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General themes

VET in Portugal comprises the following main features:

  • Permeability (horizontal and vertical) between different VET programmes and between general education and VET programmes.
  • All VET programmes grant double certification: an education certificate and a professional qualification.
  • Participation in upper secondary education has significantly increased, since 2005.
  • Early leaving from education and training has been steadily decreasing, since 2008.

Distinctive features ([1]Adapted from Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Portugal. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8119_en.pdf
)

Key principles of VET provision are the wide range of programmes accessible to young people and adults, the link between VET provision and labour market needs, and flexibility in type and duration of courses for adults. VET learners have the possibility to access programmes at higher levels or higher education. Credits achieved in post-secondary level programmes may be recognised when applying to a higher education programme in the same field of study. Permeability is secured for adults older than 23 by offering them an access to higher education through recognition of previous training and professional experience. Accrediting of publicly funded VET providers and trainers is mandatory and, along with their external evaluations, ensures quality of VET.

The national qualifications system (SNQ) ([2]Decreto-Lei (Decree-Law) n.º 396/2007, de 31 de Dezembro (link to the consolidated legislation).) promotes upper secondary education as the minimum level of attainment, expanding IVET options and flexible learning paths for adults. The SNQ adopted a governance model based on involvement of the different VET providers, sector councils, and social partners, establishing common objectives and instruments. Tools that support SNQ are:

High on the policy agenda are the following challenges:

  • further reducing early leaving from education and training and discourage the entry of unqualified young people into the labour market;
  • increasing adult educational attainment by widening access to learning through modularisation;
  • improving tutor support to learners and reasserting the value of transferable skills in the curricula, in order to tackle education and training failure;
  • modernising learning provision through new teaching methods and wider variety of VET courses leading to competence-based qualifications;
  • offering initial and continuing VET provision in line with labour market requirements;
  • upskilling vulnerable groups and promoting their socio-professional integration.

Policy initiatives have resulted in an increase in upper secondary VET programmes, ensuring that VET programmes lead to double certification, and boosting the RVCC system ([7]Reconhecimento, validação e certificação de competências (recognition, validation and certification of competences)
) development. National authorities are also implementing measures for adults through the Qualifica programme ([8]A programme developed to promote investment in training pathways that will lead to the effective qualification of learners, especially focused on the improvement of adult qualification or employability. Decreto-Lei (Decree-law) n.º 14/2017 de 26 de janeirohttps://www.qualifica.gov.pt/#/programaQualifica 
) and assuring the continuity of lifelong learning policies, through the reinforcement of specialised Qualifica centres, launched in 2016. They target people over 18 years old who seek a qualification, guiding those who are low-skilled to RVCC processes. They provide guidance, counselling for young people (aged 15 or older), especially for NEETs ([9]Not in education, employment or training.), as well as increasing proximity to target populations.

Data adapted from VET in Portugal Spotlight 2018 ([10]Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Portugal. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8119_en.pdf
).

Population in 2018: 10 291 027 ([11]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].)

It decreased since 2013 by 1.9% due to negative natural growth ([12]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

Population is ageing; Portugal is the fourth country with the highest proportion of elderly in the EU.

An old-age-dependency ratio is expected to increase from 31 in 2015 to 65 in 2060 ([13]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].

 

 

 

Most companies are micro and small-sized. In 2017 the share of individual enterprises was 68.0% ([14]INE (2019).
Empresas em Portugal - 2017.
).

 

Enterprises by class size (%)

 

 

Main economic sectors:

  • commerce;
  • services;
  • construction & real estate activities;
  • agriculture and fisheries.

Since 2011, Portugal made major reforms deregulating professions. In 2019, there are 238 professions and 43 competent authorities registered in the database of the European Commission.

In 2015, a legal framework ([15]Decreto-Lei (Decree-Law) n.º 37/2015, de 10 de março.) was adopted establishing a different way to gain access into professions and to practice them. According to these new regulations, professional qualifications required to access a particular profession or professional activity are:

  • tertiary education qualifications;
  • training references/standards for non-higher qualifications included in the National Qualifications Catalogue (CNQ);
  • training references of non-higher qualifications not foreseen in the CNQ;
  • diplomas or certificates obtained by passing exams without previous training.

