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General themes

VET in the Netherlands comprises the following main features:

  • the employment rate of 20- to 34-years-old VET graduates is 85.4%, above the EU average (79.5%)
  • Higher professional education is an important component of Dutch tertiary education; in 2017, almost half of all tertiary education graduates attained a tertiary VET qualification
  • The share of early leavers from education and training is well below the EU28 average and in 2017 was for the first time below the national objective for 2020.
  • the Netherlands is among the EU countries with the highest share of lifelong learning participation

Distinctive features ([1]Cedefop (2016). Spotlight on vocational education and training in the Netherlands. Luxembourg: Publications Office..
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8090_en.pdf
):

The heterogeneous and multifunctional nature of upper secondary VET in the Netherlands is unique. Key distinctive features are:

  • most publicly funded VET is provided by large multi sectoral regional training centres (ROCs) with an average student population of 12 000. Sector-specific schools and agricultural training centres also provide VET programmes. ROCs provide VET for young people and adults (IVET) and general education for adults. They are also active on the continuing VET market, with privately funded programmes. Government-regulated IVET programmes are also offered by private providers under certain conditions;
  • school-based and dual pathways in upper secondary VET lead to the same diplomas. Participation in each corresponds to the economic cycle stages: in periods of economic boom, the number of students in the dual pathway increases, while it decreases in the school-based pathway; the opposite happens during an economic recession;
  • education institutions have a relatively high degree of freedom to shape VET provision. The VET law only provides a broad framework outlining key elements at system level; institutions receive a lump sum for their tasks;
  • the Netherlands promotes a culture of evidence-informed VET policy and practice and encourages innovation. Recent initiatives include providing VET schools regularly with up-to-date regional labour market information and early school leaving data, and implementing plan-do-check-act mechanisms as a basis for organisation and programme development. To reduce the gap between research and practice in education, research and intelligence are increasingly used to improve VET quality and effectiveness, not only by involving professional researchers, but also by encouraging teachers to engage in research activities. To encourage knowledge sharing, VET teachers have opportunities to present their research projects and findings to a wide VET audience, for instance during teacher days.

The main challenges for the coming years in upper secondary VET are described and agreed in the administrative agreement (2018-22) ([2]https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/convenanten/2018/02/07/bestuursakkoord-mbo-2018-2022-trots-vertrouwen-en-lef) between upper secondary VET schools and the Education Ministry. According to this agreement, upper secondary VET schools will set goals together with their regional partners. Issues to work on are:

  • improvement of labour market outcomes of upper secondary VET and cooperation with regional partners;
  • equal opportunities in education (e.g. accessibility of upper secondary VET, transfer to a higher level in upper secondary VET or transfer to higher education);
  • young people in a vulnerable position e.g. reducing early school leaving, preparing young people in MBO ([3]MBO: upper secondary vocational education programmes.) level 1 and 2 (EQF 1 &2) for labour market.

Population in 2018: 17 181 084 ([4]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].)

It increased since 2013 by 2.4% due to positive natural growth and immigration ([5]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

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

The old-age dependency ratio is expected to increase from 27 in 2015 to 44 in 2060 ([6]Old-age-dependency ratio is defined as the ratio between the number of persons aged 65 and more over the number of working-age persons (15-64). The value is expressed per 100 persons of working age (15-64).)

 

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

Source: Eurostat, proj_15ndbims [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Demographic changes have an impact on VET.

The expectation is that student numbers in VET will decrease from 2020 onward, due to population development and reduction of study duration of many of the MBO ([7]MBO: upper secondary vocational education programmes.) level 4 courses from 4 to 3 years [8]https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/rapporten/2018/09/18/referentieraming-ocw-2018.

The education ministry and the schools for upper secondary VET have agreed [9]https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/convenanten/2018/02/07/bestuursakkoord-mbo-2018-2022-trots-vertrouwen-en-lef that all VET schools should be aware of the future decline in student numbers in relation to the concentration and distribution of the range of study programmes on offer in the Netherlands.

Not applicable

Most companies in the Netherlands are micro, small and medium-sized; employing 64% ([10]https://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/business-friendly-environment/performance-review_en) of employees. Since 2007 the number of self-employed has doubled from 625,000 to 1.2 million in 2017 ([11]https://mkbstatline.cbs.nl/#/MKB/nl/dataset/48015NED/line?dl=30B3).

 

The Dutch economy is open and relies heavily on foreign trade. The contribution of exports to GDP is close to a third ([12]https://www.cbs.nl/nl-nl/faq/specifiek/hoeveel-verdient-nederland-aan-de-export-).

Main economic sectors are (in number of people employed):

  • business services,
  • healthcare,
  • trade,
  • industry.

Compared to 1997, there has been a major shift in the employment structure. The importance of industry, but also agriculture and construction industry, has become smaller. In contrast, the service sector has grown considerably. The biggest risers are healthcare and business services. In 1997, healthcare and industry had roughly the same number of jobs. Healthcare now has almost twice as many jobs as industry ([13]https://www.cbs.nl/nl-nl/visualisaties/dashboard-arbeidsmarkt/banen-werkgelegenheid/toelichtingen/werkgelegenheidsstructuur).

A limited number of occupations/professions are regulated.

The labour market is considered flexible.

Total unemployment ([14]Percentage of active population, 25 to 74 years old.) (2018): 3.2% (6.0% in EU28); it increased by 0.5 percentage points since 2008 ([15]Source: Eurostat, une_rt_a [extracted 20.5.2019].).

 

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

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

 

Unemployment is distributed unevenly between those with low- and high-level qualifications. The gap has increased during the crisis as unskilled workers are more vulnerable to unemployment. In 2018, unemployment rates have decreased for all educational attainment levels, reaching unemployment rates comparable with those of 2009 and 2010. Youth (<25) unemployment is 7.2% in 2018 and is below the EU average, which stood at over 15.2% in 2018.

Employment rate of 20 to 34-year-old VET graduates increased from 83.5% in 2014 to 88.1% in 2018 ([16]Eurostat table edat_lfse_24).

 

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

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

 

The increase (+4.6 pp) in employment of 20-34 year-old VET graduates in 2014-18 was lower compared to the increase from 81.7% to 86.8% in employment of all 20-34 year-old graduates (+5.1 pp) in the same period in the Netherlands ([17]NB: breaks in time series. Eurostat table edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

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

 

 

In 2018, the share of the population aged up to 64 with higher education (37.7%) was higher in the Netherlands than the EU average. The share of those with low or without a qualification was 20.6% (slightly lower than the EU average).

In 2018, tertiary attainment among 30-34 year olds was 49% and well above the EU and national targets (both 40%) set for 2020. Female higher education attainment has risen faster than male tertiary attainment.

 

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

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

 

For more information about VET in higher education in the Netherlands please see the case study from Cedefop's changing nature and role of VET in Europe project [17b]Cedefop (2019). The changing nature and role of vocational education and training in Europe. Volume 6: vocationally oriented education and training at higher education level. Expansion and diversification in European countries. Case study focusing on The Netherlands. Cedefop research paper; No 70. https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/the_netherlands_cedefop_changing_nature_of_vet_-_case_study_0.pdf

Share of learners in VET by level in 2017

lower secondary

upper secondary

post-secondary

5.9%

68.2%

not applicable

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

 

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

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

 

At upper secondary level, in 2017/18, most VET graduates completed a level 4 programme leading to EQF4. At this level, economics ([18]The area economics in upper secondary VET includes programmes in administration, logistics, retail, secretarial support, tourism, ICT, facility management and public order and security.) and care/welfare programmes are the most popular choices.

 

Upper secondary VET graduates by level and area of study, 2017/2018

NB: Provisional data.
Source: CBS Statline. https://opendata.cbs.nl/statline/#/CBS/nl/dataset/83896NED/table?dl=F448
[extracted 17.6.2019].

 

Higher professional education (HBO) is an important component of Dutch higher education. In 2017, almost half of all higher education graduates attained a bachelor degree in higher professional education ([19]CBS (2018). Statline database
https://opendata.cbs.nl/statline/#/CBS/nl/dataset/83893NED/table?dl=DA1F [extracted 27.5.2019].
). Most higher professional education graduates studied economics, teacher training, social work or engineering.

There are more males (52%) in upper secondary VET than females. Males prefer technology education and economics, while females often enrol in health/welfare or economics.

 

Male/ female students per sector in upper secondary VET ([20]CBS (2019). Statline database
https://opendata.cbs.nl/statline/#/CBS/nl/dataset/83851NED/table?dl=1F876 [extracted 27.5.2019].
)

 

 

The share of early leavers from education and training has decreased from 10.9% in 2009 to 7.3% in 2018. It is well below 10.6%, the EU28 average. For the second year in a row is below 8.0%, the national objective for 2020.

 

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].

 

The dropout-rate in upper secondary VET in 2017/2018 is 5.5% ([21]https://opendata.cbs.nl/statline/#/CBS/nl/dataset/71292ned/table?ts=1549610111391). The number of dropouts in upper secondary VET has increased from 18 574 in school year 2016-17 to 19 980 in the school year 2017-18 ([22]Letter to Parliament, 22 February 2019:
https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/kamerstukken/2019/02/22/kamerbrief-blijvende-aandacht-voor-voortijdig-schoolverlaten-nodig
).

 

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].

