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General themes

The main features of the Hungarian VET system are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Source: Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 2018.

 

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

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

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

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

The population in Hungary is decreasing and ageing.

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

 

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

Source: Eurostat, proj_15ndbims [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main export industries are:

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Share of learners in VET by level in 2017

lower secondary

upper secondary

post-secondary

0.2%

23%

100%

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Early leavers from education and training in 2009-18

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Participation in lifelong learning in 2014-18

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Initial education and training system comprises:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Government-regulated VET is offered:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Provision of practical training

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Provision of practical training by VET programme type

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

 

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

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

 

Extending dual training (apprenticeships) in VET:

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

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

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

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

Governance of the Hungarian VET system

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Provision of practical training

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

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

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

VET providers – higher education sector

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

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

CVET/Adult training providers

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

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

IVET funding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CVET/Adult training funding

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

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

Funding mechanisms include:

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

Teaching staff in VET schools

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

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

Teachers and trainers employed in VET schools, 2018

Title/

tasks and responsibilities

Required qualification

General subject teacher/ Teaching general education subjects

Relevant teacher qualification (master degree) (ISCED 766)

Vocational teacher/ Teaching vocational theoretical subjects

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: VET and Public education acts.

VET teacher qualifications can currently be obtained in:

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

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

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

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

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

Teachers and trainers in higher education VET programmes

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

VET teachers and trainers in adult training

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

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

Teachers and trainers employed in VET schools, 2018

Title/ tasks and responsibilities

In-service training

General subject teacher/ Teaching general education subjects

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

Vocational teacher/ Teaching vocational theoretical subjects

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

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

No compulsory in-service training

Source: VET and Public education acts.

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

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

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

VET teachers and trainers in adult training

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

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

Labour market forecasts

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

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

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

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

Career tracking of VET graduates

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

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

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

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

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

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

The national vocational qualifications register (NVQR)

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

Three types of qualifications are available:

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

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

Vocational and examination requirements (SZVK)

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

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

Vocational requirements modules

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

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

Designing and updating qualifications and standards

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

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

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

Sectoral skills councils

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

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

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

Framework curricula in IVET

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

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

Standards and curricula in adult training

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

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

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

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

The complex vocational examination

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Financial incentives in IVET

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

In apprenticeships:

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

Competitions and media campaigns such as

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

Financial incentives for adult learners

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

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

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

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

Incentives for companies to train VET learners

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

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

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

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

Incentives for companies to provide training for employees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please see:

Vocational education and training system chart

Tertiary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 5

Higher education VET

programmes,

2 years,

WBL 40-80%

ISCED 554

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

554

Usual entry grade

n/a

Usual completion grade

n/a

Usual entry age

18

Usual completion age

20

Length of a programme (years)

2

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Schooling is compulsory for learners up to 16 years old.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

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

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

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

Is it available for adults?

Y

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

ECVET or other credits

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

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

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

Higher education institutions

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

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

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

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

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

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

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

Entry requirements are:

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

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

Diplomas/certificates provided

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

Examples of qualifications

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

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Learners having completed higher education VET programmes may:

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

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

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

General education subjects

N

Curricula of these programmes are modularised and involve:

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

Y

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

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

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

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

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

Post-secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 5

School-based practice-oriented

programmes,

1-2 years,

WBL 27-64%

ISCED 454

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

454

Usual entry grade

13

Usual completion grade

13

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

Usual entry age

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

Usual completion age

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

Length of a programme (years)

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

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Schooling is compulsory for learners up to 16 years old.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

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

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

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

Is it available for adults?

Y

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

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

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

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

Entry requirements are:

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

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

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

Diplomas/certificates provided

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

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

NVQR/

OKJ level

Definition

ISCED level (*)

54

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

4

55

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

4

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

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

Examples of qualifications

Car mechanic, dental assistant or logistics assistant

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

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

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

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

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

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

General education subjects

Y

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

Key competences

Y

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

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

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

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

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

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

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

Secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 2-3

Bridging programmes for those

who have completed at most

two years of lower

secondary education

by age 15

ISCED 351, 352,353

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

351

352

353

Usual entry grade

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

Usual completion grade

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

Usual entry age

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

Usual completion age

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

Length of a programme (years)

2 years

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Schooling is compulsory for learners up to 16 years old.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

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

Is it available for adults?

Y

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

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

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

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Assessment of learning outcomes

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

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

Diplomas/certificates provided

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

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

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

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

Examples of qualifications

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

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Learners having completed the VET bridging programme may:

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

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

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

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Y

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

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

Key competences

Y

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

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

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VET for SEN learners

2 or 4 years,

WBL 13 – 47%

ISCED 243, 253, 353

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

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

 

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

Usual entry grade

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

Usual completion grade

10 or 12

Usual entry age

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

Usual completion age

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

16 (17) or

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

Length of a programme (years)

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

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

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Schooling is compulsory for learners up to 16 years old.

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

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

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

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

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

Is it available for adults?

Y

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

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

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Assessment of learning outcomes

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

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

Diplomas/certificates provided

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

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

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

NVQR/OKJ level

Definition

ISCED level (*)

21

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

2

31

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

3

32

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

3

34

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

3

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

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

Examples of qualifications

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

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

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

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

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Y

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

Key competences

Y

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

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

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

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

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

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

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

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

EQF 4

Practice-oriented VET

programmes,

3 years,

WBL 38-45%

ISCED 353

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

353

Usual entry grade

9

Usual completion grade

11

Usual entry age

14

Usual completion age

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

Length of a programme (years)

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

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y/N

Schooling is compulsory for learners up to 16 years old.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

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

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

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

Is it available for adults?

Y

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Main providers

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

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Assessment of learning outcomes

Since school year 2013/14, under the new VET and public education acts published in 2011, these programmes provide three years of dual vocational training. The majority of learners are apprentices.

Their framework curricula for VET, based on the vocational and examination requirements of the pursued full/partial VET qualification ([228]All public education (covering secondary and post-secondary levels) VET qualifications are included in the national vocational qualifications register (OKJ/NVQF).) are published by the minister responsible for VET, consulted by the minister of education. Their framework curriculum for general education ([229]The local curriculum of general education provided in VET schools is prepared by the schools based on the National Framework Curriculum published in a government decree as well as framework curricula published by the minister responsible for education.) defines the share of general education and VET as 36-64%.

Upon completion, these programmes award a full VET qualification at the final complex exam ([230]All public education (covering secondary and post-secondary levels) VET qualifications are included in the national vocational qualifications register (OKJ/NVQF).). Learners’ competences are assessed in various (written, oral, interactive and/or practical) exam activities (as defined in the vocational and examination requirements) by an independent examination board. In principle, those who fail to meet all requirements may still receive a partial qualification.

A follow-up optional two-year general education programme leading to the ‘secondary school leaving certificate’ (érettségi bizonyítvány, ISCED 344) awarded at the secondary school leaving exam is also available (since school year 2016/17) to those wishing to access post-secondary or higher education.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Learners in three-year vocational secondary school ISCED 353 programmes receive a certificate on the completion of secondary education upon completing the last grade. They also get a full NVQR qualification at ISCED levels 353 at the final complex exam.

Those moving on to the additional and optional two-year general education follow up programme and succeed at the final exam receive also the (upper) secondary school leaving certificate (ISCED 344) allowing access to higher level studies at post-secondary VET and/or higher VET.

Types and levels of NVQR (OKJ in Hungarian) ([231]The National vocational qualifications register (NVQR) includes all State-recognised vocational qualifications regulated by the 2011 VET act.) vocational qualifications delivered in skilled workers’ training programmes

NVQR/OKJ level

Definition

ISCED level (*)

34

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

3

35

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

3

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

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

Examples of qualifications

Cook, electrician or carpenter

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Learners having completed the secondary vocational school (skilled workers’ training) programme:

  • may enter the labour market;
  • enrol in the additional/optional follow up two-year general education programme to prepare the secondary school leaving certificate (ISCED 344); and move on to post-secondary VET/ISCED 454 programmes or higher VET/ISCED 554 programmes;
  • those without the end of secondary school leaving certificate (ISCED 344), but who hold a master craftsman certificate (awarded by the chambers of economy) and have five years relevant working experience may also access post-secondary VET/ISCED 454 programmes.
Destination of graduates

According to a 2012 study, around one third of graduates of skilled workers’ training (of the previous form) ([232]The structure and curriculum of skilled workers training at ISCED 353 were transformed as of 2013/14 as well as 2016/17 (see Section: VET learning options).) were studying two years after graduation (26% in full time, 9% in adult education while also working) ([233]Fehérvári, A. (2016). Pályakövetési vizsgálatok a szakképzésben. Education 2016/1, p. 76.
http://folyoiratok.ofi.hu/educatio/palyakovetesi-vizsgalatok-a-szakkepzesben
).

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

The complex examination that awards NVQR qualifications upon completion of VET programmes does not allow for recognition of prior learning (no exemption can be obtained from taking the whole or a part of the exam). Nevertheless, learners in VET schools can get their prior learning recognised during their training, subject to the principal’s decision. The VET act also provides for the opportunity to recognise previous work experience in the completion of vocational practical training, subject to the principal’s decision.

General education subjects

Y

36%

Their framework curriculum for general education ([234]The local curriculum of general education provided in VET schools is prepared by the schools based on the national framework curriculum published in a government decree as well as framework curricula published by the minister responsible for education.) define the share of general education and VET as 36-63%.

Key competences

Y

The curriculum of general education is based on the National Core Curriculum that includes key competence development ([235]The list of key competences in the Hungarian NCC differs from that in the EU recommendation of 2006 in one minor aspect. It breaks the EU key competence of ’mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology’ into two separate ones, thus in Hungary there are nine instead of eight key competences. More detailed information is available in: Bükki, E. et al. (2016). Key competences in vocational education and training – Hungary.Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspectives series.
http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2016/ReferNet_HU_KC.pdf
). Three key competences – foreign language, Hungarian language and competences in mathematics, science and technology – are to be developed as stand-alone subjects. Development of other key competences is described in the outcome requirements of particular school subjects and depends on local school practices. Standards and framework curricula of NVQR qualifications define vocational, personal, social and methodological competences, corresponding to the particular task profile, by modules. They comprise several components/parts of key competences.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

VET standards (called ‘vocational requirements’) are modularised and defined in competences, but they are not yet defined in terms of genuine learning outcomes ([236]Though qualification standards were transcribed in learning outcomes as understood in the European qualification framework (EQF) when referencing them to the NQF (Source: Tót, É.; ICF (2016). 2016 update to the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning: country report on Hungary, pp. 3, 8, 10. Report commissioned by Cedefop.
https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/2016_validate_HU.pdf ), the task and character profiles in the vocational requirements modules – and the framework curricula based on them – are not defined in the form and language of learning outcomes (as understood in the EQF).
).

