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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 Poland comprises the following main features:

  • high decrease in participation in VET programmes at upper secondary and post-secondary levels (35.6% during 2005-2017 period) mainly due to demographic challenges and reduced interest in VET among young learners. However, during last several years a small increase in the share of students in vocational education can be observed;
  • participation in VET programmes at the upper secondary level remains slightly higher than in general education;
  • the share of the population with an upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary level of education, for both men and women, is much higher than the EU average;
  • early leaving from education and training is significantly below the EU-28 average and has remained stable over the last decade;
  • participation in lifelong learning remains well below the EU-28 average and has been stable in the past decade;
  • the VET system has been under continuous reform over the last few years aiming to improve its quality and effectiveness.

Distinctive features ([1]Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Poland. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8125_en.pdf.
)([1a]Information on the Polish VET system is also partially based on: Chłoń-Domińczak, A. et al. (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe – Poland. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.
):

Over the past three decades, Poland’s education system has undergone several profound changes in its structure, forms of organisation and management, as well as of the core curriculum. As a result of these changes, distinctive VET features were developed:

  • a flexible VET system allows changing pathways at any point;
  • the classification of occupations for vocational education includes a list of occupations for which VET programmes can provide education. Each occupation comprises one to two qualifications that can be acquired in IVET and CVET. A VET qualification diploma can be issued only when all qualifications required for an occupation have been acquired (via State vocational examinations), together with a school leaving certificate;
  • core curricula for all VET occupations included in the classification of occupations. Separate VET qualifications within specific occupations are described in the core curricula as a set of expected learning outcomes: knowledge, occupational skills, and personal and social competences allowing learners to handle their occupational tasks independently. Learning outcomes are linked to detailed assessment criteria;
  • autonomy of VET schools in developing their teaching programmes, based on VET core curricula, and in choosing either subject-centred or modular programmes, which can be easily modified, depending on labour market needs;
  • uniform external vocational examinations, centrally organised;
  • vocational qualification courses allowing adults to acquire qualifications faster than IVET learners;
  • validation of competences acquired in different learning contexts, including professional experience, by taking external examinations.

The main challenges for VET are:

  • raising attractiveness of VET in society;
  • continuous adaptation of core curricula to the challenges and current needs of the labour market;
  • increasing employer engagement in organising practical training, identifying and forecasting skills and qualification needs in the labour market, and in reviewing VET curricula;
  • adjusting VET teachers’ qualifications and competences by easing access to traineeships in enterprises;
  • assuring a suitable number of VET teachers and trainers with adequate competences through the professional development of teachers and attracting young people to the profession;
  • encouraging adult learners to LLL;
  • encouraging sustainable cooperation between VET schools and higher education institutions (HEI) aimed at transferring HEI good practices in teaching, training and developing teachers’ competences;
  • assuring high quality guidance and counselling for all age groups;
  • providing high quality infrastructure for VET schools to ensure teaching and training in line with labour market needs.

Several recent initiatives undertaken by the education ministry address these challenges:

  • new measures in the VET system were introduced by the education ministry in November 2018 ([2]The Act of 22 November 2018 amending the Act on the Education Law, the School Education Act and other acts:
    http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/DocDetails.xsp?id=WDU20180002245.
    ) focusing on strengthening the mechanisms of including employers in the development of VET in all its stages and the systematic adaptation of vocational education to the needs of the labour market, in particular:

    •  strengthening cooperation between employers and schools mainly in relation to practical training and teacher professional development in enterprises;
    •  expanding the implementation of work-based learning in VET, introducing a new form of apprenticeship;
    •  introducing an annual forecast of the demand for employees in VET occupations and directing more funds to occupations of special demand on the labour market;
    •  strengthening different quality assurance mechanisms e.g. introducing a requirement for all VET learners to take a State vocational examination or a journeyman's examination, enhancing the accreditation system for institutions providing CVET;
    •  allowing VET schools to organise shorter forms of vocational courses of special importance for adult learners.
  • the Act on the Integrated Qualifications System (2016) has brought together the qualifications framework, register of qualifications that can be attained, quality assurance and validation principles. General and higher education level qualifications are included in the register;
  • non-statutory qualifications linked to CVET have been registered based on the initiative of VET providers or other stakeholders;
  • new regulations strengthening guidance and counselling in schools were developed and are being implemented; 
  • new core curricula for vocational education were developed by the education ministry together with the Centre for Education Development (ORE), employers and other stakeholders;
  • new sectoral skills councils have been established under the umbrella of the Polish Enterprise Development Agency, giving voice to sectoral stakeholders regarding the demand for competences at sectoral level to improve education and labour market matching; 
  • numerous initiatives addressing the above-mentioned challenges in VET were developed with ESF co-funding, including projects supporting: cooperation among VET schools and HEI, development of counselling and guidance in schools, development of programmes for vocational courses for adults, enhancing employers’ involvement in different stages of VET development and in organising practical training.

Based on VET in Poland Spotlight 2017 ([3]Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Poland. Luxembourg: Publication Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8125_en.pdf .
)

Population in 2018: 37 976 687 ([4]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].)

It decreased since 2013 by 0.2% due to negative natural growth ([5]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

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

An old-age dependency ratio is expected to increase from 22 in 2015 to 65 in 2060 ([6]Old-age-dependency ratio is defined as the ratio between the number of persons aged 65 and more over the number of working-age persons (15-64). The value is expressed per 100 persons of working age (15-64).).

 

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

Source: Eurostat, proj_15ndbims [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Demographic trends have a direct impact on educational enrolment.

Since 2005, the overall number of enrolments in VET programmes at upper secondary and post-secondary levels decreased by 35.6%, which represents over half a million learners. The decrease was highest (40% or more than 350 000) in vocational upper secondary programmes.

 

Population aged 16-21 and number of vocational education students

Source: ReferNet Poland calculations based on data from the Local Data Bank, Statistics Poland: https://bdl.stat.gov.pl/BDL/start and Statistics Poland (2018b) [accessed 20.9.2018].

 

However, this phenomenon is also related to the reduced interest in VET among young people. Over the last three decades, the share of students in VET has decreased from 78% to almost 60%. During the last several years the proportion of learners in general upper secondary vs. vocational upper secondary and vocational post-secondary education has remained at approximately 40:60. Since the mid-2010s, a small increase in the share of students in vocational education is observed.

Poland is rather homogeneous country in terms of nationality and language. According to the 2011 National Population and Housing Census ([7]Statistics Poland (2015). Struktura narodowo-etniczna, językowa i wyznaniowa ludności Polski [The national-ethnic, linguistic and religious structure of the Polish population]. Warsaw: Statistics Poland.
https://stat.gov.pl/files/gfx/portalinformacyjny/pl/defaultaktualnosci/5670/22/1/1/struktura_narodowo-etniczna.pdf .
) 97,09% of people declared Polish nationality and 98,2% declared  that they use the Polish language at home. However, due to the increased migration to Poland in recent years, changes in these percentages in the next census may be expected.

The Act on national and ethnic minorities distinguishes 9 official national minorities and 4 national ethnic minorities in the country. The constitution guarantees these groups the freedom to preserve their own language, customs and traditions, and develop their own culture. There are special forms of support provided to learners from national and ethnic minorities:

  • inclusion of the minority language and the regional language into the educational activities required of the student, the course of one’s own history and culture to additional educational activities for the student (at the request of the student’s parent) ([8]Ministry of the Interior and Administration: Polish legislation and solutions regarding the protection of languages of minorities [Ustawodawstwo i rozwiązania polskie w zakresie ochrony języków mniejszości].
    http://mniejszosci.narodowe.mswia.gov.pl/mne/oswiata/informacje-dotyczace-o/8302,Ustawodawstwo-i-rozwiazania-polskie-w-zakresie-ochrony-jezykow-mniejszosci.html [accessed 30.4.2019].
    );
  • learning of a minority language and a regional language can be conducted in schools in various ways; the number of teaching hours depends on the way it is taught;
  • external examination regulations are adjusted for learners of the language of the national minority, ethnic minority and the regional language.

According to SIO data, 809 learners in 29 VET schools (first stage sectoral schools and vocational upper secondary schools) were learning national/ethnic minority or regional languages in line with above-mentioned regulations in the 2018/2019 school year.

As far as foreign learners in Poland are concerned, the following forms of support are available to foreigners subject to compulsory education:

  • education and care in all types of public schools and kindergartens provided up to the age of 18 or age of graduating from school at the secondary and post-secondary level on the same terms applicable to Polish citizens ([9]Ministry of National Education: information on the education of foreigners in the Polish education system [Informacja o kształceniu cudzoziemców w polskim systemie oświaty]. https://www.gov.pl/web/edukacja/informacja-o-ksztalceniu-cudzoziemcow-w-... [accessed 30.4.2019].);
  • admission to schools on the basis of diplomas which does not have to be formally recognised;
  • free-of-charge Polish language classes, additional compensatory classes in a given subject, preparatory classes (oddziały przygotowawcze) set up at schools,
  • additional classes of the language and culture of the country of origin, organised at school by the diplomatic/consular mission or a cultural/ educational association;
  • assistance to the learner provided by a person who speaks the language of the country of origin, employed as a teacher's assistant;
  • different ways of facilitating external examinations taken by foreign students.

Also, certain groups of foreign adult learners (e.g. EU nationals, persons with different types of permits granted in Poland, selected scholarship holders, etc.) can benefit from education in public schools for adults, public post-secondary schools, public art schools, public colleges of social work and different forms of lifelong learning in the form of vocational courses, under the same conditions as Polish citizens.

In the 2018/2019 school year, there were approximately 44,000 foreigners in Polish schools and pre-schools ([10]Ministry of National Education: education of children coming from abroad in the Polish education system [Nauka dzieci przybywających z zagranicy w polskim systemie edukacji].
https://www.gov.pl/web/edukacja/nauka-dzieci-przybywajacych-z-zagranicy-w-polskim-systemie-edukacji [accessed 30.4.2019].
).

The enterprise sector in Poland is dominated by microenterprises. In Poland, 96.2% of enterprises are microenterprises ([11]PARP (2018). Małe i średnie przedsiębiorstwa w Polsce 2018 [Small and medium enterprises in Poland]. Warsaw: PARP.
https://www.parp.gov.pl/storage/publications/pdf/male%20i%20srednie%20przedsiebiorstwa%20w%20polsce%20w%202018%20r.pdf .
). They produce 31% of GDP and significantly affect the labor market - they generate 40% of the jobs in the enterprise sector. The number of micro-enterprises has increased in recent years.

Small-sized companies account for 2.8% of the Polish enterprise sector, produce 8% GDP and generate 12% of the jobs in the enterprise sector.