Total unemployment (2018) ([16]Percentage of active population, 25 to 74 years old.): 6.0%; it decreased by 1.4 percentage points since 2008 and reached its lowest since 2008 ([17]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. However, the youth unemployment rate of people with medium-level qualifications, including most VET graduates (ISCED levels 3 and 4) is lower than for those with high-level qualifications.

In 2018, youth unemployment in Portugal was 20.3% (3.6% less than in 2017, but still well above the EU28 average) ([18]Eurostat, table tesem140 [extracted 10.4.2019].).

Employment rate of recent VET graduates increased from 75.1% in 2014 to 84.6% in 2018. Since 2015, the employment rate of VET graduates has been higher than the one of general education graduates.

 

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 in employment of 20-34 year-old VET graduates in 2014-18 (+9.5 pp) was higher compared to the increase in employment of all 20-34 year-old graduates (+8.3 pp) in the same period in Portugal ([19]NB: Breaks in series. Eurostat table edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

Education attainment in Portugal is traditionally lower than the EU average. The share of people with low-level or no qualification was decreased from 73.7% in 2005 to 50.2% in 2018, but is still the highest in EU. The share of those with medium-level qualifications, although it has significantly increased, is still the second lowest in EU.

 

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

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011; low reliability for ‘No response’ in Iceland, Czech Republic, Poland and Latvia.
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

8.0%

40.7%

100%

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

 

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

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

 

Traditionally, there are more males in VET programmes (58.9%), except in the specialised art programmes where in 2016/17 71.5% of learners were females ([20]DGEEC (2018).
Perfil do aluno 2016/2017, pp. 86, 119.
).

Among VET programmes, Professional programmes have the highest percentage of female learners (32.7%).

Post-secondary non-tertiary VET has an even higher rate of males (66.9%) than secondary VET.

Early leaving from education and training has been steadily decreasing from 30.9% in 2009 to 11.8% in 2018. It is still above the national target for 2020 of not more than 10% and the EU-28 average of 10.6%.

 

Early leavers from education and training in 2009-18

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

 

Lifelong learning offers training opportunities for adults including adult education and training programmes, certified modular training, and recognition of prior learning (Recognition, validation and certification of competences process - RVCC).

 

Participation in lifelong learning in 2014-18

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

 

Participation in lifelong learning had been decreasing during the period 2011-13 (economic crisis), while since 2014 has been steady and close to the EU average.

Regarding adults, participation in VET is rising. 27.5% of those enrolled in education/ training programmes are in the process of recognition of prior learning ([21]Recognition of prior learning - Recognition, validation and certification of competences process (RVCC).), which represents a rise of 7.8%; the Education and training programmes for adults (EFA) remain adults’ main option (59.9%).

Information not available

The education and training system comprises:

  • preschool education (ISCED level 0);
  • basic education (nine years) organised into three cycles integrating primary and lower secondary education (ISCED level 1 and 2);
  • upper secondary education (ISCED level 3);
  • post-secondary non-tertiary education (ISCED level 4);
  • tertiary education (ISCED levels 6, 7 and 8).

Pre-school education is optional and covers children from three to six years old.

Compulsory education lasts 12 school years and starts at the age of six until 18 years old. It comprises basic education that includes nine years of studies until age 15. It is organised into three cycles; the four-year first cycle and the two-year second cycle constitute primary education, while the three-year third cycle corresponds to lower secondary education.

Upper secondary education comprises general (science and humanities) and VET programmes. These three-year programmes give graduates access to tertiary education but also to post-secondary non-tertiary. Permeability is ensured between both paths.

Tertiary education is provided by universities and polytechnics. Pre-conditions to enter tertiary education include successful completion of an upper secondary programme or a similar qualification level, admission exams and specific requirements concerning the area of study.

All VET programmes grant double certification (an education certificate and a professional qualification):

  • at lower secondary level, education and training

programmes targeting those aged 15+ who are at risk of early leaving; they are school-based and include practical training;

  • at upper secondary level, there are three types of school-based VET programme combining general or sociocultural training components, science and technological training with work-based learning (WBL);
  • at post-secondary non-tertiary level, technological specialisation programmes last from one to one-and-a-half years and incorporate WBL;
  • at tertiary level, two-year high professional technical courses are offered by polytechnics (including internship).

Regarding upskilling adults the following programmes exist:

  • adult education and training programmes targeting learners who want to complete lower or upper secondary education and/or obtain a professional qualification;
  • certified modular training;

recognition of prior learning (recognition, validation and certification of competences, RVCC). The two RVCC paths (academic and professional) can lead to either a lower or upper secondary education certificate or a professional qualification ([22]Information taken from the forthcoming Cedefop publication on spotlights compilation (2019).).