The vocational requirements modules of a VET qualification may be unique or shared by two or more qualification(s) that belong to the same occupational group or sector. They are published in a government decree ([237]217/2012 (VIII.9) Government decree on the vocational requirement modules of State-recognised qualifications.) and specify for each work activity:

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

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

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

32% ([238]2017/18. NB: Compared with the total number of VET learners (secondary, post-secondary and higher education VET programmes) in full- or part-time programmes; excluding VET learners in adult training programmes provided outside the formal school system. Source: Central Statistical Office STADAT database:
https://www.ksh.hu/stadat_eves_2_6 and Educational Authority KIR database:
https://www.oktatas.hu/felsooktatas/kozerdeku_adatok/felsooktatasi_adatok_kozzetetele/felsooktatasi_statisztikak.
)

EQF 4

School-based theory-focused

VET programmes,

4 (5) years,

WBL10-26%

ISCED 344

Vocational grammar school (theory-focused) programmes leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 344 (szakgimnázium középiskolai évfolyamok)
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

344 ([239]Learners enrolled in this programme can opt to prepare in grades 11-12 also to receive a vocational qualification included in the national vocational qualifications register (NVQR) at national NVQR levels 31, 32, 34, 51 and 52. Such qualifications are not yet referenced to ISCED P 2011.)

Usual entry grade

9 ([241]Or 9/Ny, if an additional language year is added (providing foreign language education in the first year).)

Usual completion grade

12

Usual entry age

14

Usual completion age

18 ([242]19 if an additional language year is added.)

Length of a programme (years)

4 ([240]5 if an additional language year is added (providing foreign language education in the first year).)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Yes and no

Schooling is compulsory for learners up to 16 years old.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Public education is free of charge for learners up to the obtainment of the secondary school leaving certificate and two VET qualifications.

Is it available for adults?

Y

In adult education (available to learners over 16) the same programme is offered in flexible learning forms ([244]Full-time (90% of regular full-time education), part time (evening classes, 50%), correspondence courses (10%) or other (e.g. distance learning). See also Section 6. VET learning options.)

ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • regular school-based full-time education (up to age 25)
  • adult education for learners over 16 available in full-time attendance (90% of regular school-based full-time education), part time (evening classes, 50%), correspondence courses (10%) or other (e.g. distance learning) (see also Section 6. VET learning options)
  • practical training is part of the curriculum of all VET programmes and can be delivered in school workshops and/or at companies (see sections on WBL) ([245]Following the December 2017 law amendment, effective from 2019/20, apprenticeship may be offered in grades 11 and 12.)
Main providers

VET schools that provide these types of programmes ([246]VET schools can provide one or more types of VET programmes. Beside the State, church and business entities, foundations, associations, etc., can also found and maintain public education institutions; private providers can also provide public education services. The maintainer of most State-maintained VET schools is the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (these schools are integrated into 44 vocational centres with 380 member schools), except for schools providing VET in the sector of agriculture, which are maintained by the Ministry of Agriculture and belong to the Network of Agricultural VET schools with 46 schools.)

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

= 10-26% ([247]The share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies is understood as the share of practical training in the curriculum which is calculated on the basis of the framework curriculum for general education for this programme type (which defines the share of general education and VET) and the standards and framework curricula of VET qualifications (which define the share of theory and practice within the VET part). As regards the latter, the standards of VET qualifications offered in this programme define the share of practice as between 30-70%.)

22.7% (in companies, via a cooperation agreement 2016/17)

 

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

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

 

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • practical training in school workshops
  • practical training in a company based either on a cooperation agreement between the school and the company or (as of 2018) an apprenticeship contract between the learner and the company in grades 11 and 12 ([248]Since 2015 apprenticeship contracts can be signed also by adult education participants, only in evening and correspondent courses the monthly payment is reduced to 60% and 20% of that provided in full-time education, respectively.)
Main target groups

They target learners aged 14, and provide four years of combined general education and VET (some programmes may have an extra ‘foreign language preparatory’ year) ([249]These programmes were last reformed in 2017 (effective from school year 2017/18) by providing the option to participate in a programme preparing for an ‘additional vocational qualification’ in grade 11-12, awarded at a complex exam organised in grade 12.).

Graduates with the secondary school leaving certificate (ISCED 344) can continue studies either in post-secondary VET (ISCED 454 VET years of secondary grammar school programmes) or in higher education.

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

The entry requirement is holding the primary school certificate (EQF 2) and popular schools may select learners based on their performance in primary school and at a uniform secondary school entry exam taken in maths and Hungarian (and possibly also oral exam organised by the school).

Learners with the primary school (primary and lower secondary) education certificate entering these programmes at age 14 (grade 9), and older learners may also enrol in grade 9 ([250]Including graduates of the VET bridging programme.).

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

Assessment of learning outcomes

Following the 2015 VET reform, since 2016/17 learners take the ‘VET secondary school leaving exam’ ([251]Szakmai érettségi vizsga.) at the end of the four-year programmes. This differs from the exam taken in grammar schools in that - in addition to the four mandatory general education exam subjects (Hungarian language and literature, Mathematics, History and a foreign language) - the fifth optional exam subject is replaced by a mandatory vocational subject. The vocational secondary school leaving certificate therefore qualifies holders not only to progress to post-secondary/higher education but also to perform at least one job ([252]Such as ‘IT equipment repairman’ or ‘Assistant nurse’. This job (one listed in the Hungarian Standard Classification of Occupations, FEOR) is specified for each of the vocational grammar school sectors in an Annex of the government decree about the OKJ qualification (e.g. ‘solarium operator’ for the sector ‘Beauty’).).

New legislation in December 2017 introduced the possibility obtain an ‘additional vocational qualification’ that will be awarded (first in 2019/20) at the final complex examination organised in grade 12, a few months before the secondary school leaving exam.

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

Diplomas/certificates provided

Learners in upper secondary vocational grammar school ISCED 344 programmes take the final vocational secondary school leaving exam upon completion of the upper secondary grades. This awards the VET secondary school leaving certificate (szakmai érettségi bizonyítvány, ISCED 344) that entitles them to progress on to post-secondary/higher education as well as to perform at least one job in the pursued vocational grammar school sector (since 2016/17) ([253]See previous entry: Assessment of learning outcomes.).

Learners might opt in grade 10 to prepare in grades 11-12 also an ‘additional vocational qualification’ (mellékszakképesítés), an NVQR qualification from among those specified in the annex of the government decree on the NVQR ([254]The National vocational qualifications register (NVQR) includes all State-recognised vocational qualifications regulated by the 2011 VET act.) for each vocational grammar school sector. It is awarded at the complex exam organised in grade 12, a few months before the VET secondary school leaving exam ([255]Therefore, if the pursued additional vocational qualification is of NVQR level 51 or 52, the learner will receive that qualification only upon successfully passing the VET secondary school exam. The equivalence to ISCED P levels in not available.).

Types and levels of NVQR (OKJ in Hungarian) ([256]The National vocational qualifications register (NVQR) includes all State-recognised vocational qualifications regulated by the 2011 VET act.) ‘additional vocational qualifications’ optionally delivered in upper secondary vocational grammar school ISCED 344 programmes

NVQR/OKJ level

Definition

ISCED level (*)

31

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

3

32

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

3

34

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

3

51

upper secondary level partial vocational qualification, which requires the secondary school leaving exam certificate and can be obtained in VET provided outside the formal school system

4

52

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

4

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

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

Examples of qualifications

The VET secondary school certificate qualifies for at least one job listed in the Hungarian Standard Classification of Occupations (FEOR), as specified for each of the vocational grammar school sectors in an Annex of the government decree about the NQR – examples: solarium operator, electronic equipment mechanic and operator, waiter.

Examples for the optionally obtainable ‘additional vocational qualification’: dental assistant, social carer, mining technician.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Learners having completed the four-year ISCED 344 vocational grammar school programmes may:

  • enrol in post-secondary ISCED 454/EQF5 programmes (called ‘VET years of vocational grammar school’ programmes) to study either in the same sector (one year programme) or a different sector (two-year programme);
  • move on to higher VET ISCED 554/EQF5 programmes offered in higher education institutions;
  • move on to higher education bachelor ISCED 665/EQF6 programmes (where they can get extra points at the admission procedure if applying for a bachelor programme in the same sector); or
  • enter the labour market.

46% of learners in these ISCED 344 upper secondary programmes of vocational grammar school do not continue studies in the post-secondary year to finish their VET programme (to obtain an ISCED 454 vocational qualification) ([257]Ministry of Innovation and Technology (2019). Szakképzés 4.0 A Szakképzés és Felnőttképzés Megújításának Középtávú Stratégiája, a Szakképzési Rendszer Válasza a Negyedik Ipari Forradalom Kihívásaira. [VET 4.0 Mid-term strategy of the renewal of VET and adult training, response of the VET system to challenges of the 4th industrial revolution].). The majority of these learners move on to higher education or continue studies in post-secondary VET in another VET sector (where their previous VET learning is not recognised).

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

The complex examination that awards NVQR ([258]The National vocational qualifications register (NVQR) includes all State-recognised vocational qualifications regulated by the 2011 VET act.) qualifications does not allow for recognition of prior learning (no exemption can be obtained from taking the whole or a part of the exam). Nevertheless, learners in VET schools can get their prior learning recognised during their training, subject to the principal’s decision. The VET act also provides for the opportunity to recognise previous work experience in the completion of vocational practical training, subject to the principal’s decision.

General education subjects

Y

66% ([259]The local curriculum of general education provided in VET schools is prepared by the schools based on the national framework curriculum published in a government decree as well as framework curricula published by the minister responsible for education.)

Key competences

Y

The curriculum of general education is based on the National Core Curriculum that includes key competence development ([260]The list of key competences in the Hungarian NCC differs from that in the EU Recommendation of 2006 in one minor aspect. It breaks the EU key competence of ’mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology’ into two separate ones, thus in Hungary there are nine instead of eight key competences. More detailed information is available in Bükki, E. et al. (2016). Key competences in vocational education and training – Hungary. Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspectives series.http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2016/ReferNet_HU_KC.pdf). Three key competences – foreign language, Hungarian language and competences in mathematics, science and technology – are to be developed as stand-alone subjects. Development of other key competences is described in the outcome requirements of particular school subjects and depends on local school practices. Standards and framework curricula of NVQR qualifications define vocational, personal, social and methodological competences, corresponding to the particular task profile, by modules. They comprise several components/parts of key competences.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

VET standards (called ‘vocational requirements’) are modularised and defined in competences, but they are not yet defined in terms of genuine learning outcomes ([261]Though qualification standards were transcribed in learning outcomes as understood in the European qualification framework (EQF) when referencing them to the NQF (Source: Tót, É.; ICF (2016). 2016 update to the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning: country report Hungary, pp. 3, 8, 10. Report commissioned by Cedefop.
https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/2016_validate_HU.pdf ), the task and character profiles in the vocational requirements modules – and the framework curricula based on them - are not defined in the form and language of learning outcomes (as understood in the EQF).
).