Medium-sized companies account for 0.8% of the Polish enterprise sector, produce 11% GDP and generate 17 % of the jobs in the enterprise sector.

Large-sized enterprises in Poland account only for 0.2% of the enterprise sector produce 24% GDP and generate 31% of the jobs in the enterprise sector.

The main economic sectors in Poland are wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food service activities, industry (except construction) and manufacturing.

Share of economic sectors in gross value added and income in 2017 (%)

Sector

2017

Wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food service activities

25.7

Industry (except construction)

25.4

Manufacturing

19.3

Public administration, defense, education, human health and social work activities

14.6

Professional, scientific and technical activities; administrative and support service activities

8.5

Construction

7.0

Real estate activities

4.9

Financial and insurance activities

4.4

Information and communication

4.1

Agriculture, forestry and fishing

3.1

Arts, entertainment and recreation; other service activities; activities of household and extra-territorial organisations and bodies

2.2

NB: NACE_R2/TIME.

Source: Eurostat nama_10_a10 [extracted 4.5.2019].

The following sectors have the largest share of Polish exports ([12]SITC nomenclature: sections.):

  • machinery and transport equipment (34.8%);
  • manufactured goods (17.7%); and
  • chemicals and related products (14.5%) ([13]Statistics Poland, Yearbook Trade of Foreign Statistics of Poland 2018; Table 7 and 24.).

The employment structure in Poland has not undergone any significant changes over the last few years. The share of services in total employment increased slightly and in 2017 reached around 58%, which is still far below the EU28 average of around 74%. The employment share in industry is rather stable in Poland at around 30-32% and the share in agriculture decreased from 13.1% in 2010 to 10.2% in 2017.

Employment share by economic sector in Poland (%)

 

2017

Industry

31.7

Females

17.2

Males

43.4

Agriculture

10.2

Females

8.9

Males

11.3

Services

58.1

Females

73.9

Males

45.3

Source: The Local Data Bank of Statistics Poland: https://bdl.stat.gov.pl/BDL/start [accessed 23.12.2018].

Most employed women are in services (73.9%), while the share of employment in services and industry of men is very similar, 45.3% and 43.4% respectively.

The labour market tends to be deregulated in Poland. However, in some cases access to and practice of some occupations/professions are subject to the possession of a specific professional qualification. The EC Regulated professions database ([14]European Commission - Regulated professions database [accessed 4.5.2019]:
https://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/regprof/
) lists 360 regulated professions in Poland.

The rules of access to professions are determined by the ministers responsible for specific fields.

The regulated occupations in Poland are divided into two groups:

  • sectoral system occupations, which are automatically recognised in all EU member states (e.g. attorney, doctor, pharmacist, nurse, architect); and
  • general system occupations – more numerous – in the case of which additional requirements for a given profession in given country must be met (e.g. teacher, sworn translator, tourist guide, customs agent, etc.).

Total unemployment ([15]Percentage of active population, 25 to 74 years old.) (2018): 3.2% (6.0% in EU28); it decreased by 2.6 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.
ISCED 0-2 = less than primary, primary and lower secondary education.
ISCED 3-4 = upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education.
ISCED 5-8 = tertiary education.
Source: Eurostat, lfsa_urgaed [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Unemployment is distributed unevenly between those with low- and high-level qualifications. The gap has increased during the crisis as unskilled workers are more vulnerable to unemployment. In 2018, the unemployment rate of people with medium-level qualifications, including most VET graduates (ISCED levels 3 and 4) was lower than in the pre-crisis years. In the past five years, there was an overall decrease of unemployment in all age groups and by all types of education levels.

Employment rate of 20 to 34-year-old recent VET graduates increased from 72.7% in 2014 to 79.1% in 2018 and still remains below the EU-28 level.

 

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

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

 

The increase (+6.4 pp) in employment of 20-34 year-old VET graduates in 2014-18 was higher compared to the increase in employment from 75.2% to 80.0% (+4.8pp) of all 20-34 year-old graduates in the same period ([17]Eurostat table edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

For more information about the external drivers influencing VET developments in Poland 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 Poland. Cedefop research paper; No 67. https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/poland_cedefop_changing_nature_of_vet_-_case_study.pdf

Participation in tertiary education in Poland has significantly increased over the last three decades, which is connected to an increase in the perceived value of education and higher educational aspirations. From 2009 to 2018, the share of the population with tertiary education increased from 21.2% to 30.9% but remains slightly below the EU average (32.2%).

For the last several years, the share of the population with an upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary level of education, for both men and women has been slowly decreasing, from 66.8% in 2009 to 61.5% in 2018, but is still much higher than the EU average (45.7%).

Poland has the third lowest share (far below the EU average) of people with no or low education level attained (7.6% in 2018). This indicator has been gradually decreasing in the last few years (12% in 2009).

 

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

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

Share of learners in VET by level in 2017

lower secondary

upper secondary

post-secondary

Not applicable

51.7%

100%

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

 

Share of initial VET students over all upper-secondary students (ISCED level 3), 2017

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

 

In 2017/2018 school year females constituted 46% of all learners in VET programmes, however the share differs depending on the type of programme - in post-secondary programmes, females are the majority (71,1%), in programmes at the upper secondary level, there are many more males than females, with the lowest share of females in the first stage sectoral programmes (31,5%).

Share of female learners in VET programmes in the 2017/2018 school year (%)

Type of programme

Female learners

Vocational upper secondary programmes

39.6

First stage sectoral programmes

31.5

Post-secondary programmes

71.1

Special job-training programmes

41.6

Total

46.4

Source: Statistics Poland - Education in the 2017/18 school year.

Female learners prefer the following fields of study:

  • in post-secondary programmes: hygiene and work safety, personal services, business and administration, medical study;
  • in first stage sectoral programmes: personal services, business and administration and manufacturing and processing;
  • in vocational upper secondary programmes: personal services, business and administration, social and behavioural science.

The share of early leavers from education and training in 2018 was 4.8%, which is much lower than the EU-28 average of 10.6%. The share is slightly lower than in 2009 (5.3%). Despite high attainment rates, it is still slightly above the national target for 2020 of not more than 4.5%.

 

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].

 

 

Participation in lifelong learning in 2014-18

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

 

Participation in lifelong learning in Poland has remained at a very low level (4.0%) till 2017, while in 2018 reached 5.7%. However, it remains 5.4 percentage points below the EU-28 average.

Education level, age and labour market activity are the factors differentiating the rate of participation in training; persons who are unemployed and have a low level of education often do not participate in educational activities. Age is also a strong determinant of participation in education; people in older age groups not only participate in training less often, but also study less on their own (informal learning).

 

Learners in VET schools by age group

NB: Participants of vocational qualification courses not included.
Includes basic vocational/first stage sectoral programmes, upper secondary vocational programmes, special job-training and post-secondary programmes.
Source: own calculations based on data from the School Information System (SIO).

 

Young learners constitute the majority in VET schools – with only post-secondary schools intended for adult learners. This is connected with the establishment of vocational qualifications courses for adult learners which replaced VET schools for adults at the upper secondary level. Vocational qualifications courses were introduced in 2012 as a quicker way of obtaining vocational qualification. Data on the age of participants of vocational qualifications courses is not available and was not included in the chart.

The education and training system comprises:

  • preschool education (ISCED level 0);
  • eight-year primary education (szkoła podstawowa); a programme divided into two four-year parts (basic and lower secondary level) (ISCED levels 1 and 2)
  • upper secondary education (ISCED level 3);
  • post-secondary non-tertiary education (ISCED level 4);
  • tertiary education including colleges of social work (ISCED levels 5 to 8).

The education system in Poland is currently undergoing structural transformation. In December 2016, the education ministry introduced reforms aimed to prolong the time children spend within one educational programme and to develop a vocational education system that is responsive to the needs of a modern economy. Key elements of the reform included:

  • phasing out lower secondary school (gimnazjum);
  • restructuring six-year primary education (szkoła podstawowa) into an eight-year programme divided into two four-year parts (basic and lower secondary level);
  • extending the general upper secondary programme (liceum ogólnokształcące) to four years instead of three, and the vocational upper secondary programme (technika) to five years instead of four;
  • introducing two-stage sectoral programmes (dwustopniowa szkoła branżowa); the first stage sectoral school has replaced the basic vocational school (zasadnicza szkoła zawodowa) as of 2017/18, while the second stage sectoral schools will begin to operate in 2020/21.

Changes in the school structure are accompanied by the gradual development of new core curricula. The school system will be transitioning until 2022/23. During this period, some previous programmes will be functioning alongside the new ones until they are completely phased out.

Education is compulsory up to 18 years of age, while full-time school education is compulsory up to age 15. Full-time compulsory education lasts 9 years (the last year of pre-school education and 8 years of primary school education). Compulsory education for 15-18 year olds can take place as part-time education, both in and out of school, e.g. in the form of short qualifications courses or vocational training for juvenile workers.

Pre-school education is provided in pre-schools (przedszkole) for two-and-a-half to six-year-old learners.

Primary and lower secondary education is provided in primary schools (szkoła policealna) and lasts typically eight years from age 7 to 15. Work preparation classes for SEN learners are available in the last two years of primary school. A three-year special job-training programme for SEN learners is available for primary school graduates.

Upper secondary education can be provided by different types of schools and take the form of a general upper secondary four-year programme (licea ogólnokształcące), a vocational upper secondary five-year programme (technika) or a three-year first stage sectoral programme (branżowa szkoła pierwszego stopnia), which can be followed by a two-year second stage sectoral programme. Upper secondary education is typically available to primary school graduates (usually 15 year-olds), apart from the second stage sectoral programme, which will be available to graduates of the first stage programmes (18 year-olds).

Post-secondary non-tertiary programmes are provided by post-secondary schools (szkoły policealne) and can be attained in one- to two-and-a-half years. They are available to graduates of general and vocational upper secondary programmes, as well as in the future – of second stage sectoral programmes (usually 19-20 year-olds).

A special form of education is provided by colleges of social work (kolegium pracowników służb społecznych), offering programmes at the ISCED 5 level. These colleges provide three-year programmes for the occupation of social worker.

Completing any type of VET programme and obtaining a school leaving certificate is not the same as attaining a vocational qualification. Learners in the formal VET system can be awarded two types of documents confirming attained learning outcomes:

  • vocational certificates (certificate of a vocational qualification in an occupation); and
  • vocational diplomas (vocational qualifications diploma).

Learners can obtain a vocational diploma only by obtaining both all the qualifications distinguished in an occupation (vocational certificate/s) and a school leaving certificate. Vocational qualifications can only be attained by passing an external State vocational examination.