Apprenticeship programmes are for young people up to age 25. Programmes include 40% WBL. A training contract between the apprentice and the enterprise (training provider) must be signed ([23]Information taken from the forthcoming Cedefop publication on spotlights compilation (2019).). Curricula are organised in training components: socio-cultural, scientific, technological and practical training in a work environment (WBL) ([24]https://www.refernet.pt/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Apprenticeship_programmes.pdf). A double certification including a professional qualification and a 12th year school leaving diploma at EQF level 4 (ISCED 354) is granted upon successful completion of the programme.

The central government has overall responsibility for VET. The education ministry is responsible for school-based programmes, the higher education ministry for tertiary education, and the labour ministry for apprenticeship programmes, continuing vocational training and carrying out active labour market measures.

The SNQ ([25]National Qualifications System (Sistema Nacional de Qualificações - SNQ).), launched in 2007 and revised in January 2017, is the framework of VET; it is coordinated by ANQEP ([26]Agência Nacional para a Qualificação e o Ensino professional (National Agency for Qualification and VET).
) and comprises the main VET stakeholders. SNQ has reorganised VET into a single system. It is based on a balanced relationship between VET within the educational system and VET in the labour market. It has established common objectives, instruments, and complementary tools supporting the implementation of:

  • National Qualifications Framework ([27]Quadro Nacional de Qualificações (QNQ).);
  • National Qualifications Catalogue ([28]Catálogo Nacional de Qualificações (CNQ):
    http://www.catalogo.anqep.gov.pt/Home/CNQ/
    ): a strategic tool to manage and regulate non-higher VET;
  • National Credit System for VET (Sistema nacional de créditos do EFP);
  • An instrument for Guidance and Individual Record of Qualifications and competences.

Under the SNQ successful completion of VET programmes grants a double certification.

VET is almost entirely funded by public funding through contributions from the state budget, the social security budget and the European Social Fund (ESF). However, the Autonomous Regions of Madeira and Azores, and the municipalities also contribute with funds, as well as the European Social Fund (ESF).

Spending on education has been reduced since 2013, but is slightly above the EU-28 average. General government expenditure on education, in 2016, was 4.9% of GDP (reduced by 1 p.p. since 2013) and 10.8% of total government spending (EU averages were 4.7% and 10.2% respectively). Secondary education takes the highest share of general government expenditure on education (35.4%), followed by pre-primary and primary education (31.4%) and higher education (12.9%). The annual expenditure in Portuguese educational institutions per student is below the EU average ([29]European Commission (2018). Education and training monitor 2018.
https://ec.europa.eu/education/sites/education/files/document-library-docs/volume-1-2018-education-and-training-monitor-country-analysis.pdf
).

 

Public expenditure on education, EU28 and Portugal, 2016 (%)

Source: European Commission (2018). Education and training monitor 2018. https://ec.europa.eu/education/sites/education/files/document-library-docs/volume-1-2018-education-and-training-monitor-country-analysis.pdf

 

In VET, there are:

  • VET teachers;
  • school-based trainers;
  • in-company trainers (nationally referred as tutors)
  • technicians of guidance, recognition and validation of competences ([30]Recognition of prior learning - Recognition, validation and certification of competences process (RVCC).);
  • social and personal mediators.

VET teachers are usually responsible for the sociocultural and scientific training components of VET programmes. A master’s degree is the minimum academic qualification for the teaching profession. Access to the teaching profession in the public sector is done via national competition, based on academic qualifications and work experience. Applicants have to pass knowledge and competences exams and undergo a subsequent probationary period.

The school-based trainer profession is regulated by 2011 legislation ([31]Portaria (Ordinance) n.º 214/2011, de 30 de maio. Note that the legislation does not differentiate the place of work. Cedefop uses school-based trainer for international comparison reasons.), which made initial pedagogical training of trainers compulsory. Although the minimum length of the initial pedagogical training is 90 hours, a training framework of 10-hour modules introduced more flexibility, allowing a more versatile offer adaptable to the needs of each candidate.

The basic requirements for trainers are:

  • an initial pedagogical training certification; and
  • a higher education degree in relevant scientific, technical, technological and practical training; or
  • training (in components, units or modules) oriented towards competences based on operational/work capacity, provided that trainers hold qualifications equal to the qualification to be granted to learners, and that they have at least five years of proven professional experience.

