authority conducts the following research studies:

  • long-term employment trends and forecasting in Cyprus.

The Human Resource Development Authority provides 10-year employment forecasts on a regular basis every two to three years. The latest study of employment forecasts for Cyprus was completed in 2017, covers the period 2017-27 and provides forecasts for employment needs in all economic sectors (three broad sectors, 21 main sectors and 52 sectors) and in all occupations, 309 in total (173 high level occupations, 130 middle level occupations and 6 low level occupations), covering the whole spectrum of the Cyprus labour market ([24]Human Resource Development Authority (2017a). Προβλέψεις Απασχόλησης στην Κυπριακή Οικονομία 2017-27 [Forecasts of employment needs in the Cyprus economy 2017-27]. http://www.anad.org.cy/easyconsole.cfm/page/project/p_id/404);

This study provides annual estimates for the number of persons needed for specific occupations and the needs for specific skills. On the basis of these estimates, suggestions are put forward for the implementation of training programmes. In the study, the views of enterprises, social partners and other stakeholders are collected and analysed through specially designed questionnaires;

  • studies on specific sectors.

There are two recent such studies. The first one is the Identification of blue skills in the Cyprus economy, a study which examines and analyses the blue economy and blue occupations, maps out the blue economy of Cyprus and identifies blue skill needs in the Cyprus economy for the period 2016-26 ([26]Human Resource Development Authority (2016). Εντοπισμός Αναγκών σε Γαλάζιες Δεξιότητες στην Κυπριακή Οικονομία 2016-2026 [Identification of blue skill needs in the Cyprus economy 2016-26 ].
http://www.anad.org.cy/easyconsole.cfm/page/project/p_id/311
). It provides forecasts for employment demand in economic sectors and occupations which are part of the blue economy. The second one is the Identification of green skill needs in the Cyprus economy ([27]Human Resource Development Authority (2018). Εντοπισμός Αναγκών σε Πράσινες Δεξιότητες στην Κυπριακή Οικονομία 2017-2027 [Identification of green skill needs in the Cyprus economy 2017-27]. http://www.anad.org.cy/easyconsole.cfm/page/project/p_id/471). This study examines and analyses the green economy and green occupations, mapping out the green economy of Cyprus and identifying green skill needs in the Cyprus economy for the period 2017-27;

  • the finance ministry, provides projections for the growth of the economy, which include forecasts of value added, productivity and employment, and submits proposals for the required policy changes.

See also Cedefop’s skills forecast ([28]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/skills-forecast) and European Skills Index ([29]https://skillspanorama.cedefop.europa.eu/en/indicators/european-skills-index)

In Cyprus until recently there has been relatively limited implementation of frameworks and mechanisms regarding the transparency of qualifications and systems for the recognition of competences and qualifications so the development of a competence-based system is a high priority. The system of vocational qualifications is in place for the assessment of the competence of a person to carry out a specific job in real or/and simulated working conditions.

The system of vocational qualifications is designed for the assessment and certification of the competence of a person to carry out a specific job in real or/and simulated working conditions. The system of vocational qualifications is based on Vocational Qualifications Standards (VQS) developed by the Human Resource Development Authority. The vocational qualifications standards define the tasks and the required knowledge, skills and competences for each vocational qualification. At the same time, the vocational qualifications standards define the framework for the training and development of the candidates to be prepared for a successful assessment, in order to obtain the certification of their vocational qualifications. The system of vocational qualifications developed by the Human Resource Development Authority is integrated, at levels 2 to 7, within the Cyprus qualifications framework.

The standards that are developed are discussed by technical committees of vocational qualifications and approved by the board of directors of the Human Resource Development Authority.

To date, seventy two vocational qualifications have been developed by the Human Resource Development Authority with the contribution of technical committees comprising representatives of industry, employers and workers and education and training institutions.

The system of vocational qualifications has adopted the four phases of the validation procedure according to the European Recommendation on Validation of non-Formal and Informal Learning ([30]Council of the European Union (2012). Council Recommendation of 20 December 2012 on the validation of non-formal and informal learning. Official Journal of the European Union, C 398, 22.12.2012, pp. 1-5.).

The description of the four phases follows:

  • Identification

Identification involves the determination of the learning outcomes gained through formal, non-formal and informal learning. The identification takes place in approved by Human Resource Development Authority the Centres for Assessment of Vocational Qualifications (CAVQ).

At first, information is provided to the candidates about the system of vocational qualifications requirements. The identification arises from an interview in which the centres for assessment of vocational qualifications obtains information from the candidates related to their education and work experience, in particular to the learning outcomes. Then the candidates are advised to choose a specific qualification standard according to their knowledge, skills and competence. The results of this phase are written down in the identification and documentation report.

  • Documentation

Documentation entails sufficient proof of the knowledge, skills and competences, which have been identified during the previous phase. The candidates submit to the centres for assessment of vocational qualifications any relevant documents proving the acquisition of the learning outcomes through formal, non-formal and informal learning. i.e. educational and vocational qualifications, employment experience confirmation, social insurance statements. The results of this phase are described in the identification and documentation report.

If the candidates decide to proceed with the assessment in order to acquire the certificate of vocational qualification they have to fill in and sign the application form. The application form should be accompanied by the identification and documentation report and all the relevant documents.

When a group of up to three candidates is formed the director/manager of centres for assessment of vocational qualifications submits to the Human Resource Development Authority for approval the application forms attached with the identification and documentation report and the relevant documents.

  • Assessment

The Human Resource Development Authority approves the candidates’ applications, provided they are compatible with the criteria of the system of vocational qualifications. In this case, the candidates can proceed for assessment.

The assessment of learning outcomes is carried out by two approved assessors for every team of up to three candidates, in two to five meetings, of three-hour duration each, in an approved centre for the assessment of vocational qualifications. The centres for assessment of vocational qualifications may be public or private training centres, which are certified by the Human Resource Development Authority as vocational training centres and have certified training facilities.

The assessment is based on the vocational qualification standard and the main assessment method is the observation of candidates in real or simulated working conditions. The assessment of vocational qualifications may also include, depending on each standard, interview, oral exam, written exam and project. The results of the assessment are depicted on the report of candidate’s assessment.

The assessors are independent experts, certified trainers and should comply with specific academic and professional criteria. The assessors are trained by the Human Resource Development Authority and sign a contract regarding the terms of reference as assessors of the system of vocational qualifications.

As far as the quality assurance is concerned, every centre for the assessment of vocational qualifications is obliged to carry out at least one internal audit during each team’s assessment, to provide internal quality assurance for each assessment. Additionally, each assessment is externally verified through an on the spot visit by an independent verifier authorised by Human Resource Development Authority. The results of the checks’ verifications are depicted in separate reports.

  • Certification

Candidates’ assessment reports are submitted to Human Resource Development Authority, which validates the results of the assessments. Τhe successful assessment of the candidates in all task areas constituting the vocational qualification standard and all methods of assessment is the necessary condition for the certification of the candidates.

The Human Resource Development Authority being the awarding body approves the assessment through the relevant documentation and proceeds to the certification of the candidate. If a candidate has succeeded in only a part of the qualification task areas, an affirmation (partial certification) is provided only for these task areas. In these cases, the candidate is given the opportunity of reassessment in the failed tasks and/or methods of assessment.

Also accredited vocational training centres offer training programmes which are based on the vocational qualifications standards and prepare participants for assessment and certification.

The council of ministers on 18 May 2017 ([31]Decision No 82.592.) approved the establishment of the national qualifications authority, with the powers to further enhance the quality assurance systems in education and training, to monitor and integrate the scheme for the validation of non-formal and informal learning in the Cyprus qualifications framework after its completion, to monitor the Cyprus qualifications framework/European qualifications framework levels on the certificates, diplomas and Europass documents, to further strengthen the legal aspect of the Cyprus qualifications framework and to develop a registry for the Cyprus qualifications framework:

  • for the secondary VET (IVET) ([32]It does not apply in the case of preparatory apprenticeship.) the respective inspector of each field of study ([33]The term ‘field of study’ (κλάδος) is broader than the term ‘specialisation’ (ειδικότητα), as it includes several specialisations.
    In these terms the field of study ‘mechanical engineering’ includes four specialisations: ‘mechanical engineering’, ‘vehicle technology’, ‘building services engineering’, and ‘natural gas transmission and distribution’.
    ) is responsible for the proper implementation of the IVET curricula and ensures that the teaching material is adequately covered by using effective teaching methods. The constant assessment of the progress of learners, alongside with a final examination are instrumental for the evaluation of an educator’s work;
  • for tertiary education there are two bodies responsible for Quality assurance, one is the Cyprus council for the recognition of higher education qualifications, an independent body responsible for the recognition of diplomas awarded by higher education institutions and the other is the Cyprus Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education ([34]Cyprus Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education (CYQAA) was established on the basis of the ‘Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Higher Education and the Establishment and Operation of an Agency on Related Matters Law, of 2015,’ and is responsible is to ensure the quality of higher education in Cyprus and to support, through the procedures provided by the relevant legislation for the continuous improvement and upgrading of higher education institutions and their programs of study. More information available at: http://www.dipae.ac.cy/index.php/en/cyqaa), an independent body responsible for the external evaluation and accreditation of all higher education institutions;
  • for continuing VET (CVET) the body responsible is the Human Resource Development Authority. Quality is assured by checking the programmes that a training provider wishes to implement and by accreditation of these providers (a vocational training centre status is granted). Also, accreditation of vocational training facilities and trainers for vocational training (system of vocational qualifications/Cyprus qualifications framework/European qualifications framework level 5) is granted after appropriate qualitative assessment.

In 2013, the education ministry set up an interdepartmental committee with the task to develop and monitor the implementation of a comprehensive action plan for the validation of non-formal and informal learning, in line with the Council Recommendation of 20 December 2012 on the validation of non-formal and informal learning (2012/C 398/01). The action plan was successfully developed.

The council of ministers on 18 May 2017 ([35]Decision No 82.592.) approved the establishment of the national qualifications authority, with the powers to further enhance the quality assurance systems in education and training, to monitor and integrate the scheme for the validation of non-formal and informal learning in the Cyprus qualifications framework after its completion, to monitor the Cyprus qualifications framework/European qualifications framework levels on the certificates, diplomas and Europass documents, to further strengthen the legal aspect of the Cyprus qualifications framework and to develop a registry for the Cyprus qualifications framework.

The education ministry coordinates the implementation of the project ‘Establishing a mechanism for the validation of non-formal and informal learning’. The project is co-funded by the European social fund and the Republic of Cyprus.

This project has supported a mapping study of the current situation in Cyprus regarding the validation of non-formal and informal learning. Based on the results of the study, an overall national action plan for the establishment of mechanisms for the validation of non-formal and informal learning in Cyprus was developed in early 2018. This was put into public consultation in May 2018. In October 2018, the council of ministers, with Decision No 85.959, dated 16 October 2018, approved the national action plan, which foresees setting up a validation mechanism and its pilot implementation. The first results from the pilot operation of the mechanism in the fields of adult education, youth and volunteering are estimated to be available at the end of 2019.

In the system of vocational qualifications a validation procedure consisted of four phaseshas been developed. The procedure is aligned with the European Recommendation on Validation of non-formal and informal learning ([36]Council Recommendation 2012/C398/01.).

The four phases are:

  • identification: at this stage the learning outcomes gained through formal, non-formal and informal learning are determined. The identification takes place in approved by Human Resource Development Authority centres for assessment of vocational qualifications. As first step information on the system of vocational qualifications is provided to the candidate and through an interview they are advised to choose a specific qualification standard, relevant to their set of knowledge, skills, competence. The results of this phase are described in the identification and documentation report;
  • documentation: This phase entails sufficient proof of the previously identified knowledge, skills, competence. The results are recorded in the identification and documentation report. If the candidates decide to proceed with the assessment in order to acquire the certificate of the vocational qualification they have to fill and sign an application form. When a group of three candidates is formed the director/manager of the centre for assessment of vocational qualifications submits the application forms and all paperwork to the Human Resource Development Authority for approval;
  • assessment: if the Human Resource Development Authority approves the applications which are examined against the criteria of the system of vocational qualifications the candidates may proceed with assessment. This is carried out by two approved assessors in 2 to 5 meetings and is based on the relevant vocational qualification standard. The results are depicted in the assessment report. The assessors are trained by Human Resource Development Authority;
  • certification. The assessment reports are submitted to Human Resource Development Authority, the results are validated, and full or partial certification is given.