Each qualification includes specific sets of learning outcomes defined in the core curricula for vocational education. Learning outcomes are grouped in units, which typically contain from several to over a dozen learning outcomes and reflect specific professional tasks. The core curriculum for general education determines the learning outcomes related to the general education component and key competences provided by VET programmes ([18]For vocational upper secondary programmes, it also defines the learning outcomes that must be achieved by a person in the process of attaining the qualification of the matura certificate.).

Adults aged 18 and older can be awarded a vocational certificate after passing the State vocational examination extramurally. By taking extramural exams, adults may also acquire certificates of completion of general education schools.

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

The VET system comprises initial and continuing education. It can be offered as:

  • school-based programmes with obligatory work-based learning (WBL differing in scope and form, also including dual training/alternate training);
  • juvenile employment (apprenticeship scheme – with practical training with employer and theoretical training in school or in out-of-school forms, based on a contract between the learner and the employer)([19]An additional new form – the student apprenticeship – will be available for learners of vocational upper secondary programmes and first stage sectoral programmes as of September 2019.);
  • out-of-school forms – different types of courses based on the core curricula.

Apprenticeship schemes on secondary and post-secondary level:

  • juvenile employment for the purpose of vocational training (przygotowanie zawodowe młodocianych pracowników) dedicated to young people (15-18 years old) with a lower secondary education or 8-year primary education. It is based on a work contract between the learner and employer. In case of theoretical education taking place in school, arrangements between the school and employer regarding scope and organisation of training provided by both parties constitute an annex to the contract. Juvenile worker has a status of an employee and in case of theoretical training taking place in school – also of a student. During the training period, a juvenile worker is entitled to a salary (from 4 to 6 percent of the national average salary, depending on the subsequent year of training), social security benefits and holiday leave. Juvenile workers carry out their apprenticeship usually in SMEs, mainly in the craft sector.

Juvenile employment can take the following forms:

  • training for a profession (nauka zawodu) - apprenticeship with the theoretical education taking place at school (first stage sectoral programme) or in an out-of-school form (e.g. courses) and the practical training organised by the employer. Training for a profession lasts up to 36 months and is finalised with a State vocational examination or Journeyman’s examination (egzamin czeladniczy). In the 2017/2018 school year, juvenile workers constituted about half of all the learners in the first stage sectoral schools.
  • training for a specific job (przyuczenie do wykonywania określonej pracy) - a rare form limited to a small group of youth, prepares a learner to perform specific tasks in a profession. It lasts from 3 to 6 months and is finalised with a verifying examination. 

 

  • student apprenticeship (staż uczniowski). New form of apprenticeship which will be available as of September 2019. It will be open to learners in vocational upper secondary programmes and first-stage sectoral programmes, who are not juvenile workers. Student apprenticeship is based on the work contract between the learner and employer, with arrangements between the school and employer in the annex to this contract. Student apprenticeship covers all elements of the teaching programme and chosen elements or elements connected with a given occupation but not included in the programme. Students are entitled to a salary unless the contract says otherwise. 
  • dual training as a form of practical training. Apart from above-mentioned schemes apprenticeship might be arranged by school in cooperation with employers as one of the ways of organisation of practical training. In general, practical training (obligatory for all VET programmes) can be organised in different forms and venues - including also apprenticeship – alternate training/dual training with structured alternation of learning in an education and training setting with learning and working at a workplace. This form of organisation of practical training could be considered an apprenticeship however it is based on the contract between the school and employer not between employer and learner.

Apprenticeships for adult learners are also available. It is a form of support provided by Labour Offices and financed from the Labour Fund dedicated to unemployed and job seekers.

Apprenticeships for adults are carried out on the basis of a contract between a Labour Office, an employer and an institution responsible for conducting exams. Apprenticeships are provided in a form of occupational training and a training aimed at preparation for performing a specific job. In 2017, apprenticeships for adult learners attracted over 140 000 participants.

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

VET has three governance levels: national (ministries), regional (school superintendents, mainly in pedagogical supervision) and county (powiat – managing schools). The education ministry is in charge of VET policies at secondary level, supported by other ministries responsible for particular occupations. The Ministry of Science and Higher Education is responsible for higher VET. Social partners advise policy makers on necessary changes in VET.

The majority of public education institutions in Poland are managed by local government units. Counties (powiaty) are responsible for upper secondary schools, including vocational schools, and schools for children with special needs; the regions (województwa) are responsible for schools of regional and trans-regional significance (e.g. groups of schools or vocational schools important for the regional economy).

Central government units (usually ministries) often manage vocational and fine arts schools. All types of schools can also be established and managed by non-public institutions, such as religious and social associations. Generally, in Poland, the higher the education level, the higher the share of non-public institutions. The chart below presents the structure of vocational schools by type and management institution in 2016.

 

The structure of VET schools by type and managing institution in 2016

Source: ReferNet Poland calculation based on Local Data Bank, Statistics Poland: https://bdl.stat.gov.pl/BDL/start [accessed 24.9.2018].

 

In the 2017/18 school year, there were 6 071 VET schools in Poland. The majority (36%) of them were post-secondary vocational schools, followed by vocational upper secondary schools (31%), 25% constituted the first stage sectoral schools and 8% special job-training schools ([20]Statistics Poland (2018). Concise Statistical Yearbook of Poland 2018. Warsaw: Statistics Poland.).The decision to provide education for a particular occupation listed in the classification of occupations for vocational education is made at local level by the school principal in agreement with local authorities (county level) and after asking the regional labour market councils (advisory bodies) for their opinion concerning compliance with labour market needs. Teaching programmes can be developed individually by schools. The school principal is responsible for incorporating the learning outcomes in the teaching programme and providing the organisational requirements as defined in the core curricula.

The main resources for educational expenditure are:

  • the education part of the State budget’s general subsidy for local government units;
  • central government targeted grants;
  • the local government unit’s own income;
  • foreign funds (mainly EU funds).

The education part of the general subsidy from the State budget is the major source of funding of the education system in Poland. The amount of this part of the general subsidy for local government is defined annually in the Budgetary Act, and then the education ministry prepares an algorithm to distribute the educational funds among the local government units, based on the responsibilities ascribed to the different levels of local government (basically the number of students in each type of school) ([21]Number of adjustment weights are ascribed to different groups of students (e.g. SEN students, ethnic minorities, students in small schools, in rural regions, in sport classes); teacher qualifications are also included in the algorithm.). Since January 2018, the weights for vocational secondary schools have been different for four sets of categories of occupations; the distinction is based on the cost of the vocational part of the education. Additional weights were added for students of post-secondary programmes who obtained a vocational qualifications diploma and for participants of vocational qualification courses who passed the State vocational examination ([22]Regulation of the Minister of National Education of 15 December 2017 on the distribution of the school education part of the general subsidy for local government units in 2018. Journal of Laws 2017, item 2395.).

Further modifications of VET financing (increased state subsidies for learners of special demand occupations in VET schools indicated by the forecast of the demand for employees in vocational education occupations; increased subsidies for employers involved in training juvenile employees in those occupations) will be introduced as of 2020.

Local governments have the power to decide how to use the subsidy; they can decide not only how to allocate the funds to respective schools, but also to use them for other things than educational expenditures. As the chart below illustrates, municipalities and regions spend more on education than they receive as subsidy, but counties, which are mainly responsible for vocational schools, do not use the entire amount on education expenditures. The visible increase in expenditures in 2017 on all local government levels may be due to the structural reforms of the education system.

 

The ratio between educational expenditures and the State general subsidy for education by type of local government in the period of 2006-2017

The higher the ratio the greater the share of local spending. Value over 100 means that local government spends more than it receives from the central government.
Source: ReferNet Poland calculation based on Local Data Bank, Statistics Poland: https://bdl.stat.gov.pl/BDL/start [accessed 20.9.2018].

 

 

The structure of the educational expenditures of counties in 2017 by school type

Source: ReferNet Poland calculation based on Local Data Bank, Statistics Poland: https://bdl.stat.gov.pl/BDL/start [accessed 24.9.2018].

 

In addition to the subsidy, local government units can apply for targeted grants to implement specific public tasks, which usually require co-funding by the unit.

Non-public schools with a public school status are entitled to public funding equal to public schools.

In 2017, public (local and central government) expenditures for the education system reached PLN 71.9 billion (around EUR 16.8 billion), of which 10.4% was spent on vocational schools. Public spending on education as a share of GDP was 3.6%, which is slightly lower than in previous years ([23]Statistics Poland (2018). Oświata i wychowanie w roku szkolnym 2017/2018 [Education in the 2017/18 school year]. Warsaw: Statistics Poland. See also earlier editions.).

In VET there are:

  • general subject teachers;
  • theoretical vocational subject teachers;
  • practical vocational training teachers;
  • teachers/pedagogues providing educational support to learners;
  • teachers/psychologists providing psychological support to learners, teachers and parents;
  • teachers/methodological advisers providing support to teachers;
  • teachers/consultants who develop teaching materials, design and deliver in-service training courses for teachers and education managers, etc.;
  • in-company trainers (nationally referred to as practical vocational training instructors);
  • specialist in-company trainers (various groups of practitioners providing training as their primary or additional activity).

Teachers in public schools and pre-schools comprise 87% of all teachers and are employed on the basis of the Teacher’s Charter ([24]Act of 26 January 1982 - Teacher's Charter. Journal of Laws 1982, No 3, item 19 with further amendments.), which specifies working conditions, duties, rights, professional development requirements, and teachers’ salaries. In non-public schools, teachers are employed only on the basis of labour and civil law regulations.

General subject teachers should have at least a master’s degree.

Theoretical vocational subject teachers are required to have at least a master’s or bachelor’s degree, including pedagogical training.

Practical vocational training teachers are required to:

  • have the same qualifications as required for teachers of vocational theoretical subjects or the title of master in a craft or a pedagogical technical college (currently non-existing) diploma or a matura examination together with a vocational qualifications certificate and two years of work experience;
  • have a pedagogical qualification.

In-company trainers (practical vocational training instructors) can be employers or employees who are not teachers; they are required to have both the defined by the regulation combination of formal qualifications and years of work experience in a given occupation and the adequate pedagogical qualification ([25]Regulation of the Minister of National Education of 22 February 2019 on practical vocational training. Journal of Laws 2019, item 391.).

As regulated by the Teachers’ Charter, teachers have the right to participate in all forms of continuing professional development (CPD) and are obliged to follow CPD in line with the school’s needs. CPD is required from teachers on the path to higher advancement levels.

Teacher CPD is funded by local/regional budgets. School heads are responsible for assessing teacher CPD needs and preparing school professional development plans.