 

Eurostat data show that the Netherlands is among the EU countries with the highest lifelong learning rates (EU28 average 11.1 in 2018). Already since 2000, more than 15% of adult population (25-64) has been involved in education or training (participation was 19.1% in 2018). The country has met the Education and Training 2020 (ET2020) 15% benchmark since long.

However, training participation is significantly below average among workers over 55 (11.8% in 2017), the low-skilled (9.5% in 2017), workers with a temporary contract, migrants and people with a migrant background from non-western countries, and people not having participated in training in the past ([23]CBS (2018). Statline database:
https://opendata.cbs.nl/statline/#/CBS/nl/dataset/83916NED/table?dl=81B4 [extracted 31.7.2018].
). The gap in training participation between highly educated people and those with low skills has widened between 2004 and 2017 ([24]http://roa.sbe.maastrichtuniversity.nl/roanew/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ROA_R_2018_4-1.pdf).

 

VET learners by age and track 2018

NB: School-based (BOL) and dual track (BBL). Numbers in thousands.
Source: DUO 2018.

 

Participants in the school-based track are mainly youngsters, while most learners (46%) of those following the dual track are 23 or over; this is because this track is also used by companies to upgrade their employees ([25]Source: DUO 2018:
https://www.onderwijsincijfers.nl/kengetallen/mbo/studenten-mbo/aantallen-studenten-mbo [accessed 9.5.2019].
).

The education and training system comprises:

  • preschool education (ISCED level 0); to combat educational disadvantages at an early stage, preschool education is available for toddlers (2.5 to 4 years old) ([26]Source:
    https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/voorschoolse-en-vroegschoolse-educatie/voorschoolse-educatie [accessed 9.5.2019].
    );
  • primary education at ISCED level 1 is for four- to 12-years-old learners;
  • general secondary education integrates lower and upper secondary general education programmes (ISCED level 2 & 3);
  • lower secondary pre-vocational school-based programmes (ISCED 2);
  • upper secondary vocational education programmes (ISCED 2 & 3);
  • post-secondary education (ISCED level 4); 
  • higher (or tertiary) education has a professional education and a general (academic) strand (ISCED levels 5 - 8).

Pre-school education is not compulsory and intended for two-and-a-half to four-year-old learners at risk of educational disadvantage. It is generally provided at childcare institutions.

Primary education starts at the age of four; it includes eight years of basic education until the learner reaches age 12.

Education is compulsory for learners from age five to 16. 16 and 17 year-olds without a general or basic vocational qualification at upper secondary level are required to continue learning, the so-called ‘qualification duty’ (kwalificatieplicht). This arrangement was introduced in 2008 to reduce early leaving from education and training.

General secondary education includes:

  • integrated lower and upper secondary programmes (pre-university education) lasting six years and leading to EQF4 (ISCED 244 after three years; ISCED 344 after six). It prepares learners for higher education at research universities and higher professional education at universities of applied sciences (age: 12-18, also accessible to adults;
  • integrated lower and upper secondary general education programmes lasting five years and leading to EQF4 (ISCED 244 after three years; ISCED 344 after five). They lead to higher professional education. Upon completion, transfer to the fifth year of pre-university education is possible (age: 12-17, also accessible to adults;
  • two general programmes (the theoretical and mixed pathway) within lower secondary pre-vocational education (VMBO) ([27]See relevant section for further details (#1 VET BOX - Lower secondary pre-vocational school-based programmes).).

Scientific/university education offers bachelor programmes lasting three to four years (ISCED 6) and one to two year Master’s degree programmes (ISCED 7) to adult learners. After completing a master degree programme, learners can continue in PhD programmes (ISCED 8).

The main legislation for initial VET (IVET) is:

  • the Secondary Education Act (for lower secondary general and pre-vocational);
  • the Adult Education and Vocational Education Act (for upper secondary vocational education)
  • the Higher Education and Scientific Research Act (for higher professional education).

The vocational track of the education system starts in lower secondary pre-vocational education with transfer possibilities to upper secondary vocational education. Upper secondary vocational education is the backbone of this track providing labour market access. Graduates at EQF level 4 can continue their studies in higher professional education.

There is no institutional framework for continuing vocational education and training (CVET). Provision is market-driven with many suppliers. CVET comprises a range of vocational or more general courses for jobseekers, the unemployed, employees, self-employed people, and employers. There are three types of CVET:

  • upper secondary IVET programmes which also function as CVET;
  • training for unemployed and jobseekers, financed by the public employment service;
  • private, non-government-funded training for employees, self-employed people and employers.

The backbone of the VET system is upper secondary VET, which serves both as IVET and as CVET. IVET/CVET programmes are offered either as a school based or a dual track. The school based track comprises 20 to 60% workplace learning, while the dual track comprises 60 to 80% workplace learning.

The responsibility for curriculum development and assessment is in the hands of upper secondary VET schools. Various curricula and learning environments exist even for programmes related to the same profession. Apart from internships taking place in a company, teacher teams have freedom to develop curricula and may include e.g. lectures, project based learning, practical simulations, in school mini-enterprises, hybrid learning environments.

Upper secondary VET offers two equivalent pathways: a school-based (BOL) and a dual (BBL) leading to the same diplomas. In the dual pathway (apprenticeship), students combine work-based learning (at least 60% of study time) with school-based instruction; this often involves learning at work four days a week and one day at school. To enrol in the dual track a contract (an employment contract in most cases) with a firm is mandatory.

The target group of the dual pathway are young people (16 year old), but also older people. Most students in the dual pathway are older than students in the school based pathway. 46% of those following the dual track are 23 years old or over; this is because this track is also used by companies to upgrade their employees ([28]Source: DUO 2018:
https://www.onderwijsincijfers.nl/kengetallen/mbo/studenten-mbo/aantallen-studenten-mbo [extracted 9.5.2019].
).

 

Number of student in dual track (BBL) by age

Source: DUO 2018 ([29]https://www.onderwijsincijfers.nl/kengetallen/mbo/studenten-mbo/aantallen-studenten-mbo [extracted 20.6.2019].).

 

One of the principles underlying the education system in the Netherlands is freedom of education. This means there is freedom to establish schools, freedom to organise teaching and to determine the principles on which education is based (freedom of conviction).

Freedom to organise teaching means that both public and private schools are free to determine – within legal boundaries – what is taught and how. The education ministry sets quality standards such as the subjects to be studied, the number of teaching days/hours per year and the required teacher qualifications; they apply to both public and government-funded private education.

There are three organisational levels in the Dutch VET system: the national level, the sectoral level (especially in upper secondary VET) and the regional/local (or school) level.

In the institutional VET framework, the Cooperation Organisation for Vocational Education, Training and the Labour Market (Samenwerkingsorganisatie Beroepsonderwijs Bedrijfsleven – SBB) has a key role. SBB optimises the links between VET and the labour market to deliver well-qualified professionals. The organisation is responsible for maintaining the qualifications for upper secondary VET, for accrediting and coaching companies offering work placements, and collecting suitable labour market information. Representatives from vocational education and social partners work together on the VET qualifications system, examinations, work placements, the efficiency of programmes and more. SBB also works on themes with a cross-regional and cross-sector focus.

 

Organisational levels and functions/roles in initial VET

VMBO: lower secondary pre-vocational school-based programmes.
MBO: upper secondary vocational education programmes.
HBO: higher professional education.
NVAO: Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatie Organisatie).
NRTO: Dutch Council for Training promoting interests of private, non-subsidised VET providers that have been legally recognised by the education ministry to offer regulated VET courses at upper secondary and tertiary level.

 

The adult and vocational education act regulates the governance of upper secondary VET schools and grants them ample space for policy making. Schools have full control over deployment and continuing professional development of teaching staff, programme offer, regional industry-specific training portfolios, organisation of learning, and choice of cooperation partners. School management is also responsible for deciding how to allocate the annual lump sum grant from the ministry to personnel costs, materials, housing and reservations for future investments. Yearly auditing reports provide insight into how the grant is spent.

Governance has an internal, vertical and a horizontal dimension. The internal dimension refers to the organisation of internal management and control; the vertical dimension stands for the accountability relations between schools and the government; the horizontal dimension captures the (accountability) relations between a school and its local stakeholders.

Total expenditure on education by the government, households, enterprises and non-profit organisations made up 6.0% of GDP in 2016. Government expenditure on education is 5.4% of GDP in 2016 ([30]CBS (2018). Statline database:
https://opendata.cbs.nl/statline/#/CBS/nl/dataset/80393ned/table?dl=102B2 [accessed 21.8.2018].
).

In 2018 expenditure by the Education Ministry is EUR 8 200 per learner per year in upper secondary VET ([31]OCW (2018).
https://www.onderwijsincijfers.nl/kengetallen/onderwijs-algemeen/uitgaven/uitgaven-ocw [accessed 23.5.2019].
).

In 2017 government expenditure represented 66% of all spending on upper secondary VET. Companies and households pay the rest (34%) ([32]OCW (2018):
https://www.onderwijsincijfers.nl/kengetallen/onderwijs-algemeen/uitgaven/uitgaven-ocw [accessed 17.6.2019].
).

Total government expenditure on VET is 0.8% of GDP, when households and enterprises are included total spending is 1.0% of GDP. These percentages are stable since 2010 ([33]CBS (2018). Statline database:
https://opendata.cbs.nl/statline/#/CBS/nl/dataset/80393ned/table?dl=102B2 [accessed 21.8.2018].
).