In-company trainers are professionals that work in the enterprises; there is no specific regulation for their role. In-company trainers should be selected among workers whose professional and pedagogical competences are recognised by the enterprise. In-company trainers are responsible for implementing learner individual activity plan, for assuring learner’s integration in the labour environment, and for assessing the learner; they are also the link between the enterprise and the VET institution. Each in-company trainer may accompany simultaneously up to five learners.

Technicians of guidance, recognition and validation of competences work in Qualifica centres ([32]Qualifica centres target people over 18 years old who are seeking a qualification and, exceptionally, young NEETs; they initiate and develop RVCC.). They must have a higher education degree and experience in one of the following areas: education or professional guidance, and methodologies for monitoring the learning development of young people and adults ([33]Portaria (Ordinance) n.º 232/2016, de 29 de agosto.). They are responsible for hosting RVCC candidates providing information and guidance; they are also responsible for the diagnosis of their needs.

Social and personal mediators work in institutions providing EFA programmes/courses ([34]Adult education and training (EFA) programmes target learners who want to complete lower or upper secondary education and/or obtain a professional qualification at EQF 2 to 4.
).Trainers or guidance professionals, holders of higher education qualifications and training to perform the role of mediator or relevant experience on adult education and training can fulfil the tasks of a mediator ([35]Portaria (Ordinance) n.º 230/2008, de 7 de março.). They are responsible for recruiting and selecting learners and supporting them with personal, social and pedagogical issues; they also participate in the analysis and evaluation of each learner’s profile and help them identify the most appropriate adult education and training offer.

Teacher Continuing professional development (CPD) is mandatory for their career progression ([36]Decreto-Lei (Decree-Law) n.º 22/2014, de 11 de fevereiro.). There are different CPD types such as training courses with variable length, workshops, internships and projects accredited by the authority body ([37]Conselho Científico-Pedagógico da Formação Contínua (CCPFC).). The offers can be provided by higher education institutions; training centres run by school associations ([38]Centros de Formação de Associação de Escolas (CFAE).) or run by non-profit scientific associations; central services of the education ministry; public, private or cooperative associations accredited. For career progression, it is required the participation in one-fifth of the total number of hours of compulsory training in the respective career echelon.

School-based trainer CPD is also ruled by the 2011 legislation ([39]See footnote 31.
). Trainers that want to teach socio-cultural and scientific components of VET programmes included in the SNQ are required to hold the same qualifications as teachers do.

Continuous training of trainers is based on several referential/standards of competences, organised in a modular structure path with flexible length. It may include one or more of the following dimensions:

  • pedagogical: modules aim at improving, deepening or diversifying the competences of trainers. They may also include critical reflection and reinforcement of competences acquired at the initial pedagogical training in organisational, practical, deontological and ethical issues;
  • scientific and/or technological: modules aim at guaranteeing a permanent updating of the trainer’s knowledge and skills in their specific area of intervention, taking into account the constant technical and organisational changes occurring in the labour market, and;
  • operational research: modules directed to the analysis, research and optimisation of referential/standards, models, processes and training methods, ensuring their transferability or application in different contexts, with special focus on WBL.

Trainer CPD is organised into units of 10 hours (or multiples of 10 hours), structured according to its training standard. Seminars, technical meetings, workshops or similar events may have a shorter duration, but can be recognised and used for career advancement.

Launched in March 2015, the system for anticipating qualification needs (SANQ) ([40]Sistema de Antecipação de Necessidades de Qualificações (SANQ):
http://sanq.anqep.gov.pt/?page_id=23
), currently running under the supervision of ANQEP ([41]Agência Nacional para a Qualificação e o Ensino professional (National Agency for Qualification and VET).
), allows for anticipating the future needs of the labour market. It also sheds light into the priority areas and job opportunities in VET. SANQ has been strengthened, namely through the diversity of analysed data and the involvement of a significant and representative number of stakeholders at regional/local level.