There are different public teacher training institutions at the national, regional and local levels, as well as numerous non-public teacher training institutions. The Centre for Education Development teacher training institution operates at the national level and covers both general and VET teacher CPD. In general, the main tasks of these institutions consist of developing teacher CPD programmes and educational materials, indicating CPD priorities, and implementing CPD programmes. Teacher training is also provided by higher education institutions.

Another form of CPD is offered by teachers/methodological advisers, who provide direct subject-oriented and methods assistance; support teachers in their professional development; organise conferences, seminars and workshops; and identify teachers' needs for counselling and vocational training. CPD is also provided at the school level via internal systems of professional development, including e.g. self-development teachers’ councils meetings, lessons, observations, study visits and others. Other forms of CPD include internships in enterprises for VET teachers. From September 2019 all VET teachers are obliged to participate in professional training in companies relating to the occupation they teach. Numerous educational resources (open bases) and CPD opportunities are available through ESF co-funded initiatives.

The Teacher’s Charter specifies four categories of job positions in the profession of teaching:

  • trainee teacher – first stage in a teacher’s career,
  • contractual teacher – awarded after one year and nine months of internship and passing an examination given by an examination commission;
  • appointed teacher – awarded after two years and nine months of internship and after passing an examination given by an examination commission;
  • chartered teacher – awarded after two years and nine months of internship, after having their professional achievement accepted by a qualification commission, and an interview.

These categories have direct impact on a teacher’s basic salary level. Teachers with outstanding performance may also be awarded the title of honorary school education professor.

In 2017/18, 55% of teachers were chartered teachers. In VET schools on upper secondary level, the share of chartered teachers was higher than 60%, however in post-secondary schools, it was only 23% ([26]Statistics Poland (2018). Oświata i wychowanie w roku szkolnym 2017/2018 [Education in the 2017/18 school year]. Warsaw: Statistics Poland. See also earlier editions.).

Practical training institutions are involved in improving the competence of in-company trainers by offering a broad range of thematic training. The most common training refers to methodology of vocational education and the use of standards for examination requirements.

System of sector skills councils

The system of sector skills councils, launched in 2016, consists of three components:

  • The programme Council on competences (Rada Programowa ds. Kompetencji – RPK) consists of representatives of ministries, training institutions, social partners, universities, non-governmental agencies, as well as labour market stakeholders. The RPK mainly focuses on building cooperation between the education community and entrepreneurs; it also encourages the development of sector councils and implements recommendations in the areas of science and education.
  • The sector skills councils are the central part of the system. Currently, there are seven active councils in the following sectors: health and social care; construction; finances; tourism; motorisation and electromobility; fashion and innovative textiles; ICT. Their main aims are:
    • to collect information from various labour market stakeholders and recommend systemic solutions and changes in the area of education;
    • to stimulate cooperation between education providers and employers;
    • to provide support in identifying and anticipating competency needs in a given sector.
  • The human capital study aims to increase knowledge about current needs in various sectors and enable the demand for competences and qualifications to be anticipated. The information collected in the study provides, among others, deeper insight about the skills gaps in the economy.

Integrated skills strategy

In 2017, the education ministry initiated the development of a national skills strategy. The strategy covers the whole area of education and training, i.e. general education, vocational education, higher education and adult learning. It takes into account both the demand side (demand for specific competences and qualifications) and supply (availability of qualifications and competences in society). The general part of the strategy was developed ([27]Ministry of National Education (2018). Zintegrowana Strategia Umiejętności – część ogólna [Integrated skills strategy: general part].
https://bip.men.gov.pl/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2018/08/zintegrowana-strategia-umiejetnosci-do-uzgodnien-i-konsultacji.pdf.
) and adopted by the government in January 2019. This will be followed by the development of the more detailed part of the strategy and strategy implementation.

Deficit and Surplus Occupation Monitoring

Since 2005, the Deficit and Surplus Occupation Monitoring survey (MZDiN) has been conducted by county and regional labour offices as well as the labour ministry. In 2015, a new methodology was applied – the survey is based mainly on the IT systems’ data of employment offices (on unemployed persons, reported vacancies, providers offering professional activation services), studies of online job offers, information obtained from employers in a questionnaire study, data from the Statistics Poland and the School Information System. Since 2015, the ‘Occupational barometer’, previously implemented in the Małopolska region, also started to be implemented in the whole country, conducted by the regional labour offices. It is a qualitative short-term (annual) forecast providing information on deficit and surplus occupations ([28]Regional Labour Office in Cracow (2017). Occupational barometer 2018: summary survey report for Poland.
https://wupkrakow.praca.gov.pl/documents/67976/5945701/Occupational%20barometer%202018.%20Summary%20Survey%20Report%20for%20Poland/ab63839e-e605-44eb-a904-92af5974d996?t=1531291708000 [accessed 30.4.2019].
).

New forecast of the demand for employees

The forecast of the demand for employees in vocational education occupations was introduced in 2018 as a new tool to help shape the vocational education and training offer. Starting with 2019, this forecast will be developed annually and published in the form of an announcement by the Ministry of National Education. The forecast will be based on analyses conducted by the Educational Research Institute using various data sources. The forecast will impact VET financing.

See also Cedefop’s skills forecast ([29]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/skills-forecast)

The VET programmes available at the national level are developed on the basis of three regulations of the education ministry:

  • the classification of occupations for vocational education ([30]Regulation of the Minister of National Education of 15 February 2019 on the goals and tasks of education in vocational education occupations and classification of occupations for vocational education. Journal of Laws 2019, item 316.);
  • the core curricula for vocational education ([31]Regulation of the Minister of National Education on the core curricula for training in VET occupations and additional vocational skills in chosen VET occupations – regulation signed on 16 May 2019, awaiting for publication in Journal of Laws.);
  • the core curriculum for general education ([32]Regulation of the Minister of National Education of 14 February 2017 on the core curriculum for pre-school education and the core curriculum for general education in primary schools, including pupils with moderate and severe intellectual disabilities, and for general education in stage I sectoral vocational schools, general education in special schools preparing for employment, and general education in post-secondary schools. Journal of Laws 2017, item 356.).

The classification includes the list of occupations for which VET programmes can provide education. Qualifications ([33]The term ‘qualification’ is defined in the School Education Act, as in the European qualifications framework Recommendation 2008.) are distinguished within occupations; each occupation can be made up of either one or two qualifications. Currently, there are 215 vocational education occupations, including so-called ancillary occupations for people with minor intellectual disabilities.

Developing occupations within the classification of occupations

The introduction of new occupations to the classification is regulated by the Education Law. The classification of occupations is determined by the education minister in cooperation with the relevant ministers responsible for a given sector of the economy, who can submit their requests to include particular occupations in the classification. To anticipate labour market needs, representatives of employers and employees are consulted during the development stage of the classification.

Professional associations, organisations of employers, sector skills councils, social partners and other stakeholders’ organisations can submit their proposals to the relevant minister to establish a new occupation; in this way they shape the educational offer of the formal VET system. After the proposal has been approved, the education minister includes the occupation into the classification and appoints a working group to design the core curriculum for vocational education for that occupation.

Designing the core curriculum for vocational education

After the proposal has been approved, the education minister appoints a working group to design the core curriculum for vocational education for that occupation.

The working group contacts the institution which submitted the proposal for the new occupation to determine the learning outcomes, and then undertakes consultations with other experts in the field. At this stage, occupational standards, which are developed by the labour ministry, are considered.

The decision on the occupations offered by a given VET school is made by the school principal in agreement with local authorities (at the county level of government) and after asking the regional labour market councils (advisory bodies) for their opinion concerning compliance with labour market needs. Regional labour market councils shall take into the account the forecast of the demand for employees in vocational education occupations.

Modernising VET curricula

In order to improve the labour market relevance of VET education, the education ministry together with the Education Development Centre, has implemented an ESF co-funded project ‘Partnership for VET’ focusing on developing partnerships in vocational education and training in cooperation with employers and other social partners.

In the first phase of the project, a social partner forum was established - 25 sectoral teams of social partners were set up to better adjust VET to labour market needs, and particularly to recommend changes in the vocational core curricula and classification of occupations. In the following years, stakeholders prepared changes in numerous VET curricula and developed new curricula. Numerous teaching plans and programmes, career development paths together with diplomas and qualification supplements in Polish and English were also designed. By February 2018, 1048 employers actively participated in the project.

All VET schools are included in external and internal quality assurance systems. External quality assurance is provided through pedagogical supervision; it is conducted by the Regional Education Authorities (kurator oświaty) overseen by the education ministry. Pedagogical supervision covers four aspects: evaluation, an audit of legal compliance ([34]Legal compliance auditing aims to check whether the activities of schools comply with legislation.), monitoring and support.

The external evaluation of schools is conducted according to certain uniform procedures and requirements set in the legislation concerning:

  • the organisation of educational processes;
  • acquiring by students' skills and knowledge defined in the national core curriculum;
  • active participation of students;
  • shaping social attitudes, and respect for social norms;
  • support to students' development taking into account their individual circumstances;
  • cooperation with parents;
  • cooperation with local community;
  • including of findings from analyses of external exams’ results as well as external and internal evaluations;
  • school management.

It includes various research techniques (e.g. interviews, surveys, observation, document analysis) and takes into account the opinions of different stakeholders.

Reports from the external evaluations performed in schools are publicly available on a dedicated internet website ([35]System Ewaluacji Oświaty. Nadzór Pedagogiczny [Education evaluation system: pedagogical supervision]:
www.npseo.pl
).

The Head of the Regional Education Authority prepares an annual report on the results of the educational supervision conducted and presents it to the Minister for Education.

School principals are obliged by law to design and implement an internal quality assurance system. They should do this in cooperation with their teachers. School principals are relatively free in how they design and implement these systems, but are obliged to include the four aspects of pedagogical supervision mentioned above. Internal evaluation is conducted annually and needs to include issues important for each particular school. Its results are taken into consideration in the external evaluation. In order to help school principals in developing and implementing internal quality assurance procedures, the National Centre for Supporting Vocational and Continuing Education (KOWEZiU) prepared ‘Quality Standards for VET’ (2013), a document covering ten thematic areas ([36]The ten thematic areas of the quality standards are: (1) teaching programmes; (2) school staff; (3) school material resources; (4) organisation of teaching; (5) students with special needs; (6) cooperation with employers: (7) cooperation with domestic and international partners; (8) assessment and validation of learning outcomes; (9) counselling; (10) strategic management of the school.) related to quality assurance in VET, which are in line with the 2009 EQARF/EQAVET recommendation.