For more information about arrangements for the validation of non-formal and informal learning please visit Cedefop’s European database ([37]https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/2016_validate_CY.pdf)

Allowances, meals and travel subsidy

  • the provision of secondary technical vocational education including evening technical education, the apprenticeship system and public tertiary vocational education are free of charge;

Study leave for employees

  • educational leave schemes, which are applied in the public sector in Cyprus, provide public-sector employees with the opportunity to take educational leave for studies which are relevant to their job provided that they are awarded a scholarship from, through or with the approval of the government or any other authority approved by the Council of Ministers;
  • in some sectors, leave of absence for education and training purposes is included in the collective agreements, thereby ensuring a certain level of education and training. Such sectors are the hotel industry, banking sector, cabinet making and carpentry industry and private clinics.

Incentives for the unemployed

The VET programmes for adults which are implemented by public and private institutions, are provided free of charge and participants receive training allowances which are paid by the Human Resource Development Authority. The amount of the allowance varies depending on the programme.

The financing provided by the European social fund has played an important role in the promotion of participation due to the increased level of funds available which led to the introduction of new training programmes. Many training programmes that are co-financed by the European social fund are addressed to the unemployed and groups at risk of exclusion from the labour market.

Wage subsidy and training remuneration

The funds of the Human Resource Development Authority come from the human resource development levy of 0.5% on the payroll of employers excluding the government.

Enterprises are directly involved in vocational training for adults and prepare and submit training programmes to the Human Resource Development Authority on a continuous basis. In general, the subsidisation covers 80% of the eligible total costs. The Human Resource Development Authority provides subsidies to the employers. In the case of single-company initial and continuing training programmes ([40]The single-company training programmes in Cyprus provide incentives to employers to design and organise in-company training programmes, implemented by internal or external trainers, to meet the specific needs of the enterprise for the effective utilisation of its personnel. The single-company training programmes abroad provide incentives employers to participate with their personnel in training programmes abroad to transfer specialised knowledge and skills in areas related to the introduction of innovation, new technology and technical know-how;), eligible costs include the cost of trainers, the personnel cost for trainees, administrative expenses and cost of training materials.

As regards the multi-company continuing training programmes ([41]The training programmes are implemented by accredited vocational training centres, at accredited vocational training facilities by certified trainers of vocational training. The programmes are subsidised by the Human Resource Development authority:
- multi-company training programmes provide continuing training for meeting the training needs of employed and unemployed persons through their participation in training programmes implemented by public or private training institutions and organisations. They cover a broad range of issues in all operations of the enterprise and in all occupations;
- high-priority multi-company training programmes provide continuing training to meet the training needs of employed persons through their participation in training programmes in specific high-priority issues.
Employees from different companies attend these programmes.
), the Human Resource Development Authority provides the subsidies directly to the training providers and the employer covers the remaining cost.

Enhancing the provision of guidance and counselling services to all population groups is a policy priority for Cyprus. The main bodies delivering guidance and counselling in Cyprus are the Counselling and Career Education Service (CCES) of the education ministry, the employment service, and the Euroguidance centre Cyprus of the labour ministry, the Human Resource Development Authority, the youth board of Cyprus and certain private organisations. Guidance is provided to students in secondary and tertiary education, to both the unemployed and employed as well as to the economically inactive.

An important development with regard to guidance was the establishment in March 2012 of the national forum on lifelong guidance, which was a basic step in the upgrading of all guidance and counselling services in Cyprus. Its mission is to act as an advisory body to the government policy makers in the field of lifelong guidance. All major stakeholders, such as the education ministry, the labour ministry, the Human Resource Development Authority the youth board of Cyprus and the social partners are represented in the Forum.

Guidance and counselling for students is provided mainly by the education ministry, the Euroguidance centre in Cyprus of the labour ministry, the Human Resource Development Authority and the youth board of Cyprus.

The counselling service provides counselling to students which aims at the development of their personal awareness related to their needs, interests, abilities, and skills. In this way they can take informed decisions about their personal lives, education and careers.

The whole process of achieving personal awareness is facilitated through educational and vocational guidance/counselling throughout upper secondary education. In addition, to become acquainted with the world of work, the students have the opportunity to attend presentations given by professionals in different fields and visit workplaces. Each school organises career days where professionals and staff from higher education institutions give lectures to students. Personal and group counselling, administration and analysis of psychometric tests along with presentations to classes of all levels, are provided to students by qualified guidance school counsellors. Also, school counsellors give lectures to parents to inform them about the educational options of their children.

The counsellors have undergone post-graduate education in counselling and/or career education/guidance. They are placed in schools of secondary education as well as at the central and regional offices of the counselling service offices of the education ministry. The counsellors at the central offices give support to the counsellors placed in schools and they are also responsible for many publications that address the needs of the counselling and career education service. They also provide counselling and career guidance services to the public.

An open school day, organised by the Department of Secondary Technical and Vocational Education and Training (STVET), has been established to raise public awareness and increase initial VET attractiveness. During the open school day, students of the third year of lower secondary education and their parents are given the opportunity to visit a technical school of their choice and be guided by teachers and students to the various facilities of the school. Moreover, an exhibition of the students’ achievements is organised at each technical school, to further promote awareness of the career possibilities provided by initial VET programmes.

Additionally, students attending technical schools receive traineeships in the specialisation of their choice as part of their curriculum. Furthermore, the third year of studies in the practical direction of technical schools combines a school-based environment with a real workplace as final-year students are placed in industry for one day per week, where they follow a practical training programme.

Each year, the education ministry organises the international education fair where the students and other interested parties receive educational information about universities´ study programmes, entrance requirements, fees and scholarships. Over 200 higher education institutions and universities from 35 countries, as well as the national universities and colleges usually attend the fair.

The Cyprus guidance and counsellors association, member of the Organisation of secondary school teachers of Cyprus, also organises an annual careers fair and more than 150 organised professional bodies and organisations participate.

The British Council and the education USA, a USA Department of State network, with the participation of different universities and colleges from the UK and the USA respectively, also organise education fairs, to provide information to prospective students for further studies in these countries. In recent years, education fairs are also organised by institutions of other countries.

Please see:

Vocational education and training system chart

Tertiary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 5

Higher professional

Programmes,

2-3 years

ISCED 554

Initial VET programmes leading to EQF level 5, ISCED 554
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

554

Usual entry grade

12

Usual completion grade

Not applicable

Usual entry age

18

Usual completion age

18+

Length of a programme (years)

3 (up to)

  
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

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

only for Cypriot and EU students and only in public institutions

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Each accredited two–year programme of study offered at the formerly known as post-secondary institutes (MIIEK) of VET awards 120 ECTS ([51]The formerly known as post-secondary institutes of VET (MIEEK), as public schools of higher VET (since 2017), offer two-year accredited programmes (European qualifications framework level 5), leading to the acquisition of a diploma of higher VET, which can be recognised by universities in the case of graduates who wish to pursue university studies in a relevant field. In Cyprus the standard formula used for each credit point per year is 25-30 of work load hours per credit point. The Cyprus law [Law 136 (Ι)/2015]) states that programmes should be designed according to the guidelines of ECTS and ECVET as they were declared in Ministerial meetings in the context of the European Higher Education Area. https://www.dipae.ac.cy/archeia/nomothesia/nomothesia_2015_peri_diasfalisis_pistopoiisis_poiotitas_anoteris_ekpaidefsis_el.pdf
Cyprus Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education issued a statement clarifying the number of hours per ECTS and the number of ECTS per programme. https://www.dipae.ac.cy/index.php/el/nea-ekdiloseis/anakoinoseis-el/102-2017-03-06-ects-2
).

The accredited programmes of study are the following ([52]Text in apostrophes refers to the specialisation fields.
):

  • 'bakery – confectionery'
  • 'computer and communication networks'
  • 'electromechanical and industrial refrigeration installations'
  • 'CNC technology – woodworking industry'
  • 'dairy technology – cheese making'
  • 'organic vegetable crops'
  • 'purchasing and supply management – shipping'
  • 'industrial and residential automation'
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • in-company practice
  • practical training at schools

In-company practice, i.e. work based learning (industrial placements) lasts for six weeks per academic year. Suitable enterprises and industrial units are selected on the basis that they have the capacity to provide learners with the necessary skills and competences required for their chosen programme of study.

Practical training at schools is provided at the workshops of the technical and vocational schools of education and training where the institutes operate.

Main providers

Department of Secondary Technical and Vocational Education and Training (STVET)

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Information not available ([53]There is work-based-learning enterprises as part of the programme however information on the share of work-based learning is not available .)

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

Information not available

Main target groups

Programmes are available for people (adults) with upper secondary level (EQF4) certificate (either from general education or VET). Higher education places are rather limited in Cyprus so many young Cypriots enrol to institutions abroad.

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

Learners must hold an upper secondary level certificate (EQF4) (general education or VET).

Assessment of learning outcomes
  • semester, and often mid-term examinations;
  • workshop and laboratory assignments;
  • project work and industrial training are also assessed and taken into consideration when assigning final marks;
  • In addition to the course modules, participants may be expected to prepare and submit a final project.
Diplomas/certificates provided

Information not available

Examples of qualifications

Tourist guide, police chief constable, police commissioner, cook, graphic designer ([54]As described in ILO: international standard classification of occupations: ISCO 08. http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/stat/isco/)

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Those who complete VET can enter the labour market or they can continue their studies at EQF level 6 (only in a specialisation relevant to their diploma).

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Information not available

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

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

EQF 3

Apprenticeship

(Preparatory level),

1-2 years

Initial VET programmes leading to EQF level 3 (Apprenticeship (preparatory level)) (Προπαρασκευαστική Μαθητεία)
EQF level
3
ISCED-P 2011 level

Not applicable

Usual entry grade

8

Usual completion grade

9

Usual entry age

13

Usual completion age

16

Length of a programme (years)

2 (up to)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

N

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

It is considered IVET

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

N

Preparatory apprenticeship is not available to adults

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • work practice in enterprises
  • participation in workshops
Main providers

The main provider is the education ministry.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Information not available

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • in-company practice
  • workshops
Main target groups

Young people aged 14-16 who have withdrawn from the formal education system.

They receive individual counselling according to their needs.

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

Learners must be at least 14 years old to enrol.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Assessment of preparatory apprenticeship students is a combination of their attendance and conduct record throughout the year, their individual project work throughout the year and their performance at final exams in Greek language and mathematics.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Preparatory Apprenticeship Certificate (Πιστοποιητικό Προπαρασκευαστικής Μαθητείας).

Preparatory Apprenticeship Certificate allows access to several regulated occupations (e.g. building contractor and electrician) provided that all other requirements of the relevant legislation are met.

Examples of qualifications

Not applicable

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Those who complete preparatory apprenticeship can enrol to core apprenticeship (EQF 3) or continue their studies to EQF 4 (upper secondary technical and vocational education or upper secondary general education) provided they succeed in a special set of exams.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

General education programmes constitute the main part of this programme, since learners attending preparatory apprenticeship are taught maths, modern Greek, English, computers, music, theatre, art, physical education and technology.

Key competences

Y

Numeracy skills (maths), mother tongue (Greek language), digital skills

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

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

Information not available ([44]In the academic year 2018/19 about 71 learners were enrolled onto preparatory apprenticeship. However, this number is not included in VET statistics.)

EQF 3

Apprenticeship

(Core-level),

WBL ca. 70%,

3 years

Initial VET programmes leading to EQF level 3, apprenticeship (core-level) (Νέα Μαθητεία)
EQF level
3
ISCED-P 2011 level

Not applicable

Usual entry grade

10

Usual completion grade

12

Usual entry age

15

Usual completion age

18

Length of a programme (years)

3 (up to)

  
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?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

N

Maximum completion age is 21 (however adults cannot enrol into core apprenticeship).