IEFP ([42]Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional (Institute for Employment and Vocational Training).) has been also developing annual lists aiming to enable VET programmes meet the real needs of the labour market. The List of priorities for VET 2018-19 ([43]https://www.iefp.pt/documents/10181/227378/2018-02-22+-+Sa%C3%ADdas+profissionais_Prioridade+IEFP+2018-2019.pdf/e330d255-9061-4210-bd30-3155c608bae4) at regional and local level is available online and intends to identify a set of areas and vocational opportunities in line with the priorities of the economy, to upskill professionals, to promote the competitiveness of Portuguese enterprises, and to promote the creation of high-skilled jobs.

Sector Councils for Qualification (CSQ), coordinated by ANQEP, are also responsible for regularly identifying the developments and changes regarding skill needs in different sectors. They are technical and consultative working groups; their role is mainly strategic and ensures the active and regular participation of the relevant economic and social stakeholders.

The following instruments also contribute in developing an integrated system to anticipate skills demand and supply:

  • the Integrated System for Information and Management of Education and Training (SIGO) is a platform that stores all data concerning education and training programmes for young people and adults. It is a key instrument for managing and monitoring training actions and issuing training certificates;
  • the Industrial Relations Centre (Centro de Relações Laborais - CRL) is a tripartite technical entity that provides information, promotes discussions and creates conditions for better employment policies with an open perspective about social and labour context, always taking into account the improvement of professional qualifications, employability, and collective bargaining. CRL has administrative autonomy and legal personality, but functions under the labour ministry. It is equally composed of representatives of the Government, the confederations of employers and the trade unions; it intends to improve the interaction between these bodies and to engage the scientific community.

See also Cedefop’s skills forecast ([44]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/skills-forecast)

2017 legislation ([45]Decreto-Lei (Decree-Law) n.º 14/2017 de 26 de janeiro:
https://dre.pt/application/file/a/105808732
) reinforces the importance of SANQ ([46]Sistema de Antecipação de Necessidades de Qualificações (SANQ):
http://sanq.anqep.gov.pt/?page_id=23
) in designing and updating qualifications in the CNQ ([47]Catálogo nacional de qualificações (CNQ) (National qualifications catalogue).). SANQ influences mostly the number and the design of VET programmes and courses, in order labour market needs to be addressed at regional level.

Upper secondary school-based VET programmes under the responsibility of the education ministry and professional training provided by the Public Employment Services of IEFP ([48]Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional (Institute for Employment and Vocational Training).) are independent of the SANQ output.

The National Qualifications Catalogue (CNQ) ([49]http://www.catalogo.anqep.gov.pt/Home/CNQ/) was launched in 2008. It is designed as a tool of strategic management of the qualifications framework for VET at non-tertiary level that helps regulate VET provision leading to double certification. One of its main objectives is to elaborate qualifications standards and key competences needed for the competitiveness and modernisation of the economy and for the personal and social development of individuals. The qualifications in the CNQ are organised by certification level training areas. In 2018, the CNQ included 310 qualifications in 41 areas of education and training.

Each standard for qualification of CNQ is composed by:

  • a professional profile comprising the work activities associated with the qualifications, as well as the knowledge and skills (professional, personal and social) needed to perform these activities;
  • a training framework establishing the content as well as the information needed to organise provision according to the framework of competences leading to double certification. It consists of a basic training component (school oriented) and a technological training component organised by autonomously certifiable units of short duration (from 25 to 50 hours), allowing for flexible qualification paths and permeability between the same area of education and training;
  • a framework for RVCC ([50]Recognition of prior learning - Recognition, validation and certification of competences process (RVCC).) of either formally or informally acquired competences helps guiding a candidate in a qualification path according to his/her needs and leads to the acquisition of a certificate (at the level of basic or secondary education) and/or a training certificate (at EQF level 2 or 4).

The open consultation process ([51]Modelo aberto de consulta (open consultation process):
http://www.catalogo.anqep.gov.pt/Home/MAC
) is another mechanism that allows entities to participate in updating the CNQ through the revision, integration and/or exclusion of qualifications from the CNQ, as well as changing a professional profile or training reference and a standard of RVCC. The process endows the Catalogue with a greater dynamism and widens the debate around qualifications needs. Stakeholders can submit on-line their proposals. If the proposal concerns a new qualification, and if it is accepted, a three-stage process takes place leading to the publication of the new qualification in the official Bulletin for Labour and Employment ([52]http://bte.gep.msess.gov.pt/). Finally, the new qualification will be integrated into the CNQ and will be made available online given it fulfils specific criteria.

