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General themes

Main aspects of VET system in Lithuania in 2018:

  • in 2017/18, participation in VET at all levels of education slightly decreased due to negative natural population growth and emigration;
  • participation in lower secondary VET is low, most IVET learners follow upper-secondary and post-secondary programmes;
  • early leaving from education and training is among the lowest in the EU (5.4%) and decreasing, and still higher from VET (12% in 2017) ([1]Kvalifikacijų ir profesinio mokymo plėtros centras (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Lithuania, p.28. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.
    http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/Vocational_Education_Training_Europe_Lithuania_2018_Cedefop_ReferNet.pdf,
    );
  • participation in lifelong learning and increasing access to VET for adults is a challenge.

Distinctive features ([2]Adapted from Cedefop (2018a). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Lithuania. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8121_en.pdf
):

Initial VET (IVET) is centralised and highly regulated by the State. Continuing VET (CVET) is delivered by IVET and other training providers, public or private organisations.

Provision of IVET at all levels is free of charge; CVET programmes are offered for a fee, except for the unemployed and those at risk of unemployment whose training is supported from European structural funds (ESF) projects. CVET for the unemployed is funded by a voucher system, which allows them to choose their training provider. The provision of training is based on contracts between the local public employment service, the unemployed and, if applicable, the enterprise. In this last instance, the employer undertakes to employ the person for at least six months after the training.

Most IVET learners participate in post-secondary programmes (ISCED 4, 443.7% in 2017) and upper-secondary (ISCED 3, 43.9%) The popularity of ISCED level 4 programmes has substantially increased in recent years, especially among adults who enter VET with a VET or higher education qualification. The number of adults in formal IVET programmes is increasing. The average age of IVET learners in 2016 was 24.6 years; compared to 2012 this has increased by three years. In 2012 learners aged 14 to 22 comprised 78% of learners; in 2016 the share decreased to 61%.

From 2002, VET curricula in Lithuania have been competence-based, with clearly defined learning outcomes. The content of VET qualifications is defined by sectoral qualifications standards (replacing the previous VET standards). These standards describe the main qualifications in specific sectors of the economy at different national qualifications framework levels. VET programmes are being gradually redesigned into modular programmes consisting of mandatory and optional units.

Data adapted from Cedefop (2018) Spotlight on VET Lithuania 2017 ([3]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8121_en.pdf).

The Cedefop forecasts for Lithuania up to 2025 predict a loss of one fifth of the total labour force and approximately a third of labour force with medium-level qualifications. This is prompting a review of human resources development policy to guarantee labour force productivity and economic competitiveness.

The challenge remains to encourage participation in VET. 53% of students in upper secondary education (2017/18) were enrolled in vocationally oriented programmes ([4]http://www.mukis.lt/lt/profesinio_orientavimo_paslaugos_mokyklose/stebesenos_ataskaitos.html). 10.5% of upper secondary education graduates move to VET, and 63% of upper secondary education graduates move to higher education directly after graduation (2017/18).

Participation in life-long learning remains low (6.6% in 2018) and is lower than in most other EU countries. The national goal is to increase it to 12% by 2022. Ministries of Education and Science, Social Security and Labour and Economy will offer various adult training opportunities for key competences development, with training of the unemployed and employees jointly funded by ESF. VET and lifelong learning promotion campaigns will be organised and career guidance services further developed.

Participation in apprenticeship is low and efforts are being made to motivate VET institutions and companies to cooperate in enhancing WBL and apprenticeship. Support will be given to apprenticeship pilot projects, assistance for enterprises, strengthening of sectoral practical training centres and expanding access to learners from other VET institutions. Implementation of an apprenticeship system is under development.

An action plan for the development of lifelong learning for 2017-20 addresses these aspects. In the document, VET and lifelong learning actions are grouped under three objectives:

  • update of VET curricula and VET methods focusing on competitive 21st century competences;
  • development of VET institution sustainable networking and increase in social inclusion;
  • development of efficient conditions and incentives for lifelong learning.

A new law on VET was adopted in December 2017. Envisaged changes relate to strengthening work-based learning and apprenticeship, enhancing the role of sectoral professional committees, reforming arrangements for publicly funded IVET, and introducing a regular external VET quality evaluation system ([5]Adapted from Cedefop (2018a). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Lithuania. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8121_en.pdf
).

The modularisation of VET programmes is expanding and should allow for more flexible and diverse forms of learning. VET programmes are being reformed and will be based on sectoral qualifications standards currently being developed in specific sectors of the economy ([6]Cedefop (2019). European inventory on NQF, 2018: Lithuania. Cedefop country specific report.
https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/lithuania-european-inventory-nqf-2018
).

Reforming VET management, financing schemes and quality assurance mechanisms are part of policy priorities and developments to raise the prestige of VET and its attractiveness among all VET stakeholders.

 

 

Population in 2018: 2 808 901 ([7]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

Population decreased by 5.5% since 2013, due to negative natural growth and migration ([8]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted on 16.5.2019].).

Population is ageing.

It is expected that the old-age dependency ratio will increase from 28 in 2015 to 64 in 2060.

 

Population forecast by age group and old-age-dependency ratio ([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).)

Source: Eurostat, proj_15ndbims [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Since 2017, emigration increased by 13.8% ([10]Statistics Lithuania; population in 2018:
https://osp.stat.gov.lt/en/gyventojai1
) especially in the age span 15 to 44 (76% of all emigrants). Emigration is higher than immigration, which also increased.

The shrinking population calls for more effective use of the potential of the workforce, especially of elderly people involvement in economic activity. Ageing will remain an important concern for the future, as it is likely that the employed population will have to bear a heavier burden to support retirees.

The country is multicultural and has a bilingual community: In June 2017, Lithuanians represented 84.2% of the whole population, Poles 6.6%, Russians 5.8%, Byelorussians 1.2% and other nationalities 1.1%. Most VET institutions teach in Lithuanian, though there are schools where they use both Lithuanian and Russian.

Most companies are micro and small-sized.

Economic sectors with the largest employment (%) in 2017:

Since 2013, the employment in the industry has seen a steady growth. This has been the result of the recovery in exports market and increased tangible investments. The construction and service sectors decreased. To reflect recent trends in economic activity, VET institutions set themselves to the challenge of developing programs, taking into account the needs of workers and their employment in individual sectors of the economy.

The labour market is considered flexible.

Total unemployment ([12]Percentage of active population, 25 to 74 years old.) (2018): 5.8% (6% in EU28). It increased by 0.8 percentage points since 2008 ([13]Eurostat table tps00203 [etracted 16.5.2019].).

 

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.
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 correlates with level of qualifications and age. During the crisis, it rose sharply, especially for those with low and medium-level qualifications, and hasn’t reached the pre-crisis levels. In 2018, the unemployment rate of the low qualified is almost 2.5 times higher than of people (including the majority of VET graduates) with medium level qualifications.

Employment rate of 20 to 34-year-old VET graduates increased from 74% in 2014 to 83.6% in 2018 ([14]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].

 

Between 2014 and 2018, the employment rate of 20-34 year-old VET graduates increased by 9.6 percentage points; at the same period the respective increase in employment of all 20-34 year-old graduates was 5.8 percentage points ([15]Eurostat table edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

Lithuania has the lowest rate of people without or with low qualifications in the EU (5.2% against 21.8% in the EU-28 in 2018). At the same time higher education is valued. Lithuania has the 9th highest share of the population aged 25-64 with high level qualifications in the EU (41.7% against 32.2% in the EU-28). Half of the population (53.1%) in the same age group has medium (ISCED 3 and 4) level qualifications ([16]Eurostat, lfsa_pgaed [extracted 16.5.2019].)

 

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

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011; low reliability for ‘no response’ for 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

2.4%

27.4%

100%

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

 

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

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

 

Traditionally, there are more males in VET – 56% then females – 44% ([17]National statistics 2018; see:
http://svisold.emokykla.lt/lt/index/wpage_view/42#
).

Most popular 2018 education area among males was engineering. In the engineering sector, the most popular fields are:

  • motor vehicles;
  • aircraft;
  • mechanics (and metal works in the education subsector).

The share of early leavers from education and training has decreased from 8.7% in 2009 to 4.6% in 2018. It is below the national target for 2020 of not more than 9% and the EU-28 average of 10.6%.

In 2017, early leaving from education and training was among the lowest in the EU (5.4%) and decreasing, but still higher from VET ([18]Kvalifikacijų ir profesinio mokymo plėtros centras (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Lithuania, p. 28. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.
http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/Vocational_Education_Training_Europe_Lithuania_2018_Cedefop_ReferNet.pdf,
). 12% of students in IVET programmes (ISCED levels 2 to 4) discontinued their training (mostly due to life abroad, early entry into the labour market of lack of motivation to continue their studies).

 

Early leavers from education and training in 2009-18

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

 

Under the action plan for the development of lifelong learning for 2017-20, activities partly ESF-funded are in place to increase the efficiency of the network of initial and continuing VET providers to attract more learners in VET.

In 2017, new professional empowerment programmes were launched. They provide information and guidance services to students on available education and training programmes and career choices to help them make informed decisions about their future.

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

 

Participation in lifelong learning in 2014-18

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

 

Participation in lifelong learning is lower than in the majority of other EU countries (6.6%) and below the EU 2020 benchmark (15%).

According to national statistics, a large share of the population aged 25-64 has completed general education programmes (28% in 2017). Increasing access to lifelong learning and VET for adults is still challenging.

To reach the national target of 73% employment rate by 2020, the employment programme for 2014-20 ([19]Government resolution, 2014:
https://www.e-tar.lt/portal/lt/legalAct/ebe20890a52c11e3aeb49a67165e3ad3/fiSHCENHEe
) goal is to support job creation mostly by linking (formal) VET qualifications to the needs of the labour market. Quality guidance and counselling services accessible to all (young people and adults), strengthening validation of prior learning and better and diversified formal VET qualifications aligned with sectoral needs are priority areas.

There are no data available for the distribution of VET learners by age.

In 2017/18, participation in VET at all levels of education slightly decreased due to negative natural population growth and migration.

In 2018, VET institutions admitted 45% (compared with 47% in 2017) of the total of those who have completed or left basic education (dropouts) and who wish to continue training or studies ([20]Statistics refer to both, initial VET and continuing VET institutions offering formal VET programmes.). Universities accounted for 29% of overall admissions (28% in 2017) and colleges – for 26% (25% in 2017)

The Lithuanian education and training system comprises:

  • general education at primary (ISCED 0-1), lower (ISCED 2) and upper secondary (ISCED 4) levels;
  • initial VET at lower (ISCED 2), upper (ISCED 3) and post-secondary (ISCED 4) levels;
  • tertiary level academic/university education (ISCED 6-8) and college-based higher VET programmes (ISCED 6);
  • continuing VET programmes providing formal qualifications at EQF levels 2-4 (ISCED 2-4) and other non-formal training courses.

Learners have the obligation to education and training until age 16. Basic education, attested by a lower secondary school leaving certificate, is necessary to access upper secondary programmes.

Compulsory (basic) education is completion of lower secondary education (ISCED level 2) and receiving a basic school certificate at EQF level 2. After completing basic education, learners can choose upper secondary general education or VET programmes at ISCED level 3 (leading to an EQF level 3 vocational qualification) or to an EQF level 4 vocational qualification and an upper secondary leaving certificate, also known as matura, which allows higher education access.

Access to VET programmes is possible for learners aged 14 or older. Those who fail to graduate from lower secondary education may enter VET programmes or youth schools at ISCED level 2 (respectively 254, 252) leading to EQF level 2 qualifications. At ISCED level 254, graduates receive also the basic school certificate and may move on to upper secondary programmes, either in the general or vocational streams.

Graduates of upper secondary programmes leading to a matura certificate (either vocational ISCED 354 or general education-oriented ISCED 344) may enter either post-secondary vocational training (ISCED 454) leading to EQF level 4 (EQF level 5 programmes are also being piloted); or higher VET programmes to acquire a professional bachelor (ISCED 655/EQF 6) or higher education (ISCED level 6 or 7) programmes leading to EQF level 6 or 7 respectively ([21]Adapted from Cedefop (2013). Vocational education and training in Lithuania: short description. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/publications/4128
).

As stipulated in the Law on Vocational Education and Training (1997, amended in 2007 and 2017), the VET system covers IVET ([22]IVET in the national context is used to refer to lower, upper and post-secondary education levels, Higher VET programmes (ISCED 655) are considered part of higher education.), CVET and vocational guidance ([23]Cedefop (2013). Vocational education and training in Lithuania: short description. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/publications/4128
).

 

Formal IVET and CVET programmes

Most IVET in Lithuania is school-based. The main aim of training is to prepare learners for work. In lower and upper secondary, VET programmes (ISCED 252 and 352) prepare learners for a VET qualification and access the labour market. In parallel, there are VET (ISCED 254 and 354) programmes that, in addition to the VET diploma, deliver a general education certificate allowing progression to the upper level studies. Access to post-secondary (ISCED 454) and college-based higher VET (ISCED 655) progression is possible for learners with the matura (end of upper secondary) certificate.

Formal CVET programmes are provided by labour market training centres offering in-company training (apprenticeships) to learners over 18 to refresh existing knowledge or acquire new skills leading to qualifications at EQF levels 2-4. Formal CVET is designed for people with different education attainment levels, from primary to post-secondary; in some cases, a vocational qualification or work experience is a prerequisite to access these programmes.

Learning forms in formal VET programmes (offered in both IVET and CVET) include:

  • school-based group learning, where a teacher-led group (class, joint class, VET group, subgroup, temporary group, special medical physical fitness group or other) is set up for a certain period. It can be implemented part time or remotely; and
  • individual learning, where, for a certain period, a student gets individual tuition, or s/he individually and periodically attends a group and/or individual teacher consultations. It can be implemented individually, independently or remotely;
  • apprenticeships in formal IVET programmes are available in a small scale, as this pathway is not established as a clear VET pathway. In apprenticeship-type delivery, the programme in total (theoretical and practical parts) should not exceed more than 48 hours per week in total (Labour code law effective as of July 2017;
  • in IVET work-based learning ([24]In the national context is referred to as 'practical training' either at a VET institution or an enterprise.) comprises 44% to 60% of the total time allocated to teaching vocational subjects, of which 8 to 15 weeks is organised in a company or school-based workshop simulating working conditions;
  • in formal CVET, practical training covers 60-80% of the programme. Training for jobseekers is provided on the basis of contracts concluded between local employment offices, the unemployed and, if applicable, the enterprise.

After the end of a VET programme, learners must take an exam after which a VET diploma is awarded.

Qualification exams are detached from the training process and are carried out by accredited institutions (different types of accredited assessment centres exist: including those established by social partners, enterprises and employers’ associations)

Non-formal VET programmes exist alongside with formal VET, for the unemployed and the (self-) employed. According to legislation the requirements for non-formal VET programmes and their implementation may be set by the organisation that requests training under these programmes or finances any such training. The objectives of the programme, admission criteria and duration are different and mostly depend on the target group. Decisions on tuition fees are made by providers. Non-formal adult education may be offered by any education provider, freelance teachers, and agencies, as well as companies or organisations that do not have education as their main activity but are authorised to provide education.

Non-formal VET is widely applied in continuing VET and is designed for the acquisition of a vocational qualification or individual competences. It is carried out in various forms: learning at the workplace, attending non-formal training courses, distance learning, etc. In most cases, the following three forms are used:

  • non-formal courses for the (self-) employed initiated by the employer. It is organised in various settings, using forms and programmes chosen by the employer. Some companies apply internationally-recognised sectoral qualifications and programmes;
  • state-funded training programmes for employees (such as civil servants and employees in certain economic sectors, for instance, healthcare, agriculture, etc.);
  • training courses for the unemployed and people notified of dismissal, this type of training is funded through a voucher system introduced in 2012 to finance training in formal and non-formal education programmes.

The Law on VET (2017) provides a legal basis for apprenticeship. It clarifies the provisions for apprenticeship organisation based on an apprenticeship labour contract (between the employer and the VET student) and a VET (learning) contract between the apprentice and the VET provider.

The Law on VET also states that sectoral professional committees should participate in planning the in-take of apprentices. However, apprenticeship has still not gained its position as a clear VET pathway and receives little attention from VET providers and companies.

The new Labour Code and accompanying legislation entering into force on 1 July 2017 introduces two types of apprenticeship contracts: with and without learning agreements.

For apprenticeships that are part of formal VET, the regulation stipulates employers’ responsibility to ensure that apprentices acquire the learning outcomes defined in the VET programme. The law specifies also the main conditions for apprenticeship delivery: work and learning time should not exceed 48 hours per week in total; apprentices’ salaries should not be less than a minimum wage; and learning time spent in the VET institutions would not be paid by the employer and should not exceed one third of the contract duration.

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

The Ministry of Education and Science is the main body responsible for shaping and implementing vocational education and training (VET) policy. The Ministry of Economy and Innovation ([25]http://eimin.lrv.lt/en/) participates in human resources development and VET policy. Other ministries and government bodies are involved in VET policy in the remit of their responsibilities (planning VET funding, managing enrolments in CVET upskilling programmes, etc.).

Following the new VET Law ([26]Republic of Lithuania, Law No XIII-888 amending Republic of Lithuania Law on Vocational Training No VIII-450 of 14 December 2017:
https://e-seimas.lrs.lt/portal/legalAct/lt/TAD/b0b6cda0eb0a11e7a5cea258c39305f6
), in force since February 2018, the Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre (MOSTA) ensures the monitoring framework for VET and higher education, research and innovation. It plans human resources and forecasts new qualification requirements in line with national policies and the needs of the economy ([27]Adapted from Cedefop (2018a). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Lithuania. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8121_en.pdf
).