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

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

(b) the related ‘character profile’ that specifies different types of knowledge and skills required to perform those tasks ([262]Though qualification standards were transcribed in learning outcomes as understood in the European qualification framework (EQF) when referencing them to the NQF (in a project led by NSZFH), the task and character profiles in the SZVKs – and the framework curricula based on them - are not defined in the form and language of learning outcomes – as understood in the EQF (Tót and ICF, 2016, p. 10).);

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

48.2% ([263]2017/18. NB: Compared with the total number of VET learners (secondary, post-secondary and higher education VET programmes) in full-time programmes; excluding VET learners attending part-time programmes; excluding VET learners in adult training programmes provided outside the formal school system. Source: Central Statistical Office STADAT database:
https://www.ksh.hu/stadat_eves_2_6 and Educational Authority KIR database:
https://www.oktatas.hu/felsooktatas/kozerdeku_adatok/felsooktatasi_adatok_kozzetetele/felsooktatasi_statisztikak
)

VET available to adults (formal and non-formal)

Programme Types
Not available

General themes

VET in Finland comprises the following main features:

  • competence-based approach;
  • personal competence development plan for each learner charting and recognising previously acquired skills;
  • VET teacher profession is attractive;
  • early leaving from education and training is low and decreasing; leaving VET early is still more common than in general education;
  • participation in lifelong learning is high, also due to VET participation.

Distinctive features ([1]Cedefop (2016). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Finland. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8100_en.pdf
):

National qualification requirements have been based on a competence-based approach since the early 1990s. Flexibility of vocational qualifications has increased, for example by diversifying opportunities to include modules from other vocational qualifications (including further and specialist vocational qualifications) or university of applied sciences degrees. More flexibility will allow students to create individual learning paths and increase their motivation for completing their studies. It is also meant to give education providers an opportunity to meet regional and local labour market demands more effectively. Studies in upper secondary VET are based on individual study plans, comprising both compulsory and optional study modules. Modularisation allows for a degree of individualisation of qualifications:

  • a clearer range of qualifications that better meets the needs of working life;
  • a single competence-based method of completing qualifications;
  • competence-based and individual study paths for all.

The Finnish National Agency for Education reformed all 43 initial, 65 further and 56 specialist vocational qualifications in 2017-18. The fundamental goal of this reform was to reduce the number of qualification titles from 360 to 164 and offer broader programmes, strengthen the competence-based approach of vocational qualification requirements and the modular structure of qualifications. This supports building flexible and individual learning paths and promotes validation of prior learning.

A career as a VET teacher is generally considered attractive, reflected in the high number of applications to enrol in vocational teacher training programmes that invariably exceed intake. While up to a third of the applicants are admitted annually, there are major variations between different fields.

There is growing concern over the risk of social exclusion of young people. In 2018, among 20 to 24 year-olds, 11.8% were neither in employment nor in education and training. Youth unemployment is on the increase; the rate for 15 to 24 year-olds was 20% in 2014, 21.4% in 2016 and 20.4% in 2019. Both rates have improved in recent years ([2]Source: Statistics Finland.).

The government introduced the youth guarantee programme from the beginning of 2013. This offers everyone under 25, as well as recent graduates under 30, a job, on-the-job training, a study place or rehabilitation within three months of becoming unemployed.

Dropout from vocational education and training is far more common than from general upper secondary education, although it is not high in European terms (7.4% in the 2016/17 school year). Prevention of both dropout from education and exclusion from society is a policy priority: every individual who drops out of education and the labour market is seen as being both a personal tragedy and a significant cost to society. A programme was set up in 2012 to develop anticipatory and individualised procedures in guidance and counselling and create pedagogical solutions and practices supporting completion of studies, as well as work-centred learning environments and opportunities. There is also emphasis on creating practices to recognise prior learning more effectively. An additional EUR 4 million has been allocated to this programme. The results of these projects will be seen in 2020 at the earliest.

A new Act on VET was adopted in June 2017 and entered into force on 1 January 2018. Its objective has been to renew VET legislation, the financing system and create a more competence-based and customer-oriented system.

Data from VET in Finland Spotlight 2016 ([3]Cedefop (2016). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Finland. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8100_en.pdf
), updated in May 2019.

 

 

Population in 2018: 5 513 130 ([4]NB: Data for population as of 1 January; break in series. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].)

It increased by 1.6% since 2013 mainly due to immigration ([5]NB: Data for population as of 1 January; break in series. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

As in many other EU countries, the population is ageing, but the share of young people remains slightly above the EU-28 due to immigration. Since 2000, annual immigration to the country has more than doubled, reaching 249 500 or 4.5% of the population in 2017. This is also due to the increased number of asylum seekers in 2015-16 ([6]Statistics Finland:
www.tilastokeskus.fi/tup/maahanmuutto/maahanmuuttajat-vaestossa/ulkomaan-kansalaiset_en.html#tab1483972171375_1
).

The old-age dependency ratio is expected to increase from 31 in 2015 to 50 in 2060 ([7]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 years). The value is expressed per 100 persons of working age (15-64).). This will also force the retirement age to increase, reaching 62.4 years in 2025 ([8]In 2017 it was 61.2 years. Source: Finnish Centre for Pensions:
www.etk.fi/en/statistics-2/statistics/effective-retirement-age/
).

 

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

Source: Eurostat, proj_15ndbims [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

According to population forecasts, the proportion of those aged over 65 is increasing faster than the EU average. This is mostly due to the ‘baby-boomer’ generations, born after World War II, reaching pensionable age.

Demographic challenges will impact the availability of the labour force, growth of the economy and, thus, provision of welfare services. The changing population structure will also require improving attainment, preventing early leaving from education and training, facilitating young people’s transition to further education and making flexible learning paths for completing qualifications.

Because of the demographic challenges, e.g. ageing population, the demand for labour in social and welfare services will grow in the future. According to the National Agency for Education ([9]https://www.oph.fi/julkaisut/2011/koulutus_ja_tyovoiman_kysynta_2025), demand for new employees in health care and social services will be nearly 120 000 in the period from 2008 to 2025. This has an impact on VET as, for example, practical nurses and dental assistants receive VET qualifications.

The country has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish.

Education and training institutions teach in Finnish and Swedish, but bilingual providers also exist, providing education in some foreign languages, mostly in English. In the Sámi language regions VET is also provided in a Sámi language.

The language of instruction for initial and continuing VET is decided in the licence for VET provision, granted by the education ministry.

Most companies are small- and medium-sized.

The highest share of the labour force is in human health and social work, manufacturing and in wholesale and retail trade.

 

Employees (age 15 to 74) by economic sector in 2018

Source: Statistics Finland. https://www.tilastokeskus.fi/tup/suoluk/suoluk_tyoelama_en.html

 

The main export sectors are ([10]Source:
https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/fin/ [accessed 2.4.2019].
):

  • machines (23%) ([11]E.g. broadcasting equipment, electrical transformers.);
  • paper goods (16%) ([12]E.g. coated paper, wood pulp.);
  • metals (14%) ([13]E.g. stainless steel, raw zinc.);
  • transportation goods (11%) ([14]E.g. cars, ships.).

Relatively few professions require a specific type of education. Education requirements mainly exist in health care, teaching, rescue and security jobs. Also the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church requires its employees to have education in the field. Such professions usually require a higher education degree.

A few regulated professions require a vocational qualification. Examples are nurses, prison and security guards, construction divers and chimney sweeps.

The labour market is, therefore, considered flexible.

Total unemployment ([15]Percentage of active population, 25 to 74 years old.) (2018): 6.1% (6.0% in EU-28); it increased by 1.2 percentage points since 2008 ([16]Eurostat table une_rt_a [extracted 20.5.2019].).

 

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

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

 

Unemployment is distributed unevenly between those with low- and high-level qualifications. In Finland, the financial crisis had less impact on unemployment than in other European countries.

During the crisis there was only a slight increase in unemployment, and the difference between the unemployment rates of the three categories above remained quite stable.

Young people (15-24) with low qualifications (ISCED 0-2) are much more exposed to unemployment than older people who have more working experience. Higher level qualifications also mean less unemployment for young people.

The employment rate of VET graduates (age 20-34, ISCED levels 3 and 4) has increased since 2014 by 2.2 percentage points and reached 79.8% 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].

 

This increase was slower compared with the increase in employment for the same age group graduates of all education types (+2.5pp) in the same period ([17]NB: Breaks in time series. Eurostat table edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

For more information about the external drivers influencing VET developments in Finland please see the case study from Cedefop's changing nature and role of VET in Europe project [17a]Cedefop (2018). The changing nature and role of vocational education and training in Europe. Volume 3: the responsiveness of European VET systems to external change (1995-2015). Case study focusing in Finland. Cedefop research paper; No 67. https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/finland_cedefop_changing_nature_of_vet_-_case_study.pdf

Completion of both upper secondary and tertiary studies is one of the objectives of national education policy. Finland has one of the highest shares of 25-64 year old people with higher education qualifications (43.7%) and one of the lowest shares with low qualifications (11.7%) in the EU.

 

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].

 

Attainment of Finns aged 25 to 64 has increased significantly since 2000 and slightly more rapidly than in the EU-28 on average ([18]https://findikaattori.fi/en/). Since the 1990s the expansion of adult education and training, as well as the creation of the competence-based qualifications system, offered many ‘baby-boomers’ born after World War II an opportunity to complete a VET qualification.

For more information about VET in higher education in Finland please see the case study from Cedefop's changing nature and role of VET in Europe projectt [18a]Cedefop (2019). The changing nature and role of vocational education and training in Europe. Volume 6: vocationally oriented education and training at higher education level. Expansion and diversification in European countries. Case study focusing on Finland. Cedefop research paper; No 70. https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/finland_cedefop_changing_nature_of_vet_-_case_study_0.pdf

Share of learners in VET by level in 2017

lower- secondary

upper -secondary

post-secondary

not applicable

71.6%

100%

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

 

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

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

 

The male/female share in vocational upper secondary programmes is equal. In further qualification programmes, there are more females.

In 2017, 43% of all male VET students studied in one particular field, i.e. engineering, manufacturing and construction. Business and administration and services both accounted for 17% of all male VET students. Around one-third (31%) of women were enrolled in health and welfare, 20% in services and 25% in business, administration and law.

The share of early leavers from education and training was 8.3% in 2018. The share has decreased since 2009 by 1.6 percentage points (-3.6 percentage points in the EU) and it is very close to the national 2020 target of not more than 8%.

 

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].

 

The overall duration of education and training is influenced by delays at transition points ([19]For example, young graduates from upper secondary education at age of 19 cannot always enter higher education due to limited places available; they often apply several years in a row in order to enrol.) and the overall time spent in each programme. The latter is now being addressed by the new financing mechanism that gives more weight to the effectiveness of studies and is pushing towards timely acquisition of qualifications.

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].

 

Participation in lifelong learning is traditionally high in Finland. It has increased by 3.4 percentage points since 2014, reaching 28.5% in 2018. It is almost three times higher than the EU-28 average (11.1% in 2018).

VET is an important form of adult education. In 2016 almost 70% of those completing vocational upper secondary qualifications in Finland were under 25. Almost half of those taking further vocational qualifications completed their studies under the age of 35, and over half of those taking specialist vocational qualifications were over 40.

 

VET learners by age group in 2010-17

Source: Statistics Finland (Vipunen). https://vipunen.fi/

 

The share of adults (aged 25 and above) in initial and continuing VET has been increasing both in absolute numbers and proportionally. In the programme aiming for upper secondary vocational qualification the share of adults has been increasing and was 36% in 2017. In further qualification the share has varied between 81-86% and in specialist qualification it has remained roughly the same at 95%.