 

Total expenditure on upper secondary VET (in billion EUR) (2000-2017)

 

 

The funding arrangements for VET are as follows:

  • in prevocational education and training (VMBO) the funding principle is block grant funding. It gives schools considerable freedom in deciding how to spend available resources. They receive a fixed amount per student plus a fixed amount per school. Part of funding rewards good performance based on national targets agreed on sector level with governing bodies. There are also extra financial incentives for students at risk;
  • in upper secondary VET (MBO) the principle is block grant funding based in part on the number of students per course/learning track and in part on number of certificates awarded per institution. In addition to block grant funding, performance based funding was introduced in 2014 ([34]https://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBR0035923/2016-07-20) to reward individual schools for their good performances. This introduction was part of the quality agreements concluded between all VET colleges and the education ministry. These bilateral agreements aim to facilitate a rapid and comprehensive implementation and to encourage colleges to increase their performance in terms of equal access, qualify vulnerable youth and greater responsiveness to labour market developments ([35]https://www.kwaliteitsafsprakenmbo.nl/documenten/publicatie/2018/06/15/regeling-kwaliteitsafspraken-2019-2022). VET colleges have other funding sources as well, for instance from contracted activities for companies and individuals, from municipalities for providing civic integration training courses for adults, and from student fees. Additionally there is a subsidy scheme for companies to cover their costs when offering learning places in dual tracks (BBL);
  • in higher professional education (HBO) funding is partly fixed and partly based on number of enrolled participants and output/outcome results (number of diplomas). Part of funding is performance based and rewards achievements towards targets set by providers themselves. Contracted activities paid by enterprises and or individuals/employees and income from tuition fees paid by students are other sources of funding. Companies benefit from subsidies when offering learning places in dual higher VET.

The Ministry of Education administers almost all central government expenditure on education through a specialised agency (DUO - Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs). DUO plays a key role in administration and financing state-regulated VET. There is a complex but direct financing relationship between DUO and schools for upper secondary vocational education. Funds are channelled either directly to schools or indirectly through municipalities. Municipalities fund special projects (e.g. to reduce early leaving from education and training).

In VET, there are:

  • teachers
  • teaching assisting jobs, i.e. teacher assistant, instructor;
  • in-company trainers (supervisors or tutors).

In upper secondary vocational education teachers cooperate in teams in which tasks are divided among team members, e.g. assessment, study- and career guidance, expert teacher, educational designer. The extent to which these roles are implemented differs per school. There are no fixed roles within teams, besides the role of teacher leader ([36]OECD (2016). TALIS Initial teacher preparation study: country background report: The Netherlands.https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/rapporten/2016/12/21/oecd-talis-initial-teacher-preparation-study-country-background-report-the-netherlands).

The education professions act (Wet BIO, 2016) regulates competence standards for teachers and other educational staff in primary, general secondary, vocational secondary and general adult education. It requires schools to maintain a competence document for all teachers.

Teachers in upper secondary vocational education have to have either a first degree teaching license (Master), a second degree teaching license (Bachelor) or a teaching certificate (a higher education diploma is obligatory to obtain a teaching certificate).

In 2012 the education ministry, aiming to better train and raise the number of VET teachers, introduced:

  • a distinct graduation track dedicated to VET in higher professional education (in place since 2016);
  • quality criteria entering the teaching profession from another background.

Recently, requirements are introduced for instructors (teaching personnel responsible for the vocational skills training of learners). Instructors should also meet professional, didactic and pedagogical standards ([37]https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/besluiten/2018/04/09/besluit-bekwaamheidseisen-onderwijspersoneel).

Trainers responsible for in-company learning of upper secondary VET students (both in apprenticeship and in school based track) must be qualified at least at the same level for which he/she is supervising work-based learning. Furthermore, trainers must be able to share their expertise with students and are required to have pedagogical skills (validated by diplomas/certificates). The quality of the trainers is one of the criteria for accreditation of companies providing work-based learning. Accreditation is one of the legal tasks of the Cooperation Organisation for Vocational Education, Training and the Labour Market (SBB). Training for trainers is offered by private providers.

VET institutions have relative freedom in their approach of professional development of teaching staff. Teachers are entitled to 59 hours of training and professional development annually, complemented by additional training depending on the discipline of their expertise ([38]In VET institutions teachers of different disciplines are working in teams responsible for delivering educational programmes to one or more subgroups of students). Teachers are also receiving a personal budget for professional development of 0.8% of their annual salary. The 2013 national technology pact foresaw increased funding for teacher training focused on technology. Moreover, enterprises are offering short internships for VET teachers and trainers. VET teacher CPD is also promoted through regional partnerships between VET institutes and teacher training institutes. In addition, VET teachers have access to funding to help them acquire a Master qualification that corresponded to the subject they were teaching ([39]Cedefop (forthcoming). Developments in vocational education and training policy in 2015-19: the Netherlands. Cedefop monitoring and analysis of VET policies.).

More information is available in the Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspective on teachers and trainers ([40]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/teachers-and-trainers).

The set-up and governance of skill anticipation in the Netherlands can serve as an exemplar case. The Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA - Researchcentrum voor Onderwijs en Arbeidsmarkt) ([41]http://roa.sbe.maastrichtuniversity.nl/?portfolio=poa-project-onderwijs-arbeidsmarkt-2) is the institute in the Netherlands that specialises in labour market forecasting and skills anticipation. Its labour market forecasts aim to increase transparency and improve the match between education and the labour market. The work is financed and co-steered by key national education and labour market stakeholders.

Two approaches to skills anticipation can be distinguished: top-down and bottom-up. In the top-down approach, a general forecasting model covering the whole labour market uses national data sources to generate information relevant for policy makers and for guidance purposes. ROA publishes a report every second year, which includes an overview of education and labour market trends as well as analyses of expected labour market developments in the light of particular policy issues.

In the bottom-up approach, partial labour market forecast models are used, for example for a single sector or occupation or for a selection of them, with input from specific (ad hoc) data sources. This can be complementary to the top-down approach.

The national social security agency (UWV - Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen) is involved in cooperation with ROA and SBB ([42]Cooperation Organisation for Vocational Education, Training and the Labour Market (Samenwerkingsorganisatie Beroepsonderwijs Bedrijfsleven - SBB).) to match information on demand and supply in the labour market, at sectoral and regional level.

The generated labour market information caters to the needs of:

  • youth and jobseekers, as they are able to base their education choices on the mid-term labour market perspectives of different education tracks;
  • different groups of policy makers, as they are able to make informed decisions on whether to open new education tracks or amend existing ones;
  • companies and their sector organisations, as it gives them a chance to act on expected skills shortages in the near future.
  • public and private employment services, as they use the information to shape training policies for their beneficiaries.

SBB is responsible for labour market research focused on further developing the structure of qualifications in upper secondary VET. The nine sector chambers within SBB take on this task. Educational institutions are responsible for attuning their VET provision regionally. Regional training centres sometimes carry out their own market research to gain insight into expected labour market needs for qualified employees at regional level.

Private commercial training providers have their own marketing strategies (including market research), so they can offer courses that are relevant to potential target groups and labour market needs.

See also Cedefop’s skills forecast ([43]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/skills-forecast) and European Skills Index ([44]https://skillspanorama.cedefop.europa.eu/en/indicators/european-skills-index)

The qualification design process differs between parts of the VET system:

  • in lower secondary pre-vocational education: examination syllabi are laid down in a framework by the education ministry and developed by the Foundation for Curriculum Development in the Netherlands (Nationaal expertisecentrum leerplanontwikkeling – SLO);
  • in upper secondary VET: the national qualification system (nationally referred to as ‘qualifications structure’) defines the desired output of qualifications. There are three steps:
    • social partners develop and determine/validate vocational/occupational standards. This process takes place in committees at sub-sectoral level referred to as ‘market segments’ in the national context;
    • social partner and VET representatives develop qualification profiles (educational standards as output), which are adopted by the education ministry. This is done within SBB ([45]Cooperation Organisation for Vocational Education, Training and the Labour Market (Samenwerkingsorganisatie Beroepsonderwijs Bedrijfsleven - SBB).);
    • VET colleges develop curricula in cooperation with training firms based on qualification profiles;
  • in higher professional education (HBO) qualifications and programmes are developed by schools and accredited by the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation. A curriculum is part of the accreditation request. The education ministry decides whether an accredited programme is to be publicly funded or not.

Qualification and curriculum development in upper secondary VET

The qualifications system for upper secondary VET comprises competence-based qualifications and contains occupational standards covering one qualification profile or several interrelated ones. They describe desirable learning outputs of VET programmes related to a specific vocation or group of occupations, to citizenship and further learning.

Since 2016 qualifications have been clustered for better transparency and functionality. Definitions of qualifications are broadened, with a general part (language-, numeracy-, citizenship- and career management skills), a basic vocational part applicable for all occupations in the qualification, several profile modules (specific for the profile within the qualification) and optional modules. Currently the qualification framework includes 179 qualifications, 491 profiles (specialisations within a qualification) and almost 1000 optional modules ([46]www.sbb.nl). Broader definitions of qualifications and optional modules are expected to give VET colleges more leeway to adapt curricula to labour market needs. Companies and educational institutions jointly develop optional modules to quickly respond to innovations or emerging needs within their region. Regions will be also afforded some leeway to draft optional modules themselves to be able to respond to regional needs and/or to help learners progress through the education and training system.