In the case of non-statutory qualifications included in the Integrated Qualifications Register (ZRK), quality assurance is provided by external quality assurance entities (Podmioty Zewnętrznego Zapewniania Jakości – PZZJ). The external quality assurance entity for a qualification is assigned by the relevant minister from the list of institutions selected for a given area of qualifications. There are also internal quality assurance mechanisms for institutions awarding qualifications; they are required to perform internal evaluations.

The system of external examinations

The system of external examinations is a key element for ensuring and improving the quality of education and qualifications attained in schools. The central examination board and eight regional examination boards are responsible for organising external examinations. The external examination system is supervised by the education ministry. In the external examination system, all examinees solve the same tasks and assignments to verify whether they have achieved the learning outcomes defined in the core curriculum. Trained examiners registered at the regional examination boards assess examination results. The central examination board analyses aggregate test and examination results and initiates research in the field of assessment. The results of external examinations are taken into consideration in both external and internal quality assurance as part of pedagogical supervision.

Starting in 2019, all students will be obliged to take a State vocational examination or a journeyman's examination as a condition for school graduation; up till now, this has been optional. This change aims to strengthen the role of the exam as a quality assurance mechanism.

School Information System

The collection and dissemination of information on the formal general and vocational education system by the School Information System (SIO) is an important element in ensuring the quality of qualifications. The system is maintained in electronic form and uses internet to provide information collected. Every school and education institution has to submit data regarding students, teachers, facilities, expenses, etc. Schools submit data through a web application. Information is collected regionally and then exported by regional education authorities to the education ministry. Each user group (ministries, Central Statistical Office, local authorities, etc.) has access to its relevant part of the data base, and some of this information is available to the public. The system was set up in 2004 but has functioned in this way since 2012 and has been continuously modernised. In 2017, a new regulation on the SIO was introduced ([37]The Act of 21 April 2017 r. on changes in the Act on the School Information System and some other acts:
http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/DocDetails.xsp?id=WDU20170000949
) relating mainly to changes in the scope of the data gathered within the system.

The VET system allows learners to attain qualifications (vocational certificates) through the validation of non-formal education and informal learning ([38]By taking extramural exams adults might also acquire certificate of completion of the general education schools (primary and secondary).). Persons can take extramural State vocational examinations conducted by regional examination boards if they are over 18 years old, have completed a lower secondary programme or an eight-year primary programme and have at least two years of learning or work in an occupation relating to the targeted qualification ([39]Documents confirming the fulfilment of these requirements are, in particular, school certificates, transcripts, education certificates or employment certificates related to work in a specific occupation, including those obtained abroad.). If they do not have two years of learning or work experience, they can enrol in a vocational qualifications course (KKZ). As of September 2018, the curriculum of the KKZ is based on the new curriculum for VET. Completion of a vocational qualification course entitles students to take the State vocational examination.

After successfully passing the State vocational examination, learners obtain the same vocational certificate as regular VET students. The fee paid by the applicant for the extramural examination is rather low, in 2019 approximately 45 EUR (15 EUR for the written part and 30 EUR for the practical part).

For more information about arrangements for the validation of non-formal and informal learning please visit Cedefop’s European database ([40]European database on validation of non-formal and informal learning:
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/european-database-on-validation-of-non-formal-and-informal-learning
).

In IVET, incentives include:

  • Scholarships for IVET students

In 2018, school scholarships range from PLN 99.20 to PLN 248 (from EUR 23 to EUR 57) per month depending on the decision of local authorities. The period of receiving a scholarship can range from one to ten months per school year. VET students can receive financial support when studying away from their community or when their family income is below the threshold for receiving social assistance benefits combined with social problems that the family is facing. Scholarships for good grades can also be granted to VET learners. Apart from the country level, there are also regional initiatives aiming to promote participation in VET. Some regional scholarships have been financed within EU-funded projects.

  • Salary for juvenile workers

Students who are juvenile workers are entitled to a salary. The amount of their salary cannot be less than 4% (in the 1st year of training) 5% (in the 2nd year of training) and 6% (in the 3rd year of training) of the average monthly salary (ranging from EUR 42 to EUR 68). Employers also pay mandatory social insurance on the basis of the salary paid to the juvenile worker.

Minimum salaries for juvenile workers in 2019

Period

1st year of training

2nd year of training

3rd year of training

1.06.2019. - 31.08.2019

198,04 PLN

247,55 PLN

297,06 PLN

45,93 EUR

57,41 EUR

68,90 EUR

1.03.2019. - 31.05.2019

194,55 PLN

243,19 PLN

291,82 PLN

45,12 EUR

56,40 EUR

67,68 EUR

1.12.2018. - 28.02.2019.

183,21 PLN

229,01 PLN

274,81 PLN

42,49 EUR

53,11 EUR

63,74 EUR

Source: own calculations based on legal acts in Poland.

  • Vocational training and support by the Voluntary Labour Corps

The Voluntary Labour Corps ([41]Voluntary Labour Corps (OHP),
http://www.ohp.pl.
) (Ochotnicze Hufce Pracy − OHP) is an organisation specialised in supporting youth at risk of social exclusion and unemployed under 25 years old, overseen by the labour ministry. The organisation offers young people over 15 years old without lower secondary education, the possibility to attain vocational qualifications and/or to supplement their education. Currently it has over 214 Corps agencies (2019) providing young people with the opportunity to complete their education and acquire professional qualifications before entering adult life. The Voluntary Labour Corps provide training in 64 professions, both in their own workshops or as on-the-job training with an employer. All students with low/no income receive free meals and accommodation during the education period. Students also receive guidance and pedagogical support. Each year, over 800,000 young people receive various forms of help from Corps agencies including individual psychological support, group workshops for active job-seeking, vocational courses, vocational courses offering certified qualifications, language courses, European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) course, driving course, entrepreneurship course, assistance in finding jobs and organising traineeships, as well as traineeships offered by employers.

In the area of continuing VET (CVET), support is organised mainly through the employment services and financed from the Labour Fund ([42]The Labour Fund (Fundusz Pracy) is a State special purpose fund operating under the Act of 20 April 2004 on the promotion of employment and labour market institutions (Journal of Laws 2004, No 99, item 1001 and later amendments).), as well as from the European Social Fund (ESF). This support includes:

  • vocational training;
  • loans for financing of the cost of training;
  • training vouchers;
  • vocational practice vouchers;
  • scholarships for youth from low income families for the period of education;
  • financial support for examination fees and vocational licence fees;
  • statutory training leave for employees.

The Labour Fund plays an important role in delivering state support for VET. It promotes participation by granting resources for vocational training initiatives. The training is mainly offered to unemployed people, but it can also be provided to other job seekers, such as, for example, people with disabilities. The participants of group training have the right to receive a monthly training grant that amounts to 120% of the unemployment benefit. The number of training hours per month should exceed 150. The cost of individual training cannot exceed 300% of the national average monthly salary. In 2017, more than 49 000 unemployed and other eligible individuals participated in various forms of training. The most popular form of training (more than 12 000 participants) was driver’s licence courses. The number of participants has declined mainly due to lower unemployment rate.

 

Participants in various forms of training support offered by the Labour Fund

Source: Warsaw: Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy (2018). Bezrobocie w Polsce w 2017 r. Raport tabelaryczny [Unemployment in Poland in 2017]. See also earlier editions.

 

Labour Offices support the organisation of vocational training for employees, but only at the initiative of employers (only when the employer has a special training fund). Up to 50% of the costs of the training can be refunded from the Labour Fund, but not more than the amount of the average monthly salary per participant. In the case of people over 45 years of age, the limit of the refund is 80% of the training costs, but not more than 300% of the average salary.

Labour Offices also fund apprenticeships organised in companies. Apprenticeships are nowadays available to all unemployed. In 2017, over 140 000 people participated in an apprenticeship scheme, including 46 000 youth under 25 years of age (33%). The number of participants in apprenticeship schemes, as well as the share of youth in all forms of training declined significantly between 2015 and 2017.

Training leave is provided to an employee. The leave (from six to 21 days) can be used to prepare for and take an examination or defend a thesis. Training leave can be paid (to cover lost income) to an employee if an employer requires or agrees to the need for the training before it starts.

Employers who provide VET training to students of vocational programmes can receive the following support:

  • refund of trainers’ salaries;
  • refund of the extra salary paid to instructors;
  • refund of the cost of work clothes and necessary protective measures;
  • training allowance for work placement supervisors;
  • refund of the bonus for work placement supervisors;
  • subsidy for the salary and social security contribution for the juvenile worker for the period of vocational training from the Labour Fund. The financial limits on the refund are set each year. As of 2020, the employers training juvenile employees in the professions indicated by the forecast of the demand for employees in vocational education occupations will receive increased subsidies.

Employers believe that the financial support offered is not fully adequate to the resources devoted to such training. The period of vocational practice is seen as being too short, which means that students are not providing added value to the company’s performance ([43]Fila J.; Rybińska; A.; Trzciński R. (2014). Współpraca szkół zawodowych z przedsiębiorcami na przykładzie Działania 9.2 PO KL [Cooperation of vocational schools and entrepreneurs based on the Action 9.2 of the Human Capital Operational Programme]. Warsaw: Instytut Badań Edukacyjnych.).

Since 2014, employers have been able to use the National Training Fund (Krajowy Fundusz Szkoleniowy), part of the Labour Fund (Fundusz Pracy), to finance their employees’ training. It mainly finances courses and post-graduate studies attended by employees at the request of the employer; examinations enabling the attainment of vocational qualifications; medical and psychological examinations required for a job position; and personal accident insurance. In the case of microenterprises, the funding can cover 100% of the costs of continuing education, whereas in other types of enterprises, the employer covers 20% of the training cost. The training cost per employee cannot exceed 300% of the average salary in a given year. In 2017, 18 715 employers received support from the National Training Fund, resulting in training or other forms of assistance for 105,300 employees, which is an increase by around one-third compared to 2015.

A regulation concerning occupational/career guidance and counselling was introduced in September 2018 ([44]Regulation of the education ministry on vocational/career guidance in Polish schools entered into force on 1 September 2018.). Previously, occupational/career guidance/counselling had been implemented only on the basis of the provisions of the regulation on the principles of providing and organising psychological and pedagogical assistance.

According to the new regulation, occupational guidance is to be implemented in a planned and systematic way, in all types of schools, including VET schools. The regulation defines the goals as well as the terms and manner of implementing and organising guidance/counselling, including possible forms and detailed programme content, which vary depending on the school level.

The basic goal of guidance is to support students in the process of making independent and responsible decisions concerning their educational and professional life, based on learning about their own resources, the education system and the labour market.