The main tasks of the education ministry on VET delivery include:

  • human resources planning, continuing professional development of VET school teachers and tutors and vocational guidance for VET learners;
  • managing the list of accredited/licenced VET providers and accredited competence assessment bodies;
  • implementing formal initial VET/continuing VET programmes; guarantee quality of formal qualifications based on qualification standards; and monitor the national register of qualifications ([28]The register lists all formal VET qualifications (diplomas and certificates) and vocational qualifications programmes leading to such qualifications (Studijų, mokymo programų ir kvalifikacijų registras):
    https://www.aikos.smm.lt/en/StudyProgramm/SitePages/Study%20and%20Learning%20Programmes.aspx?ss=3f66a1ab-bcb9-4009-bdda-3e02a6fc2b63
    );
  • draw up investment programmes for IVET and other retraining programmes; run the funding system of VET schools (per capita financing) and approve student enrolment in state-funding VET programmes ([29]except for programmes of corrections officers VET and internal service VET institutions);

The Qualifications and VET Development Centre (KPMPC) organises development of qualifications standards and training programmes. It organises assessment and recognition of competences acquired in formal, non formal and informal learning thought competences assessment centres ([30]http://www.kpmpc.lt/kpmpc/profesinis-mokymas-3/kompetenciju-vertinimo-instituciju-akreditavimas/). It supervises and coordinates the work of sectoral professional committees.

The new VET law strengthened the role of sectoral professional committees (SPCs) ([31]Assuming the role of the previous central professional committee.), advisory bodies that ensure cooperation on VET delivery between all VET stakeholders in a particular sector. They are actively involved in shaping and assess new (modules of) vocational training programmes, create and approve sectoral qualifications standards (used to design new VET content), make proposals to the education ministry on qualifications that can be acquired through apprenticeships, new qualifications to be added in the national register of qualifications ([32]The register lists all formal VET qualifications (diplomas and certificates) and vocational qualifications programmes leading to such qualifications (Studijų, mokymo programų ir kvalifikacijų registras):
https://www.aikos.smm.lt/en/StudyProgramm/SitePages/Study%20and%20Learning%20Programmes.aspx?ss=3f66a1ab-bcb9-4009-bdda-3e02a6fc2b63).
) and validation arrangements.

Reforming VET management, financing schemes and quality assurance mechanisms is part of policy priorities and developments in progress to raise the prestige of VET and its attractiveness among all VET stakeholders (learners, VET teachers and trainers, companies).

Funding for IVET institutions by source (000) EUR

 

2014

2015

2016

2017

State budget

75.1

94.7

101.8

103.0

Private sources (physical and legal entities)

7.1

10.6

13.1

13.4

International organisations

17.8

9.9

4.5

4.7

Source: Statistics Lithuania, 2018.

Funding for formal IVET is allocated from the State budget. Training costs are calculated per student (per capita financing of vocational schools). The methodology determines the level of direct funding needed for training per learner enrolled in a formal training programme for one VET academic hour. The unit costs (the so-called ‘student basket’) include allocations for staff salaries and social insurance, in-service training of teachers and funding for the acquisition of various training resources, including practical training. The latter category is calculated using a coefficient that varies depending on the programme area.

Funding is allocated to the VET provider based on the actual number of learners multiplied by the number of hours for implementing the programme and costs of a training hour. Unit costs for learners with special needs are defined separately.

The share of funding from international organisations depends on the availability of European funds.

In addition, VET providers may receive funding from the State budget (annual investment programme) for infrastructure, updating training facilities, etc. Such developments could also be supported from other funds, including EU structural funds. VET providers may receive income from physical and legal entities for services provided (such as training courses, rent of premises). This income is used for education and training purposes.

Vocational guidance is integral part of the national VET system, as stipulated by legislation. It is funded from the ‘student basket’ (see above) and other national and local budgets, sponsors, etc. An ESF-funded project 2010-15 was used to fund guidance programmes and tools for 1 600 career guidance staff and 163 000 beneficiaries (VET learners).

Non-formal CVET for the self-employed and employees is funded by the enterprise or learner. According to national legislation in certain cases training can be sponsored by the State ([33]A company that needs to train a large number of employees to new technologies may apply to the Employment service or the Ministry of Social Security and Labour for funding such training actions for their staff to acquire the necessary technical skills.).

EU and enterprise funds are used to finance training of employees in the private sector. The ministry of economy and innovation is managing ESF funds. Measures include workplace-based training to upskill company employees and managers (ESF funds 2007-13); and two new projects being implemented in the period 2017-23 (ESF funds 2014-20): the competence voucher programme to train 42 000 private sector employees and the HR invest LT project to train employees of foreign companies based in Lithuania. Companies contributions vary from 30% (small-sized) or 40% (medium-sized companies) to 50% (large companies) of the total training cost.

Non-formal CVET for the unemployed is mainly covered from ESF support through the ‘training voucher’ scheme managed by local public employment services. A training voucher issued by the PES to an unemployed may be used, within the limits of its value, to fund an agreed training action, the beneficiary of the voucher may select a provider from those listed in the dedicated PES online website. CVET training of the unemployed is provided on the basis of two types of training contracts:

  • a bipartite VET contract between the unemployed person and the local PES: the unemployed person selects from a list of available VET programmes established based on labour market forecasts and employers surveys. After the completion of the training programme, the unemployed person undertakes to work in the position offered by the local PES for at least six months or start own business; or
  • a tripartite VET and employment contract (between the unemployed person, local PES and employer): a training programme and its provider are agreed with the employer. After the end of the training programme, the employer undertakes to employ the unemployed person for at least six months. If the actual costs of training exceed the limits established by the government, the difference is covered by the learner or the employer. The same procedure is applied to training persons notified of dismissal.

In 2014-20 up to EUR 84.6 million ESF funding are to be allocated in Lithuania for lifelong learning and VET: EUR 44.6 million for increasing the relevance and attractiveness of vocational and adult training to the labour market needs; and EUR 40 million for providing opportunities and incentives for life-long learning and ensuring efficient support.

The funding system for general education schools and VET institutions depends on the number of students which leads to competition between these two networks in attracting and keeping learners. The new Law on VET (2017) ([34]Republic of Lithuania, Law No XIII-888 amending Republic of Lithuania Law on Vocational Training No VIII-450 of 14 December 2017:
https://e-seimas.lrs.lt/portal/legalAct/lt/TAD/b0b6cda0eb0a11e7a5cea258c39305f6
) set the requirements for a new funding model for the entire VET system, implementing provisions are being developed. The new funding for VET combined with new VET programmes tailored on the basis of skills forecasts is expected to raise the attractiveness of VET.

Teaching personnel in IVET institutions

School year

Teaching personnel, total (*)

Of which, vocational teachers

Total

%

2015/16

3 507

2 011

57.3

2016/17

3 481

1 958

56.2

2017/18

3 263

1 822

55.8

(*) At the beginning of the school year.

Source: Statistics Lithuania database, 2018.

In IVET institutions there are two main types of teachers (see table above):

  • general education subject teachers;
  • vocational teachers. On average, vocational teachers represent more than half of all teaching personnel in IVET institutions.

In formal CVET programmes, theoretical or practical vocational content is provided by IVET teachers.

Apprenticeships in formal IVET/CVET are marginal and requirements for in-company tutors are not clearly defined in respective legislation.

VET institutions that focus on training the (un)employed, such as labour market training centres, may introduce in-company trainers (nationally referred to as apprenticeship tutors or practical training instructors). Private training providers offering training leading to formal VET qualifications need a licence from the Education ministry.

General requirements for all VET teachers are set by the 2011 Law on Education ([35]VET school teachers must either: (a) have attained a tertiary education level and a teacher qualification; or (b) have attained a tertiary education level (or a post-secondary education level prior to 2009, or a specialised secondary education level prior to 1995) and would then have to complete a 120-hour pedagogical-psychological course in basics of pedagogy, pedagogical psychology and didactics) during the first year of their placement as a VET teacher; or (c) have completed a VET programme, attained an upper secondary education level, acquired a vocational qualification, achieved a three-year work experience in a relevant field, and completed a pedagogical-psychological course.). VET teacher training follows a consecutive model whereby a vocational qualification is studied first, followed by studies on pedagogy.

VET teachers without a pedagogical qualification, irrespective of their educational attainment level, are offered a 120-hour course on pedagogy and psychology. These courses are organised by accredited institutions and companies.

Additionally, universities provide programmes for the pedagogical education of vocational teachers ([36]ISCED level 4 basic courses on pedagogy and psychology, ISCED level 6 programmes for subject teachers (mathematics, physics, languages, etc.).).

Since September 2018, a new teachers’ remuneration system has been put in place with a view to introducing more favourable payment conditions for (VET) teachers. Salaries are calculated not only for actual lessons but for all the time spent working. This will give teachers greater stability and security. The job consists of three components: contact hours (lessons, after-school activities, counselling, supervising students’ final projects), non-contact hours (preparation for lessons, assessment of achievements) and non-contact hours for the school community ([37]https://e-seimas.lrs.lt/portal/legalAct/lt/TAD/7f76a3f244d311e8b20ee1645...) (work with parents, guiding student pedagogical practical training and other efforts relevant to the school community).

Continuing professional development training courses for VET teachers in schools include topics such as creativity, distance learning methods, digitalisation of curricula, VET for special needs learners, as well as on training resources, mentorship, teaching methodologies and differentiation of learning.

In 2017, 764 vocational teachers and VET institutions’ managers attended training courses on such topics as empowerment of sectoral practical training centres, evaluation of learning outcomes, VET didactics, application of research in VET practice and other topics.

In October 2016, a national level project ([38]http://www.kpmpc.lt/kpmpc/projektai/vykdomi-projektai/projektas-profesij...) Development of the system for the development of vocational and adult teachers' qualifications was launched. It is coordinated by the Qualifications and VET Development Centre ([39]http://www.kpmpc.lt/kpmpc/profesinis-mokymas-3/kompetenciju-vertinimo-instituciju-akreditavimas/), under the responsibility of the education ministry ([40]Cedefop (2018b). Developments in vocational education and training policy in 2015-18: Lithuania. Cedefop monitoring and analysis of VET policies [unpublished].).

A joint EU-funded Baltic project is testing a joint training project for VET subject teachers in schools and in-company trainers. A pilot training programme run in 2017 with 56 VET schools and apprenticeships tutors trained.

More information is available in the Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspective on teachers and trainers ([41]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/teachers-and-trainers).

Since 2016, a monitoring system has been developed mapping occupational qualifications of skilled workers. It provides skills forecasts on future employment trends using a set of indicators approved by the education ministry (such as graduates tracking; number of people in employment and further education). These are used to inform education and lifelong learning policies and plan funding of public schools (VET schools and vocational guidance are state funded based on a per capita financing system, the so-called ‘student basket’).

Following the new VET law (in force since Feb 2018), the Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre (MOSTA) coordinates the monitoring framework for VET and higher education, research and innovation. Its first report (September 2018) presents trends in human resources development and a detailed analysis of skill needs per region; it also examines integration of skilled workforce into the labour market at the beginning of their career, and correspondence of HE and VET qualifications to the labour market needs ([42]https://www.mosta.lt/images/tyrimai/nauji_pav/HR-status-2018-ENG.pdf).

Medium-term forecasts are also being developed as part of a two-year ESF-funded project (2017-19) to monitor trends in employment and better matching of occupations and training programmes listed in the national register of qualifications ([43]The register lists all formal VET qualifications (diplomas and certificates) and vocational qualifications programmes leading to such qualifications (Studijų, mokymo programų ir kvalifikacijų registras):
https://www.aikos.smm.lt/en/StudyProgramm/SitePages/Study%20and%20Learning%20Programmes.aspx?ss=3f66a1ab-bcb9-4009-bdda-3e02a6fc2b63).
).

A methodical framework for the development of sectoral qualifications standards and VET curricula in line with the Lithuanian and European Qualifications Frameworks is under development ([44]The project runs under the on-going ESF-funded project for 2016-20 Development of the Lithuanian Qualifications System (first stage).): in total, 24 qualifications standards will be created defining the major qualifications offered at different levels and sectors.

See also Cedefop’s skills forecast ([45]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/skills-forecast) and European Skills Index ([46]https://skillspanorama.cedefop.europa.eu/en/indicators/european-skills-index).

From 2002, VET curricula in Lithuania have been competence-based, with clearly defined learning outcomes.

VET programmes are being gradually redesigned into modular programmes consisting of mandatory and optional units ([47]Cedefop (2018a). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Lithuania. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8121_en.pdf
).

Sectoral qualifications standards

To improve the Lithuanian qualification development system, qualifications standards were given a legal basis by legislation in 2007. They are developed for a particular economic sector and are use to describe the most important qualifications in the specific sector at different national qualifications (LTQF) levels. For each qualification the qualifications standard describes competences that are grouped into qualification units ([48]Sectoral qualification standards are available at:
https://www.e-tar.lt/portal/lt/legalAct/871e12205c0b11e79198ffdb108a3753 (in Lithuanian)
).

Since 2018, the education ministry (in charge of national qualification system policy) has delegated development of sectoral qualifications standards to the Qualifications and VET development centre ([49]The new VET law (2017) foresees that from 2019 on, qualifications standards shall be approved by director of Qualifications and VET Development Centre after sectoral professional committees have endorsed them.) through its 18 sectoral professional committees (SPCs), which have been set up to ensure effective social dialogue. SPCs operate in specific sectors of the economy (where skill mismatch ito ensure matching of skills demand and supply). When relevant, other ministries and governmental institutions participate in developing qualifications standards.

Till 2018, ten sectoral qualifications standards were designed ([50]Within the project Formation of qualifications and development of modular VET system implemented in 2010-15.) and 14 new standards in different sectors will be designed till the end of 2020 ([51]Trade; polygraph, mass media and advertisement; manufacture of computer, electronic, optical and electrical equipment and products; manufacture of chemicals and chemical products; manufacture of machinery and equipment and motor vehicles; financial, insurance and real estate activities and others.).

Sectoral qualifications standards are also used to assess the learning outcomes of a vocational qualification. Identifying qualifications standards in all sectors and at all qualification levels is necessary to improve permeability between different education levels ([52]From EQF level 2 VET qualifications up to EQF level 8 in higher education.) and flexibility in skill acquisition.

The MoES has delegated development of sectoral qualifications standards to the Qualifications and VET development centre ([53]The new VET law (2017) foresees that from 2019 on, qualifications standards shall be approved by director of Qualifications and VET Development Centre after sectoral professional committees have endorsed them.) through its 18 sectoral professional committees (SPCs) set up to ensure effective social dialogue. Sectoral professional committees are responsible for designing qualifications standards in specific sectors of the economy.

VET curricula design

Since 2010, the Qualifications and VET development centre (KPMPC) is responsible for designing or updating national modular VET programmes. Before a new programme is issued, sectoral professional committees are also consulted on sectoral qualifications standards used for developing the programme curricula (see above).

VET providers and enterprises can also initiate and design modular training programmes, but in this case the quality of the VET programme has to be evaluated by the Qualifications and VET development centre.

In 2018, 89 modular programmes are registered in the national register of qualifications ([54]The register lists all formal VET qualifications (diplomas and certificates) and vocational qualifications programmes leading to such qualifications (Studijų, mokymo programų ir kvalifikacijų registras):
https://www.aikos.smm.lt/en/StudyProgramm/SitePages/Study%20and%20Learning%20Programmes.aspx?ss=3f66a1ab-bcb9-4009-bdda-3e02a6fc2b63).
), of which 58 were implemented in the school year 2017/18 (47 in 2016/17), in the same year, 38% of VET learners were enrolled in such programmes (compared with 11% in 2016/17). New sectoral qualifications standards and modular programmes are being developed ([55]Under the ESF funded project for 2016-20: Development of the Lithuanian qualifications system (1st stage).); by 2020, 70 new programmes will be developed.

The national quality assurance approach for VET is set out in the VET quality assurance (QA) system concept (2008). The approach includes licensing and supervision of training providers, mandatory self-assessment by all VET providers, external evaluation of the quality of training programmes, support to VET providers (related training and counselling), and a national regulation on developing standards for learning outcomes. The 2017 Law on VET ([56]Republic of Lithuania, Law No XIII-888 amending Republic of Lithuania Law on Vocational Training No VIII-450 of 14 December 2017:
https://e-seimas.lrs.lt/portal/legalAct/lt/TAD/b0b6cda0eb0a11e7a5cea258c39305f6
) set the rules for quality assurance in line with the European Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training (EQAVET).

Internal quality management systems

The same QA arrangements apply for IVET providers as well as for CVET providers offering formal CVET programmes which are under the responsibility of the education ministry (MoES):

  • new national monitoring indicators were created in 2017 and are used to conduct annual forecasts ([57]As a result of an ESF-funded project launched in 2017 to improve skills forecasting in the labour market by linking the occupational groups under the Lithuanian classification of occupations with training programmes, and other related activities.);
  • most VET schools have introduced an ISO evaluation system adapted to education;
  • since 2018, a new system of supervisor and school assessment is under development (system of leadership promotion).

No specific requirements are in place for non-formal VET providers ([58]Cedefop (2018b). Developments in vocational education and training policy in 2015-17: Lithuania, p. 13. Cedefop monitoring and analysis of VET policies.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/vetpolicy-developments-lithuania-2017 ,
).

VET providers are free to choose their quality management model and to define periodicity and criteria for self-assessment.

The PDCA (plan-do-check-adjust) method is embedded into VET provision and is regarded as the backbone of VET quality assurance.

External evaluation and accreditation of VET providers

VET programmes have to follow qualifications standards. Training programmes are designed by the Qualifications and VET development centre (centrally) or by any other VET provider. In the latter case, the quality of the VET programmes must be checked by the Qualifications and VET development centre. If the VET programme receives a positive evaluation it is included in national register of qualifications ([59]The register lists all formal VET qualifications (diplomas and certificates) and vocational qualifications programmes leading to such qualifications: Studijų, mokymo programų ir kvalifikacijų registras:
https://www.aikos.smm.lt/en/StudyProgramm/SitePages/Study%20and%20Learning%20Programmes.aspx?ss=3f66a1ab-bcb9-4009-bdda-3e02a6fc2b63
). A licence to carry out a registered VET programme is issued to a VET provider if it has sufficient resources to implement the VET programme, and vocational teachers or candidates for vocational teachers meet the requirements prescribed in VET programmes and the Law of Education;

Monitoring framework for VET and HE (state level)

Following the 2017 VET Law, the Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre (MOSTA) ensures the monitoring framework for VET and higher education, research and innovation. It plans human resources and forecasts new qualification requirements in line with national policies and the needs of the economy.