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • school-based learning
  • apprenticeships
  • work practice
Main providers
  • schools
  • enterprises
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>=70%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • in-company practice
Main target groups

Programmes are available for early leavers from education (i.e. young people, including adults, up to the age of 18 years old, who have either completed a lower secondary program (EQF2) or preparatory apprenticeship or dropped out of upper secondary programmes.

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

Learners must be between 15-18 years old to enrol.

  • minimum age: 15
  • maximum age: 18
  • previously acquired qualification/education level: lower secondary education leaving certificate ([45]In Greek: Απολυτήριο Γυμνασίου.) or Preparatory Apprenticeship Certificate ([46]In Greek: Πιστοποιητικό Προπαρασκευαστικής Μαθητείας.)
Assessment of learning outcomes

Assessment of apprentices for the theoretical training they receive in technical schools follows the rules of the education system with regular tests and final examinations. During the practical training, apprentices are assessed by their supervisors and their grades appear on the apprenticeship certificate (EQF level 3).

Diplomas/certificates provided

Apprenticeship certificate (Πιστοποιητικό Μαθητείας)

It allows access to several regulated occupations (e.g. building contractor and electrician) provided that all other requirements of the relevant legislation are met.

Examples of qualifications

Currently, the apprenticeship system in Cyprus offers the following specialisations ([47]Text in apostrophes refers to the names of specialisations in the national context.
):

  • 'car mechanics'
  • 'plumbing/central heating'
  • 'welding/metal constructions'
  • 'bakery/confectionery'
  • 'carpentry/furniture making'
  • 'electrical installations'
  • 'home appliances technicians'
Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Those who complete VET can enter the labour market or continue their studies at EQF level 4 (only in evening schools which they can complete in two years instead of four).

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Information not available

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

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

2.6% ([48]The data is for the 2018/19 school year and it’s the share of VET learners enrolled in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners enrolled in upper secondary VET programmes)

EQF 4

School-based and

mainly school-based programmes,

incl. WBL,

3 years

ISCED 354

Initial VET programmes leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354 (Μέση Δευτεροβάθμια τεχνική και επαγγελματική εκπαίδευση)
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

10

Usual completion grade

12

Usual entry age

15

Usual completion age

18

Length of a programme (years)

3 (4 for evening schools)

  
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

The three year programmes offer, at limited fees, continuing education and training to employed or unemployed adults, to respond more efficiently to the contemporary demands of the labour market and achieve re-integration in the labour market in areas where there is shortage of skilled workers.

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Information not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • school-based learning (contact studies)
  • work practice (practical training at school and in-company practice)
Main providers
  • schools
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Information not available

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • in-company practice (for learners of the practical direction)
  • workshops at schools

For the theoretical direction, the percentage of general education subjects is 70%, while the percentage of technological and workshop subjects is 30%. For the practical direction, the percentage of general education subjects and the percentage of technological and workshop subjects is 50% respectively.

Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people but also for adutls.

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

Learners must hold a lower secondary certificate (EQF2) or a new apprenticeship certificate, or pass special exams (for learners of the preparatory apprenticeship (EQF2).

Assessment of learning outcomes

The criteria used to assess students include class participation, workshop and laboratory work, written assignments, projects, tests and a final examination.

Diplomas/certificates provided

School leaving certificates (απολυτήρια) are awarded upon successful completion and also provide access to regulated occupations, provided that all other requirements of the relevant legislation are met.

Examples of qualifications

Beautician, hairdresser, bartender ([49]As described in ILO: international standard classification of occupations: ISCO 08. http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/stat/isco/)

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Those who complete VET can enter the labour market or continue their studies at EQF level 5 and EQF level 6.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Y

Both two directions, theoretical (θεωρητική) and practical (πρακτική), of formal upper secondary VET combine general education subjects with technological and workshop subjects.

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

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

96.0% ([50]The data is for the 2018/19 school year and it’s the share of VET learners enrolled in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners enrolled in Upper Secondary VET programmes.
)

VET available to adults (formal and non-formal)

Programme Types
Not available

General themes

Summary of main elements and distinctive features of VET([1]Adopted from Cedefop (2017). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Slovenia. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8122_en.pdf
)

VET in Slovenia, attractiveness of which is slightly increasing (70.4% of VET students in 2017), is characterised by the following main features:

  • Occupational standards form the basis for competence-based VET programmes implemented by the schools and for the National vocational qualifications as a system of validation of non-formal and in-formal learning.
  • Both main types of upper-secondary programmes, vocational and technical programmes, are offered in all professional fields, all programmes combine general subjects with vocational modules that integrate theoretical and practical learning, permeability between levels and programme types is high.
  • VET schools support students to complete their studies with partly external final examination Vocational matura and to continue their studies in higher vocational programmes, placed at the same VET school centres.
  • Work-based learning represents an integral part of all type of programmes. Students are trained in modern Inter-company training centres and/or companies, in 8 (pilot) VET programmes also in apprenticeship form.
  • VET schools are open for local initiatives and they can adopt 20% of the curricula (open curricula) to the local company’s need
  • CVET is not state regulated, but first (pilot) VET programme was accepted by the counselling body of the education ministry in late 2018.

Improving VET response to labour market needs has been at the heart of the development of competence-based curricula since 2006. The implementation period has brought changes in school curriculum planning, school-company cooperation culture, didactic and student assessment approaches and VET attractiveness. Significant efforts were made through investing in new training facilities (intercompany training centres) and reinforcing in-company work-based learning (WBL). The quality of WBL and competence-based assessment remain a challenge. Development of career guidance services, and promoting more flexible and individualised paths, are current development priorities.

Offering a new way to enter the labour market and to reinforce the competences required in working life are the main reasons for reintroducing the apprenticeship system and accredited CVET programmes.

With the adoption of the new Apprenticeship Act in 2017, a current pilot implementation of the apprenticeship path in 8 vocational programmes (ISCED 353) has started. Along with companies and schools, chambers also have a significant role in assessing suitability of training places, approving apprenticeship agreements and monitoring companies. Companies are supported to train apprentices.

Another response to labour market needs is the development of accredited CVET programmes up-skilling specific vocational competencies. This has the aim of offering training to employees in SMEs, to develop their competences and to offer new areas of specialisation.

In recent years, significant effort has been made in developing examination materials for the theoretical and practical part of vocational examinations. Greater involvement of employers in vocational examinations remains a priority.

Adopted from VET in Slovenia Spotlight 2017 ([2]Cedefop (2017). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Slovenia. Luxembourg: Publications Office..
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8122_en.pdf
).

Population in 2018: 2 066 880 ([3]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019])

It increased by 0.4% since 2013 due to some positive net migration and natural growth ([4]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

The population is ageing. An old-age dependency ratio is expected to increase from 27 in 2015 to 55 in 2060 ([5]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].

 

Demographic changes have an impact on VET.

In response to ageing population, the government adopted active ageing strategy ([6]Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development of the RS, hereinafter IMAD, 2017.) and comprehensive support to companies for active ageing of employees ([7]Public Scholarship, Disability and Maintenance Fund of the RS, hereinafter Public Fund, 2017b.) aimed at increasing the vocational competences of the adult population.

The country has two minorities, Italian and Hungarian. The Italian minority has an option to learn in their native language and learn Slovene as a second language. A VET school in Obalno-kraška region offers 12 different VET programs in Italian teaching language ([8]Scuola media Pietro Coppo:
http://www.pietrocoppo.net/sl/
).

The Hungarian minority has a bilingual VET school in Pomurska region, offering 15 different VET programs ([9]DVOJEZIČNA SREDNJA ŠOLA LENDAVA, KÉTNYELVŰ KÖZÉPISKOLA, LENDVA:
https://www.dssl.si/sl/
).

Most companies are micro and small-sized.

Main economic sectors:

  • manufacturing (automobile, metallic, electronics, pharmacy and chemicals, etc.);
  • service sector;
  • construction.

Export comprises mainly manufacture of motor vehicles, electrical equipment, pharmaceutical products and preparations, machinery, equipment and basic metals.

The process of deregulation started in 2010, when there were 323 regulated professions. Deregulation means to withdraw the regulation of the profession or to renew the regulation. In 2014, it became one of the key governmental projects with cross-sectoral status ([10]Ministry of Economic Development and Technology (in Slovenian: Ministrstvo za gospodarski razvoj in tehnologijo); Ministry of Economy (2017). Zaključno poročilo projekta VSRP 10. Prenova reguliranih dejavnosti in poklicev [Final report of the VSRP 10 project. Renewal of regulated professions].). Deregulation was done mostly in fields such as tourism, funeral and cemetery activity, construction, geodetic survey, chimney sweeping service, veterinary, trade, driving schools, social assistance, seller and commercial manager.

The aim is to ease entry conditions and access to the labour market and to minimise the administrative burden for immigrants in acquiring work permissions. The number of regulated professions is currently down to 215.

Total unemployment ([11]Eurostat table une_rt_a, (percentage of active population, 25 to 74 years old) [extracted 20.5.2019].) (2018): 4.8% (6.0% in EU-28); it increased by 1.1 percentage points since 2008.

 

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 0-2 and 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 is distributed unevenly between those with low- and high-level qualifications, with unskilled workers being most vulnerable to unemployment. The gap was highest in 2013.

Since 2013, the share of low- and medium-level qualified unemployed people decreased due to economic recovery and more employment opportunities in the manufacturing sector.

The lowest unemployment rate is among people with high-level qualifications (ISCED 5-8).

Employment rate of 20 to 34-year-old VET graduates increased from 77.4% in 2014 to 86.2% in 2018 ([12]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 increase (+8.8 pp) in employment of 20-34 year-old VET graduates in 2014-18 was higher compared to the increase in employment of all ISCED levels 20-34 year-old graduates (+8.5 pp) in the same period in Slovenia ([13]NB: Break in series. Eurostat table edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

The share of the population aged up to 64 with higher education (32.5%) has been higher in Slovenia than in most EU Member States. The share of those with low or without a qualification (11.9%) was among the lowest in the EU in 2017.

 

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

not applicable

70.9%

not applicable

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].

 

Traditionally, there are more males in VET than females. Males prefer professions in the fields like science and engineering, manufacturing and construction, while females more often enrol in programmes from the fields like education, social sciences, business and law, health and welfare, humanities and arts and services.

Table: Young people, enrolled in VET, number and structure, by sex, in %, school 2017/18

   

Structure of enrolment by sex, in %

Total, number

Men

Women

Fields of education - TOTAL

47 724

58.2

41.8

Education

2 709

10.7

89.3

Humanities and Arts

2 865

37.6

62.4

Social sciences, business and law

5 570

37.5

62.5

Science

3 089

95.6

4.4

Engineering, manufacturing and construction

17 456

90.2

9.8

Agriculture

2 582

48.1

51.9

Health and Welfare

5 861

26.1

73.9

Services

7 592

37.5

62.5

Source: Statistic Office of the Republic of Slovenia, SI-STAT Data Portal - Demography and Social Statistics - Education.

The share of early leavers from education and training decreased from 5.3% in 2009 to 4.2% in 2018. This is lower than the national target for 2020 of not more than 10% and significantly lower than 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.
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].

 

 

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].

 

Although national 2020 target set in 2013 is 19% ([14]https://livelink.cedefop.europa.eu/livelink/livelink.exe?func=ll&objId=27855839&objAction=browse&viewType=1), participation in lifelong learning in Slovenia has decreased from 18.5% in 2010 to 11.4% in 2018. However, it remains slightly above the EU-28 average.

VET learners by age group

 

Graph: The number of young people and adults, enrolled in VET at ISCED 3-4, school year 2016/17

Source: Statistic Office of the Republic of Slovenia, SI-STAT Data Portal - Demography and Social Statistics -– Education.

 

In the structure of enrolments in VET almost three quarters falls in the age group 19 or less, one fifth in the age group 20-24, while the shares for other age groups are much lower.