The nine sector chambers within SBB are the link among sectoral education, labour market stakeholders and the executive branch of SBB; they also contribute in shaping general qualification policies, are responsible for keeping the qualification system up-to-date, promote the quality of learning in enterprises, and interpret and validate information on VET and the labour market.

Schools are primarily responsible for curricula and their modernisation. Authority with regard to learning arrangements is assigned to them by the constitution. This does not mean, however, national government remains completely aloof. It can stimulate developments and innovations that have consequences for the modernisation of curricula.

A national quality assurance approach and a methodology for internal and external evaluation are in place. So far upper secondary IVET and higher VET (HBO) have quality assurance systems, the first based on supervision and inspection, the latter based on self-evaluation, review and accreditation. A common quality assurance framework for VET providers is in place and applies also to workplace learning. For recognised CVET courses (in the official registry) offered by private providers the same rules apply as in IVET.

Quality assurance in upper secondary VET

The education ministry through the education inspectorate and VET providers themselves are responsible for quality assurance in upper secondary VET. The VET law mandates VET providers to set up a quality assurance system. They are relatively free to design and set up their systems, but have to ensure regular quality assessments that include the arrangements in place for teacher training. Upper secondary VET institutions’ annual reports are the basis for external quality evaluation by the education inspectorate.

Internal monitoring and control: upper secondary VET colleges have small executive boards and internal supervisory boards. Middle management is accountable to the executive board. Participation of students, teachers and parents in decision making is regulated in the act on work councils.

Vertical monitoring and control: the education Inspectorate is in charge of the external supervision, checking whether statutory provisions are met and quality assurance is in place. The assessment framework covers five quality areas: (i) educational process; (ii) school climate; (iii) learning outcomes; (iv) quality assurance and ambition; and (v) financial management. Supervision is proportional in nature, meaning it is stricter where deficiencies are found, and the inspectorate follows up by monitoring whether required improvements have been put in place.

In 2017, the Inspection Framework for external supervision was renewed. One of the most important changes is to make a distinction between statutory requirements and quality factors defined by the schools themselves. Self-defined quality factors pertain to the objectives and ambitions set by the school itself above and beyond the basic quality level. In its reports, the Inspectorate will draw a clear distinction between judgements related to statutory requirements and the assessment of performances on the self-defined quality indicators above and beyond those enshrined in law.

Horizontal dialogue: Using self-chosen tools, the executive board of a VET college is expected to develop and sustain good relations with important local/regional stakeholders: employers, local governments and regional organisations.

Guidelines and standards promote a culture of continuous improvement. Stakeholders (including the inspectorate, VET providers, students/learners and teachers/trainers and VET expertise centres) have contributed to its development. Stakeholders take part in setting VET goals and objectives and their involvement in monitoring and evaluation has been agreed. An advisory committee consisting of all important VET stakeholders meets several times a year to discuss further developments. All EQAVET indicators are used ([47]http://www.eqavet.nl/_images/user/Eqavet_Leaflet_NL.p_20131030151118.pdf).

Quality, responsiveness and innovation capacity in upper secondary VET have been core policy priorities in the past few years. Extra (partly performance-based) funding is introduced to increase quality. The responsible minister has concluded quality agreements with all VET institutions, which makes them responsible and accountable for their performance. The quality agreements are the basis for quality plans for 2015-2018 and again for 2019-2022 drafted by VET providers themselves. VET colleges should elaborate strategic plans to improve the quality of VET in line with regional needs and in close collaboration with regional stakeholders, young people in a vulnerable position and equal opportunities for all students.

Validation of prior, non-formal and informal learning is an instrument that has been promoted in the Netherlands for the last fifteen years. A comprehensive validation system that encompasses all education levels and sectors is in place.

In line with discussions and proposals made in the last few years, from 2016 onwards there are two formal validation procedures:

  • Validation for the labour market: Recognition/ documentation of prior learning – a formal procedure for the employed and jobseekers that leads to the award of a validated skills portfolio (certificate). Validation is possible for sectoral, formal VET and HE qualifications. This type of validation is most used. The certificate offers no legal right for exemptions for learning or exams in formal VET of Higher professional education. For this procedure the National Knowledge Centre Validation of Prior Learning ([48]http://www.nationaal-kenniscentrum-evc.nl/) is the implementing organisation for quality assurance of these certificates.
  • Validation for education: Accreditation/ certification of prior learning (APL) – a formal procedure in which a candidate can get his/her learning outcomes assessed against a national qualification standard to obtain a formal qualification in VET or HE. Validation supports access to education and training at all levels. Although both VET and HE qualifications can in theory be obtained through validation, in practice this depends on demand and is currently most common in upper secondary VET.Validation in the educational route is supervised by the education inspectorate or NVAO ([49]Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatie Organisatie).).

Individuals themselves or their employers have to pay for validation. Financial support is often provided by sectoral training funds (for employers), tax benefits (for individuals), or for people with occupational disability benefits – by the national social security agency (UWV).

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

Student finance act

The student finance act of 2000 aims to cover the education costs of students over 18 in full-time education. The finance system for upper secondary VET students comprises 4 financing components: a basic grant, a supplementary grant (depending on the level of parental income), a free/discounted public transportation card and a loan. Learners do not have to refund the basic grant, the supplementary grant and their public transportation fees when they graduate within 10 years. Students in VET courses at level 1 and 2 are exempt from paying back the grants, as well as the loans.

From September 2015,the finance system for students in higher education has been changed. The most important change is the abolition of the basic grant. As a consequence the share of the loan has increased. By way of compensation, the repayment period is increased from 15 to 35 years. Furthermore, students do not have to refund the supplementary grant and public transportation fees when they graduate within 10 years.

Right of enrolment in VET

New legislation to ‘ensure the right of enrolment in VET for all’ was adopted in 2016 and came into effect on 1 August 2017. The main reason for the introduction of this legislation is to tackle problems in the transition from lower secondary education to upper secondary VET, as one third of the early school leavers drops out during the transition period for the following reasons: they regret their study choice or as a result of unclear, or confusing intake procedures in upper secondary VET colleges. The aim of this Act is to smoothen the transition from lower secondary to upper secondary VET. This has to be achieved by better (study) guidance facilities before and during the transition phase, by bringing forward the registration date (the first of April) for students leaving lower secondary education for upper secondary VET and by strengthening the position of students in the VET college intake procedures.

Until 2014, tax deduction measures for employers encouraged them to offer training placements for students in VET. This tax facility has been replaced by a subsidy-system. This subsidy is meant to cover costs of learning places for students in the pre-vocational education, upper secondary VET, higher professional education and PhD students.

CVET is partly influenced by sectoral collective labour agreements. It can be financed through sectoral funds for training and/or research and development; There are about 85 of these funds, which are foundations governed by social partners. Most funds are financed by a payroll levy. Employers pay this levy to the training fund for their sector and can benefit from reimbursements for the cost of training their employees. Some funds limit their activities to the distribution of financial resources while others pursue active labour market policy. To stimulate participation in education and training, the funds use a variety of measures to cover the costs of training, training leave or examinations.

Since 2011, career orientation and guidance (LOB) in VET was promoted through the project Stimuleringsproject LOB in het MBO. In this project, VET-schools cooperated in the development and implementation of career orientation and guidance systems. Since July 2017, a national expertise centre for career orientation and guidance ([51]https://www.expertisepuntlob.nl/) is operational. It operates cross-sectoral and supports pre-vocational education (VMBO), general secondary education (HAVO-VWO) and upper secondary VET (MBO) in improving the career orientation and guidance of pupils and students.

Labour market information caters to the needs of learners from pre-vocational education (VMBO) and upper secondary VET (MBO) and jobseekers. This information should help them to make a considered choice for an education program; based on the labour market perspectives of the different options. For students looking for work-based placements in both VET tracks (school-based and dual) in an 'accredited work placement company', SBB ([52]Cooperation Organisation for Vocational Education, Training and the Labour Market (Samenwerkingsorganisatie Beroepsonderwijs Bedrijfsleven - SBB)) provides information via a portal ([53]https://www.stagemarkt.nl/Zoeken). SBB also provides information on mid-term job prospects for all upper secondary VET programmes and supports pre-vocational and VET schools to inform learners about job prospects ([54]https://www.s-bb.nl/onderwijs/studie-cijfers).

Please also see:

Vocational education and training system chart

Tertiary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 5

Associate degree,

2 years

ISCED 554

Associate degree (AD) programmes (short-cycle higher education programmes) leading to EQF level 5, ISCED 554
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

554

Usual entry grade

14+

Usual completion grade

15+

Usual entry age

18 for upper secondary general education

20+ for upper secondary VET graduates

Usual completion age

19+

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?

N

A tuition fee is compulsory. For 2018/19 this fee is EUR 2 060.

For students starting for the first time in higher professional education tuition fees are reduced by half.

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

120 ECTS ([68]European credit transfer and accumulation system.) points

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

Information not available

Main providers

Universities of applied sciences (hogescholen) providing these programmes are publicly financed providers. Non-subsidised, private providers can offer similar programmes if they have appropriate accreditation.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

The responsibility for curriculum development and assessment is in the hands of the universities of applied science. Various curricula and learning environments exist even for programmes related to the same profession.

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

Information not available

Main target groups

AD programmes are of particular interest to those with a VET qualification from professional or middle management upper secondary VET programmes (MBO 3 or 4).