Vocational guidance is to be conducted at all school levels, including:

  • Pre-schools [ISCED 0] - vocational pre-orientation
  • Primary school classes 1-6 [ISCED 1] - vocational orientation
  • 7th and 8th grades of primary school [ISCED 2] and secondary schools [ISCED 3] - vocational guidance activities.

Schools are required to develop their own programme to implement the intra-school guidance system for each new school year. This programme should include:

  • activities to implement occupational guidance (including the content of the activities, methods and forms of implementation, timeframe of implementation, persons responsible for implementation);
  • entities with which the school cooperates in this field.

Please see also:

Vocational education and training system chart

Tertiary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 5

College

programmes

ISCED 554

Colleges of social work leading to EQF level 5, ISCED 554 (kolegia pracowników służb społecznych)
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

554

Usual entry grade

13 or 14

Usual completion grade

15 or 16

Usual entry age

19 or 20

Usual completion age

21 or 22

Length of a programme (years)

3

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

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

Colleges conduct a day, evening or extramural form of education.

Learning forms:

  • school-based learning;
  • work-based learning – in-company training;
  • self-learning (allocation of hours is not specified).

The form, place and timetable of in-company training is determined by the director of the college in cooperation with the governing body, after consulting the Programme Council and the learners council.

Every college operates under academic and didactic supervision of selected HEIs.

Main providers

Colleges:

  • public colleges operated by regional authorities;
  • non-public colleges – operated by legal persons ([74]Regulation of the Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy of 15 September 2016 on colleges of social work. Journal of Laws 2016, item 1543.).
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

around 24%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • general in-practice training in a social welfare centre;
  • general in-practice training in a 24-hour service;
  • specialist and graduate professional in-practice training.
Main target groups

Programmes intended for adults interested in obtaining the qualification of social worker.

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

Matura certificate is required to enroll. A medical certificate stating that the learner is able to practice as a social worker is also needed.

Assessment of learning outcomes

To complete a college programme, learners must pass a final internal exam carried out by the examination board appointed by the head of the college. The diploma confirms that the learner has attained the qualification of social worker.

In selected colleges, operating under given HEIs didactic care, participation in the programme leads also to BA exam and BA degree. However this option is not compulsory.

Diplomas/certificates provided

The learner receives a diploma confirming the completion of a college of social work, certifying the qualification of social worker.

The graduation diploma is issued on the basis of documentation of the course of study conducted by the college.

BA certificate is also offered to programme graduates of selected colleges.

Examples of qualifications

Social worker.

Colleges can also provide specialised training in the field of social welfare, in a field of specialisation in the profession of social worker and social work supervisors.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

College learners can enter the labour market or continue their studies in EQF 6 bachelor programmes.

In some colleges graduates who are interested in continuing their studies in EQF 6 bachelor programmes are offered recognition of the college curriculum.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

In some colleges it is possible to acquire validation of prior learning gained within programmes provided by HEIs.

General education subjects

N

Key competences

Y

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

<1% ([75]Own calculations based on Statistics Poland (2018). Oświata i wychowanie w roku szkolnym 2017/2018 [Education in the 2017/18 school year]. Four colleges with 234 students.)

Post-secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

Post-secondary

school-based programmes,

WBL ≥44.6%

1-2.5 years

ISCED 453

Post-secondary school-based programmes leading to ISCED 453 (szkoła policealna)
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

453

Usual entry grade

13 or 14

Usual completion grade

13+

Usual entry age

19 or 20

Usual completion age

20+

Length of a programme (years)

1 to 2.5

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

There are public schools offering education free of charge but also numerous non-public schools charging fees for education.

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

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

These programmes are strictly vocational and do not include general education. The vocational parts consist of theoretical and practical aspects. They are mostly school-based. Schools have a relatively high level of independence regarding the organisation of practical training. The school director decides on the share of work-based learning, however it cannot be less than 50% of the hours foreseen for vocational education.

Main providers

Post-secondary schools:

  • public schools operated by local and regional authorities, associations, national companies;
  • non-public schools with public school accreditation operated by different providers (associations, foundations, companies, HEIs);
  • non-public schools without public school accreditation operated by different providers (companies- natural persons, commercial-law companies).
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

≥ 44.6% for programme in a day form

≥ 48.5% for programme in stationary or extramural form ([69]Own calculations of %WBL based on the assumptions provided in the Teaching Plans [Ramowe plany nauczania],
http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20190000639/O/D20190639.pdf .
)

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

The practical part of vocational education can be offered in:

  • school workshops;
  • continuing education centres ([70]Continuing education centres (centrum kształcenia ustawicznego - CKU) - public institutions (usually a school complex) in Polish education, usually with a long tradition, whose task is to provide continuous, free-of charge education for adults and enable them to get a profession. They provide advice to teachers and lecturers employed in adult education. The centres can also employ professional advisers specialised in adult education.) and vocational training centres ([71]Vocational training centres (centrum kształcenia zawodowego – CKZ) - newly set up public institutions created from the transformation of existing centres for practical training (placówka kształcenia praktycznego ) or vocational training and development centres (ośrodek dokształcania i doskonalenia zawodowego) responsible for supporting vocational education of VET learners in schools providing practical or theoretical training of juvenile workers. They will be also providing vocational training in the form of courses (professional skills, qualifying vocational courses or other courses - enabling to obtain and supplement knowledge, skills and professional qualifications).);
  • with an employer (can be organised in different ways, partially or fully at an employers’ premises, including also dual training/alternate training).

On-the-job training, a distinctive form of practical training, is mandatory for learners of post-secondary programmes and lasts from 4 to 12 weeks, depending on the type of occupation.

Main target groups

They are available to graduates of general and vocational upper secondary programmes and (in the future) second stage sectoral programmes.

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

Learners should have a secondary education or secondary sectoral education (graduates of general and vocational upper secondary programmes and second stage sectoral programmes).

Assessment of learning outcomes

The following forms of assessment of learning outcomes are foreseen:

  • school leaving certificate - confirms that a learner completed the programme. It contains a list of subjects covered and the final grades achieved. To obtain school leaving certificate no external exam is required. Final grades are based on internal on-going assessments of learners and certificate consist of annual classification grades determined in the highest-level class and annual classification grades achieved in the completed lower classes;
  • State vocational examination (taking exam is obligatory for school graduation as of September 2019) – confirms obtaining vocational qualification. The examination has two parts: written and practical. The candidate has to pass both in order to receive a vocational certificate/diploma. The exam is centrally organised and based on uniform requirements, the same examination tasks, assessed according to the same criteria and organised in the same way regardless of where the examination is held.
Diplomas/certificates provided

This programme leads to:

  • a school leaving certificate;
  • a vocational qualification (vocational certificate) after passing the State vocational examination;
  • a vocational qualifications diploma (issued when a learner has obtained all qualifications distinguished in an occupation and a school leaving certificate).
Examples of qualifications

Administration technician (technik administracji), cosmetics services technician (technik usług kosmetycznych), optician technician (technik optyk), numerous medical qualifications: e.g. dental hygienist (higienistka stomatologiczna), pharmaceutical technician (technik farmaceutyczny), electrocardiograph technician (technik elektrokardiolog).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Post-secondary programme graduates can enter the labour market. Those who have matura exam are eligible to continue on to tertiary education, however the programme does not provide such direct access.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

A vocational certificate can be awarded after passing the State vocational examination extramurally.

Persons can take extramural State vocational examinations conducted by regional examination boards if they are over 18 years old, have completed a lower secondary programme or an eight-year primary programme and have at least two years of learning or work in an occupation relating to the targeted qualification ([72]Documents confirming the fulfilment of these requirements are, in particular, school certificates, transcripts, education certificates or employment certificates related to work in a specific occupation, including those obtained abroad.). If they do not have two years of learning or work experience, they can enrol in a vocational qualifications course (KKZ).

By taking extramural exams adults can also acquire a certificate of completion of the general education schools.

General education subjects

N

These programmes are strictly vocational and do not include general education.

Key competences

Y

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

<26% ([73]Own calculations based on Statistics Poland (2018). Oświata i wychowanie w roku szkolnym 2017/2018 [Education in the 2017/2018 school year].)

Secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 2

Work preparation classes

for SEN learners

Work preparation classes for SEN learners leading to EQF level 2 (oddziały przysposabiające do pracy)
EQF level
2
Usual entry grade

7

Usual completion grade

8

Usual entry age

15 ([47]This is a special programme for students at risk of early school leaving; in current legislation it is for 15-year-olds.)

Length of a programme (years)

2

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Education in Poland is compulsory up to 18 years of age, with full-time school education compulsory up to age 15.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

N

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

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

Classes combine general education and work preparation – both adapted to the individual learner’s needs and capabilities.

Main providers

Primary schools

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Not specified by the regulations.

The programme is developed and adjusted to the specific needs of a learner by a lead teacher.

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

Different forms of practical training available:

  • practical training in school;
  • practical training in VET schools (school workshops), continuing education centres ([48]Continuing education centres (centrum kształcenia ustawicznego - CKU) - public institutions (usually a school complex) in Polish education, usually with a long tradition, whose task is to provide continuous, free-of charge education for adults and enable them to get a profession. They provide advice to teachers and lecturers employed in adult education. The centres can also employ professional advisers specialised in adult education.) and vocational training centres ([49]Vocational training centres (centrum kształcenia zawodowego – CKZ) - newly set up public institutions created from the transformation of existing centres for practical training (placówka kształcenia praktycznego ) or vocational training and development centres (ośrodek dokształcania i doskonalenia zawodowego) responsible for supporting vocational education of VET learners in schools providing practical or theoretical training of juvenile workers. They will be also providing vocational training in the form of courses (professional skills, qualifying vocational courses or other courses - enabling to obtain and supplement knowledge, skills and professional qualifications).);
  • in-company training.
Main target groups

For learners over 15 years old with special education needs (SEN), at risk of early school leaving.

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

For learners over 15 years old at risk of not completing primary school in the usual mode, who:

  • received promotion to grade VII; or
  • did not receive promotion to grade VIII.

Enrolment requires confirmation from a psycho-social support institution on the need for this form of education.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Primary school leaving certificate is issued to those who completed the programme (with a special note with information on completion of work preparation classes).

Diplomas/certificates provided

School leaving certificate

Examples of qualifications

Not applicable

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Those who complete work preparation classes for SEN learners can enter the labour market or continue their education at the next EQF level.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Y

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

<1% ([50]Work preparation classes are not included in the statistics due to limited number of participants.)