The education and training system comprises:

  • early childhood education and care (ISCED level 0);
  • pre-primary education (ISCED level 0);
  • primary education and lower secondary education; (ISCED levels 1 and 2), also called basic education;
  • optional additional year (ISCED level 2) (age 16);
  • Upper secondary education (ISCED level 3 and 4);
  • Tertiary education (ISCED levels 6, 7, and 8).

Early childhood education and care (varhaiskasvatus, småbarnsfostran) is not compulsory and participation requires the payment of a small fee. It is provided to children up to age six.

Pre-primary education (esiopetus, förskoleundervisning) is compulsory and it is provided to learners aged 6 years old.

Basic education (perusopetus, grundläggande utbildning) is compulsory. It is divided into primary education, provided in grades 1 to 6, to learners aged 7 to 12, and into lower secondary education, provided in grades 7 to 9, to students aged 13 to 16 years old.

The optional additional year is provided to students at age 16. Its purpose is to improve grades and to prepare for vocational education or familiarisation with the working life.

After basic education students can complete training preparing them for VET (ammatilliseen koulutukseen valmentava koulutus, utbildning som handleder för yrkesutbildning). This preparatory education and training provides students with capabilities for applying to VET, leading to qualifications, and fosters their preconditions for

completing qualifications. Preparatory education and

training for work and independent living (työhön ja itsenäiseen elämään valmentava koulutus, utbildning som handleder för arbete och ett självständigt liv) is available for those who need special support due to illness or injury. It provides students with instruction and guidance according to their personal goals and capabilities.

Upper secondary education (toisen asteen koulutus, utbildning på andra stadiet) is provided in grades 10 to 12, to students aged 17 to 19 years old. It is divided into general (lukiokoulutus, gymnasieutbildning), and vocational (ammatillinen koulutus, yrkesutbildning).

Tertiary education (korkeakoulutus, högskola) is provided by universities (yliopisto, universitet) and by universities of applied sciences (ammattikorkeakoulu, yrkeshögskola).

Promoting employment and self-employment are key elements of VET. Guided and goal-oriented studying at the

workplace is an essential part of VET. Studying at the workplace is either based on apprenticeship or on training agreement. Both can be flexibly combined. Learning at the workplace can be used to acquire competence in all vocational qualifications as well as promoting further training or supplementing vocational skills. Studying at the workplace can cover an entire degree, a module or a smaller part of the studies.

Initial VET (for young people) and continuing VET (for adults) are organised under the same legislation and principles ([20]https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/2017/20170531).

Initial VET (vocational upper secondary programmes) provides learners with vocational skills they need for entry- level jobs. It also supports learners’ growth into good and balanced individuals and members of society, and it provides them with the knowledge and skills needed for further studies and for the development of their personalities. A holder of a vocational upper secondary qualification has broad-based, basic vocational skills to work in different tasks in the chosen field, as well as more specialised competence and the vocational skills required for work in at least one section of the chosen field.

Continuing VET (further and specialist programmes) provides more comprehensive and specialised competences and requires labour market experience. They are mainly acquired by adults in employment with an IVET qualification; however, this is not a precondition for the taking of the qualification. A holder of a further vocational qualification has the vocational skills that meet work needs and that are more advanced or more specialised than what is required in the vocational upper secondary qualification. A holder of a specialist vocational qualification has vocational skills that meet work needs and that are highly advanced or multidisciplinary.

All programmes are competence-based. This means that completing a qualification does not depend on where and how competences have been acquired. All learners who have completed basic education may enrol in VET, but each provider decides the selection criteria. In some regions there is a competition for potential learners between general upper secondary and VET schools. VET often attracts more applicants than there are places available, especially in programmes in social services, health and sports, vehicle and transport technology, business and administration, electrical and automation engineering, and beauty care.

Study units (also known as modules)

All programmes leading to a qualification include vocational units:

• compulsory;

• optional.

In addition to the above, all initial vocational qualification programmes include units that consist of common, rather than specific, vocational competence:

• communication and interaction competence;

• mathematics and science competence;

• citizenship and working life competence.

The common units may be included in further and specialist qualifications but only if this is seen as necessary when making the personal competence development plan.

Key competences

Key competences help students to keep up with the changes in society and working life. In the wake of the 2018 VET reform (Vocational Education and Training Act 531, adopted in 2017 and in force since 2018), key competences are no longer addressed as a separate part of vocational competences. They have been modified so that key competences are included in all vocational skills requirements and assessment criteria. The key competences for lifelong learning are: digital and technological competence; mathematics and science competence; competence development; communication and interaction competence; competence for sustainable development; cultural competence; social and citizenship competence; and entrepreneurial competence.

Personal competence development plan

At the beginning of VET studies objectives for competence development are recorded in a personal competence development plan for each learner. A teacher draws up the plan together with a learner. An employer or another representative of a workplace or other cooperation partner may also participate in the preparation of the personal competence development plan, when required. The plan includes information on, for example, identification and recognition of prior learning, acquisition of missing skills, demonstrations of competence and of other skills, and the guidance and support needed. Prior learning acquired in training, working life or other learning environments has to be recognised as part of the qualification. The learner can also include units from general upper secondary curriculum, other vocational qualifications (incl. further vocational qualifications and specialist vocational qualifications) or degrees of universities of applied sciences in his personal competence development plan. The plan can be up-dated during the studies whenever necessary.

Work-based learning

Work-based learning (WBL) is provided mainly in real work environments (companies). If this is not possible, it can also be organised in school facilities.

The 2018 reform aimed to increase the share of work-based learning in VET by offering more flexibility in its organisation. All learners take part in WBL and any form of WBL (training agreement or apprenticeship training) may be taken by learners in any qualification programme. WBL may be provided during the whole programme duration and cover the whole qualification, a module/unit, or a smaller part of the programme. The most suitable method for a learner is agreed in the personal competence development plan.

The legislation does not stipulate a maximum or minimum amount of work-based learning but it strongly recommends that VET providers organise at least part of the learning at the workplace. The form of WBL may vary during the studies. A learner may transfer flexibly from a training agreement to apprenticeship training when the prerequisites for concluding an apprenticeship agreement are met (see Section 2.5.2). Work-based learning is guided and goal-oriented training at a workplace, allowing learners to acquire parts of the practical vocational skills included in the desired qualification.

Training agreement

This type of WBL can be offered in all initial and continuing VET programmes. At the very beginning of the training, the personal competence development plan shall be designed by the teacher/guidance counsellor, working life representative and the learner. The WBL periods are defined in this plan.

Learners are not in an employment relationship with the training company. They do not receive salary and employers do not receive any training compensation. But companies gladly recruit people with work experience. Within this system, the learners acquire some experience during their studies and the learner and the company get to know each other. It is possible to change from a training agreement to an apprenticeship training contract, if prerequisites for concluding an apprenticeship agreement are met.

A training agreement period can also be conducted abroad, as an exchange period, e.g. within the Erasmus+ programme or through other programmes or individual arrangements.

Apprenticeship training contract

Any qualification can be acquired through apprenticeship training – a work-based form of VET that is based on a written fixed-term employment contract (apprenticeship contract) between an employer and an apprentice, who must be at least 15 years old. Working hours are at least 25 hours per week. Apprenticeships have been used mainly in further and specialist vocational education. Since the 2018 reform, there is no indication in the legislation where the theoretical part should be acquired. In fact, the word ‘theory’ is no longer in use. Instead, ‘learning in the working place’ and ‘learning in other environments’ terminology applies. If the company is able to cover all the training needs, there is no need for the learner to attend a school venue at all. Learners themselves find work places for the training. The employer has no obligation to keep the apprentice employed after the training period is completed.

VET providers are responsible for initiating the contract. The demand and supply of contracts/work places are not always in balance. There are regional and field-specific differences but usually there are not enough apprenticeship places in companies.

Apprenticeship training is based on the requirements of the relevant qualification, according to which the learner’s personal competence development plan is drawn up. It considers the needs and requirements of the workplace and the learner. Approximately 70-80% of the time used for learning takes place in the workplace where the apprenticeship contract is concluded. Periods of theory and in-company training alternate but a common pattern does not exist; it is agreed in the personal competence development plan.

The employer pays the apprentice’s wages according to the relevant collective agreement for the period of workplace training. For the period of theoretical studies, learners receive social benefits, such as a daily allowance and allowances for accommodation and travel expenses. The education provider pays compensation to cover the costs of training provided in the workplace. The employer and VET institution agree on the amount of compensation before the training takes place; a separate contract is prepared for each learner.

At national level, the general goals for VET and the qualifications structure ([21]Qualification structure is a system of qualifications. It defines how many there are initial, further and specialist VET qualifications: their share, titles and competence points (total and for common units; their division within the qualification is decided by the Finnish National Agency for Education).) are determined by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The ministry also grants the licences for education provision. The Finnish National Agency for Education decides the national requirements of qualifications, detailing the goals and core content of each vocational qualification.

 

Main VET stakeholders

Source: Finnish National Agency for Education.

 

Vocational qualification requirements are developed in broad-based cooperation with stakeholders. The national qualification requirements have been based on a learning-outcomes approach since the early 1990s. Consequently, close cooperation with the world of work has been essential.

Cooperation with the world of work and other key stakeholders is carried out in order to ensure that qualifications support is flexible and promotes efficient transition to the labour market, as well as occupational development and career change. In addition to the needs of the world of work, development of VET and qualifications takes into account consolidation of lifelong learning skills, as well as the individuals’ needs and opportunities to complete qualifications flexibly to suit their own circumstances.

The Ministry of Education and Culture grants authorisations to VET providers, determining the fields of education in which they are allowed to provide education and training and their total learner numbers. VET providers determine which vocational qualifications and which study programmes within the specified fields of education will be organised at their vocational institutions.

To enhance the service capacity of VET providers, they have been encouraged to merge into regional or other strong entities. Across Finland, education providers cover all VET services and development activities. Thus, vocational institutions offer initial and continuing training both for young people and adult learners. Vocational institutions work in close cooperation with the labour market. Their role is to develop their own provision in cooperation with the labour market on the one hand, and to support competence development within small and medium-sized enterprises on the other. This strategy for vocational institutions has been a necessary means of ensuring and increasing the flexibility of education and training. Consequently, larger vocational institutions can offer enough vocational modules to ensure that learners can customise their programmes and choose studies that match changing needs for competences.

Vocational institutions can organise their activities freely, according to the requirements of their fields or their regions, and decide on their institutional networks and other services.

VET providers

Around 70% of VET providers are privately owned and 24% are owned by joint municipal authorities (Figure 10). There are 145 VET providers in total (Figure 10); this is considerably fewer than in 2006 as they have been strongly encouraged to merge. This cost-efficiency trend in education has been apparent since the mid-1990s. The ministry encourages VET providers towards voluntary mergers to ensure that all education providers have sufficient professional and financial resources to provide education.

 

VET providers by ownership

NB: Data as of 30 April 2019. In addition, there were 16 private VET providers who did not receive the licence, but can continue providing VET for a transitional period.
Source: Education Statistics Finland (Vipunen): https://vipunen.fi/

 

The most common types of VET provider are vocational institutions (owned by municipalities, industry and the service sector) ([22]Some VET providers are foundations or limited companies; they are categorised as ‘private’ but municipalities usually have shares in such companies/foundations.). They provide education and training to more than 75% of initial VET learners. Specialised (usually owned by one private company or association, e.g. car manufacturers) and special needs (usually owned by municipalities and associations, e.g. Organisation for Respiratory Health) vocational institutions, fire, police and security service institutions (national) and folk high schools, sports institutions, music schools and colleges (local) account for less than 10% of learners in initial VET. Vocational adult education centres (public and regional) mostly provide further and specialist VET.