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

Access requirements are a completed professional or middle management upper secondary VET programme (MBO 3 or 4).

Access is also possible to graduates of upper general secondary education.

Assessment of learning outcomes

The responsibility for assessment is in the hands of the universities of applied science. The Dutch-Flemish accreditation body (NVAO) accredits the programmes once every six years. Higher professional bachelor degrees are awarded by the institutions themselves. Official recognition of programmes is granted as long as they are accredited by NVAO.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Associate degree (AD) diploma.

Examples of qualifications

Information not available

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates can continue to higher professional bachelor programmes; their remaining study load is subject to exemptions granted by each programme.

Destination of graduates


Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

N

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

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

2.4% of students in higher professional education (AD, professional bachelor and professional master programmes) are in Associate Degree programmes ([69]2018:
https://www.onderwijsincijfers.nl/kengetallen/hbo/studenten-hbo/aantallen-ingeschrevenen-hbo [extracted 23.5.2019].
).

EQF 6

Higher professional

bachelor

programmes

4 years

ISCED 655

Higher professional bachelor programmes leading to EQF level 6, ISCED 655 (HBO)
EQF level
6
ISCED-P 2011 level

655

Usual entry grade

14+

Usual completion grade


Usual entry age

18 for upper secondary general education

20+ for upper secondary VET graduates

Usual completion age

21+

Length of a programme (years)

4

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

N

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

N

A tuition fee is compulsory. For 2018/2019 this fee is EUR 2060.

For students starting for the first time in higher professional education tuition fees are reduced by half.

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

240 ECTS ([70]European credit transfer and accumulation system.) points

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

Higher professional education provides programmes for professions requiring both theoretical knowledge and specific skills. They are almost always closely linked to a particular profession or group of professions and most programmes include an internship. Higher professional education can also be attended part-time as part of professionally oriented adult education, and, for the last 10 years, in dual learning tracks.

Students (in 1 000s) in higher professional education, 2014-18

Source: www.onderwijsincijfers.nl [extracted 17.6.2019].

Main providers

Higher professional bachelor programmes are provided by publicly financed universities of applied sciences (hogescholen). Non-subsidised, private providers can offer similar programmes if they have appropriate accreditation.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

The responsibility for curriculum development and assessment is in the hands of the universities of applied science. Various curricula and learning environments exist even for programmes related to the same profession.

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

Higher VET programmes are open to learners aged 17 or older.

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

Admission requires an upper secondary general or vocational education qualification. Some bachelor programmes apply additional admission criteria relating to the subjects learners studied in prior studies. Generally, these criteria do not apply to middle management upper secondary VET (MBO 4) graduates, as they currently have a legal right to enter Higher professional programmes. However, by law universities of applied science can apply stricter admission criteria also for MBO 4 graduates for specific programmes.

Assessment of learning outcomes

The responsibility for assessment is in the hands of the universities of applied science. The Dutch-Flemish accreditation body (NVAO) accredits the programmes once every six years. Higher professional bachelor degrees are awarded by the institutions themselves. Official recognition of programmes is granted as long as they are accredited by NVAO.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Learners can receive a Higher professional bachelor degree upon successful completion of their studies.

Examples of qualifications

The programmes cover one or more of seven areas of study: ‘green’/agriculture, technology, economics and services, health care, behaviour and society, culture and arts, and teacher training.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

A professional bachelor degree gives access to professional master degree programmes in higher professional education and university master degree programmes. A bridge programme for professional bachelor graduates often precedes their entry into an academic master programme.

After completing the first year of a professional bachelor’s programme, entrance to university bachelor programme is possible.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

General education subjects

N

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

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

95% of all students in higher professional education (AD, professional bachelor and professional master programmes) are in professional bachelor programmes ([71]2018:
https://www.onderwijsincijfers.nl/kengetallen/hbo/studenten-hbo/aantallen-ingeschrevenen-hbo [extracted 23.5.2019].
).

EQF 7

Professional master’s

programmes

1 year

ISCED 757

Professional master’s programmes leading to EQF level 7, ISCED 757
EQF level
7
ISCED-P 2011 level

757

Usual entry grade


Usual completion grade


Usual entry age

21+

Usual completion age

22+

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?

N

Is it continuing VET?

Information not available

Is it offered free of charge?

N

A tuition fee is compulsory. For 2018/2019 this fee is EUR 2 060.

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

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

information not available

Main providers

Professional master’s programmes are provided by publicly financed universities of applied sciences (hogescholen). Non-subsidised, private providers can offer similar programmes if they have appropriate accreditation.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

The responsibility for curriculum development and assessment is in the hands of the universities of applied science. Various curricula and learning environments exist even for programmes related to the same profession.

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

information not available

Main target groups

Higher professional bachelor programmes graduates

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

Access is provided to holders of a higher professional bachelor degree.

Assessment of learning outcomes

The responsibility for assessment is in the hands of the universities of applied science. The Dutch-Flemish accreditation body (NVAO) accredits the programmes once every six years. Higher professional bachelor degrees are awarded by the institutions themselves. Official recognition of programmes is granted as long as they are accredited by NVAO.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Professional master’s degree

Examples of qualifications

Information not available

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Those who complete a Professional master’s degree can enter a Ph.D. programme.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

N

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

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

2.7% of all students in higher professional education (Associate Degree, professional bachelor and professional master programmes) are in professional master programmes ([72]2018:
https://www.onderwijsincijfers.nl/kengetallen/hbo/studenten-hbo/aantallen-ingeschrevenen-hbo [extracted 23.5.2019].
).

Post-secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 4

Specialising

programmes,

1 year

ISCED 453

Specialising programmes leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 453
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

453

Usual entry grade

16

Usual completion grade

16

Usual entry age

20

Usual completion age

20

Length of a programme (years)

1

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

N

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

A tuition fee is compulsory from the age of 18.

For 2018/2018 this fee is EUR 1155

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

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

These programmes offer two different learning pathways:

  • school-based; or
  • apprenticeship (dual pathway)

School-based and dual tracks in upper secondary VET lead to the same diplomas; there is no reference to the track on the diploma.

Main providers

Subsidised VET programmes at upper secondary level are offered by 43 regional, multi sectoral VET colleges (ROC – regionale opleidingscentra), 10 specialist trade colleges (vakscholen: specific for a branch of industry), 10 agricultural training centres (AOC – agrarische opleidingscentra) and one school for people with disabilities in hearing, language and communication. Private, non-subsidised providers can offer VET programmes as long as their programmes are accredited by the ministry.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

In the school-based track (BOL – beroepsopleidende leerweg) practical periods in companies make up at least 20% of study time up to a maximum of 59%. The dual or apprenticeship track (BBL – beroepsbegeleidende leerweg), training takes place in companies at least 60% of study time.

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

in-company practice (internships)

The responsibility for curriculum development and assessment is in the hands of the upper secondary VET schools. Various curricula and learning environments exist even for programmes related to the same profession.

Main target groups

Professional and middle management upper secondary VET programmes graduates

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

Access requirements are a completed professional or middle management upper secondary VET programme (MBO 3 or 4).

Assessment of learning outcomes

Assessment of learning results is the responsibility of schools. The law stipulates that companies providing work-based learning have to be involved. Qualification standards serve as benchmarks for assessments. The education inspectorate supervises quality of examinations (content, level and procedures at programme level).

Obligatory central examinations in Dutch language, English and basic maths have been introduced.

Passing the exam in Dutch language and English is compulsory to obtain a diploma. For basic maths this is not yet the case.

Diplomas/certificates provided

VET learners receive a specialist upper secondary VET qualification.

Examples of qualifications

Manager team/department/project, instructor upper secondary vocational education

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Progression to higher professional education, especially dual or part-time tracks, is possible.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

General education subjects

Y

Dutch language, English, basic math

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

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

Information not available

Secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 1 or 2

Lower secondary

pre-vocational

school-based programmes,

4 years

ISCED 244

Lower secondary pre-vocational school-based programmes . Within lower secondary pre-vocational education four tracks exist: two general programmes, the theoretical and the combined pathway (to be merged into one new pathway in 2021) leading to EQF 2 (ISCED 244) (VMBO- theoretische leerweg and gemengde leerweg). In the mixed pathway 4 hours a week are VET oriented.; Two VET oriented programmes, the basic level vocational learning pathway and the advanced level vocational pathway leading to EQF 1 or 2 (ISCED 244). (VMBO – voorbereidend middelbaar beroepsonderwijs – basisberoepsgerichte or kaderberoepsgerichte leerweg), In these programmes 12 hours a week are VET oriented.
EQF level
1 or 2
ISCED-P 2011 level

244

Usual entry grade

9

Usual completion grade

12

Usual entry age

13

Usual completion age

16

Length of a programme (years)

4

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Education is compulsory for learners from five to 16 years old. 16- and 17-year-olds without a general or basic vocational qualification at upper secondary level are required to continue learning, the so-called ‘qualification duty’ (kwalificatieplicht).

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

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

These programmes offer both vocational and general programmes. The first two years consist of general subjects. In years three and four, learners choose a learning pathway characterised by ‘level differentiation’, programme orientation and transfer possibilities in the education system. The four learning pathways are:

  • theoretical learning pathway; those graduating from it can proceed to upper secondary vocational education, especially long courses at highest levels of upper secondary or continue in the fourth year of upper secondary general education. Programme content is general in character;
  • Combined learning pathway; similar to theoretical learning pathway, apart from 10 to 15% of study time dedicated to vocational subjects. Progression routes in upper secondary VET are the same as for theoretical learning pathway;
  • advanced level vocational learning pathway; preparation programme for long courses in upper secondary VET with mostly vocational subjects;
  • basic level vocational learning pathway (EQF 1); preparation programme for short courses in upper secondary VET with mostly vocational subjects. Within this pathway, pupils with learning difficulties can follow a dual track, combining learning and working.