A unified electronic system for admissions to HE and VET institutions is place (2017). It is run by LAMA BPO, the ‘Lithuanian higher institutions association for organizing Joint Admission’- LAMA BPO ([60]http://www.lamabpo.lt/). The association involves 19 universities, 21 colleges (providing higher VET programmes) and over 70 VET institutions.

Design and approval of sectoral qualifications standards -which are the basis of VET programmes - and assessment of learner achievements are under the sole responsibility of the Qualifications and VET Development Centre (KPMPC).

As of 2019 sectoral qualifications standards will be approved by the director of KPMPC ([61]Previously, sectoral qualifications stadards where approved by the Minister for Education and Science and the Minister for Economy.) after sectoral professional committees have endorsed them.

Several EQAVET indicators are used, including those on the destination of VET learners, the share of employed learners on completion of their training, and the mechanisms to identify training needs in the labour market ([62]Cedefop (2018b). Developments in vocational education and training policy in 2015-17: Lithuania, p.14. Cedefop monitoring and analysis of VET policies.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/developments-vocational-education-and-training-policy-2015-17-lithuania
).

Relevant divisions of the MoES supervise the teaching process and activities, and audit activities, while the State audit office performs random checks of VET institutions, during which the rationale of their activities is also analysed.

An independent system for validation of prior learning is being developed through a four-year ESF-funded project ([63]ESF 2018-22 project on the improvement of the system of assessment and recognition of competencies and qualifications otherwise acquired by individuals.) launched in 2018. It aims to improve the system of assessment and recognition of non-formal and informal learning and create monitoring and information tools for the assessment and recognition of prior learning.

Reforming the network of IVET and CVET providers

Funding for state schools (general or vocational ones) is calculated based on the number of students which leads to competition between the two types of school in attracting and keeping learners. Since 2015, a network of 42 sectoral practical training centres (SPTCs) was established in selected VET institutions to offer quality practical training in simulated environments using state-of-the-art technologies and equipment. The aim is to provide learners with skills valued in the (local) economy. These centres are open to VET and HE students, employees in enterprises, vocational teachers, etc. ([64]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/news-and-press/news/lithuania-42-modern-practical-training-centres-established). Recent study commissioned by the education ministry suggest that selected SPTCs should become ‘competence centres’ with extended responsibilities, including piloting new training methods and VET programmes; and supporting the continuing professional development of VET teachers and training.

Individuals, with at least one-year work experience and older than 18, can apply to VET institutions for recognition of their competences. The skills and knowledge of an applicant are defined on the basis of sectoral qualifications standards and relevant VET programmes. The applicant and the school then agree on a timetable of courses as necessary and a final qualification exam. Individuals who pass the exam organised by an accredited competence assessment institution are awarded a VET diploma.

When pursuing VET studies at a higher level, prior learning (or VET programme) is recognised as part of their training programme, affecting the duration of the programme.

Since 2018, the Qualifications and VET development centre is coordinating a four-year ESF-funded project ([65]https://www.kpmpc.lt/kpmpc/en/ivairiais-budais-igytu-kompetenciju-ir-kvalifikaciju-vertinimo-ir-pripazinimo-sistemos-tobulinimas/) for the development of the national system for assessing and recognising competences and professional qualifications. Within this project, several sectoral practical training centres (SPTCs) ([66]A total of 42 sectoral practical training centres (SPTCs) were established in selected VET institutions to offer quality practical training in simulated environments using state-of-the-art technologies and equipment. The aim is to provide learners with skills valued in the (local) economy. These centres are open to VET and HE students, employees in enterprises, vocational teachers, etc.) have been selected to become competences assessment centres for the assessment of individually acquired competencies. Employers and employers’ representatives will be involved in the project. The legal framework is subject to parallel changes to ensure that in the future competences assessment will be performed only through these SPTCs/competence centres, which will eventually replace the 31 accredited institutions (independent private companies or associated business organisations operating as assessment centres, in charge of the final assessment of VET learners). The project aim is to support the unemployed (including newly arrived migrants) to gain qualifications though validation of prior learning and recognition of professional qualifications. The project activities include the creation of reference material for validation of prior learning (such as a bank of competence assessment tasks), methodologies and methodological tools (with model tasks) for the assessment of competencies. It will enhance institutional capacity to assess competencies and/or qualifications otherwise acquired by individuals; and create monitoring and information tools for the assessment and recognition of the acquired competencies.

For more information about arrangements for the validation of non-formal and informal learning please visit Cedefop’s European database ([67]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/european-database-on-validation-of-non-formal-and-informal-learning).

Bringing GE and VET closer together

Raising the attractiveness of VET is a policy priority. In the upper secondary general education path (11th and 12th grades) learners may choose from optional technological modules in textile and clothing; applied art, crafts and design; tourism and nutrition technologies; construction and wood processing; business, management and retail trade; mechanics and repair. Also, some general upper secondary curricula include VET programmes modules. When learners continue their studies in VET, the above-mentioned fields and VET modules are recognised as part of their VET programmes.

Since 2010, a technology subject can be part (on an optional base) of the matura exams at the end of upper secondary general education. It is possible for learners in either general or vocational streams to replace one general education subject with the technology subject.

Measures to improve mobility between VET and higher education

VET graduates who have finished upper secondary education programmes and who choose to continue in higher education have a few advantages over students coming from general education. Selection criteria and procedures for ranking graduates who apply for higher education studies are defined annually in a specific regulation. This regulation awards an additional enrolment point for graduates from VET in the same field of studies who performed exceptionally, or who have at least one year of work experience in this field. This additional point increases their chances of being admitted to a state-funded study place in colleges (professional bachelor programmes) and universities (from 2018).

In addition, to enter higher education institution at least three matura exams have to be taken. For example, from 2016, Lithuanian language and mathematics exams are compulsory for those willing to receive state funding for their studies. For upper secondary VET graduates who want to enrol in technological higher education programmes (ISCED 655), the final qualification exam may be recognised as a third matura exam.

Many Initial VET institutions have agreements regarding continuation of VET graduates studies in higher education institutions. They also cooperate with higher education institutions (colleges, universities) in drafting programmes that ensure continuity of VET programmes at tertiary level.

Incentives for youth

VET to acquire a first qualification is free of charge. Initial VET learners may receive a student grant (EUR 10-29) and other material support. Based on data from Statistics Lithuania, around 51% of IVET learners received such a student grant in 2017. Socially disadvantaged learners who do not receive the grant are provided free meals and other material support.

Learners who do not live near the learning institution are provided with hostel accommodation. Based on data from the Centre for Information Technologies in Education, around 99% of those who need hostel accommodation receive it (Statistics Lithuania, 2017).

Training leave for employees

The Labour Code (Parliament, 2016) sets out training leave conditions for employees participating in a VET programme, to prepare and take exams and tests, for consultations, etc. All employees who join a continuing VET course in formal continuing VET programmes at a VET provider are entitled educational leave while retaining their average salary. Since 2015, according to the Labour Code, employees may be granted training leave for up to five working days per year to participate in non-formal adult education.

To support participation in continuing VET tax incentives, grant schemes, paid and unpaid training leave and payback clauses are applied.

Tax incentives for individuals for both formal and non-formal VET were introduced in 2008. Persons paying income tax may claim training expenditure in their annual tax return. Up to 25% of training expenditure can be deducted. When a studying resident of Lithuania is not an income tax payer or has no possibility to exercise the right to deduct expenditure for VET or studies from their own income, such expenses may be deducted from their parents’ or other family members’ income.

Tax incentives for legal entities have been in place since 2005. The Law on Corporate Income Tax (Parliament, 2002) allows deductions for continuing training courses of employees that are linked to their present occupation.

Financial incentives To finance continuing VET, enterprises and organisations may use the grant schemes available from EU structural funds.

Payback clauses for individuals and future employers were both introduced in 2005. The provisions of the Labour Code allow employers to claim compensation from an employee for the costs of training over the past year if they quit their job before a previously agreed time.

Guidance services and providers

As defined by the Vocational Guidance Act ([68]MoES and Ministry of Social Security and Labour (2012). Vocational Guidance Act. Valstybės žinios [Official Gazette], 2012, No 82-4284.
https://www.e-tar.lt/portal/lt/legalAct/TAR.1F89593BBB2C
) the main educational institutions that provide guidance services (career education, information and counselling) to their learners are general education schools and VET institutions.

Municipalities are responsible for organising and coordinating guidance services within their territory.

Nation-wide guidance and counselling is coordinated by the Lithuanian Students’ Non-Formal Education Centre. The centre is responsible for methodological assistance and advice to schools and educational support agencies and is involved in training career guidance staff. It ensures accessibility to modern guidance and counselling tools, and takes part in nationwide monitoring of guidance services for learners.

The Lithuanian Students’ Non-Formal Education Centre, together with the Centre for Information Technologies in Education, are responsible for providing quality information on learning opportunities and career planning on the main national web portal on learning opportunities, AIKOS ([69]Atvira informavimo, konsultavimo ir orientavimo sistema:
http://www.aikos/smm.lt
). This is an open information, guidance and counselling system, which addresses students, employees and guidance and counselling personnel. It informs on education and training programmes, providers, qualifications, occupations, admission rules, education and employment statistics. Other education institutions (pedagogical and psychological services, education support agencies, etc.) are involved in providing guidance services to the extent this is related to their functions and actual guidance needs of learners.

The Education Exchange Support Foundation manages the Euroguidance project and disseminates information on good practice examples in Lithuania and other European countries, new methods, creates various guidance and counselling tools and organises training seminars for guidance practitioners.

Local PES also provide vocational information and counselling services for jobseekers in addition to employment mediation. Youth labour centres of PES organise info-days on career issues, job fairs, Youth Guarantee promotion events and help students and graduates with finding a job or traineeship.

Organisation and funding

General education and VET institutions appoint a coordinator who manages guidance-related activities of career guidance staff, class or group tutors, teachers/vocational teachers, social pedagogues, psychologists, and other support staff.

In 2014, a career education programme was approved by the Minister for education and science for implementation in general education and VET institutions starting from September, 2014 ([70]MoES (2014). Lietuvos Respublikos švietimo ir mokslo ministro 2014 m. sausio 15 d. įsakymas Nr. V-72 ‘Dėl ugdymo karjerai programos patvirtinimo’ [Legal act regarding the programme for career education]. Teisės aktų registras [Register of legal acts], 29.4.2014, No 2014-04888.
https://www.e-tar.lt/portal/lt/legalAct/99c37290cf9011e3a8ded1a0f5aff0a9
). The programme aims to help learners develop career management skills. It can be integrated into primary, general lower and upper secondary and VET curricula and can take the form of optional subjects or extracurricular activities.

Vocational guidance is funded from the ‘student basket’ (see Section 9. VET financing mechanisms) and other national and local budgets, sponsors, etc. In 2010-15 an ESF project was carried out by the Students’ Non-Formal Education Centre during which more than 1600 career guidance staff was employed in GE and VET institutions and trained. Funding was also provided for the development of guidance programmes and tools. By this project more than 163 000 learners received guidance and counselling services.

Learners can acquire career-related information on learning and job opportunities through information systems and various other activities such as study visits, excursions, meetings with representatives of educational institutions, employers and other people and other events. Vocational activation (profesinis veiklinimas), during which visits to enterprises and lectures are organised, is regarded as one of the most important aspects. Learners are encouraged to experience and learn about different types of work, employment areas, specific characteristics of occupations and career paths. Vocational counselling services help learners to identify and discuss individual needs and preferences, and advise them on issues related to career planning, choice of training or studies, employment and job search.

Please see also:

Vocational education and training system chart

Tertiary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 6

Higher education

college studies,

3 years

ISCED 655

Professional bachelor - EQF level 6, ISCED 655 (Profesinio bakalauro studijos). Professional bachelor degree studies (tertiary non-academic education).
EQF level
6
ISCED-P 2011 level

655

Usual entry grade

13

Usual completion grade

16

Usual entry age

19+

Usual completion age

21

Length of a programme (years)

3 - (3 ½)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Higher VET is formally a part of higher education and includes three to three and half year college study programmes (ISCED 655).

(in the national context, IVET programmes are considered only those delivered in lower-, upper-secondary and post-secondary levels).

Is it continuing VET?

N

Information not available

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

According to the Law on VET a state-funded qualification can be done twice by a person (from EQF level 2 till level 8). If it is first or second qualification - it’s free of charge.

Is it available for adults?

Y

Learners aged 19+ may enter these programmes.

ECVET or other credits

3 years’ programme – 180 credits. One national credit corresponds to one ECTS credit.

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • full-time or
  • part-time
  • classroom-based learning
  • in-company learning

In terms of credits allocation:

  • compulsory subjects (141 credits),
  • specialisation subjects (15 credits),
  • general subjects of college studies (15 credits), and
  • optional subjects (9 credits).
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Work-based learning (in colleges or companies) covers at least one third of the study programme; from which (30 ECTS credits points) the practical placement in companies might last up to six months.

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

ISCED 655 programmes are accessible to learners over 18 (including those with special educational needs related to hearing impairment) having completed upper secondary education ([122]Basic education, attested by a lower secondary school leaving certificate, is necessary to access upper secondary programmes.).

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

HE VET is available to those having completed upper secondary education (awarded the matura certificate, or completed individualised or adapted secondary education programmes, for those who have special educational needs).

Assessment of learning outcomes

After the end of the programme, learners must take an exam after which a professional bachelor's diploma is awarded. The higher education institution organizes its own examinations according to the study outcomes set out in the study description.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Learners receive a Professional bachelor degree studies (Professional bachelor diploma - Profesinio bakalauro diplomas) at EQF level 6.

The diploma is recognised by the HE institutions and labour authorities.

Examples of qualifications

Software engineering (professional bachelor in informatics); tourism management (professional bachelor in business); management of cultural activity (professional bachelor in business).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates from post-secondary ISCED 454 programmes may:

  • enter the labour market; or
  • enter higher VET non-academic programmes delivered in colleges (a type of higher education institutions (EQF 6/ISCED 655); or
  • enter higher education academic programmes (EQF 6/ISCED 645, EQF 7/ISCED 746).
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

A higher education institution may include the results of student partial studies, formal, non-formal and informal learning in the scope of the study program.

General education subjects

N

Key competences

Y

  • communication in the mother tongue (Lithuanian)
  • foreign languages
  • social/civic competences
  • entrepreneurship
Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

All HE VET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

The national qualification system (LTQF) is based on learning outcomes / level descriptors defined according to two parameters: focusing on activity characteristics (complexity, autonomy and variability) and on types of competences (functional, cognitive and general) ([123]Source: Cedefop (2017) European inventory on NQF, 2016: Lithuania. Cedefop country specific report.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/lithuania_-_european_inventory_on_nqf_2016.pdf
).

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

Post-secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 4

Post-secondary VET,

WBL>60%,

1-2 years

ISCED 454

Initial VET programmes leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 454 (Profesinio mokymo programos turint vidurinį išsilavinimą). Post-secondary non-tertiary vocational education
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

454

Usual entry grade

13

Usual completion grade

14 or 15

Usual entry age

19+

Usual completion age

20 or 21

Length of a programme (years)

1-2

  
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?

Information not available

both IVET and CVET

Is it offered free of charge?

Yes and no

VET programmes to acquire a first qualification are provided free of charge ([115]According to the Law on VET a state-funded qualification can be done twice by a person (from EQF level 2 till level 8).)

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

30 to 110 credits depending on the programme complexity The scope of a formal VET programme was set by ministerial order in November 2018 ([114]Order of the Minister of Education and Science of 22 November 2018, No V-925, on approval of the description of the procedure for preparation and registration of vocational training programs.).

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • School-based group learning, where a teacher-led group (class, joint class, VET group, subgroup, temporary group, special medical physical fitness group or other) is set up for a certain period. It can be implemented part time or remotely; and
  • individual learning, where, for a certain period, a student gets individual tuition, or s/he individually and periodically attends a group and/or individual teacher consultations. It can be implemented individually, independently or remotely.
Main providers

The Law on VET stipulates that a VET provider may be any VET institution, a freelance teacher or any other provider (general education school, enterprise, organisation whose main activity is other than VET) authorised to develop and implement VET programmes. VET providers may accept learners and provide formal VET programmes after receiving a licence from the education ministry. VET providers may have licences for both IVET and CVET.

In 2017 formal IVET programmes were carried out by 70 state VET institutions and three private ones. 226 institutions, whose main activity is other than VET, specialise just in CVET.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>60%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • practical training at school (labs, school workshops)
  • on-the-job practice / apprenticeships

Work-based learning in the national context is referred to as 'practical training' either at a VET institution or an enterprise. Practical training in ISCED 454 VET programmes comprises 60% of the total time allocated to teaching vocational subjects, of which 8 to 15 weeks is organised in a company or school-based workshop simulating working conditions.

Main target groups

ISCED 454 programmes are accessible to learners over 18.

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

Post-secondary VET is available to those having completed upper secondary education (awarded the matura certificate) or completed individualised or adapted secondary education programmes (for those who have special educational needs).

Assessment of learning outcomes

VET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

After the end of a training programme, learners must take an exam after which a VET diploma is awarded.

Qualification exams are detached from the training process and are carried out by accredited institutions (different types of accredited assessment centres exist, including those established by social partners, enterprises and employers’ associations).

Diplomas/certificates provided

VET learners receive a vocational qualification (VET diploma - Profesinio mokymo diplomas at EQF level 4. ([116]In 2016 a new type of VET programmes (ISCED 454) leading to EQF level 5 qualifications was introduced and implemented as a pilot. In 2018 there are three programmes in the Study, training programmes and qualifications register (Studijų, mokymo programų ir kvalifikacijų registras.
https://www.aikos.smm.lt/en/StudyProgramm/SitePages/Study%20and%20Learning%20Programmes.aspx?ss=3f66a1ab-bcb9-4009-bdda-3e02a6fc2b63). Implementation of EQF level 5 programmes is still under discussions.
)

The VET diploma is recognised by the education and training and labour authorities.