The education and training system comprises:

  • pre-school education (ISCED 0);
  • integrated primary (ISCED 100, EQF 1) and lower secondary education (ISCED 244, EQF 2) (nationally referred as basic education).
  • upper secondary education:
  • short vocational programmes (ISCED 353, EQF 3);
  • vocational programmes (ISCED 353, EQF 4);
  • vocational – technical programmes (ISCED 354, EQF4);
  • technical programmes (ISCED 354, EQF 4);
  • general programmes (ISCED 344, EQF 4);
  • tertiary education;
  • higher vocational programmes (ISCED 554, EQF 5);
  • professional bachelor programmes (ISCED 655, EQF 6);
  • bachelor programmes (ISCED 645, EQF 6);
  • master programmes (ISCED 767, EQF 7);
  • doctoral programmes (ISCED 844, EQF 8).

81.7% of children aged 1 to 6 are enrolled in kindergarten (vrtec). Each child is by law entitled to a place in a kindergarten, but it is not compulsory. Kindergartens are public or private. 96% of children attend public ones that are founded and financed by the local communities. Fees can be subsidized by the government.

Basic education is 9 year, single structured primary and lower secondary education and is compulsory (ISCED 1-2). Learners start at age 6 and finish aged 15 years of age in 6 private and 284 public schools. Learners that do not finish basic education successfully in 9 years can enrol in short vocational education (ISCED 353, EQF 3). Public schools are founded by local communities and funded by education ministry. Parents contribute mostly for meals, school supplies, books and extracurricular activities.

General upper secondary education lasts 4 year (ISCED 344, EQF 4) and is completed by external examination, General Matura (splošna matura). Enrolment depends on grades in the last 3 years of basic education. Graduates have access to tertiary education. 5-7 private schools and approx. 60 public schools offer gymnasia program. Public schools are founded and funded by the education ministry. Parents contribute mostly for meals, school supplies, books and extracurricular activities.

Learners can also enrol in professional gymnasia which provides general education but with some emphasis on professions (technical, economic, art).

If a learner wants to transfer from general education to vocational path they can after completed 3 years of gymnasia attend a one year vocational course, enabling them to pass a Vocational Matura.

Tertiary education comprises higher vocational education (2 years), professional and academic programmes at a bachelor level (3 or 4 years) and master level (1 or 2 years). Doctoral programmes last 3 years.

 

 

 

Formal initial VET

Both young people (students) and adults can enrol in initial VET. Young people attend VET programs free of tuition. Once enrolled they can repeat one grade and re-enrol in the same grade but different program. If they are not successful and want to continue or want later in life to re-enter or change profession they can enrol as adults.

Initial VET consists of accredited, formal programmes on upper-secondary level. There are 3 entry points. Short vocational programmes (2 years) on ISCED 353, EQF 3 levels with assistant type of professions and is accessible to learners with minimum EQF 1 (attending 9-years of basic education). Graduates, passing Final exam, can continue to the second entry point: Vocational programmes (3 years) on ISCED 353, EQF 4. After 3 years of professional work experience, graduates, passing Final exam, can pass the craftsman, foreman or shop manager exam and can continue also to Higher vocational programmes. But especially young vocational programme graduates mostly continue to Vocational technical programmes (2 years) on ISCED 354, EQF 4 that gives them access to Vocational Matura (poklicna matura).

However, most VET students (41.9% in 2018/19) start upper-secondary level in Technical programmes (4 years) on ISCED 354, EQF 4, completing programme with Vocational Matura that gives them access to tertiary level: Higher vocational programmes (2, year, ISCED 554, EQF 5), professional bachelor programmes and with completed additional 5th Matura subject also to academic bachelor programmes. Transferring from VET to general path is possible also through one-year Matura bridging course, which prepares learners for General Matura.

The above-mentioned programmes are mainly school based with in-company WBL from 10 to 40 % of curricula. Since school year 2017/18 apprenticeship was reintroduced, meaning that gradually 3 year Vocational programmes are being prepared on national level to be implemented in apprenticeship form. Meaning that students spend at least 50 % of time learning with mentors in companies.

VET graduates pass Final exam (mother tongue), Vocational Matura (2 general, 1 vocational subjects) or Higher vocational diploma. Final exam and Vocational Matura include also practical exam.

Since 2000, all upper-secondary learners can have their prior knowledge assessed by the school that can lessen learners obligations within the programme.

Formal continuing VET

Craftsman, foremen and shop manager exams are traditionally understood as CVET as the applicants (3 year vocational programme graduates) must have specific professional experiences. It is a way that experienced employee can be promoted to a more demanding work position that does not require next educational level. Optional preparatory courses and literature may be offered by the chambers, which also assess the candidates.

CVET short programmes have been developed since 2017, with the first published programme in 2019. They are prepared in close cooperation with the employers to up-skill employees to perform specific tasks, up-grade, modernise some concrete professional skills etc. They focus entirely on the vocational and professional competences and 50 % of its curricula is conducted at work place and the other half in school. They last for a maximum 6 months and are prepared on the same educational (ISCED or EQF) level as initial programs at upper-secondary and tertiary level (higher vocational programmes).

National vocational qualifications enable citizens to get their vocational competencies verified, but cannot gain levels of education through this option.

Adults can enrol in non-formal courses on educational service market provided by private entities or public schools, to gain numerous VET or general competencies.

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

With the adoption of the new Apprenticeship Act in 2017, a pilot implementation of the apprenticeship path in four upper secondary vocational programmes (ISCED 353, EQF) has started. In 2018, next five programmes were included. Learners can enrol in those 8 programmes choosing between school based path and apprenticeship path.

Apprenticeship path means that 50-60% of the programme is undertaken at an employer, while at least 40% – general subjects and VET modules – is in schools.

At the beginning of an apprenticeship, the plan for implementation of the apprenticeship is prepared in cooperation between the school and the company under the provision of the chamber and signed between student, and representatives of company, school and chamber. It includes the objectives and set of competences for WBL, distribution and schedule of education at the school and in the company, ways and modes of communication and cooperation between the company and school, information regarding the mid-term and final exam for the apprentice.

The Organisation and Financing of Education Act ([15]http://pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO445), Vocational Education Act ([16]http://pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO4325), Higher Vocational Education Act ([17]http://pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO4093&d-49682-p=2&&tab=strokovni&scrollTop=557), Slovenian Qualifications Framework Act ([18]http://pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO6958) and Adult Education Act ([19]http://pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO7641) represent main legislation dealing with VET.

The education ministry ([20]In Slovenian: Ministrstvo za izobraževanje, znanost in šport.) is responsible for the quality and development of the education system, it formulates and implements education policies and makes system regulations. It prepares budget for public financing, oversees its implementation and allocates VET programmes. It intensely cooperates with the labour ministry and social partners (representatives of employees and employers), who are active members of four national expert councils ([21]The Expert council for VET, for specific elements also: the Expert council for general education, the Expert council for AE and the Expert council for Higher education.) operating as a consulting body for the education ministry. A school inspectorate operates within the education ministry. Cooperation with the public employment service (PES) and cooperation with the economy (chambers) is established.

Eight public institutions for the implementation of regulations are also active, supporting education institutions and taking care of development, and supervising, as well as taking care of quality monitoring and counselling.

  • Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Vocational Education and Training (CPI);
  • National Education Institute of the RS – responsible for General Education;
  • Slovenian Institute for Adult Education –responsible for Adult Education;
  • National Examinations Centre – external assessment in education;
  • Educational Research Institute - research;
  • Centre of the Republic of Slovenia for Mobility and European Educational and Training Programmes – mobility - National EU agency;
  • National School of Leadership in Education – development of management in education;
  • Slovenian Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education ([22]Respectively: Center RS za poklicno izobraževanje, Zavod RS za šolstvo, Andragoški center Slovenije, Državni izpitni center, Pedagoški inštitut, Center Republike Slovenije za mobilnost in evropske programe izobraževanja in usposabljanja, Šola za ravnatelje., Nacionalna agencija RS za kakovost v visokem šolstvu.).

The public institutions are government controlled by appointment of representatives to governance bodies, public funding, salary system, adoption of common rules and guidelines of public service, centrally adopted curricula, etc. The providers of accredited educational programmes are under supervision of the school inspectorate.

The governance body of public education institutes is the council. VET school councils are composed of representatives of the founder, school employees, parents and students. The founder –state – participates in the governance of VET schools through representatives appointed to the council and directly in administrative procedures.

The management body is the head teacher, who is also a pedagogical leader. Teachers enjoy professional autonomy and the head teacher has the autonomy in accordance with requirements to employ teachers of their own choice.

The system of VET education is centralised; decisions about the foundation and financing of VET schools, as well as agreement on and distribution of education programmes are adopted at the national level. However, schools and teachers enjoy autonomy in designing the implementation of national curricula and choosing teaching methods.

Higher vocational schools shall establish governance and management bodies depending on the founder (state, private) and organisation (independent college, unit of another institution or company). The management body is the director or head teacher, whereas the council is the governing body.

Legislation ([23]The Organisation and Financing of Education Act (2007-17).) stipulates the public financing of upper secondary VET and higher vocational programmes. The sources of funding are specified by purpose, duty and responsibility. The terms and conditions for financing and supervision are presented. Adults in VET (part-time) are the only students required to pay for tuition.

The ministry for education annually determines the cost of a VET programme per learner, based on the methodology for financing educational programmes for upper secondary schools, mostly regarding cost of work (salaries of the school employees), expenditure for goods and services (heating, electricity, water), number of hours in a programme.

The total level of funding is specified in a financing agreement signed by the education ministry and the school for each budget year.

Additional public funding is also accessible for extra costs and through the cooperation in developmental (national and international) projects.

Other possible funding sources for VET include:

  • contributions from industry associations and chambers;
  • direct contributions from employers for the provision of work practice;
  • payments and fees from students;
  • funds from the sale of services and products;
  • donations, sponsorships and other sources.

The public expenditure (figure below) allocated to formal education (including VET) in 2017 amounted to EUR 2.056 million, or 4.80% of GDP. The biggest share of total public expenditure for formal education was allocated to basic education (43.5%) followed by pre-school education (20.1%), tertiary education (19.5%) and upper secondary education (16.9%).

 

Public formal education expenditure; share of 4.8% of GDP by level of education in 2017

Source: Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (SORS).

 

In VET, there are:

  • at upper secondary level
    • teachers of general subjects;
    • teachers of the professional theory;
    • teachers of the practical training; and
  • at the higher vocational education
    • lecturers.

Teachers of general subjects must have a master degree (ISCED 7), completed one year pedagogical/andragogical training and the State professional exam.

There are two types of teachers of vocational modules.

  • Teachers of the theoretical part are expected to meet the same requirements as teachers of general subjects.
  • Teachers of the practical training must have at least vocational upper secondary education (ISCED 354), one year pedagogical/andragogical training, the State professional exam and at least 3 years of relevant work experience.

In-company mentors must have professional education in the appropriate field, an appropriate number of years of work experience and short pedagogical/andragogical training designed for mentors.

Lecturers at the higher vocational education level must have a relevant master's degree (ISCED 7), three years of work experience and relevant professional achievements (the co-authorship of valid education programmes, textbooks or study materials, membership of exam committees, and similar).

In-company mentors are employees of the company conducting WBL as part of VET programmes.

Teachers and lecturers are employed by the schools and funded by the education ministry. They can be full-time employed, regarding the number of students enrolled some may have part-time contracts.

Salary in general depends on the education level. Apart from this, teachers are included in a promotion scheme through which they can achieve three mayor promotion levels.

Teachers have limited options for continuing their professional development, which is defined only as a right of 15 days in three years ([24]Collective agreement for the education sector in the Republic of Slovenia; Ministry of Education (1994).) and not as an obligation. The education ministry partly finances programmes for the continuing professional development of teachers and the other part is cover by the school. A great deal of additional teacher training is also provided through national and international projects. Schools can also order private providers of programmes.

According to the new rules ([25]Rules on the selection and co-funding of further education and training programmes for educational professionals.), there are two types of CPD programmes for teachers:

  • First are for teachers who need to gain additional training for the position of a teacher (for example mechanical engineer does not get this type of training during university studies, so he needs to pass this training) or special tasks (for example for teachers to work with SEN students as SEN experts).
  • Second type of CPD programs are shorter (8-24 hours) courses on various topics that teachers can choose from a catalogue published by the education ministry. Providers can be private or public organisations are chosen via public tender and may be co-financed.