In the third year of VMBO, learners in vocational programmes have to make a choice between the 10 vocational profiles.

Whereas the vocational pathways were most popular in the past, since 2011most learners in the third year of secondary education were in one of the general pathways.

Learners in third year of VMBO by programme orientation (2008/9 – 2017/18)

Main providers

Secondary education schools

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

information not available

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

Programmes are available for young people

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

Entry in pre vocational education is based on the advice given by the primary education school.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Central, national examinations and school examinations are held, which are important for obtaining the diploma. The education inspectorate supervises quality of school exams

Diplomas/certificates provided

Lower secondary pre-vocational diplomas have no labour market currency as learners are expected to continue in upper secondary VET or in general education.

Central examinations in Dutch language and basic maths have been introduced. Passing the exam in Dutch language is compulsory to obtain a diploma. For basic maths this is not yet the case.

Examples of qualifications

Agriculture, building, mobility and transport, economy and business, health and welfare.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Those who complete lower secondary pre-vocational school-based programmes can continue in upper secondary VET or general education. They are not expected to enter the labour market, as their diplomas do not have such value.

To facilitate progression from lower secondary pre-vocational education to upper secondary VET, pre vocational education schools cooperate with VET schools to smoothen transition.

Destination of graduates

In 2019 89% of graduates directly progress to upper secondary vocational education programmes ([57]www.onderwijsincijfers.nl own calculations 2018 [extracted 24.4.2019].).

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Y

The first two years consist of general subjects.

Dutch language and basic maths.

Key competences

information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

information not available

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

information not available

In 2017 54% of the students in the third year of lower secondary education are in pre vocational education. 25% of students in third year of secondary education are in the two vocational tracks in pre-vocational education.

Practical labour-oriented

programmes for students

with learning difficulties

ISCED 253

Practical labour market-oriented programmes for students with learning difficulties (PRO - praktijkonderwijs, EQF 1) is available
EQF level
Not applicable
ISCED-P 2011 level

253

Usual entry grade

9

Usual completion grade

13

Usual entry age

13

Usual completion age

17

Length of a programme (years)

5 years

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Education is compulsory for learners from five to 16 years old. 16- and 17-year-olds without a general or basic vocational qualification at upper secondary level are required to continue learning, the so-called ‘qualification duty’ (kwalificatieplicht).

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

N

Secondary education

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Information not available

Is it available for adults?

N

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

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

Information not available

Main providers

Provided by individual schools for practice oriented education (praktijkscholen) or as a part of comprehensive secondary education schools.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Information not available

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

Programme is available for young people not able to enter pre vocational education (VMBO). It prepares learners for participation in the labour market and society.

For each student a personal development plan is drawn up, including both practical and theoretical subjects, self-reliance training with assignments such as shopping, cooking, doing odd jobs around the house and traveling independently, personal empowerment and employee skills training.

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

Learners with learning deficits in reading, writing and/or numeracy skills, IQ between 50-88,

Assessment of learning outcomes

information not available

Diplomas/certificates provided

School diploma and/or branch-specific certificate. No formal qualification.

Examples of qualifications

Not Applicable

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates can progress to entry level upper secondary VET programmes (level 1).

Destination of graduates

Approximately 40% progress to entry level upper secondary VET programmes (level 1)

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Information not available

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

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

Information not available

Total number of learners in this programme is almost 30.000 (total number of learners in secondary education is close to one million) ([58]https://www.onderwijsincijfers.nl/kengetallen/vo/leerlingen-vo/aantallen-leerlingen-in-het-vo [extracted 23.5.2019].)

EQF 1

Entry level

Programmes,

1 year

ISCED 254

Entry level upper secondary vocational education programmes leading to EQF level 1, ISCED 254 (MBO 1 – entreeopleiding middelbaar beroepsonderwijs)
EQF level
1
ISCED-P 2011 level

254

Usual entry grade

13

Usual completion grade

13

Usual entry age

16 to 17

Usual completion age

17

Length of a programme (years)

1

Within four months after starting an entry course youngsters over 17 are told whether they will be allowed to continue in the same study programme. This means that schools do not remain responsible for young people making insufficient learning progress.

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Education is compulsory for learners from five to 16 years old. 16- and 17-year-olds without a general or basic vocational qualification at upper secondary level are required to continue learning, the so-called ‘qualification duty’ (kwalificatieplicht).

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Upper secondary IVET programmes can also function as CVET.

Is it offered free of charge?

A tuition fee is compulsory from the age of 18.

For 2018/19 this fee is EUR 1155

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

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

These programmes offer two different learning pathways:

  • school-based; or
  • apprenticeship (dual pathway)

School-based and dual tracks in upper secondary VET lead to the same diplomas; there is no reference to the track on the diploma.

VET legislation mandates accreditation of companies offering work placements to VET students; accreditation has to be obtained for each qualification both for training places in the dual and the school-based track. SBB ([59]Cooperation Organisation for Vocational Education, Training and the Labour Market (Samenwerkingsorganisatie Beroepsonderwijs Bedrijfsleven - SBB).) is responsible for the accreditation process. Names and addresses of the accredited companies are available on a national website ([60]http://www.stagemarkt.nl).

Main providers

Subsidised VET programmes at upper secondary level are offered by 43 regional, multisectoral VET colleges (ROC – regionale opleidingscentra), 10 specialist trade colleges (vakscholen: specific for a branch of industry), 10 agricultural training centres (AOC – agrarische opleidingscentra) and one school for people with disabilities in hearing, language and communication. Private, non-subsidised providers can offer VET programmes as long as their programmes are accredited by the ministry.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

In the school-based track (BOL – beroepsopleidende leerweg) practical periods in companies make up at least 20% of study time up to a maximum of 59%. The dual or apprenticeship track (BBL – beroepsbegeleidende leerweg), training takes place in companies at least 60% of study time.

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • in-company practice (internship) is obligatory.

The responsibility for curriculum development and assessment is in the hands of the upper secondary VET schools. Various curricula and learning environments exist even for programmes related to the same profession.

Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

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

Admission is limited to school leavers from lower secondary education without a diploma, and to graduates of practical labour market-oriented programme

Assessment of learning outcomes

Assessment of learning results is the responsibility of schools. The law stipulates that companies providing work-based learning have to be involved. Qualification standards serve as benchmarks for assessments. The education inspectorate supervises quality of examinations (content, level and procedures at programme level).

Central examinations in Dutch language and basic maths have been introduced but are not yet compulsory for qualification.

Diplomas/certificates provided

VET learners receive an entry level qualification (EQF 1). Diplomas are recognised by the education and training and labour authorities.

Examples of qualifications

Upper secondary VET programmes are offered in four different areas of study (nationally referred to as ‘sectors’): green/agriculture, technology, economics, and health/welfare.

Examples of entry level qualifications:

assistant construction, living and maintenance worker, assistant service and care worker, assistant installation and construction technology worker.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Entry level courses are aimed at qualifying youngsters to entering programmes at the next level (basic level upper secondary VET programmes), as well as guiding youngsters not capable to make this step, to work.

Destination of graduates

information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

It is possible to acquire an entry level diploma by validation of prior learning.

General education subjects

N

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

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

EQF 2

Basic vocational

programmes

1-2 years

ISCED 353

Basic level upper secondary vocational education programmes leading to EQF level 2, ISCED 353 (MBO 2 – basisberoepsopleiding middelbaar beroepsonderwijs)
EQF level
2
ISCED-P 2011 level

353

Usual entry grade

13

Usual completion grade

14

Usual entry age

16 to 17

Usual completion age

18

Length of a programme (years)

1 to 2

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Individuals who have left education before obtaining a diploma at MBO 2 level (or equivalent) are defined as early school leavers.

Education is compulsory for pupils from age five to 16. 16 and 17 year-olds without a general or basic vocational qualification at upper secondary level are required to continue learning, the so-called ‘qualification duty’ (kwalificatieplicht). This arrangement was introduced in 2008 to reduce early leaving from education and training

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Upper secondary IVET programmes can also function as CVET.

Is it offered free of charge?

A tuition fee is compulsory from the age of 18.

For 2018/19 this fee is EUR 1 155

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

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

These programmes offer two different learning pathways:

  • school-based; or
  • apprenticeship (dual pathway)

School-based and dual tracks in upper secondary VET lead to the same diplomas; there is no reference to the track on the diploma.

Most learners take part in the school based track, which also appears to be gaining popularity. Between 2008 and 2015 the share of learners in apprenticeship has decreased due to the economic recession. However more structural reasons like upward mobility and growing preferences from youngsters and employers for school based education, could not be excluded. In the last two years the share of learners in the dual track has increased slightly, due to the increased enrolment of adults.

VET legislation mandates accreditation of companies offering work placements to VET students; accreditation has to be obtained for each qualification both for training places in the dual and the school-based track. SBB ([62]Cooperation Organisation for Vocational Education, Training and the Labour Market (Samenwerkingsorganisatie Beroepsonderwijs Bedrijfsleven - SBB)) is responsible for the accreditation process. Names and addresses of the accredited companies are available on a national website ([63]http://www.stagemarkt.nl).