Examples of qualifications

Electronic equipment adjuster; landscaper; scaffold builder; installer of pipelines ([117]https://www.kpmpc.lt/kpmpc/kvalifikaciju-formavimas/standartai-2/profesiniai-standartai/\)

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates from post-secondary ISCED 454 programmes may

  • enter the labour market; or
  • enter higher VET non-academic programmes delivered in colleges (a type of higher education institutions (EQF 6/ISCED 655); or
  • enter higher education academic programmes (EQF 6/ISCED 645, EQF 7/ISCED 746).
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

Qualification exams are detached from the training process and are carried out by accredited institutions. Applicants participating to the exam to acquire a formal VET qualification, may have their prior learning ([118]Non-formal vocational programmes, informal learning (work experience, self-study) or learning from other education programmes.) assessed and certified (credits) based on the VET standards set for the given qualification ([119]See also Section 8. VET governance and 14. Validation of prior learning.).

General education subjects

N

Key competences

N

There is an ongoing ESF-funded programme to develop key competences curricula in all VET programmes by end of 2019, new sectoral qualification standards/modular programmes on key competences are to be developed by 2020.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

All IVET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

The national qualification system (LTQF) is based on learning outcomes / level descriptors defined according to two parameters: focusing on activity characteristics (complexity, autonomy and variability) and on types of competences (functional, cognitive and general) ([120]Source: Cedefop (2017). European inventory on NQF, 2016: Lithuania. Cedefop country specific report.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/lithuania_-_european_inventory_on_nqf_2016.pdf
).

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

43.9% ([121]2017/18)

VET learners in post- secondary VET compared with the total number of learners enrolled in IVET programmes (lower, upper and post- secondary VET programmes).

Secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 2

Mainly school-based

programmes,

WBL>60%,

2-3 years

ISCED 252

Initial VET programmes leading to EQF level 2, ISCED 252 (Profesinio mokymo programos nesiekiantiems pagrindinio ugdymo). Lower secondary VET programmes open to learners over 14; training is mandatory until the age of 16.
EQF level
2
ISCED-P 2011 level

252

Usual entry grade

8

Usual completion grade

10-11 (after 2 or 3 years of studies)

Usual entry age

14

Usual completion age

17

Length of a programme (years)

2 to 3 years

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

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

VET programmes to acquire a first qualification are provided free of charge

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

60 credits/year.

The scope of a formal VET programme was set by ministerial order in November 2018 ([73]Order of the Minister of Education and Science of 22 November 2018, No V-925, on approval of the description of the procedure for preparation and registration of vocational training programs.); it may not be more than 110 credits.

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • School-based group learning, where a teacher-led group (class, joint class, VET group, subgroup, temporary group, special medical physical fitness group or other) is set up for a certain period. It can be implemented part time or remotely; and
  • individual learning, where, for a certain period, a student gets individual tuition, or s/he individually and periodically attends a group and/or individual teacher consultations. It can be implemented individually, independently or remotely.
Main providers

The Law on VET stipulates that a VET provider may be any VET institution, a freelance teacher or any other provider (general education school, enterprise, organisation whose main activity is other than VET) authorised to develop and implement VET programmes. VET providers may accept learners and provide formal VET programmes after receiving a licence from the education ministry. VET providers may have licences for both IVET and CVET.

In 2017 formal IVET programmes were carried out by 70 state VET institutions and three private ones. 226 institutions, whose main activity is other than VET, specialise just in CVET.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>60%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • practical training at school (labs, school workshops)
  • on-the-job practice / apprenticeships

Work-based learning in the national context is referred to as 'practical training' either at a VET institution or an enterprise. Practical training in ISCED 252 programmes comprises 60% of the total time allocated to teaching vocational subjects, of which 8 to 15 weeks is organised in a company or school-based workshop simulating working conditions

Main target groups

School-age learners and adults.

ISCED 252 VET programmes are designed to attract early leavers from education and training back into education or training to acquire a basic VET qualification.

Lower secondary two- or three- programmes (ISCED 252) do not lead to a basic education ([74]Basic education, attested by a lower secondary school leaving certificate, is necessary to access upper secondary programmes.) certificate. The main target group are adults and young people.

The two-year training programme is intended for those who have not acquired and do not seek to acquire basic education.

The three-year training programme is intended to provide a vocational qualification certificate for those with special education needs related to intellectual disabilities who have completed an individualised basic education programme, a social skills programme, an adapted basic education programme or an adapted secondary education programme.

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

There are no minimum entry requirements, but learners must be at least 14 to enrol. ISCED 252 VET programmes are intended for learners without a basic education ([75]Basic education, attested by a lower secondary school leaving certificate, is necessary to access upper secondary programmes.) certificate, either young people over 14 or adults.

Assessment of learning outcomes

After the end of a VET training programme, learners must take an exam after which a VET diploma is awarded. Qualification exams are detached from the training process and are carried out by accredited institutions (different types of accredited assessment centres exist, including those established by social partners, enterprises and employers’ associations).

Diplomas/certificates provided

ISCED 252 programmes are accessible to learners without a basic education ([76]Basic education, attested by a lower secondary school leaving certificate, is necessary to access upper secondary programmes.) certificate.

VET learners receive a VET diploma at EQF level 2 (Profesinio mokymo diplomas) in a two- or three-year programme ([77]The three-year programmes is is targeted at learners with special needs.) giving access to the labour market.

Formal qualifications are recognised by the education and training and labour authorities.

Examples of qualifications

Room cleaner, bread and cake maker, cook ([78]https://www.e-tar.lt/portal/en/legalAct/871e12205c0b11e79198ffdb108a3753).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

ISCED 252 programmes do not deliver a basic education certificate. Learners acquire a basic VET diploma giving access to the labour market.

Destination of graduates

information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

Qualification exams are detached from the training process and are carried out by accredited institutions. Applicants participating to the exam to acquire a formal VET qualification, may have their prior learning ([79]Non-formal vocational programmes, informal learning (work experience, self-study) or learning from other education programmes.) assessed and certified (credits) based on the VET standards set for the given qualification ([80]See also Section 8. VET governance and 14. Validation of prior learning).

General education subjects

N

Key competences

N

There is an ongoing ESF-funded programme to develop key competences curricula in all VET programmes by end of 2019, new sectoral qualification standards/modular programmes on key competences are to be developed by 2020.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

All IVET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

The national qualification system (LTQF) is based on learning outcomes / level descriptors defined according to two parameters: focusing on activity characteristics (complexity, autonomy and variability) and on types of competences (functional, cognitive and general) ([81]Source: Cedefop (2017). European inventory on NQF, 2016: Lithuania. Cedefop country specific report.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/lithuania_-_european_inventory_on_nqf_2016.pdf
).

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

12.1% ([82]2017/18) of VET learners are enrolled in lower secondary VET (ISCED 252 and 254 programmes) compared to the total number of learners enrolled in IVET programmes (lower, upper and post- secondary VET programmes).

No separate statistics are available for EQF level 2/ISCED 252 programmes.

EQF 2

Mainly school-based

programmes,

WBL >44%,

2-3 years

ISCED 254

Initial VET programmes leading to EQF level 2, ISCED 254 (Profesinio mokymo programos kartu su pagrindinio ugdymo programomis)
EQF level
2
ISCED-P 2011 level

254

Usual entry grade

8

Usual completion grade

10-11 (after 2 or 3 years of studies)

Usual entry age

14

Usual completion age

17

Length of a programme (years)

2 to 3 years ([83]Two years for young people over 14 with primary education only; three years for people with special education needs; one year, for adults with basic education (lower secondary school leaving certificate).)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Education is compulsory till 16 years of age

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

VET programmes to acquire a first qualification are provided free of charge.

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

60 credits /year

The scope of a formal VET programme was set by ministerial order in November 2018 ([84]Order of the Minister of Education and Science of 22 November 2018, No V-925, on approval of the description of the procedure for preparation and registration of vocational training programs.); it may not be more than 110 credits.

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • School-based group learning, where a teacher-led group (class, joint class, VET group, subgroup, temporary group, special medical physical fitness group or other) is set up for a certain period. It can be implemented part time or remotely; and
  • individual learning, where, for a certain period, a student gets individual tuition, or s/he individually and periodically attends a group and/or individual teacher consultations. It can be implemented individually, independently or remotely.
Main providers

The Law on VET stipulates that a VET provider may be any VET institution, a freelance teacher or any other provider (general education school, enterprise, organisation whose main activity is other than VET) authorised to develop and implement VET programmes. VET providers may accept learners and provide formal VET programmes after receiving a licence from the education ministry. VET providers may have licences for both IVET and CVET.

In 2017 formal IVET programmes were carried out by 70 state VET institutions and three private ones. 226 institutions, whose main activity is other than VET, specialise just in CVET.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>44%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • practical training at school (labs, school workshops)
  • on-the-job practice / apprenticeships

Work-based learning in the national context is referred to as 'practical training' either at a VET institution or an enterprise. Practical training in ISCED 254 VET programmes comprises 44% of the total time allocated to teaching vocational subjects, of which 8 to 15 weeks is organised in a company or school-based workshop simulating working conditions.

Main target groups

The main target group are school-age learners and adults.

VET ISCED 254 programmes are designed to attract early leavers from education and training ([85]Young people over 14 with primary education complete the programme in two years; adults with basic education complete the programme in one year.) back into education or training to acquire a basic VET qualification and a basic education ([86]Basic education, attested by a lower secondary school leaving certificate, is necessary to access upper secondary programmes.) certificate in two years.

The three-year training programme is intended for learners with special educational needs.

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

There are no minimum entry requirements but learners must be at least 14 years old to enrol.

ISCED 254 VET programmes are intended for learners without a basic education ([87]Basic education, attested by a lower secondary school leaving certificate, is necessary to access upper secondary programmes.) certificate, either young people over 14 or adults ([88]Adults with a basic education may also enrol and complete the programme in one year, then they take the exam to obtain the VET qualification; see also Section 24. Assessment.).

Assessment of learning outcomes

VET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

After the end of a training programme, learners must take an exam after which a VET diploma is awarded. Learners also received a basic education certificate ([89]Basic education, attested by a lower secondary school leaving certificate, is necessary to access upper secondary programmes.) upon the completion of the two- (or three-) year programme.

Qualification exams are detached from the training process and are carried out by accredited institutions (different types of accredited assessment centres exist, including those established by social partners, enterprises and employers’ associations).

The VET qualification obtained allows holders to perform a job or work function ([90]For example truck driver (job) qualification allowing the holder to work at high altitude or to carry heavy loads (work function).).

Diplomas/certificates provided

In ISCED 254 VET programmes learners receive a basic vocational qualification (VET diploma - Profesinio mokymo diplomas) giving access to the labour market and a basic education ([91]Basic education, attested by a lower secondary school leaving certificate, is necessary to access upper secondary programmes.) certificate allowing them to pursuit upper secondary studies.

The VET diploma is recognised by the education and training and labour authorities.

Examples of qualifications

Waiter; bricklayer; plumber ([92]Sectoral qualification standards:
https://www.kpmpc.lt/kpmpc/kvalifikaciju-formavimas/standartai-2/profesiniai-standartai/
).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates from ISCED 254 programmes may:

  • enter the labour market; or
  • continue their studies at EQF level 3 general education or VET programmes (prior VET knowledge may be recognised affecting the duration of the programme).
Destination of graduates
  • Share of those entering the labour market – information not available
  • Share of those moving on to further studies – information not availalbe
Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

Qualification exams are detached from the training process and are carried out by accredited institutions. Applicants participating to the exam to acquire a formal VET qualification, may have their prior learning ([93]Non-formal vocational programmes, informal learning (work experience, self-study) or learning from other education programmes.) assessed and certified (credits) based on the VET standards set for the given qualification ([94]See also Section 8. VET governance and 14. Validation of prior learning.).

General education subjects

Y

Programmes learners receive a basic vocational qualification (VET diploma - Profesinio mokymo diplomas) and a basic education certificate.

Key competences

N

There is an ongoing ESF-funded programme to develop key competences curricula in all VET programmes by end of 2019, new sectoral qualification standards/modular programmes on key competences are to be developed by 2020.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

All IVET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

The national qualification system (LTQF) is based on learning outcomes / level descriptors defined according to two parameters: focusing on activity characteristics (complexity, autonomy and variability) and on types of competences (functional, cognitive and general) ([95]Source: Cedefop (2017). European inventory on NQF, 2016: Lithuania. Cedefop country specific report.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/lithuania_-_european_inventory_on_nqf_2016.pdf
).

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

12.1% ([96]2017/18) of VET learners are enrolled in lower secondary VET (ISCED 252 and 254 programmes) compared to the total number of learners enrolled in IVET programmes (lower, upper and post- secondary VET programmes).

No separate statistics are available for EQF level 2/ISCED 254 programmes.

EQF 3

Mainly school-based

programmes,

WBL>60%,

2-3 years

ISCED 352

Initial VET programmes leading to EQF level 3, ISCED 352 (Profesinio mokymo programos, neįgyjant vidurinio išsilavinimo)
EQF level
3
ISCED-P 2011 level

352

Usual entry grade

11

Usual completion grade

12-13 (after 2 or 3 years of studies)

Usual entry age

18

Usual completion age

19 (20 for those with special education needs)

Length of a programme (years)

2 to 3 years

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

VET programmes to acquire a first qualification are provided free of charge.

Is it available for adults?

Y

Learners enter at age 18

ECVET or other credits

30 to 110 credits depending on the complexity of the programme. The scope of a formal VET programme was set by ministerial order in November 2018 ([97]Order of the Minister of Education and Science of 22 November 2018, No V-925, on approval of the description of the procedure for preparation and registration of vocational training programs.).

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • School-based group learning, where a teacher-led group (class, joint class, VET group, subgroup, temporary group, special medical physical fitness group or other) is set up for a certain period. It can be implemented part time or remotely; and
  • individual learning, where, for a certain period, a student gets individual tuition, or s/he individually and periodically attends a group and/or individual teacher consultations. It can be implemented individually, independently or remotely.
Main providers

The Law on VET stipulates that a VET provider may be any VET institution, a freelance teacher or any other provider (general education school, enterprise, organisation whose main activity is other than VET) authorised to develop and implement VET programmes. VET providers may accept learners and provide formal VET programmes after receiving a licence from the education ministry. VET providers may have licences for both IVET and CVET.

In 2017 formal IVET programmes were carried out by 70 state VET institutions and three private ones. 226 institutions, whose main activity is other than VET, specialise just in CVET.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>60%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • practical training at school (labs, school workshops)
  • on-the-job practice / apprenticeships

Work-based learning in the national context is referred to as 'practical training' either at a VET institution or an enterprise. Practical training in ISCED 352 VET programmes comprises 60% of the total time allocated to teaching vocational subjects, of which 8 to 15 weeks is organised in a company or school-based workshop simulating working conditions.

Main target groups

Upper secondary two- or three-year school-based VET programmes (ISCED 352) are accessible to learners having completed basic education ([98]Basic education, attested by a lower secondary school leaving certificate, is necessary to access upper secondary programmes.). They do not lead to an upper secondary general education matura certificate ([99]The matura certificate attests completion of upper secondary education and gives access to tertiary level programmes.).

The two-year training programme is accessible to both, young people (including those with special educational needs related to hearing impairment) or adults.

The three-year training programme is intended for those with special educational needs who have completed individualised basic education programme, social skills programme, adapted basic education programme or adapted upper secondary education programme.

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

Only holders of a basic education ([100]Basic education, attested by a lower secondary school leaving certificate, is necessary to access upper secondary programmes.) certificate may enter these programmes.

Assessment of learning outcomes

VET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

After the end of a training programme, learners must take an exam after which a VET diploma is awarded. Qualification exams are detached from the training process and are carried out by accredited institutions (different types of accredited assessment centres exist, including those established by social partners, enterprises and employers’ associations).

Diplomas/certificates provided

In ISCED 352 VET programmes learners receive a vocational qualification at EQF level 3 (VET diploma - Profesinio mokymo diplomas) giving access to the labour market.

The VET diploma is recognised by the education and training and labour authorities.

Examples of qualifications

Railroad builder; road worker; metal constructions assembler.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates from ISCED 352 programmes may:

  • enter the labour market.
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

Qualification exams are detached from the training process and are carried out by accredited institutions. Applicants participating to the exam to acquire a formal VET qualification, may have their prior learning ([101]Non-formal vocational programmes, informal learning (work experience, self-study) or learning from other education programmes.) assessed and certified (credits) based on the VET standards set for the given qualification ([102]See also Section 8. VET governance and 14. Validation of prior learning.).

General education subjects

N

Key competences

N

There is an ongoing ESF-funded programme to develop key competences curricula in all VET programmes by end of 2019, new sectoral qualification standards/modular programmes on key competences are to be developed by 2020.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

All IVET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

The national qualification system (LTQF) is based on learning outcomes / level descriptors defined according to two parameters: focusing on activity characteristics (complexity, autonomy and variability) and on types of competences (functional, cognitive and general) ([103]Source: Cedefop (2017). European inventory on NQF, 2016: Lithuania. Cedefop country specific report.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/lithuania_-_european_inventory_on_nqf_2016.pdf
).

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

43.7% ([104]2017/18)

of VET learners in upper secondary VET (ISCED 352 and 354 programmes) compared with the total number of learners enrolled in IVET programmes (lower, upper and post- secondary VET programmes).

No separate statistics are available for EQF level 3/ISCED 352 programmes.

EQF 4

Mainly school-based

programmes,

WBL>44%,

3 years

ISCED 354

Initial VET programmes leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354 (Profesinio mokymo programos kartu su vidurinio ugdymo programomis).
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

11

Usual completion grade

13

Usual entry age

18

Usual completion age

20

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

VET programmes to acquire a first qualification are provided free of charge ([106]According to the Law on VET a state-funded qualification can be done twice by a person (from EQF level 2 till level 8).).

Is it available for adults?

Y

Learners enter at 18.

ECVET or other credits

30 to 110 credits depending on the complexity of the programme.

The scope of a formal VET programme was set by ministerial order in November 2018 ([105]Order of the Minister of Education and Science of 22 November 2018, No V-925, on approval of the description of the procedure for preparation and registration of vocational training programs.).