Through the ESF project ([26]Strengthening the competences of professionals in the field of managing an innovative educational institute 2016-22.) teachers and other professional workers in upper-secondary vocational schools and higher vocational schools are trained to strengthen their competences in promoting entrepreneurship, innovative methods of teaching, quality completion of education, upgrading professional skills, working with special needs students, acquiring pedagogical/andragogical skills for higher-education lecturers, and supporting quality assurance in higher vocational schools.

In addition, CPI analysed VET teachers’ knowledge, attitude and use of ICT in designing and implementing digital competences in VET programmes. Results of this analysis are fed into training of teachers in 12 vocational schools in 2018-19 to help them develop their teaching approaches in developing students’ digital competence.

Training of in-company mentors

CPI prepared a programme for mentor training ([27]In-company training for students in upper secondary VET and higher vocational education.). From 2014 onwards two ESF funded projects have been implemented, led by two Consortiums. Training is free of charge and aims to equip the mentors with the basic pedagogical/andragogical knowledge, basic developmental characteristics of the youth, psychological and pedagogical elements of learning and teaching, communication skills, health and safety at work, relevant legislation ([28]They also get to know the importance of a good organisational culture for successful work, how to include the student into the work process, how to prepare documentation for an efficient management, monitoring and validation of students.).

The programme lasts for 50 hours for mentors included in upper secondary programmes WBL and 60 hours for mentors in higher vocational programmes WBL.

More information is available in the Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspective on teachers and trainers ([29]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/teachers-and-trainers).

VET programmes are prepared based on labour market data such as the data on labour market movements. A public employment service (PES) and Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (SORS) collect these data in their official records using their own classification tools in the process.

As labour market data are presented at the aggregated level (i.e. unemployment, the active population, needs for new employment positions, and the like), the need for a research institution to analyse and monitor changes in the labour market has emerged several times in the past. This is to provide support for decision-making processes within the scope of the preparation of VET programmes and to forecast potential education requirements.

The official records on current work place demand managed by the PES, where the majority of all the employment positions offered by employers are recorded, have proven to be a comprehensive source of information. However, the problem with these records is the poor organisation of the data in the various educational programmes, which changed during the various educational reforms, and so a comprehensive data review, as well as its translation into high-quality topical data (educational programmes), is required. In addition, the systematic collection of the demands of private sector employers ended in 2013, and the country therefore lost one of the databases from which the data was drawn ([30]Since 2013 private sector employers are not obligated anymore to inform PES about a vacancy, therefore PES collects data from Pension and Disability Insurance Institute of Slovenia (Labour Market Regulation Act, amendment in 2013).).

See also Cedefop’s skills forecast ([31]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/skills-forecast) and European Skills Index ([32]https://skillspanorama.cedefop.europa.eu/en/indicators/european-skills-index)

Vocational qualifications

There are two types of vocational qualification (poklicna kvalifikacija). The first may be acquired following the path of education and training system and the second by following the path of recognition of non-formal and informal learning. In 2007, the legislation ([33]The National Professional Qualifications Act (2007, 2009).) connected both systems with the occupational standards (poklicni standardi), which represent a learning outcome standard for each vocational qualification that can be formally acquired or recognised in Slovenia. Vocational qualifications are classified in the sectoral qualification structures approved by the sectoral committee for occupational standards. The labour ministry established ten sectoral committees for occupational standards, which are composed of experts and representatives from the chambers, ministries and trade unions.

Occupational standards

Occupational standards serve as the basic documents for the performance of examinations and the verification of vocational qualifications acquired through the recognition of non-formal learning. The methodology for the preparation of occupational standards is prescribed, which ensures their transparency and comparability.

The preparation of occupational standards is conducted through social dialogue. It is important for the employers to describe the knowledge and skills the employees are required or need to possess – now and in the future. Occupational standards do not simply serve as a record of the current situation; they are also an indicator of the situation as it develops. This is of considerable importance for the changing labour market, not just from the employer's perspective, but, more importantly, from the point of view of the certificate holder.

Occupational standards must be prepared in cooperation with experts who are familiar with the profession, work organisations, technology and trends in the development of the profession and the sector itself. Occupational standards are closely related to sector and profession. The key competences necessary for a profession are also included.

Occupational standards development process

The processes of the preparation of occupational standards and National Vocational Qualifications catalogues are determined in the National Professional Qualifications Act. It starts with an initiative submitted by any legal or natural person at the Institute of the RS for VET (CPI). The CPI provides an expert assessment and submits it for discussion to the relevant sectoral committee for occupational standards. When discussing the initiative, the following is especially important: information on the needs of the labour market, the comparability of standards for a specific qualification among EU member states, and, if necessary, compliance with the regulations and norms.

If the sectoral committee for occupational standards considers the initiative to be well founded, they appoint the experts who, with methodological support from the CPI, prepare a proposal for an occupational standard. The national methodology provided by the CPI serves as a uniform basis for all occupational standards and NVQ catalogues, thereby ensuring the transparency and comparability of documents at the national level.

Based on the occupational standard, experts prepare a proposal for an NVQ catalogue. The sectoral committee submits the NVQ catalogue to the Expert Council for VET for discussion. When the council supports the NVQ catalogue, it proposes its adoption to the labour ministry. The procedure for revision that takes place every five years is the same as the procedure for the preparation of new occupational standards.

Preparation of VET programmes

Based on one or more occupational standards, a VET programme is developed. The national curriculum standards (minimum hours for general subjects, professional modules, the proportion of open curricula, etc.) for each VET programme level are set by the Expert Council for VET, who proposes the adoption of the VET programme to the education ministry.

In VET, the learning outcomes approach is seen as a very useful way of bringing VET programmes closer to ‘real life’ and the needs of the labour market. National VET framework curricula define the expected knowledge, skills and attitudes to be acquired by students. The syllabi usually follow the Bloom's taxonomy method for learning outcomes. Broad competences in the catalogues of knowledge for modules/subjects are defined as the ability and readiness to use knowledge, skills and attitudes in study and work contexts.

Inclusion of VET qualifications in the Slovenian qualifications framework (SQF)

The SQF Act has defined the unified system of qualifications as the Slovenian Qualifications Framework (SQF) since 2016. Three qualification categories that consist of qualifications share a common purpose. All qualifications that are included have successfully completed formal accreditation procedures.

  • Educational qualification is the outcome of formal VET programmes and denotes the level and field of the formal qualification an individual has obtained. A certificate is awarded as proof of qualification;
  • National Vocational Qualification is a qualification obtained under the NVQ procedure;
  • Supplementary qualification is a qualification that supplements an individual's competence at the level attained and in a specific professional field and is tied to the needs of the labour market.

The Vocational Education Act in 2006 and Organisation and Financing of Education Act in 2007 identified the importance of quality assurance and self-evaluation as obligatory and crucial method for quality assurance (QA) and quality development (QD), while it strengthened the autonomy and the developmental role of IVET. Schools are required to establish a quality committee consisting of a minimum of a chairperson plus five members, from the representatives of teachers and other professional members of school staff, employers, students and parents. The committee is obliged to publish an annual quality report on the school website. The structure and content of the report is up to the school. However VET providers have to monitor 11 national quality indicators (10 EQAVET indicators included), upon request they have to send the data to the Institute of the RS for VET (CPI) (EQAVET NRP in Slovenia), but they do not have to make the information on 11 national indicators public.

There is a national reference point for quality assurance in upper secondary VET (EQAVET NRP in Slovenia ([34]http://www.eqavet-nrp-slo.si/equavet-v-sloveniji/)) within the EQAVET network at the CPI. It gathers information about the quality assurance in VET schools, monitors quality indicators at the national level ([35]Renewed set of 11 national quality indicators were set in 2017 by the Expert Council for VET. All ten EQAVET indicators are included into the set of 11 national indicators:
http://www.eqavet-nrp-slo.si/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/09_Nacionalni_kazalniki_kakovosti_PSI2017.pdf
) and supports VET schools with trainings, publications (CPI, 2007 ([36]Mali, D. et al. (2007). Priporočila šolam za izvajanje samoevalvacije: ugotavljanje in zagotavljanje kakovosti v poklicnem in strokovnem izobraževanju [Reccommendations for schools on self-evaluation: determing and ensuring quality in VET]. Ljubljana: Center Republike Slovenije za poklicno izobraževanje.
http://www.cpi.si/files/cpi/userfiles/Publikacije/sola_za_izvajanje_samoevalvacije_slo.pdf
), CPI 2017 ([37]Grašič, S.; Pogačnik Nose, Š.; Žagar, T. (eds) (2017). Okvir EQAVET za ugotavljanje in zagotavljanje kakovosti: priročnik za implementacijo evropskega okvira kakovosti poklicnega in strokovnega izobraževanja in usposabljanja na ravni šole [The EQAVET framework for determing and assuring quality: a manual for the implementation of European quality framework for VET]. Ljubljana: Center Republike Slovenije za poklicno izobraževanje.
http://www.eqavet-nrp-slo.si/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Prirocnik_EQAVET_2017.pdf
), ŠR 2019 ([38]Brejc, M.; Širok, K. (eds) (2019). Zbirka kakovost v vrtcih in šolah [Quality in kindergartens and schools series]. Ljubljana: Šola za ravnatelje.
http://solazaravnatelje.si/index.php/dejavnosti/zaloznistvo/zbirka-kakovost-v-vrtcih-in-solah
)) and cooperation in national and international projects in the field of QA and QD. According to the legislation, CPI is obliged to regularly prepare and publish National quality report on VET ([39]http://www.eqavet-nrp-slo.si/gradiva/).

The education ministry prepared guidelines on common national framework for quality assurance, which encompasses levels of education from pre-school until the end of upper secondary level in 2017 ([40]Ministry of Education, Science and Sport (2017). Nacionalni okvir za ugotavljanje in zagotavljanje kakovosti na področju vzgoje in izobraževanja. [National framework for determining and assuring quality in education].
http://www.mizs.gov.si/si/delovna_podrocja/urad_za_razvoj_in_kakovost_izobrazevanja/sektor_za_razvoj_izobrazevanja/ugotavljanje_in_zagotavljanje_kakovosti_v_vzgoji_in_izobrazevanju/
), whose implementation is planned in the next few years.

On this basis the education ministry appointed 4 national institutes ([41]National School for Leadership in Education (Šola za ravnatelje), National Examinations Centre (Državni izpitni center), Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for VET (Center RS za poklicno izobraževanje), National Education Institute (Zavod za šolstvo) Slovenia.) to further develop the national QA framework. Standards and indicators of quality on 5 areas ([42]School/kindergarten leadership, quality assessment and quality assurance with self-evaluation, learning achievements, professional learning and performing of teachers, safe and facilitating learning environment).) were developed and are presented in a “Collection of quality in kindergartens and schools” ([43]Brejc, M.; Širok, K. (eds) (2019). Zbirka kakovost v vrtcih in šolah [Quality in kindergartens and schools series]. Ljubljana: Šola za ravnatelje.
http://solazaravnatelje.si/index.php/dejavnosti/zaloznistvo/zbirka-kakovost-v-vrtcih-in-solah
). Common national framework for quality assurance includes 11 national (10 EQAVET included) indicators for VET schools. In the “Quality assessment and quality assurance with self-evaluation”, the standards/indicators of quality of the process and the role of school staff members of the quality commission (quality team) are defined and required competences of its members and crucial assignments in the process are described. The quality team and school management lead the process of quality assessment and quality assurance with self-evaluation on school level and are also responsible for establishment of a functional quality system/framework in a school.

According to Higher Vocational Education Act (2004, 2013) a Quality committee consisting of five lecturers and two students is also requested in higher vocational schools, while Slovenian Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (NAKVIS) ([44]Nacionalna agencija republike Slovenije za kakovost v visokem šolstvu (NAKVIS).) monitors the quality assurance of higher vocational schools.