Main providers

Subsidised VET programmes at upper secondary level are offered by 43 regional, multisectoral VET colleges (ROC – regionale opleidingscentra), 10 specialist trade colleges (vakscholen: specific for a branch of industry), 10 agricultural training centres (AOC – agrarische opleidingscentra) and one school for people with disabilities in hearing, language and communication. Private, non-subsidised providers can offer VET programmes as long as their programmes are accredited by the ministry.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

In the school-based track (BOL – beroepsopleidende leerweg) practical periods in companies make up at least 20% of study time up to a maximum of 59%. The dual or apprenticeship track (BBL – beroepsbegeleidende leerweg), training takes place in companies at least 60% of study time.

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

in-company practice (internships)

The responsibility for curriculum development and assessment is in the hands of the upper secondary VET schools. Various curricula and learning environments exist even for programmes related to the same profession.

Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults (16-35).

Participants in the school-based track are mainly youngsters, while most learners in the dual track are 23 or over, this is because this track is also used by companies to upgrade their employees.

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

Access requirements are at least a basic pre-vocational education diploma, a completed entry level upper secondary VET programme, or proof of successful completion of the first three years of upper secondary general education or pre-university education.

To enrol in the dual/apprenticeship track a contract (an employment contract in most cases) with a firm is mandatory. There is no such obligation for the school-based track.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Assessment of learning results is the responsibility of schools. The law stipulates that companies providing work-based learning have to be involved. Qualification standards serve as benchmarks for assessments. The education inspectorate supervises quality of examinations (content, level and procedures at programme level).

Passing central examinations in Dutch language is compulsory to obtain a diploma. Central examination in basic maths is not yet compulsory.

Diplomas/certificates provided

VET learners receive a basic level upper secondary VET qualification (EQF 2). Diplomas are recognised by the education and training and labour authorities.

Examples of qualifications

Upper secondary VET programmes are offered in four different areas of study (nationally referred to as ‘sectors’): green/agriculture, technology, economics, and health/welfare.

Examples: bricklayer. assembly mechanic, security officer, care and well-being assistant,

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Progression to professional upper secondary VET programmes (MBO 3) and (for some students to) middle management upper seconday VET programmes (MBO 4) is possible.

It is the ‘official’ minimum qualification level for the labour market. The term ‘official’ implies that it is the minimum desirable education level for every citizen.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

It is possible to acquire a basic level upper secondary VET diploma by validation of prior learning.

General education subjects

Y

Dutch language and basic maths

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

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

17% of learners in upper secondary VET programmes

EQF 3

Professional education

Programmes,

2-3 years

ISCED 353

Professional upper secondary vocational education programmes leading to EQF level 3, ISCED 353 (MBO 3 – vakopleiding middelbaar beroepsonderwijs)
EQF level
3
ISCED-P 2011 level

353

Usual entry grade

13

Usual completion grade

15

Usual entry age

16 to 17

Usual completion age

19

Length of a programme (years)

2 to 3

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Education is compulsory for pupils from age five to 16. 16 and 17 year-olds without a general or basic vocational qualification at upper secondary level are required to continue learning, the so-called ‘qualification duty’ (kwalificatieplicht). This arrangement was introduced in 2008 to reduce early leaving from education and training.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Upper secondary IVET programmes can also function as CVET.

Is it offered free of charge?

A tuition fee is compulsory from the age of 18.

For 2018/2018 this fee is EUR 1155

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

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

These programmes offer two different learning pathways:

  • school-based; or
  • apprenticeship (dual pathway)

School-based and dual tracks in upper secondary VET lead to the same diplomas; there is no reference to the track on the diploma.

Most learners take part in the school based track, which also appears to be gaining popularity. Between 2008 and 2015 the share of learners in apprenticeship has decreased due to the economic recession. However more structural reasons like upward mobility and growing preferences from youngsters and employers for school based education, could not be excluded. In the last two years the share of learners in the dual track has increased slightly, due to the increased enrolment of adults.

VET legislation mandates accreditation of companies offering work placements to VET students; accreditation has to be obtained for each qualification both for training places in the dual and the school-based track. SBB ([64]Cooperation Organisation for Vocational Education, Training and the Labour Market (Samenwerkingsorganisatie Beroepsonderwijs Bedrijfsleven - SBB).) is responsible for the accreditation process. Names and addresses of the accredited companies are available on a national website ([65]http://www.stagemarkt.nl).

Main providers

Subsidised VET programmes at upper secondary level are offered by 43 regional, multi sectoral VET colleges (ROC – regionale opleidingscentra), 10 specialist trade colleges (vakscholen: specific for a branch of industry), 10 agricultural training centres (AOC – agrarische opleidingscentra) and one school for people with disabilities in hearing, language and communication. Private, non-subsidised providers can offer VET programmes as long as their programmes are accredited by the ministry.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

In the school-based track (BOL – beroepsopleidende leerweg) practical periods in companies make up at least 20% of study time up to a maximum of 59%. The dual or apprenticeship track (BBL – beroepsbegeleidende leerweg), training takes place in companies at least 60% of study time.

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

in-company practice (internships)

The responsibility for curriculum development and assessment is in the hands of the upper secondary VET schools. Various curricula and learning environments exist even for programmes related to the same profession.

Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults (16-35).

For upper secondary VET (level 1 to 4): participants in the school-based track are mainly youngsters, while 46% of those following a dual track are 23 or over, this is because this track is also used by companies to upgrade their employees.

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

Access requirements are:

  • a pre-vocational secondary education certificate/diploma; or
  • proof of successful completion of the first three years of upper secondary general education or pre-university education.

To enrol in the dual/apprenticeship track a contract (an employment contract in most cases) with a firm is mandatory. There is no such obligation for the school-based track.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Assessment of learning results is the responsibility of schools. The law stipulates that companies providing work-based learning have to be involved. Qualification standards serve as benchmarks for assessments. The education inspectorate supervises quality of examinations (content, level and procedures at programme level).

Central examinations in Dutch language and basic maths have been introduced. Passing the exam in Dutch language is compulsory to obtain a diploma. For basic maths this is not yet the case.

Diplomas/certificates provided

VET learners receive a professional upper secondary vocational education qualification (EQF 3). (MBO 3 – vakopleiding middelbaar beroepsonderwijs)

Diplomas are recognised by the education and training and labour authorities

Examples of qualifications

Upper secondary VET programmes are offered in four different areas of study (nationally referred to as ‘sectors’): green/agriculture, technology, economics, and health/welfare.

Examples: all-round carpenter, care provider disability care, financial administrative assistant.

Participation (%) in upper secondary VET (level 1-4) by area of study (2013-2017)

Source: DUO 2018 (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs - Service Institution Education).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Progression to middle management upper secondary vocational education programmes (MBO 4) is possible, as well as to specialising programmes at post-secondary level.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

It is possible to acquire a professional upper secondary VET diploma by validation of prior learning.

General education subjects

Y

Dutch language, basic maths

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

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

25% of learners in upper secondary VET programmes

EQF 4

Middle management

VET programmes,

3-4 years

ISCED 354

Middle management upper secondary vocational education programmes leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354 (MBO 4 –middenkaderopleiding middelbaar beroepsonderwijs)
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

13

Usual completion grade

15

Usual entry age

16 to 17

Usual completion age

19 or 20

Length of a programme (years)

3 to 4

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Education is compulsory for pupils from age five to 16. 16 and 17 year-olds without a general or basic vocational qualification at upper secondary level are required to continue learning, the so-called ‘qualification duty’ (kwalificatieplicht). This arrangement was introduced in 2008 to reduce early leaving from education and training.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Upper secondary IVET programmes can also function as CVET.

Is it offered free of charge?

A tuition fee is compulsory from the age of 18.

For 2018/2018 this fee is EUR 1155.

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

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

These programmes offer two different learning pathways:

  • school-based; or
  • apprenticeship (dual pathway)

School-based and dual tracks in upper secondary VET lead to the same diplomas; there is no reference to the track on the diploma.

Most learners take part in the school based track, which also appears to be gaining popularity. Between 2008 and 2015 the share of learners in apprenticeship has decreased due to the economic recession. However more structural reasons like upward mobility and growing preferences from youngsters and employers for school based education, could not be excluded. In the last two years the share of learners in the dual track has increased slightly, due to the increased enrolment of adults.

VET legislation mandates accreditation of companies offering work placements to VET students; accreditation has to be obtained for each qualification both for training places in the dual and the school-based track. SBB ([66]Cooperation Organisation for Vocational Education, Training and the Labour Market (Samenwerkingsorganisatie Beroepsonderwijs Bedrijfsleven - SBB).) is responsible for the accreditation process. Names and addresses of the accredited companies are available on a national website ([67]http://www.stagemarkt.nl).

Main providers

Subsidised VET programmes at upper secondary level are offered by 43 regional, multi sectoral VET colleges (ROC – regionale opleidingscentra), 10 specialist trade colleges (vakscholen: specific for a branch of industry), 10 agricultural training centres (AOC – agrarische opleidingscentra) and one school for people with disabilities in hearing, language and communication. Private, non-subsidised providers can offer VET programmes as long as their programmes are accredited by the ministry.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

In the school-based track (BOL – beroepsopleidende leerweg) practical periods in companies make up at least 20% of study time up to a maximum of 59%. The dual or apprenticeship track (BBL – beroepsbegeleidende leerweg), training takes place in companies at least 60% of study time.