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • School-based group learning, where a teacher-led group (class, joint class, VET group, subgroup, temporary group, special medical physical fitness group or other) is set up for a certain period. It can be implemented part time or remotely; and
  • individual learning, where, for a certain period, a student gets individual tuition, or s/he individually and periodically attends a group and/or individual teacher consultations. It can be implemented individually, independently or remotely.
Main providers

The Law on VET stipulates that a VET provider may be any VET institution, a freelance teacher or any other provider (general education school, enterprise, organisation whose main activity is other than VET) authorised to develop and implement VET programmes. VET providers may accept learners and provide formal VET programmes after receiving a licence from the education ministry. VET providers may have licences for both IVET and CVET.

In 2017 formal IVET programmes were carried out by 70 state VET institutions and three private ones. 226 institutions, whose main activity is other than VET, specialise just in CVET.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>44%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • practical training at school (labs, school workshops)
  • on-the-job practice / apprenticeships

Work-based learning in the national context is referred to as 'practical training' either at a VET institution or an enterprise. Practical training in ISCED 354 VET programmes comprises 44% of the total time allocated to teaching vocational subjects, of which 8 to 15 weeks is organised in a company or school-based workshop simulating working conditions.

Main target groups

ISCED 354 programmes are accessible to learners over 18 (including those with special educational needs related to hearing impairment) having completed basic education ([107]Basic education, attested by a lower secondary school leaving certificate, is necessary to access upper secondary programmes.).

Upper secondary vocational education with secondary education.

For students who have a basic education, 2-3 years, after which the qualification or the right to perform a job or work function is awarded after the acquired competences have been assessed and secondary education is acquired after maturity examinations.

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

Only holders of a basic education ([108]Basic education, attested by a lower secondary school leaving certificate, is necessary to access upper secondary programmes.) certificate may enter these programmes.

Assessment of learning outcomes

VET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

After the end of a training programme, learners must take an exam after which a VET diploma is awarded. Qualification exams are detached from the training process and are carried out by accredited institutions (different types of accredited assessment centres exist, including those established by social partners, enterprises and employers’ associations).

Learners pass an exam to obtain also the general education matura certificate giving access to higher education.

Diplomas/certificates provided

VET learners receive a vocational qualification (VET diploma - Profesinio mokymo diplomas) and the matura (Brandos atestatas) general education certificate at EQF level 4 giving access to higher education.

The VET diploma is recognised by the education and training and labour authorities.

Examples of qualifications

Guest service worker; barmen; confectioner ([109]https://www.e-tar.lt/portal/en/legalAct/871e12205c0b11e79198ffdb108a3753).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates from ISCED 354 programmes may:

  • enter the labour market; or
  • enter post-secondary EQF 4 (ISCED 454) programmes (prior VET knowledge may be recognised affecting the duration of the programme);
  • enter higher VET non-academic programmes delivered in colleges (a type of higher education institutions (EQF 6/ISCED 655);
  • enter higher education academic programmes (EQF 6/ISCED 645, EQF 7/ISCED 746).
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

Qualification exams are detached from the training process and are carried out by accredited institutions. Applicants participating to the exam to acquire a formal VET qualification, may have their prior learning ([110]Non-formal vocational programmes, informal learning (work experience, self-study) or learning from other education programmes.) assessed and certified (credits) based on the VET standards set for the given qualification ([111]See also Section 8. VET governance and 14. Validation of prior learning.).

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

N

There is an ongoing ESF-funded programme to develop key competences curricula in all VET programmes by end of 2019, new sectoral qualification standards/modular programmes on key competences are to be developed by 2020.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

All IVET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

The national qualification system (LTQF) is based on learning outcomes / level descriptors defined according to two parameters: focusing on activity characteristics (complexity, autonomy and variability) and on types of competences (functional, cognitive and general) ([112]Source: Cedefop (2017). European inventory on NQF, 2016: Lithuania. Cedefop country specific report.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/lithuania_-_european_inventory_on_nqf_2016.pdf
).

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

43.7% ([113]2017/18)

of VET learners in upper secondary VET (ISCED 352 and 354 programmes) compared with the total number of learners enrolled in IVET programmes (lower, upper and post- secondary VET programmes).

No separate statistics are available for EQF level 3/ISCED 354 programmes.

EQF 2-4

CVET

programmes

CVET programmes (Tęstinio profesinio mokymo programos)
EQF level
2-4
ISCED-P 2011 level

2 - 4

Usual entry grade

Information not available

Usual completion grade

Information not available

Usual entry age

18+

Usual completion age

Information not available

Length of a programme (years)

Up to one year

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

CVET training to acquire formal qualifications is part of the national VET system and delivers the formal VET qualifications at EQF levels 2-4 (ISCED 2-4).

Is it initial VET?

N

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

CVET programmes are offered for a fee, except for the unemployed and those at risk of unemployment whose training is supported from European structural funds (ESF) projects. CVET for the unemployed is funded by a voucher system, which allows them to choose their training provider.

Is it available for adults?

Y

Formal CVET courses are available to learners over 18.

ECVET or other credits

20 to 90 credits depending on the programme.

The scope of a formal VET programme was set by ministerial order in November 2018 ([125]Order of the Minister of Education and Science of 22 November 2018, No V-925, on approval of the description of the procedure for preparation and registration of vocational training programs.); it may not be more than 110 credits.

The volume of one year of formal vocational training is 60 learning credits. The scope of the formal vocational training program may not be less than 30 learning credits and more than 110 learning credits.

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • School-based group learning, where a teacher-led group (class, joint class, VET group, subgroup, temporary group, special medical physical fitness group or other) is set up for a certain period. It can be implemented part time or remotely; and
  • individual learning, where, for a certain period, a student gets individual tuition, or s/he individually and periodically attends a group and/or individual teacher consultations. It can be implemented individually, independently or remotely.
Main providers

Main providers of formal CVET programmes are labour market training centres offering in-company training (apprenticeships). Formal CVET is designed for people with different education attainment levels, from primary to post-secondary; in some cases, a vocational qualification or work experience is a prerequisite to access these programmes.

The Law on VET stipulates that a VET provider may be any VET institution, a freelance teacher or any other provider (general education school, enterprise, organisation whose main activity is other than VET) authorised to develop and implement VET programmes. VET providers may accept learners and provide formal VET programmes after receiving a licence from the education ministry. VET providers may have licences for both IVET and CVET.

In 2017 formal IVET programmes were carried out by 70 state VET institutions and three private ones. 226 institutions, whose main activity is other than VET, specialise just in CVET.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

60-80%

Formal CVET programmes (accessible to learners over 18) average duration up to one year leading to recognised vocational qualifications EQF levels 2-4. In CVET, practical training covers 60-80% of the programme.

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • practical training in labour market training centres
  • on-the-job practice / in-company training (apprenticeships)
Main target groups
  • programmes for the unemployed
  • programmes for those notified of dismissal

Training for the unemployed and for those who have been notified of dismissal is organised via formal CVET programmes listed in the national register of qualifications ([126]The register lists all formal VET qualifications (diplomas and certificates) and vocational qualifications programmes leading to such qualifications (Studijų, mokymo programų ir kvalifikacijų registras):
https://www.aikos.smm.lt/en/StudyProgramm/SitePages/Study%20and%20Learning%20Programmes.aspx?ss=3f66a1ab-bcb9-4009-bdda-3e02a6fc2b63).
). The local public employment service ([127]PES: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=105&langId=en) is responsible for training the unemployed. The unemployed and those notified of dismissal are referred to training providers, which they have chosen from the list published on the public employment service website.

Training programmes are organised taking into account the specific needs of employers. Most unemployed persons follow programmes agreed with employers, who are obliged to hire the unemployed persons for a period of at least six months after training. Where it is agreed with the employer, practical training is organised at the workplace.

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

Entry requirements are included in the program (the basic curriculum is linked to 3 LTQF level, and secondary education programmes to 4 LTQF level).

Assessment of learning outcomes

VET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

After the end of a training programme, learners must take an exam after which a VET diploma is awarded. Qualification exams are detached from the training process and are carried out by accredited institutions (different types of accredited assessment centres exist, including those established by social partners, enterprises and employers’ associations).

Diplomas/certificates provided

VET learners receive a vocational qualification (VET diploma - Profesinio mokymo diplomas).

The VET diploma is recognised by the education and training and labour authorities.

Examples of qualifications

Water treatment plant operator; Building insulator; Beer maker; Confectioner ([128]Vocational training program base:
https://www.kpmpc.lt/programos.html
).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

After completing a formal CVET programme learners may enter the labour market.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

Qualification exams are detached from the training process and are carried out by accredited institutions. Applicants participating to the exam to acquire a formal VET qualification, may have their prior learning ([129]Non-formal vocational programmes, informal learning (work experience, self-study) or learning from other education programmes.) assessed and certified (credits) based on the VET standards set for the given qualification ([130]See also Section 8. VET governance and 14. Validation of prior learning).

General education subjects

N

Key competences

N

There is an ongoing ESF-funded programme to develop key competences curricula in all VET programmes by end of 2019; new sectoral qualification standards/modular programmes on key competences are to be developed by 2020.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

All VET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

The national qualification system (LTQF) is based on learning outcomes / level descriptors defined according to two parameters: focusing on activity characteristics (complexity, autonomy and variability) and on types of competences (functional, cognitive and general) ([131]Source: Cedefop (2017). European inventory on NQF, 2016: Lithuania. Cedefop country specific report.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/lithuania_-_european_inventory_on_nqf_2016.pdf
).

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

Information not available

VET available to adults (formal and non-formal)

Programme Types
Not available

General themes

VET in Bulgaria comprises the following main features:

  • VET governance is multi-layered (national, regional, local);
  • there are four  VET qualification levels (ranging from EQF [1]European qualifications framework for lifelong learning (EQF). The European qualifications framework for lifelong learning is a common European reference framework whose purpose is to make qualifications more readable and understandable across different countries and systems. Covering qualifications at all levels and in all sub-systems of education and training, it provides a comprehensive overview over qualifications in the 39 European countries currently involved in its implementation. The core of the European qualifications framework. is its eight reference levels defined in terms of learning outcomes, i.e. knowledge, skills and autonomy-responsibility. Learning outcomes express what individuals know, understand and are able to do at the end of a learning process. Countries develop national qualifications frameworks (NQFs) to implement the European qualifications framework. The implementation of the European qualifications framework was based on the Recommendation on the European qualifications framework for lifelong learning adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 23 April 2008(EC 111/01/2008). A revised and strengthened Recommendation on the European qualifications framework (EC/189/03/2017) was adopted on 22 May 2017 by the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council. The purpose of this revised recommendation is to ensure the continuity as well as a further deepening of the European qualifications framework.
    level 2 to EQF level 5);
  • dual VET (introduced in 2014) remains a major challenge for the country;
  • state educational standards play a major role in shaping qualifications and curricula.

Distinctive features [2]Adapted from Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Bulgaria. Luxembourg: Publications Office. http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8120_en.pdf

VET is provided at secondary and post-secondary (non-tertiary) levels. There are more learners in VET compared with general education: 51.7% of the total secondary education population in 2017 and 54,5 % in 2018. Secondary general education schools may also open VET classes by a special order of the Education Minister. This option is popular in small towns and rural areas.

Since 2016/17, secondary education has been offered in two stages. This improves access to VET, as learners may now choose their education path also after completing grade 10.

In the national context, the term initial VET is only used to refer to programmes leading learners to their first qualification, such as textile worker qualification at EQF levels 2 or its part.

VET programmes are pursued afterwards; for example, textile production operator and textile technician qualifications at EQF level 3 and 4 are considered continuing VET.

According to the pre-school and school education act and the VET act, the acquisition of vocational qualifications is regulated by State educational standards. These standards exist for most VET qualifications. VET qualifications at all levels (EQF 2 to 5) are learning outcomes based.

Following the European credit system for VET (ECVET) [3]https://ec.europa.eu/education/resources-and-tools/the-european-credit-system-for-vocational-education-and-training-ecvet_en
principles, recent qualifications comprise units of learning outcomes, although a credit system is not yet fully established.

The legal basis for validation of non-formal and informal learning in VET has been in place since 2015 and procedures and quality assurance criteria have been developed. Implementation of the Bulgarian qualifications framework will ease putting validation arrangements in place.

 

To make VET more responsive to labour market needs, the pre-school and school education act (2015), which covers VET, increased the responsibility of local and regional authorities.

The reform increased their role in planning VET intake and defining occupations, funding staff salaries, organising vocational training for the unemployed, and equipping VET schools.

Employer organisations are also becoming more actively involved in implementing VET. Since the 2016 amendments to the VET act, they can propose changes to the list of VET qualifications.

Since the introduction in 2015/16, some schools have started offering dual VET programmes. Several pilot projects supporting dual training aim at expanding the training offer in cooperation with business and public authorities from Bulgaria and abroad. Measures, including specialised forums, media campaigns and events, help attract learners and motivate employers to become involved in dual VET that is still mostly project-based.

To address quality concerns, the Ministry of Education and Science is adopting the European quality assurance reference framework (EQAVET). The 2015 quality assurance regulation mandates VET providers for adult training to organise self-assessment based on a set of indicators.

The government is strengthening initial training and continuing professional development opportunities for VET teachers and trainers to motivate more young people to enter the profession. The new system helps them to keep up with technological innovation and modern teaching methods, and allows for faster career advancement linked to performance.

The 2015-17 VET strategy action plan proposes ways to address the challenges: modularisation, more flexible VET provision, and better and more easily accessible career guidance services. Its implementation is also likely to contribute to raising adult participation in learning, which is currently among the lowest in the EU.

There is a high level of skills mismatch. According to the NSI business inquiries in March 2019 37.0% of the industrial enterprises pointed out the labour shortages a factor limiting their activity. In comparison with the same period of previous year (March 2018) the value of the indicator increased by 4 p.p. to 33.3%.

Data from VET in Bulgaria Spotlight 2018 [4]Adapted from Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Bulgaria. Luxembourg: Publications Office. http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8120_en.pdf

Population in 2018: 7 050 034 [5]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 28.1.2019

It decreased by 3.2% since 2013 due to negative natural growth and migration [6]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 30 in 2015 to 63 in 2060.

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

Source: Eurostat, proj_15ndbims [extracted on 24.01.2019]

Demographic changes have an impact on vocational education and training (VET). Participation in secondary education has been decreasing. This has led to optimisation of a school network aiming at better efficiency while safeguarding the quality. Since the academic year 2013/14, the number of VET schools has decreased by 11.9% up to 2018/19. However the number of VET centres has increased by 12.4% for the same period. Adjustments will continue in line with demographic trends.

 

Main economic sectors:

  • manufacturing;
  • wholesale and retail trade;
  • construction;
  • public administration;
  • agriculture, forestry and fishing;
  • transportation and storage.

Export comprises mainly manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, miscellaneous manufactured articles, food and live animals, chemical and mineral fuel, beverages and tobacco.

Not many occupations/professions are regulated and the labour market is considered flexible.

Total unemployment [7]Percentage of active population, 25 to 74 years old.
(2018): 4.9% (6% in EU-28); it decreased by 0.1 percentage point since 2008 [8]Eurostat, une_rt_a [extracted 20.5.2019]. 
.

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

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

Unemployment is distributed unevenly between those with low and high-level qualifications. The gap has increased after the crisis as unskilled workers are more vulnerable to unemployment. People with low qualifications are more likely to be unemployed. In 2018, the unemployment rate of people with medium-level qualifications, including most VET graduates (ISCED levels 3 and 4) is back to the levels of the pre-crisis years.

Employment rate of 20 to 34-year-old VET graduates increased from from 77.6% in 2014 to 84.6% in 2018.

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

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

The increase (+7 pp) in employment of 20-34 year-old VET graduates is lower compared to the increase in employment of all 20-34 year-old graduates (+7.7 pp) in the same period in Bulgaria [9]NB: Data based on ISCED 2011; breaks in time series. ISCED 3-4 = upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education; Eurostat, edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019]. 
.

The share of the population aged up to 64 with higher education (28.2%) places Bulgaria below the EU28 average. The share of those with low or without qualifications places Bulgaria (17.4%) almost in the middle of EU-28 Member States.

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
3.7% 50.7% 100%

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011.

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

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

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

Traditionally there are more females (53.2% for 2018) in VET [10]http://www.nsi.bg/en/content/4921/persons-who-attained-professional-qualification-level-vocational-training
. Females enrol more often in economics and administration programmes (the most popular options), services (tourism, hotels and restaurants) as well as design and clothing industry. Males prefer programmes related to computer systems and coding (the most popular options), transport, agriculture, economy, construction. 

The share of early leavers from education and training has decreased from 14.7% in 2009 to 12.7% in 2018. It is 2.1 pp above the EU-28 average and also above 11.0%, the national country target.

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].

Dropout rate from VET (%)

 

Lifelong learning offers training opportunities for young people and adults.

Participation in lifelong learning in 2014-18

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

Participation in lifelong learning in Bulgaria has slightly increased in the past decade. However, it is well below the EU28 average (with 2.5% participation in lifelong learning in 2018). Increasing participation is one of the biggest challenges that the country faces.

Information not available

The education and training system comprises:

  • primary and lower secondary education (1, 2 and 3);
  • secondary education comprises general (profiled) (ISCED 344 and 341) and VET programmes (ISCED 351 and 354) in two subsequent stages: the first (3-year, grades 8-10) and the second (2-year, grades 11-12). It is compulsory for learners until they reach age 16. At the end of stage two, learners who pass State matriculation examinations (matura) (Bulgarian language in addition to another subject or – for VET learners – State qualification examination) receive a secondary education diploma (EQF level 4) and certificate for VET qualification after successful passing the State qualification examination. Others receive a certificate for the completion of secondary education with access to vocational training for adults but not to higher education. VET programmes provide graduates with general education diploma in addition to a VET qualification certificate;
  • post-secondary non-tertiary VET (ISCED level 4);
  • higher education (ISCED levels 6, 7 and 8);
  • apprenticeships, internships and dual VET (range of VET qualifications ranging from  ISCED 351 to 454).

Primary and lower secondary education (grades 1-7) is compulsory [11]Education is compulsory till the age of 16.  
. Primary education starts at age seven and is provided by State, municipal and private schools. There are no VET programmes at this level. Graduates may continue to general or vocational secondary education. In 2016/17, all general secondary education programmes became ‘profiled’, i.e. they specialise on a selected subject, for example, mathematics, natural sciences or foreign languages.