Responsibilities/assignments of Quality committee are:

  • create conditions for the promotion and development of the quality of educational work at school;
  • establish mechanisms for continuous monitoring and assessment of the quality and efficiency of work at the school;
  • plan, organise and coordinate monitoring and quality assurance at school;
  • cooperate with the NAKVIS and make comparisons between schools at home and abroad;
  • monitor the employment opportunities of graduates,
  • on the basis of employers' responses, makes proposals for improvement; and
  • prepare evaluation reports to be discussed with the NAKVIS.

A part of CVET that is conducted by adult education institutions and is funded by state undergo the quality assurance regulation included in Adult Education Act (2018). It requires VET providers to establish an internal QA system lead by quality committee. This includes regular monitoring and self-evaluation, cooperation in the external evaluation and public presentation of their internal quality assurance system on their web pages.

Slovenia has a system of validation of non-formal and informal learning in place since 2000.

Several national and regional organisations and institutions implement this policy in practice. The awareness of validation has grown amongst the general population and is no longer considered a new topic ([45]Košmrlj, K. (2016). 2016 update to the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning: country report Slovenia.
https://cumulus.ced)efop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/2016_validate_SI.pdf
).

Validation procedures are included in legislation for higher education, higher vocational education, and adult education. The national system (National Vocational Qualifications) enables acquiring formal qualifications by means of validation procedure as legally regulated ([46]National Professional Qualifications Act (see Chapter 2.3.2). First published in Official Gazette of the RS, No 85/2009. In Slovenian: Državni zbor Republike Slovenije (2009). Zakon o nacionalnih poklicnih kvalifikacijah.
http://pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO1626
). The education and the labour ministries are responsible for issues regarding education, classification, the validation for employment, and qualification frameworks.

In tertiary education for higher vocational programmes, The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) criteria are considered along with a comparison between the competences achieved by the candidate and the competences declared in the accredited syllabus of the course or in the study module/programme. Each institution and university member is free to prepare and use ECTS in accordance with the qualification for which they provide education (autonomy granted by the Higher Education Act).

In VET, there are two main legally regulated routes for the recognition of non-formally and informally acquired knowledge. For the purpose of further participation in formal education, the validation process is based on the educational standards (catalogues of knowledge, professional modules and the operational curriculum). If the purpose of validation is recognition of occupational competences in the labour market the National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) system is used and the knowledge and experience gained by the candidate are compared with the skills and competences in the NVQ catalogue.

The recognition of non-formally and informally acquired knowledge is often seen as the domain of adult education, and so recognition of non-formal and informally acquired knowledge in the formal education system is not widespread. It is most common with part-time students in higher vocational education and least common with upper secondary school students ([47]Žnidarič, H. et al (2010). Poročilo o spremljanju izvajanja postopkov priznavanja neformarnega znanja [Report on monitoring the implementation of procedures of recognition of non-formal learning]. Ljubljana: Center RS za poklicno izobraževanje (CPI).
http://www.cpi.si/files/cpi/userfiles/Datoteke/evalvacija/Porocilo_PNZ-9_11_2010.pdf
).

According to the rules ([48]Ministry for Education (2018). Assessment in upper secondary schools rules.), class teachers must prepare the individual learning plan for adult (part-time) student, that must include information about previously gained and recognised formal and non-formal knowledge. However, higher vocational education is the exception since the procedure is well defined by the common guidelines and standards in the procedures for the recognition of previously acquired knowledge in higher vocational education ([49]Državni zbor Republike Slovenije (2010). Pravilnik o priznavanju predhodno pridobljenega znanja v višjem strokovnem izobraževanju [Rules on the recognition of the previous education in higher vocational education]. Official Gazette of the RS; No 20/2010.
http://pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=PRAV9668
).

The development of the system of non-formally and informally acquired knowledge for adults in VET has also been dealt with at systemic level by the Slovenian Institute for Adult Education (SIAE) in cooperation with the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Vocational Education and Training (CPI) in 2011. Technical criteria have been drawn up for the systemic regulation of the evaluation and recognition of non-formally and informally acquired knowledge in VET for adult learners primarily. This remained at the proposal level and has never been implemented on the systemic level. The responsibility has been left to the VET schools.

Candidates whose previously acquired knowledge has been recognised within the formal education system may therefore be exempt from certain requirements of a formal education programme (e.g. practical training, subjects or modules, and similar), and may obtain a NVQ certificate or career progression within an enterprise.

For more information about arrangements for the validation of non-formal and informal learning please visit Cedefop’s European database ([50]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/european-database-on-validation-of-non-formal-and-informal-learning).

Scholarships

  • All students in upper-secondary and tertiary education coming from economically weaker families are eligible for State social scholarship (državna štipendija). It ranges from EUR 95 for underage students ([51]<18) (depending on social status) and up to EUR 190 for students aged 18 or more (depending on social status). Students get a rise in the scholarship in the second and further years of education up to EUR 40 monthly if they achieve good results;
  • Talented students can get a higher scholarship (Zoisova štipendija) as an incentive to achieve exceptional results, and performance in terms of knowledge, research and art. It amounts to EUR 120–140 for upper secondary and higher education students respectively. The amounts are doubled if they study abroad; extra funds are also available for housing and special needs. Each student can get one of these two scholarships.

VET learners are also eligible for the following two types of scholarship.

  • First is for shortage professions (štipendija za deficitarne poklice). The purpose is to encourage enrolment into shortage occupations or the ones that are dying out and promotion of VET. Each year 1 000 scholarships are offered amounting to a EUR 100 per month. The list of professions for which a grant is offered changes annually and is prepared by the public employment service (PES) based on the current situation on the labour market and of expected trends in education;
  • The second is Intern scholarships (kadrovska štipendija) that employers grant directly to students. In this way the employers may have tailor made workers that they need in the future and the students are offered a first contact with the company, first work experience and also assured first employment. After completed education, the company is obliged to employ the grant receiver, who is obliged to accept the position offered in accordance with the scholarship contract. The duration of employment usually equals the duration of receiving the scholarship. Employers can use a support information system operated by twelve regional developmental offices and apply for the State subsidy. An Intern scholarship must not be lower than the State social scholarship. On average, it is the highest, but many go unclaimed. Students can get one of these two scholarships in addition to state social scholarship or the scholarship for talented students ([52]Public Fund, 2018.).

Co-financing of tuition for raising educational levels

The purpose is to increase participation in lifelong learning as well as improve competences the adult needs for successful entering into the labour market, increased employability, mobility, personal growth and functioning in modern society. One of the criteria for applying is completed vocational upper secondary education or less. Persons who completed only basic education and/or are 45 years of age are at an advantage. All programmes of upper secondary VET, general upper secondary education, Matura course, vocational course, foreman, shop manager and master craftsman exam are eligible.

After completing the education programme, they can apply to have their tuition reimbursed. In the period 2014-22, the co-financing amounts to a maximum of EUR 2 500.

Co-financing of non-formal education and training

All trainings providing knowledge that is largely transferable to other companies or work positions (computer skills, languages, communication, etc.) is eligible. Eligible participants are regularly employed individual, self-employed, self-employed people in culture. The last tender (2018) enabled reimbursement of training costs of EUR 813 per person, who applied for the co-financing.

Textbooks, commute and school meals

The government funds preparation of textbooks for professional modules in VET programs, because of the lack of economic interest of publishing houses due to low number of students (Institute of the RS for VET - CPI coordinates the preparation of textbooks).

Most VET schools have an organised so-called school textbook fund with initial financial support of the State and offer students rental of textbooks for maximum one third of its cost. Economically weaker families can ask the school for a lower borrowing fee.

All upper-secondary schools have to organise one meal per day for students at school; the State subsidizes the cost for economically weaker families. All students have a subsidized cost for daily commute with their public transportation. Employers are not obliged to award VET students financially for their work-based learning period at their companies but are obligated to award apprentices. All student can apply for a student job, a form of employment adapted to their circumstances (short period, during school vacation, part-time etc.).

Co-financing the cost of work-based learning (WBL)

The aim of the programme is to offer companies support by co-financing the cost of the implementation of WBL for upper secondary VET programmes and higher vocational programmes. The application for co-financing is coordinated by the schools, while the employers are the beneficiaries. The programme is going to last until 2022.

The main providers of career guidance services are schools, the ESS and The Adult Education Guidance Centres (ISIO). Professional counsellors are employed in all settings. They provide a broad range of guidance services (e.g. personal, social and vocational).

Guidance in schools is provided by school counsellors who work in school counselling services. Most schools have at least one school counsellor, while larger schools have two or three. Career guidance is not a compulsory part of the education pathway. The National Education Institute is responsible for the professional framework for school counselling work and for the professional support for school counselling services.

Guidance in the ESS is provided by 59 local offices and career centres throughout Slovenia and is coordinated by the ESS.

Career counsellors in the ESS and career centres provide a guidance service (giving information, advice and counselling, e-counselling, group information sessions, job-search seminars and guidance in employment programmes) for unemployed (80%) and learners (15%). The ESS also provides limited guidance activities for school students in primary and secondary schools.

Guidance in higher education is provided by career centres, which organise and perform various activities for students, graduates and prospective employers. With the help of co-financing from the ESF, career centres have played an active role in the development and implementation of higher education activities since 2010. These activities are designed to contribute to the better recognition of students and future graduates, knowledge, key skills and competences, their successful transition to the labour market and higher employability.

The main tasks of career centres are activities focused on students and graduates to raise their awareness, and help them acquire and develop knowledge, skills and competences for lifelong learning, career development and establishing high quality and effective links between the worlds of knowledge creation and application.

Career centres enable young people to establish the professional contacts they need to help them in their search for a high standard of study practice, student work, traineeship and, last but not least, their first jobs. They cooperate in various ways with employers, representatives of work organisations, companies and public services.

Guidance in AE is provided by ISIOs and by other public educational organisation as a part of the learning process. ISIOs have been functioning under the auspices of fourteen regional Folk High Schools. They provide adults with free, impartial, confidential and high quality information and guidance for their education and learning. ISIOs are open to all adults in the region, but particular attention is given to those groups of adults who are marginalised, have more difficulties accessing learning and are less educated and less proactive about their education. Each year around 25 000 adults search for information, advice or counselling via ISIOs. Their work is supported by the SIAE.

In 2008, the education ministry established the Expert Group for Lifelong Career Guidance. The purpose of the group is to promote integration and effective collaboration between users, politicians and experts in the field of career guidance in Slovenia. The tasks of the expert group are to coordinate policies and monitor Slovenia's participation in international networks, to coordinate project preparation, monitor the implementation of training, prepare reports and proposals for solutions to policy makers, to consult on the preparation of policies, design a draft for a National Strategy, and to oversee existing and emerging quality systems and the annual reporting of the members to their institutions.

Please see:

Vocational education and training system chart

Tertiary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 5

Higher VET programmes,

WBL 40%

2 years

ISCED 554

Higher Vocational programmes leading to EQF level 5, ISCED 554 (višje strokovno, VSI)
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

554

Usual entry grade

14

Usual completion grade

16

Usual entry age

19

Usual completion age

21

Length of a programme (years)

2

  
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?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

for full-time learners

N

for part-time learners

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

120

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

School-based learning - 40% of which (20 weeks) takes place as in-company training, for which a learning contract must be signed between the student, the school and the company. However, this is not an employment contract.

Learners can study full-time or part-time ([64]According to the instructions on customising part time study in higher vocational education (2012).).

Main providers

Higher vocational schools (which might be organisational part of a School centre), public and private.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

40%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • in-company training
  • practical training at school (in school estates or intercompany training centres – MIC or school workshops)
Main target groups

Young people, adults

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)
  • General or Vocational Matura, or
  • 3 years of working experiences, master craftsman, foreman or managerial examination and vocational matura general subject exams.
Assessment of learning outcomes

The diploma exam consists of a practically oriented diploma thesis and a thesis defence. As part of the thesis, the learner can also carry out project work or services with a theoretical defence.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Diploma of higher vocational education (diploma o višji strokovni izobrazbi), an integral part of which is a diploma supplement in Slovene and one official language of the European Union and title of Engineer or title that corresponds to the same level.

The certificate is nationally recognized by the education and labour authorities. With this certificate, someone can access the next level of education or enter the labour market.