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

in-company practice (internships)

The responsibility for curriculum development and assessment is in the hands of the upper secondary VET schools. Various curricula and learning environments exist even for programmes related to the same profession.

Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults (16-35).

Participants in the school-based track are mainly youngsters, while 46% of those following a dual track are 23 or over, this is because this track is also used by companies to upgrade their employees.

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

Access requirements are:

  • a pre-vocational secondary education certificate/diploma; or
  • proof of successful completion of the first three years of upper secondary general education or pre-university education.

To enrol in the dual/apprenticeship track a contract (an employment contract in most cases) with a firm is mandatory. There is no such obligation for the school-based track.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Assessment of learning results is the responsibility of schools. The law stipulates that companies providing work-based learning have to be involved. Qualification standards serve as benchmarks for assessments. The education inspectorate supervises quality of examinations (content, level and procedures at programme level).

Obligatory central examinations in Dutch language, English and basic maths have been introduced.

Passing the exam in Dutch language and English is compulsory to obtain a diploma. For basic maths this is not yet the case.

Diplomas/certificates provided

VET learners receive a middle management upper secondary VET qualification (EQF 4).

(MBO 4 –middenkaderopleiding middelbaar beroepsonderwijs).

Diplomas are recognised by the education and training and labour authorities.

Examples of qualifications

Upper secondary VET programmes are offered in four different areas of study (nationally referred to as ‘sectors’): green/agriculture, technology, economics, and health/welfare.

Examples: planner installations, dental nurse, catering manager.

Participation (%) in upper secondary VET (level 1 to 4) by area of study (2013-2017)

Source: DUO 2018 (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs - Service Institution Education).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Progression is possible to:

  • higher professional education;
  • two-year associate degree programmes (short-cycle higher education, EQF 5);
  • to specialising programmes at post-secondary level.
Destination of graduates

39% of graduates of middle management upper secondary VET programmes enter Higher professional bachelor programmes, while 61% of them enter the job market.

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

General education subjects

Y

English, Dutch language, basic math

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

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

54% of learners in upper secondary VET programmes

VET available to adults (formal and non-formal)

Programme Types
Not available

General themes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The population is ageing. An old-age dependency ratio is expected to increase from 27 in 2015 to 55 in 2060 ([5]Old-age-dependency ratio is defined as the ratio between the number of persons aged 65 and more over the number of working-age persons (15-64). The value is expressed per 100 persons of working age (15-64).).

 

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

Source: Eurostat, proj_15ndbims [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Demographic changes have an impact on VET.

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

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

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

Most companies are micro and small-sized.

Main economic sectors:

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

Employment rate of 20 to 34-year-old VET graduates increased from 77.4% in 2014 to 86.2% in 2018 ([12]Eurostat table edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Share of learners in VET by level in 2017

lower secondary

upper secondary

post-secondary

not applicable

70.9%

not applicable

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

   

Structure of enrolment by sex, in %

Total, number

Men

Women

Fields of education - TOTAL

47 724

58.2

41.8

Education

2 709

10.7

89.3

Humanities and Arts

2 865

37.6

62.4

Social sciences, business and law

5 570

37.5

62.5

Science

3 089

95.6

4.4

Engineering, manufacturing and construction

17 456

90.2

9.8

Agriculture

2 582

48.1

51.9

Health and Welfare

5 861

26.1

73.9

Services

7 592

37.5

62.5

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

The share of early leavers from education and training decreased from 5.3% in 2009 to 4.2% in 2018. This is lower than the national target for 2020 of not more than 10% and significantly lower than the EU-28 average of 10.6%.

 

Early leavers from education and training in 2009-18

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

 

 

Participation in lifelong learning in 2014-18

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

 

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

VET learners by age group

 

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

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

 

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

The education and training system comprises:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Formal initial VET

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

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

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

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

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

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

Formal continuing VET

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other possible funding sources for VET include:

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

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

 

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

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

 

In VET, there are:

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

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

There are two types of teachers of vocational modules.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Training of in-company mentors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vocational qualifications

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

Occupational standards

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

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

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

Occupational standards development process

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

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

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

Preparation of VET programmes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Responsibilities/assignments of Quality committee are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scholarships

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

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

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

Co-financing of tuition for raising educational levels

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

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

Co-financing of non-formal education and training

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

Textbooks, commute and school meals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please see:

Vocational education and training system chart

Tertiary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 5

Higher VET programmes,

WBL 40%

2 years

ISCED 554

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

554

Usual entry grade

14

Usual completion grade

16

Usual entry age

19

Usual completion age

21

Length of a programme (years)

2

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

for full-time learners

N

for part-time learners

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

120

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

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

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

Main providers

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

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

40%

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

Young people, adults

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

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

Diplomas/certificates provided

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

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

Examples of qualifications

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

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

First cycle professional and academic

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

General education subjects

N

Key competences

N

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

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

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

 

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

 

Post-secondary

Programme Types
Not available

Secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 4

Mainly

School-based

Technical VET,

WBL 15%,

4 years

ISCED 354

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

354

Usual entry grade

10

Usual completion grade

13

Usual entry age

15

Usual completion age

19

Length of a programme (years)

4

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

240

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

Programmes are mainly school-based.

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

Main providers

VET schools or school centre

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Approximately 15%

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

Programmes are available for young people and adults.

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

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

Usually the learners are 15 years of age.

Specific programmes may have additional entry requirements.

Assessment of learning outcomes

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

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

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

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

Diplomas/certificates provided

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

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

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

Examples of qualifications

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

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

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

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

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

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

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

General education subjects

Y

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

Key competences

Y

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

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

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

All VET programmes are modularised since 2006.

Several modules together enable the acquisition of a vocational qualification.

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

EQF 4

Mainly

school-based

technical VET,

WBL 10%,

2 years

ISCED 354

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

354

Usual entry grade

12

Usual completion grade

14

Usual entry age

18

Usual completion age

20

Length of a programme (years)

2

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

120 credits

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

PTI is a school-based learning programme:

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

Main providers

VET schools or School centre

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

10%

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

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

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

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

Assessment of learning outcomes

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

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

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

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

Diplomas/certificates provided

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

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

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

Examples of qualifications

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

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

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

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

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

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

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

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

General education subjects

Y

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

Key competences

Y

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

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

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

EQF 4

VET programmes with

School-based (WBL 20%) and

Apprenticeship (WBL 50%) paths,

3 years

ISCED 353

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

353

Usual entry grade

10

Usual completion grade

13

Usual entry age

15

Usual completion age

18

Length of a programme (years)

3

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

180 credits

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

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

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

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

Main providers

VET schools or school centre

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

40% in school-based path

50-60% in apprenticeship path

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

School based path:

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

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

Apprenticeship path:

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

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

Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

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

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

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

Usually the learners are 15 years of age.

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

Assessment of learning outcomes

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

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

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

Diplomas/certificates provided

Final examination certificate (spričevalo o zaključnem izpitu)

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

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

Examples of qualifications

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

Other:

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

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

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

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

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

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

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

General education subjects

Y

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

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

Key competences

Y

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

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

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

EQF 3

Short VET

Programmes,

WBL 35%,

2 years

ISCED 353

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

353

Usual entry grade

10

Usual completion grade

12

Usual entry age

15

Usual completion age

17

Length of a programme (years)

2

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

120 credits

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

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

Main providers

VET schools or School centres

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

35-40%

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

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

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

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

Assessment of learning outcomes

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

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

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

Diplomas/certificates provided

Final examination certificate (Potrdilo o zaključnem izpitu)

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

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

Examples of qualifications

Woodworker (also adjusted for the hearing impaired)

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

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

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

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

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

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

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

General education subjects

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

Key competences

Y

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

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

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

EQF 4

Vocational

bridging courses,

1 year

ISCED 354

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

354

Usual entry grade

14

Usual completion grade

15

Usual entry age

19

Usual completion age

20

Length of a programme (years)

1

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

for upper secondary learners,

N

for adults

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

60 credits

Exception: Computer technician 77 credits

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

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

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

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

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

Schools, Adult education providers

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

Young people, adults

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

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

Learners are usually 19 years of age.

Assessment of learning outcomes

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

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

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

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

Diplomas/certificates provided

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

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

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

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

Destination of graduates

Official data unavailable

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

N

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

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

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

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

 

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

 

EQF 4

Craftsman/foreman/

shop manager exams

ISCED 354

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

354

Usual entry grade

Not applicable

Usual completion grade

Not applicable

Usual entry age

Not applicable

Usual completion age

Not applicable

Length of a programme (years)

Not applicable

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

N

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

N

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

Y

ECVET or other credits

60 credits

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

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

Main providers

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

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

Slovenian Chamber of Commerce conducts shop manager exam.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Not applicable

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

Not applicable

Main target groups

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

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

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

For Master Craftsman and Foreman:

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

For Shop manager:

Vocational education and three years of work experience

Assessment of learning outcomes

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

The examinations consist of four units:

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

Each unit consists of one or several exams.

Diplomas/certificates provided

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

Examples of qualifications

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

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

Shop manager

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

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

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Not applicable

Key competences

Not applicable

Application of learning outcomes approach

Not applicable

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

Information not available

VET available to adults (formal and non-formal)

Programme Types
Not available