Secondary education comprises general (profiled) (ISCED 344 and 341) and VET programmes (ISCED 351 and 354) in two subsequent stages: the first (3-year, grades 8-10) and the second (2-year, grades 11-12). It is compulsory for learners until they reach age 16. At the end of stage two, learners who pass State matriculation examinations (matura) (Bulgarian language in addition to another subject or – for VET learners – State qualification examination) receive a secondary education diploma (EQF level 4) and certificate for VET qualification after successfully passing the State qualification examination. Others receive a certificate for the completion of secondary education with access to vocational training for adults but not to higher education. VET programmes provide graduates with a general education diploma in addition to a VET qualification certificate.

Higher education comprises the following programmes:

  • professional bachelor (ISCED 655, EQF level 6; NQF level 6a);
  • bachelor (ISCED 645, EQF level 6; NQF level 6b);
  • master’s (ISCED 766, 767, EQF/ NQF level 7);​
  • PhD (ISCED 864, EQF/ NQF level 8). 

School based VET is provided only at a secondary level. Until August 2016, the lowest level of qualification could also be acquired in lower secondary education programmes. Out-of-school adults (16+) can still acquire the lowest VET qualification level (VET qualification level 1, EQF level 2) before secondary education.

Secondary VET aims at obtaining a vocational qualification but also comprises a general education part that is required to acquire a secondary education diploma.
Vocational education and training complies with the requirements of the State educational standards and consists of theory and (study and production) practice.

Post-secondary, non-tertiary vocational qualifications (ISCED 2011 level 4, EQF level 5) can be acquired only by people with completed secondary education. The acquired qualification at this level provides access to the labour market.

Examples of such qualifications are company manager, hotel manager, restaurant manager as well as sports and military/defence qualifications.

Training in real work environment: apprenticeships, internships, dual VET

There are several types of training in real work environment.

In 1992, so-called apprenticeships for employees were introduced. They often guarantee a job at the end of training, according to the contract with the employer. The duration of this type of apprenticeships is up to six months.

In 2014, internships were introduced for young people (up to 29 years old) who have already acquired a VET qualification (or higher education degree) but have no work experience in the profession. The duration of internships is between six and 12 months.

Since 2014, dual VET has started to evolve. It allows learners to acquire VET qualifications. The practical training in a company alternates with periods of theoretical training in a school or another VET provider. In-company trainers (mentors) are responsible for the practical training.

For adult learners the following options are available in order to acquire a VET qualification:

  • 300 hours for EQF level 2;
  • 660 hours for EQF level 3;
  • 960 hours for EQF level 4;
  • 1 260 hours for EQF level 5.

The legal framework distinguishes six types of initial and continuing VET (IVET and CVET) programmes, defines age and entry requirements, and regulates content and duration.

There are several types of training in real work environment.

In 1992, so-called apprenticeships for employees were introduced. They often guarantee a job at the end of training, according to the contract with the employer. The duration of this type of apprenticeships is up to six months.

In 2014, internships were introduced for young people (up to 29 years old) who have already acquired a VET qualification (or higher education degree) but have no work experience in the profession. The duration of internships is between six and 12 months.

Since 2014, dual VET has started to evolve. It allows learners to acquire VET qualifications. The practical training in a company alternates with periods of theoretical training in a school or another VET provider. In-company trainers (mentors) are responsible for the practical training. They are required to have a VET or higher education qualification and at least three years of professional experience.

More information for Bulgaria is available at: http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/apprenticeship-schemes/country-fiches/bulgaria

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 stakeholders are the following:

  • the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria – implements the legislative activity in the field of VET;
  • the Council of Ministers sets out the government policy in the field of VET;
  • the education ministry manages, coordinates and implements the VET policy;
  • the labour ministry participates in the implementation of the national VET policy;
  • the culture ministry implements the VET policy in art schools;
  • the sports ministry implements the VET policy in sports schools;
  • the health ministry participates in the coordination of the list of professions;
  • the sectoral ministries are involved in the development, coordination and updating of the State educational standards for the acquisition of qualifications; in the development, coordination and updating of the list of professions; in coordinating the admission plan for schools, funded by them;
  • the employers’ representatives participate in the development, coordination and updating of the State educational standards for the acquisition of qualifications, the legislative framework and policy documents, as well as in the updating of the list of professions and in organising and conducting qualification examinations;
  • the Economic and Social Council discusses and makes proposals with regard to issues, related to education, including VET in the context of lifelong learning;
  • the National Council for Tripartite Cooperation discusses and gives opinions on draft legislation regarding employment and vocational qualification and thus participates in the formulation of VET policy. The Council is composed on the tripartite principle. It is a body for consultations and cooperation at a national level for labour, social insurance and living standard issues, consisting of two representatives of the government (of whom one is the Vice Prime Minister), two representatives of trade unions and two representatives of employers’ organisations;
  • the National Council for Vocational Qualifications at the labour ministry coordinates the development of national policies and strategies for training for unemployed and employees, leading to the acquisition of professional qualifications;
  • the National Council for the Promotion of Employment at the labour ministry is also constituted on the tripartite principle. Its functions are to discuss and give opinions regarding the development and implementation of the employment policy and the national action plan for employment.
  • the National Agency for Vocational Education and Training (NAVET) is a specialised body within the Council of Ministers. The Agency develops the State educational standards for the acquisition of VET qualifications; it maintains the list of professions according to the needs of the labour market; it licenses and exercises further control over the activities of VET institutions for people over 16 years of age and over the activities of vocational guidance providers;
  • the Employment Agency implements the State policy on promoting employment and provides career information, counselling and training for employees and unemployed;
  • the Human Resource Development Centre is a national agency, which coordinates the management and administration of the EU Erasmus+ Programme;
  • the National Inspectorate of Education is a new structure (2018). The Inspectorate does not exercise control over the activities of directors and teachers in schools and kindergartens. In fact, the inspection, performed by the inspectorate, is the process of preparing a comprehensive independent assessment of the quality of services provided by kindergarten or school education at some point of their Activities, based on criteria and indicators, grouped into fields.

At regional level:

  • the regional administration participates in the implementation of the government policy for employment and acquisition of VET qualifications;
  • the Regional Employment Service Directorates implement the government policy for training of unemployed and employed adults for acquiring a vocational qualification; they offer training measures and projects; provide coordination and support in the field of vocational training, consultancy of and guidance for the local employment offices;
  • the regional management units of the education ministry (territorial administrative units of the education ministry, situated in the 28 district centres) implement the State policy in the field of VET at a regional level through projects, programmes and strategies for development, functioning and improvement of VET at a district level;
  • the permanent and temporary employment committees to the Regional Councils for regional development identify, organise and control the implementation of the State policy on the promotion of employment and training for acquiring a vocational qualification at a regional level.

At local level:

  • the municipalities participate in the development of a VET policy within their territories regarding: the employment needs for vocational guidance and training of students, unemployed and other groups; the necessary equipment of schools, vocational training providers and centres for information and guidance through funds from the municipal budget;
  • the Labour Offices of the Employment Agency provide career services: career information; advice and guidance for inclusion in the appropriate program/measure for employment and training;
  • the Cooperation Councils at the Labour Office Directorates monitor the implementation of programmes and measures included in the national action plan for employment.

According to the VET Act, sources of financing for State and municipal schools, vocational training centres for information and vocational guidance and training centres for trainers are:

  • the State budget;
  • the municipal budget;
  • donations;
  • own revenue;
  • national and international programmes;
  • other sources.

Funding mechanism for secondary VET schools is based on financial resources delegated to schools per student and varies between EUR 1 000 and 1 500 per year per student depending on the specifics of the VET programmes delivered.

The financing of vocational training offered after secondary education is provided by individuals under the terms and conditions set by the education minister. The training is financed by:

  • learners;
  • employers;
  • the State budget (active labour market policy);
  • EU programmes (mainly ESF).

Secondary VET is mostly State-financed. Private VET schools may also apply for State funding. However, only 11 out of 350 VET schools were private in 2017/18. 

Most (over 90%) adult VET providers are private. They may also receive public financing. In 2016, self-financing of training courses by learners was the most common source (53.49%) followed by employer financing (29.14%) and funding through national or European public resources (16.83%).

In VET there are:

  • general subject teachers;
  • vocational subject teachers;
  • trainers who work in vocational centres;
  • mentors for training that takes place at enterprises.

The qualification requirements are set by the relevant legislation. Strategic documents also contain provisions for teachers and trainers.

The required qualification of teachers in general studies subjects is a Master's, Bachelor's or Specialist /Professional Bachelor (national qualifications framework level 6A, European qualifications framework level 6) higher education degree acquired in:

  • a specialty of a professional field corresponding to the relevant school subject with a professional qualification in teaching;
  • a specialty of another professional field and additional professional qualification in teaching in the relevant school subject.

There is no special training provided to teachers in general studies subjects in respect of their work at vocational schools, since the mandatory general education background for a certain educational level is the same for all types of schools in the country.

Teachers in a vocational training subject must hold a Master, Bachelor or Specialist higher education degree in:

  • specialties of vocational fields corresponding to the professions on the list of professions for vocational education and training taught at the relevant school and an additional professional qualification in teaching;
  • specialties of a professional field corresponding to the professions taught at the relevant school. This is applied in cases where specialists working in companies or prominent experts in the respective field are invited to participate in vocational training at VET institutions, with the aim to provide up to date specialised knowledge and improve the link with practice and increase the attractiveness of VET.

The required qualification of trainers at vocational training centres is laid down in the State educational requirements by professions in the ‘Requirements to trainers’. A trainer is required to be a university graduate with a Master or Bachelor educational degree in a specialty corresponding to the professional field out of the list of professions for vocational education and training wherein the profession to be taught has been classified. There is no requirement for additional pedagogical qualifications for trainers at vocational training centres.

The conditions for professional development of staff within the public education system (in-service training) and also the procedures for acquiring professional qualification levels are set by Regulation No 5 (1996) [12]Ordinance No 12, active as of 1.9.2016: https://www.mon.bg/upload/2333/naredba_12_01.09.2016_prof_razvitie_uchiteli.pdf
.

There are five professional qualification levels (highest being level one) and three types of teachers positions that depend on the experience and qualifications. These are: a teacher, a senior teacher and a head teacher- . The Ordinance No 12 (2016) sets the terms and conditions for acquisition of such position, the conditions for continuing teachers' qualification on the base of credit points. Training is provided by the approved training providers which are registered in the teachers training programmes informational system of the education ministry [13]http://iropk.mon.bg/

VET teacher's profession isn’t attractive in Bulgaria.
The decrease of VET teachers aged up to 34, the fact that the profession was amongst those with high demand (12 420 vacancies), together with the steady increase of the relative share of older VET teachers (aged 60+) poses a risk of staff shortage in the next 20 years.

The 2016 Ordinance No 12 [14]https://www.mon.bg/upload/2333/naredba_12_01.09.2016_prof_razvitie_uchiteli.pdf
 regulates the statute and the professional development of the teachers, school headmasters and pedagogical staff. According to the ordinance, teachers (including VET teachers) are required to improve their competences continuously.

Teachers receive a certificate for continuing training or specialisation credit points. Sixteen training hours (academic) equals to one credit point. At least three credit points in acquired in external programmes are compulsory for each period of appraisal in addition to one credit point per year acquired in the institution they work. The credit system ensures opportunities for accumulation, recognition and transfer of credits (for the forthcoming periods, or in case of change of school, in application for higher qualification level). Teachers, headmasters and other pedagogical staff now have to create and maintain their professional portfolio.

According to the State requirements (Ordinance 162/1997), the basic training of teachers (10 hours) is designed so as to include obligatory practical training, which is carried out through doing teacher observation (60 hours), ongoing teaching practice (60 hours) and an internship (100 hours).

The ongoing teaching practice relates to participation in the organisation of the educational process under the direct supervision of a teacher at the higher education institution. The internship for people who would like to work as teachers is carried out under the supervision of a mentoring secondary education teacher and a teacher at the higher education institution.

European funds have been used for continuing vocational training of teachers.

More information is available in the Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspective on teachers and trainers [15]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/teachers-and-trainers
.

The demand for qualifications is forecasted based on the macro-economic model (for medium and long-term forecasts) and the annual employer skill needs survey (for short-term forecasts).

The labour ministry is responsible for skills forecasting for medium and long term forecasts and the Employment Agency – for short term forecasts which are based on the employer skill needs survey provided twice in the year in accordance with the Employment Promotion Act.

Medium- and long-term forecasts take into account the demographic trends and changes in the educational attainment of the labour force and in the structure of the economy.

They provide information on labour demand and supply by:

  • level of education (basic, secondary or higher); 
  • economic activity;
  • profession;
  • structural shortage/surplus of labour by education level.

Since 2018, the Employment Committees of the Regional Development Councils biannually collect, process and submit to the Employment Agency information on the employers' demand for the labour force.

See also Cedefop’s skills forecast [16]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/skills-forecast
and European Skills Index [17]https://skillspanorama.cedefop.europa.eu/en/indicators/european-skills-index
.

VET qualifications are classified in the list of professions by education field, vocational area, occupation and specialty.

According to the Pre-school and School Education Act [18]https://www.mon.bg/bg/57
 and the VET Act [19]https://www.navet.government.bg/bg/media/ZPOO-2018-1.pdf
, the acquisition of vocational qualifications is regulated by the State educational standards. The national agency for VET designs the standards in coordination with the relevant ministries and departments, and the education minister endorses them. The standards are by occupation (profession).

State educational standards are developed in units of learning outcomes. They include:

  • requirements for the candidates – minimum entry level qualification and education requirements for pupils and adults;
  • option for validation of professional knowledge, skills and competences;
  • opportunities for continuing vocational training;
  • description of profession – with core working activities, responsibilities, job conditions specification, used equipment and tools, special requirements etc.
  • opportunities for professional development according to the national classification of professions and occupations;
  • units of learning outcomes for general, sectoral and specific vocational training– with defined knowledge, skills and expected competences;
  • defined assessment tools for theoretical and practical skills;
  • execution of the examination conditions;
  • assessment criteria;
  • requirements for training facilities;
  • requirements for trainers.

The approach for development of State educational standard in units of learning outcomes implements the principles of the European credit system for vocational education and training (ECVET) recommendation since 2016. The standards are mandatory for VET programmes leading to nationally recognised qualifications, also for adults.

In the beginning of 2019 NAVET’s methodology guidelines for development of State educational standards were revised. In addition of core development process there were included two more options:

  • collecting information for the profession from employers' organisations by online questionnaires
  • consultation with branch employers ( before the final acceptance), according to development or updating the standards

The up-to-date State educational standards are available for free use on the websites of the education ministry and the national agency for VET [20]http://www.mon.bg and http://www.navet.government.bg
.

Each time that the State educational standards are amended, vocational training centres are obliged to update the relevant training programmes and curricula.

The curricula are based on framework programmes [21]Framework programmes include: general provisions, including the regulatory basis, the aim and purpose of the programme; requirements: entry (age, medical, previous education and qualification level), career and education pathways, form(s) of training (day full time, evening, part-time,  individual, distance, dual, self-learning); curriculum; training module content (theoretical and practical); graduation requirements (State examinations for full qualifications and final examinations for partial qualifications).
 and on the State educational standards for VET.

The education ministry develops the compulsory part of the VET curricula for new professions or forms of learning in VET schools.

VET teachers and employers support designing the curricula.

School-specific curricula part is designed by VET providers for each programme in order to reflect the specificities of the local labour market.

Curricula for VET schools comprise a training schedule, subject distribution between general and vocational parts, graduation requirements, explanatory notes, etc. to ensure the achievement of the learning outcomes.

Vocational training centres develop their own training programmes that take account also of prior learning. These programmes are evaluated (licenced) by the national agency for VET.

Since 2018, in the amended VET Act, the requirement to update modules in VET curriculum once every five years was added.

The Pre-school and School Education Act (2015, in force since August 2016) and the VET Act (2014)) establish the process of quality management, including VET. The quality management is a continuous process of organisational development based on its analysis, planning, implementation and evaluation. The evaluation is performed through self-assessment and inspection. It aims at preparing the internal evaluation of the quality of provided education through operations, procedures and criteria set by schools. It is carried out under terms and conditions determined by the State educational standard for quality management in the institutions.

The process follows these steps:

  • establishing a working group;
  • defining activities, procedures, criteria, indicators and tools;
  • contacting learners, teachers and parents;
  • performing self-assessment and analysing the results that may lead to recommendations;
  • preparing and validating the report.

The inspection is a process of preparing an overall independent expert evaluation of the education quality in schools at a given moment and guidelines for improvement. At least one inspection should be carried out in each school every five years.

All VET providers have to introduce an internal system for quality assurance to meet the requirement of the standards.

This system comprises:

  • policy and goals for quality assurance;
  • quality management responsibilities;
  • rules for the system’s implementation;
  • annual schedule for self-assessment;
  • rules and procedures for measuring the quality achieved through self-assessment.

A significant role is given to the improvement of the working environment, learning outcomes, interaction with the local community stakeholders, social partners, employers' organisations and universities, and staff training. The education ministry supports and monitors the implementation of quality assurance in VET schools and the national agency for VET in vocational training centres.

In 2014, the validation of informal and non-formal learning outcomes was introduced by the amendments to the VET Act [22]https://www.mon.bg/bg/57
.

The validation of knowledge, skills and competences acquired in non-formal and informal learning is regulated by Ordinance No 2/2014 (in force since 1.1.2015) [23]https://www.mon.bg/bg/59
, approved by the minister of education and science.

VET providers organise the validation for professions and specialties that are included in the list of professions for VET [24]https://www.mon.bg/bg/100053
.

Introducing a new approach for the development of State educational standards, based on units of learning outcomes in 2015 [25]https://www.mon.bg/bg/100305
, made the validation process more transparent.

Applicants present the evidence for the learning outcomes they possess in order to acquire a full or partial qualification allowing their access to vocational training and/or to the labour market.

The methods for assessing the learning outcomes are essentially identical to those for assessing knowledge, skills and competences applied in formal education and training.