Private vocational institutions operating under the 2018 VET Act are supervised by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Similar to public VET providers, they receive government subsidies and have the right to award official qualification certificates.

Out of 145 VET providers in total, there are 26 specialised vocational institutions, which are generally maintained by manufacturing and service sector enterprises. They are national private institutions, also referred to as ‘government dependent private institutions’, which provide training for their own needs outside the national qualifications structure described above, and which mainly focus on continuing training for their own staff. The specialised vocational institutions (also national private institutions) have been authorised by the Ministry of Education and Culture to provide education and training. Although these institutions receive state funding, most of the costs are covered by the owners of these enterprises (or by the enterprises responsible for them).

Current financing system

Education is publicly funded through public tax revenue at all levels. This has been perceived in Finland as being a means of guaranteeing equal education opportunities for the entire population irrespective of social or ethnic background, gender and place of residence. Funding criteria for receiving state funding are uniform for public and private VET providers.

Private funding only accounts for 2.6% of all education expenditure. Its share is slightly higher in upper secondary VET and higher education, but still remains below 5%.

Public funding is mainly provided by the State (30%) and local authorities (municipalities) (70%). VET providers decide on the use of all funds granted. In upper secondary VET, operating costs per learner vary between EUR 6 488 for all apprenticeships (companies cover most of the costs) to EUR 27 956 in special needs VET ([23]The most recent available data of 2017.).

In VET (excluding apprenticeships and special needs), funding varies by study field. Total VET funding is 1.5% from government spending and 13% from the spending of the Ministry of Education and Culture (2019).

 

Operating costs per learner in upper secondary VET by study field in 2012, 2014, 2017 (euros)

Source: Education Statistics Finland (Vipunen): https://vipunen.fi/

 

At the beginning of 2018, the unit price of apprenticeship training was increased to the same level as that of institution-based training. This is expected to encourage education providers to increase their offer of apprenticeship training. In addition, if the apprentice is a long-term unemployed jobseeker, lacks professional skills, or is disabled, the employer may also receive a state-funded pay subsidy.

The 2022 financing system for better performance

With the amendment to the Act on the Financing of the Provision of Education and Culture (532/2017) that entered into force at the beginning of 2018, a single coherent funding system was established for all VET programmes. The Act includes one uniform funding system for the provision of VET covering vocational upper secondary education and training, vocational further education and training, apprenticeship training and labour market training leading to a qualification (see Section 2.9.3). Funding criteria are uniform irrespective of the type of education provider.

The new system of funding is moving away from the current model of core funding and a very small element of performance funding (5%), towards one based on funding divided into core, performance and effectiveness and strategy.

 

Share of VET funding elements from 2022

Source: Ministry of Education and Culture; Finnish National Agency for Education (2018). Finnish VET in a nutshell. ISBN: 978-952-263-592-1.

 

  • 50% core funding is based on the number of students; it is important for forward planning and ensuring future provision of VET in all fields and for all students;
  • 35% performance funding is based on the number of completed qualifications and qualification units; it is meant to steer education providers to target education and qualifications in accordance with competence needs and to intensify study processes;
  • 15% effectiveness funding is based on students’ access to employment, pursuit of further education and feedback from both students and the labour market ([24]VET providers must collect these data. The system is not fully operational yet as the new financing system will be ready in 2022.); it aims to encourage education providers to redirect education to fields where labour is needed to ensure that education corresponds to the needs of the working life and that it is of high quality and provides the students with the competence to study further;
  • in addition, a relatively small amount of strategy funding (decided by parliament) will be made available; it is meant to support development and actions that are important from the education policy standpoint. It could be used, for example, for VET national development projects, skills competitions and developing education provider networks (e.g. mergers).

The new funding system will gradually be introduced and will be fully operational in 2022.

 

VET funding elements 2018-22 (%)

Source: Ministry of Education and Culture.

 

In VET, there are:

  • teachers of vocational units, teachers of common units, special needs teachers;
  • trainers.

Teaching is a popular profession in Finland. The popularity of vocational teacher education has been consistent over many years, largely because of the flexible arrangements for completing studies. While up to a third of the applicants are admitted annually, there are major variations between different fields.

Those who apply for a place in vocational teacher education are, on average, older than applicants of other forms of teacher education. This is because applicants are required to have prior work experience in their own field. The average age of applicants and those admitted as learners is approximately 40 years.

The proportion of women among applicants and teacher training learners has increased noticeably in recent years. Unlike in other teacher education programmes, it is more difficult for women than for men to gain a place in vocational teacher education. Regarding salaries and terms and conditions of employment, there are no remarkable differences between teachers in general education and VET.

Although there are no official data for trainers ([25]In-company trainers (nationally referred to as workplace instructors) are responsible for supervising learners during their on-the-job learning periods or apprenticeship training in enterprises.) on the attractiveness of their profession, the general impression is that trainers are generally satisfied with their training tasks. In many cases, they perceive more responsibilities and autonomy as recognition of their professionalism; time spent with young learners away from normal routine is also considered to be a reward. Trainers participate in the competence demonstrations involving trainers in learner assessment at the workplace. This assessment plays a significant role on learners’ final qualification certificates.

 

Teacher and trainer qualifications

Source: https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/ajantasa/1998/19980986#L5

 

First, teachers of vocational units must have an appropriate higher education degree in their own vocational sector. If such a degree does not exist, it can also be supplemented by the highest possible other qualification in the sector. One specific challenge has been to find qualified teachers in some fields. Another challenge is the sometimes limited shop floor experience of teachers with a university degree. In some fields, therefore now possible to acquire teaching qualifications by completing a specialist vocational qualification (ISCED 4) or some other qualification or training that provides solid competence in the field concerned.

Second, they have a pedagogical teacher training qualification with 60 ECTS credit points, and third, they need relevant work experience in their own field. Teachers of vocational units take teacher’s pedagogical studies at five vocational teacher education institutions (universities of applied sciences) while teachers of common units (such as languages and mathematics) generally complete them at universities.

The content of teacher training is updated continuously by vocational teacher education colleges. Teacher education institutions enjoy wide autonomy in deciding on their curricula and training arrangements. Legislation sets the qualification requirements, but only at a very general level.

Requirements for trainers

Trainers are generally experienced foremen and skilled workers. They frequently have a vocational or professional qualification but hold no pedagogical qualifications.

There are no formal qualifications requirements for trainers in Finland. Their participation in continuing professional development is also left completely up to them and their employers.

There are, however, training programmes available for trainers that follow national guidelines (as recommended by the Finnish National Agency for Education). According to the guidelines, training for trainers comprises three modules, providing participants with the capabilities required in order to: plan training at the workplace; provide vocational competence demonstrations; instruct VET learners and assess their learning; and impart vocational skills. The Finnish National Agency for Education recommends that, where possible, people acting as workplace trainers should participate in the training of trainers. VET education providers are responsible for providing the training.

There is also plenty of autonomy for continuing professional development (CPD) for VET teachers. The CPD obligation of teaching staff is defined partly in legislation and partly in the collective agreement negotiated between the Trade Union of Education in Finland and the employers’ organisation.

Most continuing training is provided free of charge and teachers enjoy full salary benefits during their participation. Funding responsibility rests with teachers’ employers, mainly local authorities. Training content is decided by individual employers and the teachers themselves.

The Parasta osaamista project set up a network for improving VET teacher’s CPD. It started in 2016 and is coordinated by Jyväskylä university. The aim of the project is to support education staff during the implementation of the 2017-2018 VET reform. Emphasis is put on developing coherent practices; unifying quality criteria; promoting competence-based and customer-oriented VET in cooperation with the world of work; mapping the competence needs of VET staff; developing tools and operational models for workplace learning; and the induction of workplace instructors.

The 2016 teacher education development programme (Opettajankoulutuksen kehittämisohjelma) also aims to adopt a systematic and coherent structure for teachers’ competence development during their careers. It is recommended that education institutions prepare competence development plans, which will be underpinned by strategic plans and evaluations of competence by education providers. Particular attention is being paid to building up the vocational skills of young teachers and their opportunities for receiving support. CPD, promoting the integration of Finnish language learning into the vocational studies, language awareness focused teaching and collaborative instruction, is being organised.

VET schools offer short courses/events to upskill workplace instructors in relation to various themes, such as how to guide special needs learners at the workplace. The Parasta osaamista project also offers support for workplace instructors.

More information is available in the Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspective on teachers and trainers ([26]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/teachers-and-trainers).

 

 

Skills anticipation activities are well established and linked to policy-making. For more than a decade, socio-economic factors such as the effects of the economic recession, the gradually decreasing labour force, and the ageing population have increased the need to improve the match between supply and demand skills. As a result, significant investment in skills anticipation has been undertaken by the government and its partners. The aim is to steer the education system – both VET and higher education – to meet the needs of the labour market.

At national level, the Finnish National Agency for Education, which operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and Culture, produces long-term (10+ years) national forecasts ([27]https://beta.oph.fi/fi/tilastot-ja-julkaisut/julkaisut/osaaminen-2035) on the demand for labour and education needs in support of decision-making. It is supported by the skills anticipation forum, established in early 2017. The Ministry of Education and Culture decides on study places by field of education (around 10). At regional level, councils anticipate skills needs in the municipalities in the region. The forecasting data is also used for guidance and employment counselling to provide information regarding future employment opportunities. The Finnish National Agency for Education also supports regional forecasting efforts, which are carried out under the supervision of regional councils. The goal is to steer the number of learner places in education and training provision to ensure that it matches developments in the demand for labour as closely as possible.

In general, there is a high degree of stakeholder involvement in skills anticipation activities. Major trade unions, employers, regional councils, and representatives of education institutions are involved in anticipation exercises. The responsibility of education providers for anticipating and responding to labour market changes has increased, as operational targeting and steering powers ([28]It means among other things that VET providers can decide within the limits of the licence received from Ministry of Education and Culture what qualifications and training programmes to offer.) have been devolved to universities, universities of applied sciences, and VET providers. Providers are required to play an active role in addressing the national/regional labour market skills needs.

In addition, a wide range of national and regional EU-funded anticipation and forecast projects are carried out by organisations such as research institutions, labour market and industry organisations, VET providers, universities and universities of applied sciences. In particular, regional anticipation activities have developed rapidly in the past decade. Key players in these activities include regional councils, the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres), VET providers, and higher education institutions.

Governance and funding of the relevant exercises are the remit of three ministries (Education and Culture, Finance, Economic Affairs and Employment). These ministries engage in a variety of skills anticipation exercises, taking advantage of the long-term baseline forecasts of economic development produced by the Institute for Economic Research (Valtion Taloudellinen Tutkimuskeskus), a specialised state institution under the Ministry of Finance. The first regional anticipation projects were launched at the beginning of the 2000s. The ministries mostly finance development prognoses of branches, which also include the demand for labour.