Examples of qualifications

Higher ballet dancer, Bionics engineer, Forestry and hunting engineer, Social network organiser, Woodworking engineer.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

First cycle professional and academic

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

General education subjects

N

Key competences

N

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

In the school year 2018/19, 13% enrolled in Higher Vocational Education

A share of all students enrolled in tertiary level by the type of the programme, (%)

 

Source: Statistical Office of the Republic Slovenia (SURS).

 

Post-secondary

Programme Types
Not available

Secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 4

Mainly

School-based

Technical VET,

WBL 15%,

4 years

ISCED 354

Technical upper secondary programmes leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354 (srednje strokovno izobraževanje, SSI)
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

10

Usual completion grade

13

Usual entry age

15

Usual completion age

19

Length of a programme (years)

4

  
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?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

240

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

Programmes are mainly school-based.

Approximately 15% of the programme is practical training, of which at least eight weeks (minimum 304 hours, depending on the programme) are in-company training. The rest is practical training at school workshops as a part of the vocational module.

Main providers

VET schools or school centre

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Approximately 15%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • in-company training
  • practical training at school (in school estates or intercompany training centres – MIC or school workshops)
Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and adults.

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

To enrol in Technical upper secondary education (SSI), successful completion of basic education or Short Vocational upper secondary education (NPI) is required.

Usually the learners are 15 years of age.

Specific programmes may have additional entry requirements.

Assessment of learning outcomes

SSI programmes are completed with a Vocational Matura (poklicna matura). It is composed of two parts, two exams each:

  • compulsory part: written and oral exam in (1) mother tongue and (2) theoretical-technical subject (depending on the programme);
  • elective part: oral and written exam in either (3) foreign language or maths, and (4) various forms of practical assignment as product, service or project work with a presentation or seminar, where the student can choose the topic in cooperation with teacher of vocational module.

The Vocational Matura examinations rules are the same for all candidates. The written parts of the first and third exams are external and provided by the National Examination Centre (NEC), whereas the second and fourth exams and all oral parts of the exams are carried out and assessed on the school level by the School Examination Boards for the Vocational Matura. The schools with the same programme may cooperate in the provision of the examination.

For the fourth exam, employer representative as an external member may be part of the examination board. This member is required to possess, as a minimum standard, technical upper secondary education in the appropriate field, at least five years of relevant professional experience, and to have met all the requirements for the Vocational Matura set by the National Committee for the Vocational Matura.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Upon passing the Vocational Matura examination, learners obtain a Vocational Matura Certificate (spričevalo o poklicni maturi).

Graduates also receive a Europass Certificate Supplement, which is individualised for each student and prepared in Slovenian and English language.

The Vocational Matura Certificate is nationally recognized by the education and labour authorities. With this certificate, someone can access the next level of education or enter the labour market.

Examples of qualifications

Economic Technician, Electrotechnician, Pharmaceutical Technician, Geomining Technician, Nature Protection Technician, Environmental Technician, Nautical Technician, Electronic Communications Technician, Technician of Mechatronic

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

After completing the Vocational Matura, learners can gain entry into the labour market or continue their education in Higher vocational education (ISCED 554) programmes or the First Cycle Professional education (ISCED 655).

It is possible for students with a Vocational Matura to pass one additional exam (5th subject) from the General Matura subjects, which then enables learners to enrol in some of the First Cycle Academic programmes (ISCED 645).

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

In formal VET receiving a school leaving certificate through validation is not possible. What is possible is recognition of a part of a programme (module or a subject).

Only validation of non-formal knowledge for which you get a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) is possible.

General education subjects

Y

4-years Technical programmes contain minimally 2137 hours of general education subjects like, Slovene language, maths, foreign language, arts, social science subjects, natural science subjects and sports education ([55]In line with the guidelines for the preparation of the upper secondary programmes.).

Key competences

Y

The upper secondary programmes are competency based which means that there is an emphasis on development of key and professional competences. This is done by connecting the vocational – theoretical education with practical education and systematic inclusion of key competences.

The key competences are defined in nationally prescribed catalogues of knowledge. Schools may also include key competences in the open curriculum ([56]Schools must prepare 20 % of the curricula by themselves. Legislation delivers 80 % of the content of VET programmes, and the rest is a so-called ‘open curriculum’, which should be designed by schools in cooperation with local employers and local communities in accordance with local specifics or needs.), where competences, objectives and content may be added to existing content categories, or additional (new) content categories may be designed for the specialised part of the programme.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

All VET programmes are modularised since 2006.

Several modules together enable the acquisition of a vocational qualification.

Vocational modules are competence-based and include vocational theory and practical training at schools. For each vocational module, a catalogue of knowledge is prepared at a national level. It includes general objectives, vocational competences, informative and formative objectives of the vocational module.

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

In the 2018/19 school year 41.9% of learners were enrolled in these programmes (share of all students enrolled in upper secondary programmes)

A share of all students enrolled in upper secondary level by the type of the programme, (%)

 

Source: Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (SORS).

 

EQF 4

Mainly

school-based

technical VET,

WBL 10%,

2 years

ISCED 354

Vocational technical upper secondary education programmes leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354 (poklicno tehniško izobraževanje, PTI)
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

12

Usual completion grade

14

Usual entry age

18

Usual completion age

20

Length of a programme (years)

2

  
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?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

120 credits

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

PTI is a school-based learning programme:

Approximately 10% of the programme is practical training, of which two weeks (76 hours) are in-company training. The rest is practical training at school workshops as a part of the vocational module.

Main providers

VET schools or School centre

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

10%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • in-company training (2 weeks - 76 hours);
  • practical training at school (in school estates, or intercompany training centres – MIC or school workshops).
Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

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

To enrol in Vocational Technical Upper Secondary Education (PTI), successful completion of Vocational upper secondary education (SPI – ISCED 353) is required. Learners are usually 18 years of age.

Assessment of learning outcomes

PTI programmes are completed with a Vocational Matura (poklicna matura). It is composed of two parts, two exams each:

  • compulsory part: written and oral exam in (1) mother tongue and (2) theoretical-technical subject (depending on the programme);
  • elective part: oral and written exam in either (3) foreign language or maths, and (4) various forms of practical assignment as product, service or project work with a presentation or seminar, where the student can choose the topic in cooperation with teacher of vocational module.

The Vocational Matura examinations rules are the same for all candidates. The written parts of the first and third exams are external and provided by the National Examination Centre (NEC), whereas the second and fourth exams and all oral parts of the exams are carried out and assessed on the school level by the School Examination Boards for the Vocational Matura. The schools with the same programme may cooperate in the provision of the examination.

For the fourth exam, employer representative as an external member may be part of the examination board. This member is required to possess, as a minimum standard, technical upper secondary education in the appropriate field, at least five years of relevant professional experience, and to have met all the requirements for the Vocational Matura set by the National Committee for the Vocational Matura.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Upon passing the Vocational Matura examination learners obtain a Vocational Matura certificate (spričevalo o poklicni maturi).

Students also receive a Europass Certificate Supplement, which is individualised for each student and prepared in Slovenian and English language.

The Vocational Matura certificate is nationally recognized by the education and labour authorities. With this certificate, someone can access the next level of education or enter the labour market.

Examples of qualifications

Automotive Service Technician, Economic Technician, Electrotechnician, Gastronomy, Geomining Technician, Construction Technician, Graphic Technician, Horticultural Technician

Not to be confused with the Technical upper secondary programmes, the name might be the same, but the programme is not.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

After passing the Vocational Matura, learners can gain entry into the labour market or continue their education in Higher vocational education (ISCED 554) programmes or First cycle professional education (ISCED 655).

It is possible for students with a Vocational Matura to pass one additional exam (5th subject) from the General Matura subjects, which then enables learners to enrol in some of the First cycle academic programmes (ISCED 645).

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

In formal VET receiving a school leaving certificate through validation is not possible. What is possible is recognition of a part of a programme (module or a subject).

Only validation of non-formal knowledge for which you get a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) is possible.

General education subjects

Y

These programmes contain ([57]In line with the guidelines for the preparation of the upper secondary programmes.) minimally 1178 hours of general education subjects like, Slovene language, maths, foreign language, art, social science subjects, natural science subjects and sport education.

Key competences

Y

The upper secondary programmes are competency based which means that there is an emphasis on development of key and professional competences. This is done by connecting the vocational – theoretical education with practical education and systematical inclusion of key competences.

The key competences are defined in nationally prescribed catalogues of knowledge. Schools may also include key competences in the open part of the curriculum, where competences, objectives and content may be added to existing content categories, or additional (new) content categories may be designed for the specialised part of the programme.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

All IVET programmes are modularised since 2006. Several modules together enable the acquisition of a vocational qualification.

Vocational modules are competence-based and include vocational theory and practical training at schools. For each vocational module, a catalogue of knowledge is prepared at a national level. It includes general objectives, vocational competences, informative and formative objectives of the vocational module.

 

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

In the 2018/2019 school year 4.6 % of learners were enrolled in the these programmes (share of all students enrolled in upper secondary programmes)

A share of all students enrolled in upper secondary level by the type of the programme, (%)

 

Source: Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (SORS).

 

EQF 4

VET programmes with

School-based (WBL 20%) and

Apprenticeship (WBL 50%) paths,

3 years

ISCED 353

Vocational upper secondary education programmes leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 353 (srednje poklicno izobraževanje, SPI)
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

353

Usual entry grade

10

Usual completion grade

13

Usual entry age

15

Usual completion age

18

Length of a programme (years)

3

  
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?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

180 credits

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

SPI is mostly offered as school-based learning option. It includes 40% practical training, of which 24 weeks (912 hours) is in-company training ([58]The extent of work-based learning differs in some programs (e.g. in the programme Gastronomy and Hotel Services there are 29 weeks of work-based learning).
), which can be prolonged to up to 53 weeks if an individual learning contract is signed. Otherwise there are also collective contracts, which are more common.

In the school year 2017/18 the apprenticeship path has been implemented in selected SPI programmes as an option to the school based path.

Apprenticeship path: 50%-60% of the programme is undertaken at an employer, while at least 40% – general subjects and VET modules – is in schools. In 2019/20 school year there will be 21 schools and 12 SPI programmes included ([59]Those programmes are: metal shaper-toolmaker, mason, joiner, gastronomic and hotel services, painter-sign painter, glassmaker, bricklayer, machine engineering mechanic, industrial mechanic, electrician, paper maker, tinsmith-roofer.).

Main providers

VET schools or school centre

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

40% in school-based path

50-60% in apprenticeship path

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • in-company training;
  • practical training at school (in school estates or intercompany training centres – MIC or school workshops).

School based path:

It includes 40% practical training, 20% of which (24 weeks or 912 hours is in-company training.

For the implementation of in-company training, a learning contract must be signed. A learning contract contains the competences the learner should acquire and develop, the duration of the in-company training as well as the other responsibilities and obligations of both parties, and contains no elements of employment. A contract can be collective or individual. A collective one (more common) is usually concluded between the school, an employer and student or his/her legal guardians. An individual one is concluded between an employer and a student. Such a contract allows the WBL in companies to be extended to up to 53 weeks (in this case, practical training in school is reduced). Students with individual contracts are required to pass a mid-term test of practical skills in the second year, which is provided by the relevant chamber.

Apprenticeship path:

Apprenticeship path: 50%-60% of the programme is undertaken at an employer, while at least 40% – general subjects and VET modules – is in schools.

At the beginning of an apprenticeship, the plan for implementation of the apprenticeship is prepared in cooperation between the school and the company under the provision of the chamber and signed between student, and representatives of company, school and chamber. It includes the objectives and set of competences for WBL, distribution and schedule of education at the school and in the company, ways and modes of communication and cooperation between the company and school, information regarding the mid-term and final exam for the apprentice.

Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

Some programmes are adjusted to the special needs students or the classes are bilingual for ethnically mixed areas.

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

To enrol in Vocation Upper Secondary education (SPI), successful completion of basic education or Short Vocational Upper Secondary education (NPI) is required.

Usually the learners are 15 years of age.