Two types of certificates can be issued as a result of the validation:

  • a certificate validating a full qualification. By means of examination it certifies that all units of learning outcomes defined in the State educational standard have been achieved;
  • a certificate validating a part of vocational qualification (partial qualification). It certifies through an examination that one or several units of learning outcomes included in the State educational standard have been achieved.

Holders of these certificates have the same rights as those who have attained corresponding certificates through the formal education system.

Validation procedures are monitored by the regional education authorities and national agency for VET.

They also consult and guide providers methodologically.

Validation procedures can be funded by beneficiaries (individuals), companies and projects.

Validation fee for individuals cannot exceed the actual expenditure incurred by a provider.

For more information about arrangements for the validation of non-formal and informal learning please visit Cedefop’s European database [26]https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/2016_validate_BG.pdf
.

VET is attractive because after graduation learners receive both a diploma for secondary education (giving access to higher education) and a certificate for vocational qualification.

Allowances, grants, vouchers and travel subsidy

Secondary VET learners may receive grants:

  • performance scholarships are awarded to learners with high learning achievements;
  • social allowances support access to education and prevent early leaving from VET of disadvantaged learners, e.g. with special education needs or orphans.

The grants are offered on a monthly basis and vary between 5% and 15% from the minimal national salary.

Learners in dual VET receive monthly remuneration from the companies they are trained in based on their contract. In addition, secondary VET learners can participate in ESF projects for work-based learning where they can also receive an additional grant of EUR 150.

A person (employed or unemployed) may have only one training voucher for key competences and one for VET training during the implementation of the programme:

  • at EQF level 2 – EUR 300;
  • at EQF level 3 – EUR 600;
  • at EQF level 4 – EUR 900.

All secondary VET learners are entitled to receive discounts when using public transport, including trains and in-city public transport. The discount can be up to 60% and is decided by each municipality.

According to the VET Act, provision of training is free of value added tax for companies.

Financial support for offering dual VET

Employment Promotion Act foresees financial benefits for employers for creating training places (jobs) for the unemployed. State budget pays remuneration, social security and health insurance for apprentices for up to 36 months. It also covers the costs of the training institution that provides theoretical lessons to an apprentice and mentoring costs.

According to the VET Act the system of vocational education and training includes vocational guidance, vocational education and vocational training.

The institutions, which provide vocational guidance for students are structured on regional principle for 28 regions.

The responsible institution for licensing centres for information and vocational guidance for adults is NAVET.

Up to 31.12. 2018, 48 centres for information and vocational guidance for adults were licensed.

The regional employment service directorates, which are part of the employment agency, provide vocational guidance to the unemployed individuals and for those, who wish to change their current job.

The employment service directorates provide  vocational guidance services in the form of:

  • in person vocational consultation;
  • vocational consultation in groups.

The main goals of these services are to support individuals in making the right choice in terms of entering the labour market or choosing a suitable VET programme, the level of vocational qualification – initial or continuous and the options for acquiring the desired qualification.

Please see:

Vocational education and training system chart

Tertiary

Programme Types
Not available

Post-secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 5

Post-secondary VET,

up to 2 years,

WBL: min. 50%,

FP: D (Г)

 

 ISCED 453

Initial/Continuing VET programmes leading to EQF level 5, ISCED 453 (РАМКОВА ПРОГРАМА Г за професионално обучение с придобиване на четвърта степен на професионална квалификация)
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

453

Usual entry grade

12

Usual completion grade

12+

Usual entry age

18+

Usual completion age

18+

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

For State owned schools

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • school-based learning (contact studies, including virtual communication with the teacher/trainer);
  • work practice (practical training at school and in-company practice);
  • apprenticeships.
Main providers
  • Schools
  • Enterprises
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

<=70%

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

Programmes are available for people who have completed upper secondary education.

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

This type of VET is available only for people who have completed secondary education.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Learners need to pass a vocational qualification examination.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Graduates receive certificate for vocational qualification for EQF level 4 (Свидетелство за професионална квалификация - 4 СПК).

The learners may also ask to receive a Europass certificate supplement to the certificate.

The document is recognised by the labour market.

Examples of qualifications

Company manager, hotel manager, restaurant manager as well as sports and military/defence qualifications [43]As described in national context.
.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Those who complete VET can enter the labour market.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

According to Art. 40, para 1 of the VET Act, ‘Validation of professional knowledge, skills and competences is the identification and recognition of professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired through non-formal education or self-study and their compliance with the State educational requirements for acquiring qualification in professions’.

The validation procedure is carried out for professions and specialties included in the list of professions for vocational education and training under Art. 6 of the VET Act. The validation procedure starts with an application submitted by the person to the director of the institution entitled to carry out the validation. In order to prove the acquired professional knowledge, skills and competences declared for validation, the person shall submit copies of documents held by him/her together with the originals for reconciliation – workbook, service book, social security book, education diploma, attestations, references, certificates from previous professional trainings, artefacts, photos of artefacts, etc.

Validation procedure includes informing the person requesting validation about the purposes, validation procedures and their sequence, identifying the professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired by the person and recognition of a degree of professional qualification or of qualification for part of a profession.

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

Information not available

Secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 2

Mainly school-based VET,

3 years,

WBL: min. 70%,

FP: A (A)

 

ISCED 351

Initial VET programmes leading to EQF level 2, ISCED 351 (Рамкова програма А за начално професионално обучение с придобиване на първа степен на професионална квалификация)
EQF level
2
ISCED-P 2011 level

351

Usual entry grade

8

Usual completion grade

10

Usual entry age

13

Usual completion age

16

Length of a programme (years)

2

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

In Bulgaria education is mandatory till the age of 16.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

This framework programme is only for initial VET.

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

For State owned schools

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • daily
  • evening
  • extramural
  • distance learning
  • work based training
  • individual
  • self-learning

The most common learning form is daily form.

Main providers
  • schools
  • schools in partnership with enterprises.
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>=70%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • practical training at school – when the school uses its own base for practical training
  • in-company practice - when learners go to external companies for practical training
Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

This VET programme is appropriate for those learners who wish an early entry to the labour market.

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

The requirements for enrolment in VET programmes are minimum age, health condition, previous education and qualification level.

The minimum required age is :

  • 13 (in the year of application) for vocational gymnasiums and schools;
  • 16 for vocational training centres.

The health condition of the applicant is certified by a medical certificate proving the fitness for the selected occupation.

Minimum entry requirements for VET learners:

  • for current learners - grade 6;
  • for newly enrolled learners (after 2016) -basic education, secondary education, stage 1, grade 7 for learners with special educational needs.

Minimum entry requirements for individuals above the age of 16:

  • for current learners: primary education or literacy course,  grade 7 for learners with special educational needs;
  • for newly enrolled learners (after 2016): primary education or literacy course, grade 7 for learners with special educational needs.
Assessment of learning outcomes

To complete this type of VET programme learners need to pass a State qualification examination: (for theory and practice of the occupation.

The education ministry develops and approves national examination programmes for the State qualification examinations. They include guidelines for content of the exam, task assignments and assessment criteria.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Graduates receive:

  • certificate for completed first stage of secondary education (Удостоверение за завършен първи гимназиален етап на средно образование);
  • certificate for vocational qualification for EQF level 2 (Свидетелство за професионална квалификация - 1 СПК). The learners  may also ask to receive a  Europass certificate supplement to the certificate;
  • competence certificate (Свидетелство за правоспособност) – if applicable for the particular qualification.

All these documents are recognised by the education system and by the labour market.

Examples of qualifications

Welder, turner, worker in the food industry [30]As described in national context
.

These three qualifications are included in the list of specialties from professions with expected shortage of specialists on the labour market, approved by the Council of Ministers in 2018.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

The graduates may continue their studies to the second stage of secondary education and VET qualification at EQF level 3 or 4, or can enter the labour market. However progression in either VET or general education is subject to different prerequisites, rather than completion of this VET programme.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

According to Art. 40, para 1 of the VET Act, ‘Validation of professional knowledge, skills and competences is the identification and recognition of professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired through non-formal education or self-study and their compliance with the State educational requirements for acquiring qualification in professions’.

The validation procedure is carried out for professions and specialties included in the list of professions for vocational education and training under Art. 6 of the VET Act. The validation procedure starts with an application submitted by the person to the director of the institution entitled to carry out the validation. In order to prove the acquired professional knowledge, skills and competences declared for validation, the person shall submit copies of documents held by him/her together with the originals for reconciliation – workbook, service book, social security book, education diploma, attestations, references, certificates from previous professional trainings, artefacts, photos of artefacts, etc.

Validation procedure includes informing the person requesting validation about the purposes, validation procedures and their sequence, identifying the professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired by the person and recognition of a degree of professional qualification or of qualification for part of a profession.

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Y

This type of VET programme includes modules for:

  • entrepreneurship;
  • foreign language and communication;​
  • ICT (digital competences).
Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

<=5% [31]2018/19. Share of learners compared to the total number of secondary VET learners.

EQF 3

Mainly school-based VET,

4 years, 

WBL: min. 60%,

FP: B (Б)

 

ISCED 351

Initial/Continuing VET programmes leading to EQF level 3, ISCED 351 (Рамкова програма Б за начално и продължаващо професионално обучение с придобиване на втора степен на професионална квалификация)
EQF level
3
ISCED-P 2011 level

351

Usual entry grade

8

Usual completion grade

11

Usual entry age

13 - Minimum age of the candidate in the year of application

Usual completion age

17

Length of a programme (years)

4

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

In Bulgaria education till the age of 16 is mandatory.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

This framework programme is applicable for both IVET and CVET.

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

For State owned schools

Is it available for adults?

Y

It is available for adult learners who cover minimum entry requirements.

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • daily 
  • evening
  • extramural
  • distance learning
  • work based training
  • individual
  • self-learning

The most common learning form is daily form.

  • Apprenticeship is available after the age of 16 (grades 11-12).
Main providers
  • schools;
  • schools in partnership with enterprises.
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>=60%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • practical training at school – when the school uses its premises for practical training
  • in-company practice – when learners go to external companies for practical training
Main target groups

This VET programme is appropriate for learners who wish to enter the labour market holding a recognised professional qualification and also for those who wish to continue their studies at EQF level 4.

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

The requirements for enrolment in VET programmes are minimum age, health condition, previous education and qualification level.

The minimum required age is 13 (in the year of application) for vocational gymnasiums and schools.

The health condition of the applicant is certified by a medical certificate proving the fitness for the selected occupation.

There is no limitation for maximum age.

Completed basic education is also a prerequisite for this type of programme for current learners.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Vocational education finishes with State qualification examinations: for theory and practice of the occupation.

The education ministry develops and approves national examination programmes for the State qualification examinations. They include guidelines for content of the exams, task assignments and assessment criteria.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Graduates receive:

  • certificate for vocational qualification for EQF level 3 (Свидетелство за професионална квалификация - 2 СПК). The learners may also ask to receive a Europass certificate supplement to the certificate;
  • competence certificate (Свидетелство за правоспособност) – if applicable for the particular qualification.

All these documents are recognised by the education system and by the labour market.

Examples of qualifications

Waiter, cook, hair dresser [32]As described in national context.
.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

The graduates may continue their studies at second stage of secondary education and VET qualification at EQF level 4, or can enter the labour market. However progression in either VET or general education is subject to different prerequisites, rather than completion of this VET programme.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

According to Art. 40, para 1 of the VET Act, ‘Validation of professional knowledge, skills and competences is the identification and recognition of professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired through non-formal education or self-study and their compliance with the State educational requirements for acquiring qualification in professions’.

The validation procedure is carried out for professions and specialties included in the list of professions for vocational education and training under Art. 6 of the VET Act. The validation procedure starts with an application submitted by the person to the director of the institution entitled to carry out the validation. In order to prove the acquired professional knowledge, skills and competences declared for validation, the person shall submit copies of documents held by him/her together with the originals for reconciliation – workbook, service book, social security book, education diploma, attestations, references, certificates from previous professional trainings, artefacts, photos of artefacts, etc.

Validation procedure includes informing the person requesting validation about the purposes, validation procedures and their sequence, identifying the professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired by the person and recognition of a degree of professional qualification or of qualification for part of a profession.

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Y

There are subjects for:

  • entrepreneurship;
  • foreign language and communication;​
  • ICT (digital competences).
Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

Information not available

EQF 3

Mainly school-based VET,

1 year,

WBL: min. 60%,

FP:B (Б)

 

ISCED 351

Initial/Continuing VET programmes leading to EQF level 3, ISCED 351 (РАМКОВА ПРОГРАМА Б за начално и продължаващо професионално обучение с придобиване на втора степен на професионална квалификация)
EQF level
3
ISCED-P 2011 level

351

Usual entry grade

11

Usual completion grade

12

Usual entry age

17

Usual completion age

17

Length of a programme (years)

1

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

In Bulgaria education is mandatory till the age of 16.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

It is part of formal education and training system.

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

This framework programme is applicable for both IVET and CVET.

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

For State owned schools

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • daily
  • evening
  • extramural
  • distance learning
  • work based training
  • individual
  • self-learning

The most common learning form is daily form.

  • Apprenticeship is available after the age of 16 (grades 11-12).
Main providers
  • schools
  • schools in partnership with enterprises
  • vocational training centres
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>=60% - Min 60% - The share of practical training for these qualifications that require the performance of a complex set of activities (NQF/ EQF level 3) is no less than 60%.

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • practical training at school
  • in-company practice – when learners go to external companies for practical training
  • practical training at school – when the school uses its own premises for practical training
Main target groups

Programmes are available for individuals above the age 16.

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

The requirements for enrolment in VET programmes are minimum age, health condition, previous education and qualification level.

The minimum required age is 13 (in the year of application) for vocational gymnasiums and schools.

The health condition of the applicant is certified by a medical certificate proving the fitness for the selected occupation.

Previous education requirements are at least a completed grade or stage from the basic or secondary education, completed initial stage of the lower secondary education or a successfully completed literacy course under the Employment Promotion Act.

For the particular programme stage 1 of secondary education and VET qualification level 2 is a prerequisite for admission – for newly enrolled learners (after 2016).

Assessment of learning outcomes

Vocational education finishes with State qualification examination: The examination is both theoretical and practical and is relevant to the occupation.

The education ministry develops and approves national examination programmes for the State qualification examination. They include guidelines for content of the exams, task assignments and assessment criteria.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Graduates receive:

  • certificate for vocational qualification for EQF level 3 (Свидетелство за професионална квалификация - 2 СПК). The learners may also ask to receive a  Europass certificate supplement to the certificate;
  • competence certificate (Свидетелство за правоспособност) - if applicable for the particular qualification.

All these documents are recognised by the education system and by the labour market.

Examples of qualifications

Assistant trainer in sports, system programmer, tourist guide [33]As described in national context.
.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

The graduates may continue their studies to the second stage of secondary education and VET qualification at EQF level 4, or can enter the labour market. However progression in either VET or general education is subject to different prerequisites rather than the completion of this VET programme. 

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

According to Art. 40, para 1 of the VET Act, ‘Validation of professional knowledge, skills and competences is the identification and recognition of professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired through non-formal education or self-study and their compliance with the State educational requirements for acquiring qualification in professions’.

The validation procedure is carried out for professions and specialties included in the list of professions for vocational education and training under Art. 6 of the VET Act. The validation procedure starts with an application submitted by the person to the director of the institution entitled to carry out the validation. In order to prove the acquired professional knowledge, skills and competences declared for validation, the person shall submit copies of documents held by him/her together with the originals for reconciliation – workbook, service book, social security book, education diploma, attestations, references, certificates from previous professional trainings, artefacts, photos of artefacts, etc.

Validation procedure includes informing the person requesting validation about the purposes, validation procedures and their sequence, identifying the professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired by the person and recognition of a degree of professional qualification or of qualification for part of a profession.

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Y

There are modules for:

  • entrepreneurship;
  • foreign language and communication;​
  • ICT (digital competences).
Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

Information not available

EQF 3

Mainly school-based VET,

5 years,

WBL: min. 60%,

FP: C (B)

 

ISCED 354

Initial/Continuing VET programmes leading to EQF level 3, ISCED 354 (РАМКОВА ПРОГРАМА В за професионално образование с придобиване на втора степен на професионална квалификация)
EQF level
3
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

8

Usual completion grade

12

Usual entry age

14

Usual completion age

18

Length of a programme (years)

5

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

In Bulgaria education is mandatory till the age of 16.

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

For State owned schools

Is it available for adults?

N

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • school-based learning (contact studies, including virtual communication with the teacher/trainer);
  • work practice (practical training at school and in-company practice);
  • apprenticeships after the age of 16 (grades 11-12).
Main providers

Schools

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>=60%

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

Programmes are available for young people.

Based on the type and school curriculum for students with sensory disabilities, special curricula are developed. Typical curricula for framework programmes C apply depending on the student's specific abilities to reach the learning outcomes that are included in the State Educational Standard for acquiring a qualification in the respective profession. For imprisoned learners vocational education is organised for the acquisition of the second degree of professional qualification (EQF 3) in the first and second stage of secondary education.

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

Learners must be at least 13 years old in order to apply.

Basic education is a prerequisite for admission at this VET programme.

Assessment of learning outcomes

To complete a VET programme learners need to pass a State matriculation examination in ‘Bulgarian language and literature’ and a State qualification examination.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Graduates receive:

  • diploma for secondary education (Диплома за средно образование);
  • certificate for vocational qualification for EQF level 3 (Свидетелство за професионална квалификация - 2 СПК). The learners may also ask to receive a  Europass certificate supplement to the certificate;
  • competence certificate (Свидетелство за правоспособност) - if applicable for the particular qualification.

All these documents are recognised by the education system and by the labour market.

Examples of qualifications

Electric fitter, cook, wood processing operator [34]As described in national context.
.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

The graduates may:

  • continue their studies at tertiary education;
  • continue their VET qualification at EQF Level 5;
  • enter the labour market.
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

According to Art. 40, para 1 of the VET Act, ‘Validation of professional knowledge, skills and competences is the identification and recognition of professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired through non-formal education or self-study and their compliance with the State educational requirements for acquiring qualification in professions’.