EQF 4

Vocational upper

secondary programmes,

WBL ≥16.4%

5 years

ISCED 354

Vocational upper secondary programme (technikum) leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

9

Usual completion grade

13

Usual entry age

16 ([51a]Usually, the starting age of learners is 15, while the age of graduating first grade is 16.
)

Usual completion age

20

Length of a programme (years)

5

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Education in Poland is compulsory up to 18 years of age, with full-time school education compulsory up to age 15.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

N

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

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

The curriculum for upper secondary vocational programmes combines general and vocational education. The vocational parts consist of theoretical and practical aspects. Vocational schools have a relatively high level of independence regarding the organisation of practical training. The school director decides on the share of work-based learning however it cannot be less than 50% of the hours foreseen for vocational education (which combines both practical and theoretical training).

Main providers

Upper secondary vocational schools:

  • public schools (vast majority of schools) operated by local (county) and regional authorities;
  • non-public schools with public school accreditation operated by different providers (associations, companies - commercial law companies, natural persons).
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

≥16.4% ([51]Own calculations of %WBL based on the assumptions provided in the Teaching Plans [Ramowe plany nauczania],
http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20190000639/O/D20190639.pdf
)

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

The practical part of vocational education can be offered in:

  • school workshops;
  • continuing education centres ([52]Continuing education centres (centrum kształcenia ustawicznego - CKU) - public institutions (usually a school complex) in Polish education, usually with a long tradition, whose task is to provide continuous, free-of charge education for adults and enable them to get a profession. They provide advice to teachers and lecturers employed in adult education. The centres can also employ professional advisers specialised in adult education.) and vocational training centres ([53]Vocational training centres (centrum kształcenia zawodowego – CKZ) - newly set up public institutions created from the transformation of existing centres for practical training (placówka kształcenia praktycznego ) or vocational training and development centres (ośrodek dokształcania i doskonalenia zawodowego) responsible for supporting vocational education of VET learners in schools providing practical or theoretical training of juvenile workers. They will be also providing vocational training in the form of courses (professional skills, qualifying vocational courses or other courses – enabling to obtain and supplement knowledge, skills and professional qualifications).);
  • with an employer (can be organised in different ways, partially or fully at an employers’ premises, including also dual training/alternate training).

A distinctive form of practical training - on-the-job training - is mandatory for learners of vocational upper secondary programmes and lasts from 4 to 12 weeks, depending on the type of occupation.

An additional new form of WBL – the student apprenticeship – will be available for learners of this programme as of September 2019.

Main target groups

This programme is available to primary school graduates.

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

Learners should hold a primary school leaving certificate. Primary school graduates are usually 15 years old.

Assessment of learning outcomes

The following forms of assessment of learning outcomes are foreseen for learners:

  • school leaving certificate - confirms that a learner completed the programme. It contains a list of subjects covered and the final grades achieved. To obtain school leaving certificate no external exam is required. Final grades are based on internal on-going assessments of learners and certificate consist of annual classification grades determined in the highest-level class and annual classification grades achieved in the completed lower classes;
  • State vocational examination (taking exam is obligatory for school graduation as of September 2019) – confirms obtaining vocational qualification. The examination has two parts: written and practical. The candidate has to pass both in order to receive a vocational certificate/diploma. The exam is centrally organised and based on uniform requirements, the same examination tasks, assessed according to the same criteria and organised in the same way regardless of where the examination is held;
  • school leaving examination (matura) – a state, uniform secondary school leaving examination based on the core curriculum for general education and providing access to tertiary education. As of September 2019, the vocational diploma in an occupation taught on technician level will allow learners to skip one additional subject in the matura exam. The matura exam consists of two parts: the oral part (internal and assessed at school) and the written part – external, set by the Central Examination Board (Centralna Komisja Egzaminacyjna) and assessed by examiners included in the registers of the Regional Examination Boards (Okręgowa Komisja Egzaminacyjna).
Diplomas/certificates provided

This programme leads to:

  • a school leaving certificate giving learners a secondary education;
  • vocational qualifications (vocational certificates) after passing the State vocational examination;
  • a vocational qualifications diploma for occupations consisting of two qualifications (issued when a learner obtained both qualifications distinguished in an occupation and a school leaving certificate).
Examples of qualifications

Occupations provided by this programme are two-qualification occupations, for example: electrical technician (technik elektryk), automation technician (technik automatyk), multimedia and photography technician (technik fotografii i multimediów), construction technician (technik budownictwa), accountancy technician (technik rachunkowości), salesman technician (technik handlowiec).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates of these programmes, after passing the secondary school leaving examination (matura), are eligible to continue to tertiary education.

Destination of graduates

According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), in the 1st quarter of 2017 the employment rate of recent vocational upper secondary programme graduates (one year after completing education) was 55.8%.

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

A vocational certificate can be awarded after passing the State vocational examination extramurally. Persons can take extramural State vocational examinations conducted by the regional examination boards if they are over 18 years old, have completed a lower secondary programme or an eight-year primary programme and have at least two years of learning or work in an occupation relating to the targeted qualification ([54]Documents confirming the fulfilment of these requirements are, in particular, school certificates, transcripts, education certificates or employment certificates related to work in a specific occupation, including those obtained abroad.). If they do not have two years of learning or work experience, they can enroll in a vocational qualifications course (KKZ).

By taking extramural exams, adults can also acquire a certificate of completion of the general education schools.

General education subjects

Y

The vocational upper secondary programme combines general and vocational education.

Key competences

Y

The core curriculum for general education determines the learning outcomes related to the general education component and key competences provided by VET programmes.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

Each qualification includes specific sets of learning outcomes defined in the core curriculum for vocational education. Learning outcomes are grouped in units, which typically contain from several to over a dozen learning outcomes and reflect specific professional tasks. The core curriculum for general education determines the learning outcomes related to the general education component and key competences provided by VET programmes.

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

56% ([55]Own calculations based on Statistics Poland (2018). Oświata i wychowanie w roku szkolnym 2017/2018 [Education in the 2017/18 school year].)

EQF 3

First stage

sectoral programmes,

WBL ≥31.8%

3 years

ISCED 353

First stage sectoral programme leading to EQF level 3, ISCED 353 (branżowa szkoła I stopnia)
EQF level
3
ISCED-P 2011 level

353

Usual entry grade

9

Usual completion grade

11

Usual entry age

16 ([56]Usually, the starting age of learners is 15, while the age of graduating first grade is 16.

 
)

Usual completion age

18

Length of a programme (years)

3

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Education in Poland is compulsory up to 18 years of age; full-time school education is compulsory up to age 15.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

N

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

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

The curriculum for first stage sectoral programme combines general and vocational education. The vocational parts consist of theoretical and practical aspects. Schools have a relatively high level of independence regarding the organisation of practical training. The school director decides on the share of work-based learning, however it cannot be less than 60% of the hours foreseen for vocational education (which combines both theoretical and practical training).

Main providers

First stage sectoral schools:

  • public schools (vast majority of schools) operated by local (county) authorities and associations;
  • non-public schools with public school accreditation operated by different providers (associations, companies - commercial law companies, natural persons).
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

≥ 33.7% for programme for graduates of phasing out lower secondary school gimnazjum

≥ 31.8% for programme for graduates of 8-year primary school ([57]Own calculations of %WBL based on the assumptions provided in the Teaching Plans [Ramowe plany nauczania].
http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20190000639/O/D20190639.pdf
)

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

The practical part of vocational education can be offered in:

  • school workshops;
  • continuing education centres ([58]Continuing education centres (centrum kształcenia ustawicznego - CKU) - public institutions (usually a school complex) in Polish education, usually with a long tradition, whose task is to provide continuous, free-of charge education for adults and enable them to get a profession. They provide advice to teachers and lecturers employed in adult education. The centres can also employ professional advisers specialised in adult education.) and vocational training centres ([59]Vocational training centres (centrum kształcenia zawodowego – CKZ) - newly set up public institutions created from the transformation of existing centres for practical training (placówka kształcenia praktycznego ) or vocational training and development centres (ośrodek dokształcania i doskonalenia zawodowego) responsible for supporting vocational education of VET learners in schools providing practical or theoretical training of juvenile workers. They will be also providing vocational training in the form of courses (professional skills, qualifying vocational courses or other courses - enabling to obtain and supplement knowledge, skills and professional qualifications).);
  • with an employer (can be organised in different ways, partially or fully at an employers’ premises, including also dual training/alternate training);
  • juvenile employment.

A special type of work-based learning is provided through juvenile employment for the purpose of vocational training (przygotowanie zawodowe młodocianych pracowników) for young people (15-18 years old) with a lower secondary education or primary education. In the 2017/2018 school year, juvenile workers constituted about half of all the learners in the first stage sectoral schools. Juvenile employment is based on a contract between the learner and employer. Juvenile employment for the purpose of vocational training most often takes the form of training for a profession (nauka zawodu) – this is an apprenticeship with the theoretical education taking place at a first stage sectoral school (or in out-of-school forms) and the practical training organised by the employer on the basis of a work contract. It lasts a maximum 36 months and is finalised with a State vocational examination. Practical training can also be organised by an employer in the craft trades, on the basis of a work contract. It also lasts a maximum 36 months and is finalised with a journeyman’s examination (egzamin czeladniczy).

An additional new form of WBL – the student apprenticeship – will be available for learners of this programme as of September 2019.

Main target groups

This programme is available to primary school graduates.

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

Learners should hold a primary school leaving certificate; primary school graduates are usually 15 years old.

Assessment of learning outcomes

The following forms of assessment of learning outcomes are foreseen for learners:

  • school leaving certificate - confirms that a learner completed the programme. It contains a list of subjects covered and the final grades achieved. It gives a learner a basic sectoral education. To obtain school leaving certificate no external exam is required. Final grades are based on internal on-going assessments of learners and certificate consist of annual classification grades determined in the highest-level class and annual classification grades achieved in the completed lower classes; 
  • State vocational examination – confirms obtaining vocational qualification. The examination has two parts: written and practical. The candidate has to pass both in order to receive a vocational certificate/diploma. The exam is centrally organised and based on uniform requirements, the same examination tasks, assessed according to the same criteria and organised in the same way regardless of where the examination is held; 
  • journeyman’s examination (egzamin czeladniczy) – exam for learners participating in juvenile employment organised by an employer in the craft trades. It has two parts: practical and theoretical. The practical part consists of tasks individually performed by a candidate. The theoretical part is both written and oral. Tasks are based on common examination requirements and the curriculum of the occupation.

As of September 2019, taking the State vocational examination or journeyman’s examination is obligatory for all learners as a condition for school graduation.

Diplomas/certificates provided

This programme leads to:

  • a school leaving certificate giving learners a basic sectoral education;
  • a vocational qualification (vocational certificate) after passing the State vocational examination;
  • a vocational qualifications diploma for a single-qualification occupation (after passing the State vocational examination and obtaining a school leaving certificate).