In some cases, fulfilling specific conditions if required as well ([60]There is a special condition for entry into the geo-operator miner vocational upper secondary programme, i.e. psychophysical ability.).

Assessment of learning outcomes

SPI programmes (school-based and apprenticeship) are completed with a final exam. It comprises:

  • written and oral exam of mother tongue
  • the final practical assignment - a product or service with a presentation

An examination catalogue for final work with presentation for SPI programme is prepared on a national level.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Final examination certificate (spričevalo o zaključnem izpitu)

Students also receive Europass certificate supplement, which is individualised for each student and prepared in Slovenian and English language.

The Final examination certificate is nationally recognized by the education and labour authorities. With this certificate, someone can access the next level of education or enter the labour market.

Examples of qualifications

The apprenticeship programmes as of 2019/202 school year: metal shaper - toolmaker, mason, joiner, gastronomic and hotel services, painter – sign painter, glassmaker, bricklayer, machine engineering mechanic, industrial mechanic, electrician, paper maker, tinsmith – roofer.

Other:

Administrator, florist, chimney sweep, gastronomy and hotel services, baker.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Upon successful completion of the final exam, SPI graduates may be employed without the need for any further formal education or training (traineeships) or may continue their education.

SPI graduates have access to Vocational technical programmes (PTI).

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

In formal VET receiving a school leaving certificate through validation is not possible. What is possible is recognition of a part of a programme (module or a subject).

Only validation of non-formal knowledge for which you get a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) is possible.

General education subjects

Y

These programmes contain [61]In line with the guidelines for the preparation of the upper secondary programmes. minimally 1048 hours of general education subjects like, Slovene language, maths, foreign language, art, social science subjects, natural science subjects and sports education.

In the apprenticeship path the hours for sport education are decreased, as are the extracurricular hours (not included above).

Key competences

Y

The upper secondary programmes are competency based which means that there is an emphasis on development of key and professional competences. This is done by connecting the vocational – theoretical education with practical education and systematic inclusion of key competences.

The key competences are defined in nationally prescribed catalogues of knowledge. Schools may also include key competences in the open part of the curriculum, where competences, objectives and content may be added to existing content categories, or additional (new) content categories may be designed for the specialised part of the programme.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

In the last major VET reform (began in 2006), all IVET programmes were modularised. Several modules together enable the acquisition of a vocational qualification.

Vocational modules are competence-based and include vocational theory and practical training at schools. For each vocational module, a catalogue of knowledge is prepared at a national level. It includes general objectives, vocational competences, informative and formative objectives of the vocational module.

 

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

In the 2018/19 school year 16.7% of learners were enrolled in these programmes (share of all students enrolled in upper secondary programmes)

Share of all students enrolled in upper secondary level by the type of the programme, (%

 

Source: Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (SORS).

 

EQF 3

Short VET

Programmes,

WBL 35%,

2 years

ISCED 353

Short Vocational Upper Secondary Education programmes leading to EQF level 3, ISCED 353 (nižje poklicno izobraževanje, NPI)
EQF level
3
ISCED-P 2011 level

353

Usual entry grade

10

Usual completion grade

12

Usual entry age

15

Usual completion age

17

Length of a programme (years)

2

  
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?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

120 credits

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

NPI is offered as school-based learning option. It includes 35-40% practical training, of which 4 weeks (152 hours) is intended for in-company training.

Main providers

VET schools or School centres

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

35-40%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • in-company training
  • practical training at school (in school estates or intercompany training centres – MIC or school workshops)
Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

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

NPI programmes qualify learners who have completed compulsory education (nine years of basic education) ([62]Attending nine years of basic education is obligatory; this requirement is deemed fulfilled when the learner is enrolled in basic education for nine years. Basic education is successfully completed when the learner achieves the minimum learning outcomes.) or completed basic education for special needs learners with lower educational standard.

Assessment of learning outcomes

NPI programmes are completed with a Final exam. It comprises the final work (a product or service) with a presentation.

An examination catalogue for final work with presentation for NPI programme is prepared on national level.

In the final examination learners demonstrate their acquired theoretical and practical knowledge, demonstrating that they are qualified for the profession.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Final examination certificate (Potrdilo o zaključnem izpitu)

Students also receive Europass certificate supplement, which is individualised for each student and prepared in Slovenian and English language.

This certificate is nationally recognized by the education and labour authorities. With this certificate, someone can access the next level of education or enter the labour market.

Examples of qualifications

Woodworker (also adjusted for the hearing impaired)

Assistant construction worker, Biotechnology and Care Assistant, Assistant in Technology Processes (also for physically disabled students as well as hearing impaired)

Auxiliary Administrator (also for physically disabled students), Textile Reworker (also for or the hearing impaired and students with speech disorders).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Upon successful completion of the final exam, NPI graduates may be employed (as an assistant in several professions) or may continue their education by enrolling in Vocational Upper Secondary education (SPI).

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

In formal VET receiving a school leaving certificate through validation is not possible. What is possible is recognition of a part of a programme (module or a subject) exemption and shortened education.

Only validation of non-formal knowledge for which you get a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) is possible.

General education subjects

These programmes contain ([63]In line with the guidelines for the preparation of the upper secondary programmes.) minimally 675 hours of general education subjects like, Slovene language, maths, social and natural science and sports education.

Key competences

Y

The upper secondary programmes are competency based which means that there is an emphasis on development of key and professional competences. This is done by connecting the vocational - theoretical education with practical education and systematic inclusion of key competences.

The key competences are defined in nationally prescribed catalogues of knowledge. Schools may also include key competences in the open part of the curriculum, where competences, objectives and content may be added to existing content categories, or additional (new) content categories may be designed for the specialised part of the programme.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

All IVET programmes were modularised in 2006. Several modules together enable the acquisition of a vocational qualification.

Vocational modules are competence-based and include vocational theory and practical training at schools. For each vocational module, a catalogue of knowledge is prepared at a national level. It includes general objectives, vocational competences, informative and formative objectives of the vocational module.

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

In the 2018/19 school year 1.4 % of learners were enrolled in these programmes (share of all students enrolled in upper secondary programmes)

A share of all students enrolled in upper secondary level by the type of the programme, (%)

 

Source: Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (SORS).

 

EQF 4

Vocational

bridging courses,

1 year

ISCED 354

Vocational bridging programmes leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354 (poklicni tečaj, PT)
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

14

Usual completion grade

15

Usual entry age

19

Usual completion age

20

Length of a programme (years)

1

  
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?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

for upper secondary learners,

N

for adults

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

60 credits

Exception: Computer technician 77 credits

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

The course is primarily intended for learners who wish to transfer for general education to vocational education

It is a route to technical education level, general education subjects are recognised, so the programme consists solely of technical modules with WBL.

Vocational course is available for 4 programmes, 34 weeks each:

  • Economic Technician
  • Gastronomy and Tourism
  • Preschool Education
  • Computer Technician
Main providers

Schools, Adult education providers

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies
  • Economic Technician 1150 hours
  • Gastronomy and Tourism 508 hours
  • Preschool Education 304 just in-company training
  • Computer Technician 418 hours
Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • Practical training at school
  • In-company practice
Main target groups

Young people, adults

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

Successfully completed 4 years of upper-secondary general education (gimnazija) or technical school (without vocational matura).

Learners are usually 19 years of age.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Vocational bridging programmes are completed with a Vocational Matura (poklicna matura). It is composed of two parts, two exams each:

  • compulsory part: written and oral exam in mother tongue and theoretical-technical subject (depending on the programme)
  • elective part: oral and written exam in either foreign language (or second language in ethnically mixed area) or maths. The fourth exam is on various forms of practical assignment as product, service or projects work with a presentation or seminar, where the student can choose the topic in cooperation with teacher of vocational module.

Candidates who already successfully completed General Matura (after general upper-secondary education); do not have to undertake general subjects of Vocational Matura (mother tongue, foreign language and math). The Vocational Matura examinations rules are the same for all candidates. The written parts of the first and third exams are external and provided by the National Examination Centre (NEC), whereas the second and fourth exams and all oral parts of the exams are carried out and assessed on the school level by the School Examination Boards for the Vocational Matura. The schools with the same programme may cooperate in the provision of the examination.

For the fourth exam, employer representative as an external member may be part of the examination board. This member is required to possess, as a minimum standard, technical or professional upper secondary education in the appropriate field, at least five years of relevant professional experience, and to have met all the requirements for the vocational Matura set by the National Committee for the Vocational Matura.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Upon passing the examination, learners obtain a Vocational Matura certificate (spričevalo o poklicni maturi).

Students also receive a Europass certificate supplement, which is individualised for each student and prepared in Slovenian and English language. The certificate is nationally recognized by the education and labour authorities. With this certificate, someone can access the next level of education or enter the labour market.

Examples of qualifications
  • Economic Technician
  • Gastronomy and Tourism
  • Preschool Education
  • Computer Technician
Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Access to Vocational Matura, and afterwards Higher VET or First cycle professional education

Destination of graduates

Official data unavailable

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

N

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

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

In the 2018/19 school year 0.3 % of learners were enrolled in these programmes (share of all students enrolled in upper secondary programmes)

A share of all students enrolled in upper secondary level by the type of the programme, (%)

 

Source: Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (SORS).

 

EQF 4

Craftsman/foreman/

shop manager exams

ISCED 354

Master craftsman, foreman and shop manager exams (mojstrski, delovodski ali poslovodni izpiti). EQF level 4, ISCED 354. Each exam is under the auspice of the individual chamber who organizes the exams. Candidates study independently, however preparatory courses may be prepared due to demand on the market and literature may be also offered.
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

Not applicable

Usual completion grade

Not applicable

Usual entry age

Not applicable

Usual completion age

Not applicable

Length of a programme (years)

Not applicable

  
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?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

N

  • Master craftsman EUR 1 284 – 1 683, depending on the profession. Currently the cost can be co-financed through the “Public tender for co-financing of tuition for raising educational levels”
  • Foreman: EUR 1 264.86
  • Shop manager: EUR 717.74
Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

60 credits

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

Independent study, however preparatory courses may be prepared due to demand on the market and literature may be also offered.

Main providers

The Chamber of Craft and Small Business of Slovenia conducts the master craftsman examination.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia conducts the foreman examination.

Slovenian Chamber of Commerce conducts shop manager exam.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Not applicable

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

Not applicable

Main target groups

The exams are intended for those with vocational upper secondary education (ISCED 353) and at least three years of relevant work experience.

Adults who would like to improve their level of education, and/or become a mentor to a student or an apprentice in a company.

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

For Master Craftsman and Foreman:

  • Vocational education and at least three year of work experience in the exam profession
  • Technical education and two years of work experience in the exam profession
  • At least Higher VET education and one year of work experience.

For Shop manager:

Vocational education and three years of work experience

Assessment of learning outcomes

Master craftsman/foreman/shop manager exams are conducted based on the catalogues (approved by the Expert Council for VET) and carried out in accordance with the Rules on Master Craftsman’s Examinations and the Rules on Examinations for Foremen and Plant Manager (Ministry for Economy 2009, 2004).

The examinations consist of four units:

  • Practical unit
  • Specialised theoretical unit
  • Business – economics unit
  • Pedagogical – Andragogical unit

Each unit consists of one or several exams.

Diplomas/certificates provided

After passing one of the examinations, which tests the ability of a candidate to independently manage a shop, plant or pursues a master craftsman’s trade and provide practical instruction to learners, candidates obtain a master craftsman/foreman/shop manager certificate (spričevalo o opravljenem mojstrskem, delovodskem, poslovodskem izpitu) and gain technical upper secondary education. (ISCED 354).

Examples of qualifications

Master Craftsman: Master Confectioner, Master Joiner, Master Butcher, Master Beekeeper, Master Watchmaker

Foreman: Foreman in Electro energetics, Construction Foreman, Food Foreman

Shop manager

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Candidates who pass their exams gain a technical upper secondary education level (ISCED 354) and, by passing the general exams of the Vocational Matura, can enrol in higher vocational education programmes of first cycle professional

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Not applicable

Key competences

Not applicable

Application of learning outcomes approach

Not applicable

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

Information not available

VET available to adults (formal and non-formal)

Programme Types
Not available