Skills anticipation influences government policies on VET, higher education and adult education. Forecasts of future skills demand have an impact on decisions about education supply. Skills anticipation also has an impact on curriculum planning in VET and higher education institutions.

Dissemination of the data generated by skills anticipation exercises is an important element of the anticipation activity. The aim is to make the output from anticipation exercises accessible to a wide audience (policy-makers, employers, jobseekers and young people, etc.) through a range of channels including reports, workshops and online publications. Despite the focus on dissemination of skills anticipation data, there is a need to improve the user friendliness of the existing database to improve information for learners, job seekers and employers ([29]This section is based on Cedefop’s Skills Panorama (2017). Skills anticipation in Finland. Analytical highlights series.
http://skillspanorama.cedefop.europa.eu/en/analytical_highlights/skills-anticipation-finland
).

Quantitative anticipation

The Finnish National Agency for Education is responsible for quantitative anticipation. It has developed the Mitenna model for anticipating long-term demand for labour and educational needs. The model provides long-term data on changes in the demand for labour, natural wastage of labour ([30]A reduction in the number of employees, which is achieved by not replacing those who leave.), demand for skilled labour and educational needs. Quantitative anticipation is used to provide information on quantitative needs for vocationally and professionally oriented education and training in upper secondary vocational education and training, university of applied sciences education and university education. The focus is on anticipating the demand for labour over a period of circa 15 years ([31]Growth in competencies for Finland: proposed objectives for degrees and qualifications for the 2020s (Suomi osaamisen kasvu-uralle. Ehdotus tutkintotavoitteista 2020-luvulle).
http://julkaisut.valtioneuvosto.fi/handle/10024/75163
).

Qualitative anticipation

The Finnish National Agency for Education coordinated a project on future competences and skills, known as the VOSE project, between 2008 and 2012. The aim of this project was to create a process model for anticipating vocational competence and skills needs for the future (looking 10 to 15 years ahead).

The knowledge produced through the model serves different levels of education, including vocational, university of applied sciences and university education. Anticipatory knowledge may be utilised, for example, in the national core curriculum, in curriculum planning and the development of the content of education.

The development of the anticipation model has involved social partners representing the piloted sectors (the real estate and building sectors, the social, welfare and health care sectors and the tourism and catering sectors), representatives of research institutions and of various fields of education, as well as other experts in the sectors in question.

The anticipation model created in the VOSE project is now used in the qualitative anticipation of education and training. The model is used to anticipate the skills needs in 2 to 3 fields every year ([32]https://www.oph.fi/english/education_development/anticipation).

National forum for skills anticipation

The National Forum for Skills Anticipation (Osaamisen ennakointifoorumi) serves as a joint expert body in educational anticipation for the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish National Agency for Education. The system consists of a steering group, anticipation groups and a network of experts. The task is to analyse changing competence and skills needs; their impact on the development of education on the basis of the anticipation data; and to promote the interaction of education and training with working life in cooperation with the Ministry and Finnish National Agency for Education. Anticipation groups consist of representatives of employers, employees, education providers, educational administrators, teaching staff and researchers in each field. Anticipation groups are involved in both qualitative and quantitative anticipation work. There are nine anticipation groups representing the following fields:

• natural resources, food production and the environment;

• business and administration;

• education, culture and communications;

• transport and logistics;

• hospitality services;

• built environment;

• social, health and welfare services;

• technology industry and services;

• process industry and production.

See also Cedefop’s skills forecast ([33]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/skills-forecast) and European Skills Index ([34]https://skillspanorama.cedefop.europa.eu/en/indicators/european-skills-index)

The VET curriculum system consists of the:

  • national qualification requirements;
  • education provider´s competence assessment plan;
  • learner`s personal competence development plan.

 

Designing VET qualifications

Source: Finnish National Agency for Education.

 

National qualification requirements

Before the 2018 reform, the national qualification requirements for different qualifications were often updated every five to 10 years on average or whenever necessary, either partially or completely. Since 2018, updating the qualifications became a continuous process based on the changing needs in the world of work and the results of anticipation of skill needs.

The starting point for updating a qualification may be changes in the skills needs in the labour market. These changes can lead to a change of the qualification requirements, or even the qualification structure, of initial, further and specialist vocational qualifications. Changes to the qualification structure also require qualification requirements to be renewed. The process of preparing a qualification requirements document usually takes one to two years.

Within the national qualifications framework (NQF), the Finnish National Agency for Education has placed upper secondary vocational qualifications and further vocational qualifications at level 4 (referenced to level 4 of the EQF) and specialist vocational qualifications at level 5. The ECVET system ([35]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/events-and-projects/projects/european-credit-system-vocational-education-and-training-ecvet) was put into practice in Finland in 2014 and from the beginning of August 2018, in accordance with ECVET recommendations, vocational upper secondary qualifications have covered 180 credit points; further vocational qualifications 120, 150 or 180 credit points; and specialist vocational qualifications 160, 180 or 210 credit points. One year of full-time study corresponds to 60 credit points.

The qualification requirements are drawn up under the leadership of the Finnish National Agency for Education in tripartite cooperation with employers, employees and the education sector. Self-employed people are also represented in the preparation of qualification requirements in fields where self-employment is prevalent. The qualification requirements determine: the units included in the qualification; any possible specialisations made up of different units; selection of optional units in addition to compulsory ones; the vocational skills required for each qualification unit; the guidelines for assessment (targets and criteria of assessment); and the ways of demonstrating vocational skills.

The qualification requirements and the vocational competences form the basis for identifying the types of occupational work processes in which vocational skills for a specific qualification can be demonstrated and assessed.

When an update is initiated, the Finnish National Agency for Education sets up a qualification project, inviting experts representing employees, employers and teachers in the field to participate. In the course of its work, the expert group must also consult other experts in the world of work. Once the expert group has completed a draft version of the new qualification requirements, the document will be sent to representatives of unions, organisations, the world of work and VET providers for a broad consultation process. Following this process, the Finnish National Agency for Education adopts the qualification requirements as a nationally binding regulation.

The Finnish National Agency for Education determines the working life committee under which the specific qualification will fall, or establishes a new working life committee for the new qualification. Working life committees are tripartite bodies consisting of employers and employees’ representatives, teachers and self-employed people. They play a key role in the quality assurance of VET. They ensure the quality of the implementation of competence demonstrations and competence assessment and develop the VET qualifications structure and qualification requirements.

Vocational qualifications are structured in a modular way. These modules comprise units of work or activities found in the world of work. Each vocational qualification unit is a specific occupational area, which can be separated into an independent and assessable component. The vocational skills requirements determined for each qualification unit focus on the core functions of the occupation, mastery of operating processes and the occupational practices of the field in question. These also include skills generally required in working life, such as social skills and key competences for lifelong learning. All qualification requirements share a common structure.

The targets of assessment defined in the qualification requirements indicate those areas of competence on which special attention is focused during assessment. The criteria for assessment have been derived from the vocational skills requirements. The assessment criteria determine the grades awarded for units in upper secondary vocational qualifications and the standard of an acceptable performance in further and specialist qualifications. The section entitled ‘Ways of demonstrating vocational skills’ describes how candidates are to demonstrate their vocational skills in vocational demonstrations.

The qualifications requirements adopted by the Finnish National Agency for Education are published in electronic form on the Finnish National Agency for Education website.

Competence assessment plans

Competence assessment plans are prepared by the respective education provider for each training programme or qualification. The plan details the guidelines and procedures adopted by the education provider regarding the implementation of competence assessment. The plan includes how the following aspects are to be carried out (who does what, how, where it is registered and how the student, staff and stakeholders ([36]Teachers, guidance and counselling staff and assessors of competence.) are informed): recognition of prior learning; demonstration of competence; skills assurance before the demonstration of competence; assessment; certification; preparatory programme planning; and monitoring the implementation of the plan itself.

The competence assessment plan is used by teachers, guidance personnel and assessors of competence. The feasibility of the plan is self-monitored and self-assessed by VET providers as part of their quality assurance system. The plan is attached to the application for a licence to provide VET.

Learner personal competence development plan

At the beginning of VET studies objectives for competence development are recorded in a personal competence development plan for each learner. A teacher draws up the plan together with a learner. An employer or another representative of a workplace or other cooperation partner may also participate in the preparation of the personal competence development plan, when required. The plan includes information on, for example, identification and recognition of prior learning, acquisition of missing skills, competence demonstrations and other demonstration of skills, and the guidance and support needed. Prior learning acquired in training, working life or other learning environments has to be recognised as part of the qualification. The learner can also include units from general upper secondary curriculum, other vocational qualifications (incl. further vocational qualifications and specialist vocational qualifications) or degrees of universities of applied sciences in their personal competence development plan. The plan can be up-dated during the studies whenever necessary.

Involvement of the world of work in developing qualification requirements and quality in VET

The representatives of the world of work participate in the anticipation of skills and education needs both nationally and regionally, for example through anticipation groups, advisory committees and through consultation processes. They participate in drawing up the qualification requirements at national level and they are represented in working life committees.

At regional level the representatives from enterprises participate in the organisation and planning of training and skills demonstrations, regional committees as well as assessment of skills demonstrations. This allows continuous feedback from the world of work.

In 2017, the former 30 national education and training committees were replaced by nine anticipating groups representing different vocational fields (see Section 3.1.3). Members of these groups are representatives of employers, employees and self-employed entrepreneurs, as well as VET providers, higher education institutions, teaching staff, researchers and educational administration. The anticipating groups are appointed until 2020. Their tasks include:

• analysing changing and new competence and skills needs of working life and their implications for different levels of education;

• offering recommendations for the development of VET programmes;

• strengthening cooperation between upper secondary VET and higher education;

  • providing public authorities with recommendations on new development needs and cooperation between the world of work and education.

Continuous improvement of VET quality is a key priority in Finland. The following activities are essential when assuring that vocational education and training meets the requirements of the world of work.

 

Stakeholder roles in assuring VET quality

Source: Finnish National Agency for Education.

 

The quality assurance of VET consists of VET provider´s own quality management, national VET steering and external evaluation.

VET legislation sets the frame for VET providers’ operations. The law requires that the VET provider is responsible for the quality of qualifications and programmes offered and for their constant improvement. VET providers have to have a functional quality assurance system in place. According to the law, they must evaluate the quality, effectiveness (employability, pursuit of further education and feedback from learners and working life) and ‘profitability’ (i.e. how well the operations have met the needs of the learner and the world of work, and have the resources been used in an optimal way) of the qualifications, programmes and other operations. The purpose of VET provider self-evaluation is to recognise strengths and targets to be developed. The ministry offers non-compulsory criteria for self-evaluation to support the process.

The national VET steering includes legislation and regulations related to financing and qualification requirements. It also includes quality strategy, quality award competition, government subsidies for quality improvement, supporting materials produced by the ministry and the agency and criteria for self- and peer evaluation.

According to the VET legislation, VET providers also have to participate regularly in external evaluations of their operations and quality management systems and publish the main results of those evaluations. External evaluation includes the quality assurance of competence demonstrations and competence assessment made by the working life committees and evaluations made by the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre.