Learners participating in juvenile employment organised by an employer in the craft trades obtain a Journeyman’s certificate.

Examples of qualifications

Occupations provided by this programme are single-qualification occupations, for example: electromechanical worker (elektromechanik), locksmith (ślusarz), car tinsmith (blacharz samochodowy), gardener (ogrodnik), tailor (krawiec).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Completion of this programme provides access to further education: at the second year of general upper secondary programmes for adults or in the two-year second stage sectoral programme.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

A vocational certificate can be awarded after passing the State vocational examination extramurally. Persons can take extramural State vocational examinations conducted by regional examination boards if they are over 18 years old, have completed a lower secondary programme or an eight-year primary programme and have at least two years of learning or work in an occupation relating to the targeted qualification ([60]Documents confirming the fulfilment of these requirements are, in particular, school certificates, transcripts, education certificates or employment certificates related to work in a specific occupation, including those obtained abroad.). If they do not have two years of learning or work experience, they can enrol in a vocational qualifications course (KKZ). By taking extramural exams, adults can also acquire a certificate of completion of the general education schools.

General education subjects

Y

The first stage sectoral programme combines general and vocational education.

Key competences

Y

The core curriculum for general education determines the learning outcomes related to the general education component and key competences provided by VET programmes.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

Each qualification includes specific sets of learning outcomes defined in the core curriculum for vocational education. Learning outcomes are grouped in units, which typically contain from several to over a dozen learning outcomes and reflect specific professional tasks. The core curriculum for general education determines the learning outcomes related to the general education component and key competences provided by VET programmes.

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

17% ([61]Own calculation based on
Statistics Poland (2018). Oświata i wychowanie w roku szkolnym 2017/2018 [Education in the 2017/18 school year].
)

EQF 4

Second stage

sectoral programmes,

WBL ≥50%

2 years

ISCED 354

to be introduced in 2020/21

Second stage sectoral programme leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354 (branżowa szkoła II stopnia)
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

12

Usual completion grade

13

Usual entry age

19 ([62]Usually, the starting age of learners is 18, while the age of graduating first grade is 19.)

Usual completion age

20

Length of a programme (years)

2

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

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

This programme will begin operating in the 2020/21 school year. The curriculum of the second stage sectoral programme combines general and vocational education. The vocational parts consist of theoretical and practical aspects.

General education in this programme is planned to be limited, with the main focus placed on the vocational training to be conducted in the form of vocational qualification courses. Schools have a relatively high level of independence regarding the organisation of practical training. The school director decides on the share of work-based learning, however it cannot be less than 50% of the hours foreseen for vocational education (which combines both theoretical and practical training).

Main providers

This programme will begin operating in the 2020/21 school year.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>=50% ([63]Percentage of the hours foreseen for vocational education.)

Calculations of % WBL for second stage sectoral programme vary depending on the following criteria: a) form of teaching, b) type of profession, c) type of learner i.e. phasing out lower secondary school (gimnazjum) graduate or primary school graduate. Number of hours for vocational education (both theoretical and practical) is provided in the Core curriculum for education in the profession of sectoral education (Podstawa programowa kształcenia w zawodzie szkolnictwa branżowego; 215 professions in 32 industries) and according to the Teaching Programme totals not less than 50% of the total number of hours for a given form of teaching.

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

The practical part of vocational education can be offered in:

  • school workshops;
  • continuing education centres ([64]Continuing education centres (centrum kształcenia ustawicznego - CKU) - public institutions (usually a school complex) in Polish education, usually with a long tradition, whose task is to provide continuous, free-of charge education for adults and enable them to get a profession. They provide advice to teachers and lecturers employed in adult education. The centres can also employ professional advisers specialised in adult education.), vocational training centres ([65]Vocational training centres (centrum kształcenia zawodowego – CKZ) - newly set up public institutions created from the transformation of existing centres for practical training (placówka kształcenia praktycznego ) or vocational training and development centres (ośrodek dokształcania i doskonalenia zawodowego) responsible for supporting vocational education of VET learners in schools providing practical or theoretical training of juvenile workers. They will be also providing vocational training in the form of courses (professional skills, qualifying vocational courses or other courses - enabling to obtain and supplement knowledge, skills and professional qualifications).) and with an employer (can be organised in different ways, partially or fully at an employers’ premises, including also dual training/alternate training).

A distinctive form of practical training is on-the-job training, which will be mandatory for learners of second stage sectoral programmes and lasts from 4 to 12 weeks, depending on the type of occupation.

Main target groups

This second stage sectoral programme aims at further developing the vocational qualifications attained in the first stage sectoral programme. The programme will be available to the graduates of the first stage sectoral programmes who obtained a qualification that constitutes part of an occupation taught in the second stage sectoral school. This programme will be open to adult learners who want to expand their qualifications.

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

Learners should have a first stage sectoral school leaving certificate and a vocational certificate of a qualification constituting part of an occupation taught in the second stage sectoral school.

First stage sectoral programme graduates are usually 18 years old.

Assessment of learning outcomes

The following forms of assessment of learning outcomes are foreseen for learners:

  • school leaving certificate - confirms that a learner completed the programme. It contains a list of subjects covered and the final grades achieved. It gives a learner a secondary sectoral education, however, this is not the same as attaining a vocational qualification. To obtain school leaving certificate no external exam is required. Final grades are based on internal on-going assessments of learners and certificate consist of annual classification grades determined in the highest-level class and annual classification grades achieved in the completed lower classes;
  • State vocational examination (taking exam is obligatory for school graduation as of September 2019) – confirms obtaining vocational qualification. The examination has two parts: written and practical. The candidate has to pass both in order to receive a vocational certificate/diploma. The exam is centrally organised and based on uniform requirements, the same examination tasks, assessed according to the same criteria and organised in the same way regardless of where the examination is held;
  • shool leaving examination (matura) – a state, uniformed secondary school leaving examination based on the core curriculum for general education and providing access to tertiary education. As of September 2019, the vocational diploma in an occupation taught on technician level will allow learners to skip one additional subject in the matura exam. The matura exam consists of two parts: the oral part (internal and assessed at school) and the written part – external, set by the Central Examination Board (Centralna Komisja Egzaminacyjna) and assessed by examiners included in the registers of the Regional Examination Boards (Okręgowa Komisja Egzaminacyjna).
Diplomas/certificates provided

This programme leads to:

  • a school leaving certificate giving learners a secondary sectoral education;
  • a vocational qualification (vocational certificate) after passing the State vocational examination;
  • a vocational qualifications diploma for occupations consisting of two qualifications (issued when a learner obtained both qualifications distinguished in an occupation and a school leaving certificate).
Examples of qualifications

Chemical technology technician (technik technologii chemicznej), hospitality technician (technik hotelarstwa), telecomunications technician (technik telekomunikacji).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Second stage sectoral programme graduates will be eligible to continue to tertiary education after passing the secondary school leaving examination (matura).

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

A vocational certificate can be awarded after passing the State vocational examination extramurally.

Persons can take extramural State vocational examinations conducted by regional examination boards if they are over 18 years old, have completed a lower secondary programme or an eight-year primary programme and have at least two years of learning or work in an occupation relating to the targeted qualification ([66]Documents confirming the fulfilment of these requirements are, in particular, school certificates, transcripts, education certificates or employment certificates related to work in a specific occupation, including those obtained abroad.). If they do not have two years of learning or work experience, they can enroll in a vocational qualifications course (KKZ). By taking extramural exams, adults can also acquire a certificate of completion of the general education schools.

General education subjects

Y

The second stage sectoral programme combines general and vocational education.

Key competences

Y

The core curriculum for general education determines the learning outcomes related to the general education component and key competences provided by VET programmes.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

Each qualification includes specific sets of learning outcomes defined in the core curriculum for vocational education. Learning outcomes are grouped in units, which typically contain from several to over a dozen learning outcomes and reflect specific professional tasks. The core curriculum for general education determines the learning outcomes related to the general education component and key competences provided by VET programmes.

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

Not applicable ([67]Second stage sectoral programmes will start operating from 1 September 2020.)

Special job-training

programmes,

(SEN learners)

ISCED 243

Special job-training programme leading to ISCED 243 (szkoła specjalna przysposabiająca do pracy)
EQF level
Not applicable
ISCED-P 2011 level

243

Usual entry grade

9

Usual completion grade

11

Usual entry age

16 ([68a]Usually, the starting age of learners is 15, while the age of graduating first grade is 16.
)

Usual completion age

18

Learners up to the age of 24 can participate in this programme.

Length of a programme (years)

3 (with the possibility of extending to 4 years)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Education in Poland is compulsory up to 18 years of age, with full-time school education compulsory up to age 15.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

N

This is not intended for adults, but learners up to the age of 24 can participate in this programme.

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

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

It provides educational activities (personal and social functioning classes; communication skills development classes, creativity development classes, physical education and job training classes), revalidation activities, and job training classes.

Main providers

Special job-training schools:

  • public schools (vast majority of schools) operated by local (county) authorities;
  • non-public schools with public school accreditation operated by different providers (associations, foundations).
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Share of work-based learning is not specified by the regulations. Job training classes constitute over half of the hours foreseen for the educational activities. The programme is developed and adjusted to the specific needs of a learner by a lead teacher.

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

Mainly practical training at school, including school workshops.

Main target groups

This programme is intended for young learners with moderate and severe intellectual disabilities or multiple disabilities.

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

Learners should have a primary school leaving certificate; primary school graduates are usually 15 years old. Additional enrolment requires confirmation from a psycho-social support institution on the need for this form of education (certificate recommending special education or rehabilitation-and-education classes).

Assessment of learning outcomes

Learners do not pass any external exams.

Descriptive assessment is used on a school-leaving certificate.

This programme leads to a job-readiness certificate (based on the teacher’s assessment) to perform specific tasks and not to a vocational qualification.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Learners receive school leaving certificate and a job-readiness certificate.

Examples of qualifications

Not applicable

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Those who complete this programme can perform some tasks in certain labour market occupations.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Y

It combines vocational and general education.

Key competences

Y

It provides educational activities such as (personal and social functioning classes, communication skills development classes and physical education).

Application of learning outcomes approach

N

The core curriculum for this programme includes the aims of training, school assignments, forms of classes and detailed teaching content.

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

1% ([68]Own calculations based on data from Statistics Poland (2018). Oświata i wychowanie w roku szkolnym 2017/2018 [Education in the 2017/18 school year].)

VET available to adults (formal and non-formal)

Programme Types
Not available