The validation procedure is carried out for professions and specialties included in the list of professions for vocational education and training under Art. 6 of the VET Act. The validation procedure starts with an application submitted by the person to the director of the institution entitled to carry out the validation. In order to prove the acquired professional knowledge, skills and competences declared for validation, the person shall submit copies of documents held by him/her together with the originals for reconciliation – workbook, service book, social security book, education diploma, attestations, references, certificates from previous professional trainings, artefacts, photos of artefacts, etc.

Validation procedure includes informing the person requesting validation about the purposes, validation procedures and their sequence, identifying the professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired by the person and recognition of a degree of professional qualification or of qualification for part of a profession.

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

=20% [35]2018/19. Share of learners compared with the total number of secondary VET learners.

EQF 4

Mainly school-based VET,

2 years,

WBL: min. 50%,

FP: C (B)

 

ISCED 354

Initial/Continuing VET programmes leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354 (РАМКОВА ПРОГРАМА В за професионално образование с придобиване на трета степен на професионална квалификация)
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

11

Usual completion grade

12

Usual entry age

17

Usual completion age

18

Length of a programme (years)

2

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

In Bulgaria education is mandatory till the age of 16.

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

For State owned schools

Is it available for adults?

N

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • school-based learning (contact studies, including virtual communication with the teacher/trainer);
  • work practice (practical training at school and in-company practice);
  • apprenticeships after the age of 16 (grades 11-12)
Main providers

Schools

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>=50%

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

Programmes are available for young people.

Based on the type and school curriculum for students with sensory disabilities, special curricula are developed. Typical curricula for framework programmes C apply depend on the learner's specific abilities to acquire the learning outcomes that are included in the State educational standard for acquiring a qualification in the respective profession. For imprisoned learners, vocational education is organised for the acquisition of the second degree of professional qualification (EQF 3) in the first and second stage of secondary education.

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

Learners must be at least 13 years old to apply.

Basic education is a prerequisite for admission to this VET programme.

For the particular VET programme completion of secondary education stage 1 and VET qualification level 2 are prerequisites for admission.

Assessment of learning outcomes

To complete this type of VET programme learners need to pass a State matriculation examination in ‘Bulgarian language and literature’ and a State qualification examination.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Graduates receive:

  • diploma for secondary education (Диплома за средно образование);
  • certificate for vocational qualification for EQF level 4 (Свидетелство за професионална квалификация - 3 СПК). The learners may also ask to receive a  Europass certificate supplement to the certificate;
  • competence certificate (Свидетелство за правоспособност) – if applicable for the particular qualification.

All these documents are recognised by the education system and by the labour market.

Examples of qualifications

Electro-technician, restaurant keeper, wood-procession technician-technologist [36]As described in national context 
.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

The graduates may:

- continue their studies at tertiary education;

- continue their VET qualification at EQF Level 5;

- enter the labour market.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

General education subjects

Y

According to Art. 40, para 1 of the VET Act, ‘Validation of professional knowledge, skills and competences is the identification and recognition of professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired through non-formal education or self-study and their compliance with the State educational requirements for acquiring qualification in professions’.

The validation procedure is carried out for professions and specialties included in the list of professions for vocational education and training under Art. 6 of the VET Act. The validation procedure starts with an application submitted by the person to the director of the institution entitled to carry out the validation. In order to prove the acquired professional knowledge, skills and competences declared for validation, the person shall submit copies of documents held by him/her together with the originals for reconciliation – workbook, service book, social security book, education diploma, attestations, references, certificates from previous professional trainings, artefacts, photos of artefacts, etc.

Validation procedure includes informing the person requesting validation about the purposes, validation procedures and their sequence, identifying the professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired by the person and recognition of a degree of professional qualification or of qualification for part of a profession.

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

Information not available

EQF 4

Mainly school-based VET,

5 years,

WBL: min. 50%,

FP: C (B)

 

ISCED 354

Initial/Continuing VET programmes leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354 (РАМКОВА ПРОГРАМА В за професионално образование с придобиване на трета степен на професионална квалификация)
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

8

Usual completion grade

12

Usual entry age

14

Usual completion age

18

Length of a programme (years)

5

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

In Bulgaria education is mandatory till the age of 16.

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

For State owned schools

Is it available for adults?

N

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • school-based learning (contact studies, including virtual communication with the teacher/trainer);
  • work practice (practical training at school and in-company practice);
  • apprenticeships after the age of 16 (grades 11-12)
Main providers

Schools

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>=50%

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

Programmes are available for young people.

Based on the type and school curriculum for learners with sensory disabilities, special curricula are developed. Typical curricula for framework programmes C apply depending on the student's specific abilities to acquire the learning outcomes that are included in the State educational standard for acquiring a qualification in the respective profession. For imprisoned learners vocational education is organised for the acquisition of the third degree of professional qualification (EQF 4) in the first and second stage of secondary education.

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

Learners must be at least 13 years old (when they apply) to enrol.

For this type of VET programme the completion of basic education is a prerequisite for admission.

Assessment of learning outcomes

The secondary VET is completed with State matriculation examinations in ‘Bulgarian language and literature’ and a State qualification examination.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Graduates receive:

  • diploma for secondary education (Диплома за средно образование);
  • certificate for vocational qualification for EQF level 4 (Свидетелство за професионална квалификация - 3 СПК). The learners  may also ask to receive a  Europass certificate supplement to the certificate;
  • competence certificate (Свидетелство за правоспособност) – if applicable for the particular qualification.

All these documents are recognised by the education system and by the labour market.

Examples of qualifications

Electro-technician, restaurant keeper, wood-procession technician-technologist [37]As described in national context 
.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

The graduates may:

  • continue their studies at tertiary education;
  • continue their VET qualification at EQF Level 5;
  • enter the labour market.
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

According to Art. 40, para 1 of the VET Act, ‘Validation of professional knowledge, skills and competences is the identification and recognition of professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired through non-formal education or self-study and their compliance with the State educational requirements for acquiring qualification in professions’.

The validation procedure is carried out for professions and specialties included in the list of professions for vocational education and training under Art. 6 of the VET Act. The validation procedure starts with an application submitted by the person to the director of the institution entitled to carry out the validation. In order to prove the acquired professional knowledge, skills and competences declared for validation, the person shall submit copies of documents held by him/her together with the originals for reconciliation – workbook, service book, social security book, education diploma, attestations, references, certificates from previous professional trainings, artefacts, photos of artefacts, etc.

Validation procedure includes informing the person requesting validation about the purposes, validation procedures and their sequence, identifying the professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired by the person and recognition of a degree of professional qualification or of qualification for part of a profession.

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

>=75% [38]2018/19. Share of learners compared to the total number of secondary VET learners.

EQF 4

Mainly school-based VET,

1 year,

WBL: min. 50%,

FP: C (B)

 

ISCED 354

Initial VET programmes leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354 (РАМКОВА ПРОГРАМА В за професионално образование с придобиване на трета степен на професионална квалификация)
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

12

Usual completion grade

12

Usual entry age

17

Usual completion age

18

Length of a programme (years)

1

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Information not available

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Information not available

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

For State owned schools

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • school-based learning (contact studies, including virtual communication with the teacher/trainer);
  • work practice (practical training at school and in-company practice);
  • apprenticeships after the age of 16 (grades 11-12).
Main providers
  • schools
  • enterprises 
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

<=70%

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

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

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

The requirements for enrolment in VET programmes are minimum age, health condition, previous education and qualification level.

The minimum required age is 13 (in the year of application) for vocational gymnasiums and schools and 16 for vocational training centres (initial and continuous VET providers for employees and unemployed, without acquisition of an education level). The health condition of the applicant is certified by a medical certificate proving the fitness for the selected occupation. Previous education requirements are at least a completed grade or stage from the basic or secondary education, completed initial stage of the lower secondary education or a successfully completed literacy course under the Employment Promotion Act.

For the particular VET programme completion of grade 11 and VET qualification level 2 or 3 are prerequisites for admission.

Assessment of learning outcomes

To complete the program learners need to pass a matriculation exam and a State qualification examination.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Graduates receive:

  • diploma for secondary education (Диплома за средно образование);
  • certificate for vocational qualification for EQF level 4 (Свидетелство за професионална квалификация - 3 СПК). The learners may also ask to receive a Europass certificate supplement to the certificate;
  • competence certificate (Свидетелство за правоспособност) - if applicable for the particular qualification.

All these documents are recognised by the education system and by the labour market.

Examples of qualifications

Builder, electro technician, electronic equipment technician, cook, waiter, assistant trainer in sports and system programmer [39]As described in national context 
.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

The graduates may:

  • continue their studies at tertiary education;
  • continue their VET qualification at EQF Level 5;
  • enter the labour market.
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

According to Art. 40, para 1 of the VET Act, ‘Validation of professional knowledge, skills and competences is the identification and recognition of professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired through non-formal education or self-study and their compliance with the State educational requirements for acquiring qualification in professions’.

The validation procedure is carried out for professions and specialties included in the list of professions for vocational education and training under Art. 6 of the VET Act. The validation procedure starts with an application submitted by the person to the director of the institution entitled to carry out the validation. In order to prove the acquired professional knowledge, skills and competences declared for validation, the person shall submit copies of documents held by him/her together with the originals for reconciliation – workbook, service book, social security book, education diploma, attestations, references, certificates from previous professional trainings, artefacts, photos of artefacts, etc.

Validation procedure includes informing the person requesting validation about the purposes, validation procedures and their sequence, identifying the professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired by the person and recognition of a degree of professional qualification or of qualification for part of a profession.

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

Information not available

EQF 2

Mainly school-based VET,

1 year,

WBL: min. 70%,

FP: A (A)

 

ISCED 351

Initial VET programmes leading to EQF level 2, ISCED 351 (РАМКОВА ПРОГРАМА А за начално професионално обучение с придобиване на първа степен на професионална квалификация)
EQF level
2
ISCED-P 2011 level

351

Usual entry grade

11

Usual completion grade

11

Usual entry age

16

Usual completion age

17

Length of a programme (years)

1

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

For State owned schools

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • school-based learning (contact studies, including virtual communication with the teacher/trainer);
  • work practice (practical training at school and in-company practice);
  • apprenticeships after the age of 16 (grades 11-12).
Main providers
  • schools
  • enterprises 
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>=70%

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

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

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

The requirements for enrolment in VET programmes are minimum age, health condition, previous education and qualification level.

The minimum required age is 13 (in the year of application) for vocational gymnasiums and schools and 16 for vocational training centres (initial and continuous VET providers for employees and unemployed, without acquisition of an education level). The health condition of the applicant is certified by a medical certificate proving the fitness for the selected occupation. Previous education requirements are at least a completed grade or stage from the basic or secondary education, completed initial stage of the lower secondary education or a successfully completed literacy course under the Employment Promotion Act.

For this type of programme the completion of secondary education, stage 1 is a prerequisite for admission.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Information not available

Diplomas/certificates provided

Graduates receive:

  • certificate for vocational qualification for EQF level 2 (Свидетелство за професионална квалификация - 1 СПК). The students may also ask for receiving Europass certificate supplement to the certificate;
  • competence certificate (Свидетелство за правоспособност) – if applicable for the particular qualification.

All these documents are recognised by the education system and by the labour market.

Examples of qualifications

Builder, electro technician, electronic equipment technician, cook, waiter, assistant trainer in sports and system programmer [40]As described in national context 
.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Those who complete VET can enter the labour market or continue their studies at EQF level 3 (VET) or in general education stage 2. However, progression in either VET or general education is subject to different prerequisites rather than the completion of this VET programme.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

According to Art. 40, para 1 of the VET Act, ‘Validation of professional knowledge, skills and competences is the identification and recognition of professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired through non-formal education or self-study and their compliance with the State educational requirements for acquiring qualification in professions’.

The validation procedure is carried out for professions and specialties included in the list of professions for vocational education and training under Art. 6 of the VET Act. The validation procedure starts with an application submitted by the person to the director of the institution entitled to carry out the validation. In order to prove the acquired professional knowledge, skills and competences declared for validation, the person shall submit copies of documents held by him/her together with the originals for reconciliation – workbook, service book, social security book, education diploma, attestations, references, certificates from previous professional trainings, artefacts, photos of artefacts, etc.

Validation procedure includes informing the person requesting validation about the purposes, validation procedures and their sequence, identifying the professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired by the person and recognition of a degree of professional qualification or of qualification for part of a profession.

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

Information not available

EQF 3

Mainly school-based VET,

1 year,

WBL: min. 60%,

FP: C (B)

 

ISCED 354

Initial/Continuing VET programmes leading to EQF level 3, ISCED 354 (РАМКОВА ПРОГРАМА В за професионално образование с придобиване на втора степен на професионална квалификация)
EQF level
3
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

11

Usual completion grade

11

Usual entry age

17

Usual completion age

18

Length of a programme (years)

1

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

For State owned schools

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • school-based learning (contact studies, including virtual communication with the teacher/trainer);
  • work practice (practical training at school and in-company practice);
  • apprenticeships after the age of 16 (grades 11-12).
Main providers
  • schools
  • enterprises
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>=60%

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

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

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

The requirements for enrolment in VET programmes are minimum age, health condition, previous education and qualification level.

The minimum required age is 13 (in the year of application) for vocational gymnasiums and schools and 16 for vocational training centres (initial and continuous VET providers for employees and unemployed, without acquisition of an education level). The health condition of the applicant is certified by a medical certificate proving the fitness for the selected occupation. Previous education requirements are at least a completed grade or stage from the basic or secondary education, completed initial stage of the lower secondary education or a successfully completed literacy course under the Employment Promotion Act.

For this type of VET programme completion of upper secondary stage 1 and VET qualification level 2 are prerequisites for admission.

Assessment of learning outcomes

To complete this type of VET programme learners need to pass a State matriculation examination and a State qualification examination.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Graduates receive:

  • diploma for secondary education (Диплома за средно образование);
  • certificate for vocational qualification for EQF level 3 (Свидетелство за професионална квалификация - 2 СПК). The learners may also ask to receive a Europass certificate supplement to the certificate;
  • competence certificate (Свидетелство за правоспособност) - if applicable for the particular qualification.

All these documents are recognised by the education system and by the labour market.

Examples of qualifications

Builder, electro technician, electronic equipment technician, cook, waiter, assistant trainer in sports and system programme [41]As described in national context.
.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

The graduates may:

  • continue their studies at tertiary education;
  • continue their VET qualification at EQF Level 5;
  • enter the labour market.
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

According to Art. 40, para 1 of the VET Act, ‘Validation of professional knowledge, skills and competences is the identification and recognition of professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired through non-formal education or self-study and their compliance with the State educational requirements for acquiring qualification in professions’.

The validation procedure is carried out for professions and specialties included in the list of professions for vocational education and training under Art. 6 of the VET Act. The validation procedure starts with an application submitted by the person to the director of the institution entitled to carry out the validation. In order to prove the acquired professional knowledge, skills and competences declared for validation, the person shall submit copies of documents held by him/her together with the originals for reconciliation – workbook, service book, social security book, education diploma, attestations, references, certificates from previous professional trainings, artefacts, photos of artefacts, etc.

Validation procedure includes informing the person requesting validation about the purposes, validation procedures and their sequence, identifying the professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired by the person and recognition of a degree of professional qualification or of qualification for part of a profession.

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

Information not available

EQF 3

Mainly school-based VET,

2 years,

WBL: min. 60%,

FP: C (B)

 

ISCED 354

Initial/continuing VET programmes leading to EQF level 3, ISCED 354 (РАМКОВА ПРОГРАМА В за професионално образование с придобиване на втора степен на професионална квалификация)
EQF level
3
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

11

Usual completion grade

12

Usual entry age

16

Usual completion age

18

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

For State owned schools

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • school-based learning (contact studies, including virtual communication with the teacher/trainer);
  • work practice (practical training at school and in-company practice);
  • apprenticeships  for ages after 16 (grades 11-12).
Main providers
  • schools
  • enterprises
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

<=70%

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

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

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

The requirements for enrolment in VET programmes are minimum age, health condition, previous education and qualification level.

The minimum required age is 13 (in the year of application) for vocational gymnasiums and schools and 16 for vocational training centres (initial and continuous VET providers for employees and unemployed, without acquisition of an education level). The health condition of the applicant is certified by a medical certificate proving the fitness for the selected occupation. Previous education requirements are at least a completed grade or stage from the basic or secondary education, completed initial stage of the lower secondary education or a successfully completed literacy course under the Employment Promotion Act.

For this type of VET programme completion of grade 11 and VET qualification level 2 or 3 are prerequisites for admission.

Assessment of learning outcomes

To complete this type of VET programme learners need to pass a matriculation examination and a State qualification examination.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Graduates receive:

  • diploma for secondary education (Диплома за средно образование);
  • certificate for vocational qualification for EQF level 3 (Свидетелство за професионална квалификация - 2 СПК). The learners may also ask to receive a  Europass certificate supplement to the certificate;
  • competence certificate (Свидетелство за правоспособност) – if applicable for the particular qualification.

All these documents are recognised by the education system (for continuation of the education) and by the labour market.

Examples of qualifications

Builder, electro technician, electronic equipment technician, cook, waiter, assistant trainer in sports and system programmer [42]As described in national context.
.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

The graduates may:

  • continue their studies at tertiary education;
  • continue their VET qualification at EQF Level 5;
  • enter the labour market.
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

According to Art. 40, para 1 of the VET Act, ‘Validation of professional knowledge, skills and competences is the identification and recognition of professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired through non-formal education or self-study and their compliance with the State educational requirements for acquiring qualification in professions’.

The validation procedure is carried out for professions and specialties included in the list of professions for vocational education and training under Art. 6 of the VET Act. The validation procedure starts with an application submitted by the person to the director of the institution entitled to carry out the validation. In order to prove the acquired professional knowledge, skills and competences declared for validation, the person shall submit copies of documents held by him/her together with the originals for reconciliation – workbook, service book, social security book, education diploma, attestations, references, certificates from previous professional trainings, artefacts, photos of artefacts, etc.

Validation procedure includes informing the person requesting validation about the purposes, validation procedures and their sequence, identifying the professional knowledge, skills and competences acquired by the person and recognition of a degree of professional qualification or of qualification for part of a profession.

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

Information not available

VET available to adults (formal and non-formal)

Programme Types
Not available