Supervision of qualifications

Working life committees are responsible for the supervision of qualifications. Their aim is to ensure the quality and working life orientation of VET. They are statutory bodies of elected officials, appointed by the Finnish National Agency for Education to manage a public duty.

The committees’ duties are:

• ensuring the quality of the implementation of competence demonstrations and assessment;

• participating in the development of qualification structure and vocational qualifications;

• processing learners’ rectification requests concerning competence assessments.

Working life committee members handle these tasks for three years, in addition to their regular duties. A maximum of nine members may be appointed to each working life committee. They must represent employers, employees, teachers and, if self-employment is common within the sector in question, self-employed professionals. There are 39 working life committees. Each working life committee is responsible for one or more qualifications. Working life committees participate in developing the qualification structure and in designing the qualification requirements. They also participate in quality assurance of skills demonstrations and assessment through national feedback, follow-up and evaluation data, and may also visit the skills demonstrations events, when necessary. Finally, they handle the requests related to the rectification of assessment.

Quality assurance of VET providers

The legislation on VET gives education providers a great deal of freedom in deciding on the measures concerning their education provision, use of public funding and quality management. The legislation obliges the providers to evaluate their training provision and its effectiveness as well as to participate in external evaluations. This means that the education providers need to have their own operating system that contains relevant and functional quality management measures (selected by VET providers).

Self-evaluation and external evaluation supports VET providers’ continuous improvement and results-oriented performance. Through evaluation, providers obtain information about major strengths and development needs. VET providers monitor, assess and analyse results achieved systematically through means such as surveys, quantitative indicators and self-evaluation. In VET, data and information are most often collected through queries ([37]VET provider collects feedback from learners twice: at the beginning of studies and at the end.) and assessments of learning outcomes. The VET provider collects the feedback from learners and saves the learners´ answers in the online system that has been developed for this purpose. The Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish National Agency for Education have access to the results.

External evaluation of training is frequently ([38]The term used in the legislation.) carried out, for example, by the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre. Internal audits, benchmarking and peer reviews are other methods employed in evaluation.

Learner feedback

Starting from 2020, one sixth of effectiveness-based funding will be granted to VET providers based on the feedback from learners. The feedback is collected via a centrally designed questionnaire which learners answer twice: at the beginning of the studies and at the end, once the learner has demonstrated all the skills and competences needed for the qualification. Learner feedback and its collection are regulated in the legislation.

In the questionnaire, the learners respond to statements rating them on a five-point scale from one (strongly disagree) to five (strongly agree). At the beginning of their studies learners are required to rate statements relating to the following themes: flexibility of starting time of studies and content of the individual programme; accreditation of prior learning; and support and guidance needed. At the end of their studies, learners give feedback concerning the following themes: flexibility in studies; the ways in which teaching facilities and the learning environment supported studies; receiving support and guidance during studies; equity between learners and workers at the workplace; opportunities to study and learn in the workplace; gaining of entrepreneurial competence; and assessment of their individual competence and readiness for the working life and further studies.

New quality assurance guidelines

The new quality assurance guidelines are currently being discussed by stakeholders to be published by the end of 2019. Since 2011, VET quality strategy has been in place, drawn up by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The 2018 reformed system has increased the significance of the quality management, together with the providers’ role in managing VET. The new strategy is supposed to cover all parts of the national quality assurance system:

• VET providers’ quality management;

• national steering of VET;

• external evaluation of VET;

except the method that VET providers may select themselves.

Validation of non-formal and informal learning has relatively long and established roots in Finland and the legislation and policies are well developed and detailed. However, there is no one single law for this; laws and regulations for each field of education define validation separately. These fields include general upper secondary education, vocational education and training (including continuing VET), and higher education. The core message of the legislation is that validation of non-formal and informal learning is a subjective right of the individual and the competences of an individual should be validated regardless of when and where they have been acquired. Validation is based either on:

• documentation presented; or

• competence demonstration.

The Vocational Upper Secondary Education and Training Decree (673/2017) defines the principles for recognising prior learning. Each student´s personal competence development plan must include recognition of prior learning. Prior learning acquired in training, working life or other learning environments has to be recognised as part of the qualification. The recognition of prior learning must be done in all VET qualifications: in vocational, further and specialist qualifications.

Equal opportunities are a long-standing fundamental principle of the Finnish education policy. The background of learners, including their financial circumstances, should not be a barrier to participation in education. Most education provision is publicly funded and free for learners from pre- primary to higher education levels. In addition, financial support for learners of all ages is available.

Financial support for full-time learners

Financial support is available for full-time VET learners. The main forms of support are study grants, housing supplements with transport subsidy and government guarantees for student loans. The first two of these are government-financed monthly benefits, while student loans are granted by banks.

Study grants

A study grant is available as soon as eligibility for child benefit finishes at the age of 17. The monthly amount before tax ([39]Learners pay taxes from their allowances if they receive income from other source(s).) is between EUR 38.50 and 249.01 depending on the age, marital status and type of accommodation.

Housing supplement and transport subsidy

The housing supplement covers 80% of the rent, but may not exceed EUR 201.60 per month. In addition, school transport subsidy is available when the distance between home and school exceeds 10 km and the monthly cost of travel is at least 54 euro.

Government guarantees for student loans

The government guarantees that student loans (with some exceptions) are available to learners who are receiving a study grant. A loan guarantee can, however, also be granted to learners, who are not receiving a study grant, if they live with their parent and they are 18–19 years of age and attend a secondary level education institution, or if they are under 17 and live alone.

Student loans are available from banks operating in Finland. The lending bank will check the loan guarantee details with the social insurance institution of Finland (Kansaneläkelaitos or Kela) when granting a loan. Interest, repayment and other terms and conditions applying to the loan are agreed between the bank and the learner. The amount of the loan is EUR 300 per month (in secondary education for learners under age 18) or EUR 650 per month (in secondary education for learners of age 18 or older )

Learning material supplement

Although upper secondary education is free of charge, learners are required to buy their own learning materials (for instance, books, toolsets and any other materials). A learning material supplement of EUR 46.80 per month (equal to approximately EUR 1 400 for three semesters) is to be granted from August 2019 onwards for VET learners if they are:

  • between age 17 and 19 and living with their parents/guardians;
  • 17 years old and living on their own; or
  • under age 17 and their parents’ annual income is less than EUR 41 100.

Study leave for employees

All employees in a contractual and public service employment relationship are entitled to study leave when the full-time employment relationship with the same employer has lasted for at least one year ([40]In one or multiple periods.). The maximum length of study leave with the same employer is two years over a period of five years. If the employment has lasted for less than a year, but for at least three months, the maximum length of study leave is five days.

The studies must be subject to public supervision. The study leave is unpaid unless otherwise agreed with the employer.

Employment Fund support for adult learners

The Employment Fund administered by social partners of the Finnish labour market supports employees’ professional development leading to a qualification. In 2015, the Employment Fund granted EUR 157 million in adult education allowances and scholarships for qualified employees.

Adult education allowance

An adult education allowance is available to employees and self-employed people who wish to go on a study leave for at least two months. The allowance is a legal right and can be granted to an applicant who has a working history of at least eight years (or at least five years by 31 July 2010), and who has been working for the same employer for at least one year. To qualify for the allowance, the applicant must participate in studies leading to a qualification or in further vocational training organised by a Finnish education institution under public supervision. The duration of the allowance is determined on the basis of the applicant’s working history and ranges from 2 to 15 months. Since 1 August 2010, the amount of the allowance has been equal to the amount of the earnings-related unemployment allowance. For example, in 2019, on the basis of a monthly salary of EUR 2 000, a learner will receive a gross education allowance of EUR 1 185.34 ([41]https://www.tyollisyysrahasto.fi/en/benefits-for-adult-students/full-adult-education-allowance/).

Scholarships for qualified employees

A scholarship is available for those who have completed a vocational, further or specialist qualification. The amount of the one-time scholarship is EUR 390 and it is tax-free. The scholarship must be applied for within a year after completing the qualification.

Depending on the agreement between employer and employee, an employer who takes on an apprentice may receive training compensation to cover the costs of training provided at the workplace. The amount of compensation to be paid to the employer is agreed separately with employer and VET provider as part of each apprenticeship contract. Average training compensation varies between EUR 100-200 per month for initial VET qualification and EUR 10-100 per month for continuing VET. It is funded by the municipal funds and is paid either by the local apprenticeship centre or the education institution providing apprenticeship training.

Guidance and counselling start at the beginning of basic education and continue through all education levels. The guidance and counselling provided within the education system are complemented by guidance services offered by public employment offices.

In upper secondary VET, guidance counsellors play a key role in coordinating, planning and implementing guidance and counselling. VET learners have a right to receive guidance and every VET provider has a guidance counsellor available (providers can share this service).

Teachers also play a big role in giving guidance for learners. But guidance is also an integral part of the work of all teachers. A teacher’s task is to guide and motivate the learners to complete their qualifications, support them in the planning of their further studies, help them to find their strengths and develop their learning skills. Guidance and counselling should enable all pupils to reach the best results possible for them. In the workplace, guidance is coordinated by a qualified trainer.

Teachers working as guidance counsellors in Finnish schools must have a teacher training qualification at Master’s level, supplemented by studies in guidance and counselling.

The topics covered by guidance and counselling include different education and training options and the development of learners’ capabilities to make choices and solutions concerning education, training and future career. Educational support and guidance also covers areas such as support for learning according to the individual capacity of the learners, school attendance and learner welfare.

There have been few major changes in guidance and counselling in recent years but, within the 2018 VET reform, the role of guidance and counselling has been emphasised. VET was made more individual and flexible for learners.

Learners’ individual needs and existing competences are taken into account in all vocational studies. A personal competence development plan is prepared for each learner. The plan is drawn up by the teacher or guidance counsellor together with the learner and, when applicable, a representative from the world of work. The plan identifies and recognises the skills previously acquired by the learner and outlines what kind of competences the learner needs and how they will be acquired in different learning environments.

In addition to guidance and counselling related to learning methods and practices, the personal competence development plan includes information on necessary supportive measures. The support received by a learner may include special teaching and study arrangements due to learning difficulties, injury or illness, or studies supporting learning abilities.

Please also see:

Vocational education and training system chart

Tertiary

Programme Types
Not available

Post-secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 5

Specialist VET,

WBL varies

ISCED 454

Work-based specialist VET, tailored individually, leading to EQF level 5, ISCED 454 (Erikoisammattitutkinto)
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

454

Usual entry grade

12+

Usual completion grade

12+

Usual entry age

19+

Usual completion age

19+

Length of a programme (years)

The duration depends on a person´s prior learning; usually it is less than 2 years ([59]Duration depends on the prior learning of the student, especially in the case of further and specialist vocational programmes, and is defined in the personal competence development plan of each learner.)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

N

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

It is possible to collect moderate student fees; on average 15% of the costs of the training.

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • training agreement;
  • apprenticeship;
  • programmes that comprise work-based learning but are not apprenticeships or fall under a training agreement category.
Main providers

The most common type of VET providers is vocational institutions (owned by municipalities, industry and service sector) ([61]Some VET providers are foundations or limited companies; they are categorised as ‘private’ but municipalities usually have shares in such companies/foundations.). They provide education and training to more than 75% of initial VET learners. Specialised (usually owned by one private company or association, e.g. a car manufacturer) and special needs (usually owned by municipalities and associations, e.g. Organisation for Respiratory Health) vocational institutions, fire, police and security service institutions (national) and folk high schools, sports institutions, music schools and colleges (local) account for less than 10% of learners in initial VET. Vocational adult education centres (public and regional) mostly provide further and specialist VET.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

The share of work-based learning (WBL) is individually planned for each learner in the personal competence development plan.

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • training agreement;
  • apprenticeship training contract.
Main target groups

Specialist vocational qualifications (continuing VET) are for adults who usually have work experience or other prior learning.

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

Admission to further vocational qualifications is decided on a case-by-case basis, taking work experience into consideration. However, work experience or prior qualifications are not a precondition for enrolling.

Assessment of learning outcomes

No final examinations exist in VET. Once learners successfully complete all the studies included in their personal competence development plans, the VET provider grants a certificate for the entire qualification or for one or more units of the qualification. All VET programmes ensure eligibility for higher education studies.

Diplomas/certificates provided

The national qualification requirements define the required vocational competence, principles of assessment and how the competence is demonstrated. They are drawn up by the Finnish National Agency for Education in cooperation with working life partners ([62]Representatives of the employees/self-employed and employers (altogether called ‘working life’ in Finland).).

Each qualification has a number of competence points:

  • 180 for initial/upper secondary vocational qualifications;
  • 120/150/180 for further vocational qualifications;
  • 160/180/210 specialist vocational qualifications.
Examples of qualifications

Specialist vocational qualification in horse care and management ([63]The specialist vocational qualification in horse care and management comprises four competence areas and qualification titles (in parentheses):
- managing horse stables operations (head groom);
- working as a specialist in farriery (farrier (SQ));
- equestrian sports management (equestrian sports manager);
- riding instruction (riding instructor (SQ)).
)

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates can:

  • enter the labour market
    • employed full time
    • employed and in education;
  • continue with further education.
Destination of graduates

NB: 2016 data (most recent).
Source: Education Statistics Finland (Vipunen): https://vipunen.fi/

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

The Vocational Upper Secondary Education and Training Decree (673/2017([64]https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/2017/20170673)) defines the principles for recognising prior learning. Each student´s personal competence development plan must include recognition of prior learning. Prior learning acquired in training, working life or other learning environments has to be recognised as part of the qualification. The recognition of prior learning must be done in all VET qualifications: in vocational, further and specialist qualifications.

General education subjects

N

All programmes leading to a qualification include vocational study units:

  • basic and field-specific study unit(s) (compulsory);
  • specialised study units (compulsory and optional);
  • communication and interaction competence;
  • mathematics and science competence;
  • citizenship and working life competence.

The common units may be included in further and specialist qualifications but only if this is seen as necessary when making the personal competence development plan.

Key competences

N

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

Secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 4

Initial VET programmes

WBL varies

ISCED 354

Mainly school-based VET programmes (also available as apprenticeship) leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354 (Ammatillinen perustutkinto)
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

10

Usual completion grade

12

Usual entry age

16

Usual completion age

19

Length of a programme (years)

3 ([44]Duration depends on the prior learning of the student, especially in the case of further and specialist vocational programmes, and is defined in the personal competence development plan of each learner.)

  
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
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • training agreement;
  • apprenticeship;
  • programmes that comprise work-based learning but are not apprenticeships or fall under training agreement category.
Main providers

The most common type of VET provider is vocational institutions (owned by municipalities, industry and service sector) ([46]Some VET providers are foundations or limited companies; they are categorised as ‘private’ but municipalities usually have shares in such companies/foundations.). They provide education and training to more than 75% of initial VET learners. Specialised (usually owned by one private company or association, e.g. a car manufacturer) and special needs (usually owned by municipalities and associations, e.g. Organisation for Respiratory Health) vocational institutions, fire, police and security service institutions (national) and folk high schools, sports institutions, music schools and colleges (local) account for less than 10% of learners in initial VET. Vocational adult education centres (public and regional) mostly provide further and specialist VET.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

=70-80% ([47]The share of work-based learning (WBL) is individually planned for each learner in the personal competence development plan.)

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • training agreement;
  • apprenticeship training contract.
Main target groups

A vocational upper secondary qualification (initial VET) is designed for young people who may not have any work experience and for adults who, for example, don´t have any formal qualification or who want to change their profession.

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

Admission to initial VET programmes requires a basic education graduation certificate.

Assessment of learning outcomes

No final examinations exist in VET. Once learners successfully complete all the studies included in their personal competence development plans, the VET provider grants a certificate for the entire qualification or for one or more units of the qualification. All VET programmes ensure eligibility for higher education studies.

Diplomas/certificates provided

The national qualification requirements define the required vocational competence, principles of assessment and how the competence is demonstrated. They are drawn up by the Finnish National Agency for Education in cooperation with working life ([48]Representatives of the employees/self-employed and employers (altogether called ‘working life’ in Finland).).

Each qualification has a number of competence points:

  • 180 for initial/upper secondary vocational qualifications;
  • 120/150/180 for further vocational qualifications;
  • 160/180/210 for specialist vocational qualifications.
Examples of qualifications

Initial vocational qualification in horse care and management ([49]Qualification holders manage daily stable maintenance and horse care tasks and are able to carry out the essential maintenance tasks associated with horse care, such as care of hooves and tack. In addition to basic competence in the field, qualification holders have specialist skills to work either as a groom or a riding instructor in various sectors of the horse industry.The qualification titles produced by the vocational qualification in horse care and management are groom and riding instructor.)

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates can:

  • enter the labour market
    • employed full-time
    • employed and in education;
  • continue with further education.
Destination of graduates

NB: 2016 data (most recent).
Source: Education Statistics Finland (Vipunen): https://vipunen.fi/

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

The Vocational Upper Secondary Education and Training Decree (673/2017([50]https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/2017/20170673)) defines the principles for recognising prior learning. Each student´s personal competence development plan must include recognition of prior learning. Prior learning acquired in training, working life or other learning environments has to be recognised as part of the qualification. The recognition of prior learning must be done in all VET qualifications: in vocational, further and specialist qualifications.

General education subjects

Y

All programmes leading to a qualification include vocational study units:

  • basic and field-specific study unit(s) (compulsory);
  • specialised study units (compulsory and optional).

In addition to the above, all initial vocational qualification programmes include study units that consist of common rather than specific vocational competence:

  • communication and interaction competence;
  • mathematics and science competence;
  • citizenship and working life competence.

The common units may be included in further and specialist qualifications but only if this is seen as necessary when making the personal competence development plan.

Key competences

Y

Key competences help students to keep up with the changes in society and working life. In the wake of the 2018 VET reform, key competences are no longer addressed as a separate part of vocational competence. They have been modified so that key competences are included in all vocational skills requirements and assessment criteria.

The key competences for lifelong learning are: digital and technological competence; mathematics and science competence; competence development; communication and interaction competence; competence for sustainable development; cultural competence; social and citizenship competence; and entrepreneurial competence.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

The share of vocational upper secondary (IVET) learners in 2017 was 73% of all VET learners ([51]https://vipunen.fi/en-gb/_layouts/15/xlviewer.aspx?id=/en-gb/Reports/Ammatillinen%20koulutus%20-%20opiskelijat%20-%20aikasarja_EN.xlsb).

EQF 4

Further VET,

WBL varies

ISCED 354

Work-based further VET, tailored individually, leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354 (ammattitutkinto)
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

12+

Usual completion grade

12+

Usual entry age

19+

Usual completion age

19+

Length of a programme (years)

The duration depends on a person´s prior learning; usually it is less than 2 years ([52]Duration depends on the prior learning of the student, especially in the case of further and specialist vocational programmes, and is defined in the personal competence development plan of each learner.)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

N

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

It is possible to collect moderate student fees; on average 15% of the costs of the training.

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • training agreement;
  • apprenticeship;
  • programmes that comprise work-based learning but are not apprenticeships or fall under a training agreement category.
Main providers

The most common type of VET providers is vocational institutions (owned by municipalities, industry and service sector) ([54]Some VET providers are foundations or limited companies; they are categorised as ‘private’ but municipalities usually have shares in such companies/foundations.). They provide education and training to more than 75% of initial VET learners. Specialised (usually owned by one private company or association, e.g. a car manufacturer) and special needs (usually owned by municipalities and associations, e.g. Organisation for Respiratory Health) vocational institutions, fire, police and security service institutions (national) and folk high schools, sports institutions, music schools and colleges (local) account for less than 10% of learners in initial VET. Vocational adult education centres (public and regional) mostly provide further and specialist VET.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

The share of work-based learning (WBL) is individually planned for each learner in the personal competence development plan.

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • training agreement;
  • apprenticeship training contract.
Main target groups

Further vocational qualifications (continuing VET) are for adults who usually have work experience or other prior learning.

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

Admission to further vocational qualifications is decided on a case-by-case basis, taking work experience into consideration. However, work experience or prior qualifications are not a precondition for enrolling.

Assessment of learning outcomes

No final examinations exist in VET. Once learners successfully complete all the studies included in their personal competence development plans, the VET provider grants a certificate for the entire qualification or for one or more units of the qualification. All VET programmes ensure eligibility for higher education studies.

Diplomas/certificates provided

The national qualification requirements define the required vocational competence, principles of assessment and how the competence is demonstrated. They are drawn up by the Finnish National Agency for Education in cooperation with working life ([55]Representatives of the employees/self-employed and employers (altogether called ‘working life’ in Finland)).

Each qualification has a number of competence points:

  • 180 for initial/upper secondary vocational qualifications;
  • 120/150/180 for further vocational qualifications;
  • 160/ 180/210 specialist vocational qualifications.
Examples of qualifications

Further vocational qualification in horse care and management ([56]The further vocational qualification in horse care and management comprises eight competence areas and seven qualification titles (in parentheses): provision of equine-assisted services (provider of equine services); provision of horse breeding service (same as previous); provision of equine massage services (horse massage therapist); farriery (farrier); tack-making (tack-maker); riding instruction (riding instructor (FQ) ); training and coaching riding horses (trainer of young riding horses); provision of training services in harness racing (trainer of trotters).)

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates can:

  • enter the labour market
    • employed full time
    • employed and in education;
  • continue with further education.
Destination of graduates

NB: 2016 data (most recent).
Source: Education Statistics Finland (Vipunen): https://vipunen.fi/

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

The Vocational Upper Secondary Education and Training Decree (673/2017([57]https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/2017/20170673)) defines the principles for recognising prior learning. Each student´s personal competence development plan must include recognition of prior learning. Prior learning acquired in training, working life or other learning environments has to be recognised as part of the qualification. The recognition of prior learning must be done in all VET qualifications: in vocational, further and specialist qualifications.

General education subjects

N

All programmes leading to a qualification include vocational study units:

  • basic and field-specific study unit(s) (compulsory);
  • specialised study units (compulsory and optional);
  • communication and interaction competence;
  • mathematics and science competence;
  • citizenship and working life competence.

The common units may be included in further and specialist qualifications but only if this is seen as necessary when making the personal competence development plan.

Key competences

N

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

VET available to adults (formal and non-formal)

Programme Types
Not available