Sector Councils for Qualifications (CSQ) support the update and development of CNQ by presenting or analysing proposals for the revision, integration and exclusion of qualifications from the CNQ. They are expanded technical and consultative working groups involving stakeholders such as representatives of ministries, social partners, enterprises and training providers. CSQ are responsible for:

  • identifying the needs for qualifications and competences that respond to these changes;
  • presenting the appropriate proposals for updating and developing the CNQ;
  • analysing and advising on external proposals for updating and developing CNQ;
  • supporting the design of qualifications;
  • facilitating the cooperation, co-responsibility among the relevant bodies of each economic sector aiming to promote the development of innovative solutions for better competences and qualifications, and;
  • identifying technical and methodological competences to support ANQEP ([53]Agência Nacional para a Qualificação e o Ensino professional (National Agency for Qualification and VET).
    ) in the processes of updating and developing the CNQ.

DGERT ([54]Direção-Geral do Emprego e Relações Profissionais (General Directorate for Employment and Industrial Relations)
) is responsible for the accreditation ([55]Portaria (Ordinance) n.º 208/2013, de 26 de junho.) of VET providers (nationally referred to as certification) ([56]See also:
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/news-and-press/news/portugal-certification-training-providers
). Education providers under the responsibility of the education ministry are exempt from accreditation.

Accreditation process

The requirements for the accreditation of VET providers are divided into two groups:

  • prerequisites: To apply for accreditation, VET providers should meet essential legal conditions;
  • quality requirements: The quality requirements of VET providers refer to:
  • the internal structure and organisation (human resources, facilities and equipment) of the provider;
  • the development process of training programmes (planning, design, organisation, development and training assessment);
  • assessment of outcomes and continuous improvement (post-training follow-up, annual assessment of results, constant improvement measures).

Initial accreditation

VET providers should define the training or education programme which will be under evaluation and self-evaluate its structure and practices against the quality standards. Subsequently providers submit an electronic request for accreditation to DGERT, which can then carry out evaluation (technical, documentary or audit-supported) to certify that they can develop a training programme in a specific thematic area. As long as accredited VET providers meet requirements, they can develop a new training offer and request extension of their certification to other education or training thematic areas

Maintaining accreditation

Maintaining accreditation is regularly assessed by DGERT through audits considering the results of providers’ training activity. DGERT follows the general criteria ([57]https://certifica.dgert.gov.pt/processo-de-certificacao1/manter-a-certificacao/auditoria-de-manutencao.aspx):

  • date of the initial accreditation;
  • signalling of changes in the structure or training activity;
  • signalling of complaints received by DGERT;

Accreditation benefits

  • quality accreditation;
  • training diploma referenced to national qualifications system;
  • access to national or community public funding programmes for vocational training;
  • tax exemption on VAT for training products and services;
  • deduction of training expenses in individual income tax.

 

Another national approach to improve quality assurance in VET and related WBL has been devised using the EQAVET framework. VET providers have been aligning their quality assurance approaches to the EQAVET framework and the overall objective is that, when the quality assurance approach is fully implemented, all VET providers can adopt it and be awarded a quality label based on EQAVET quality criteria and indicative descriptors. This plan will be gradually carried out until 2020.

Recognition of prior learning (recognition, validation and certification of competences process - RVCC) comprises the identification of formal, non-formal and informal competences developed throughout life; through the development of specific activities and the application of a set of appropriate evaluation tools. Adults may start this process at any time at a Qualifica centre ([58]Qualifica centres target young people (aged 15 or older), provide guidance and counselling especially for NEETs and initiate and develop RVCC processes for low-skilled adults.).

RVCC process has two distinct paths: the education and the professional.

To access educational or professional RVCC processes, candidates must be at least 18 years old and possess sufficient knowledge in relation to the key competence and the professional competence framework. 23-years old or younger candidates must also submit proof of a minimum of three years professional experience via a statement issued by the relevant social security office.

One of the tools used in the RVCC process to evaluate the candidates is the reflective learning portfolio (portefólio reflexivo). It is a written record of the candidate's competences acquired throughout life; it also presents a critical appraisal of their knowledge, competence development, prior experience, and education. It includes all relevant supporting documentation linked to the different areas of the portfolio. Validation of these competences is done under the referential framework of key competences elaborated by ANQEP ([59]Agência Nacional para a Qualificação e o Ensino professional (National Agency for Qualification and VET).
).

A jury appointed by a Qualifica Centre does the certification of competences after the evaluation of the candidate. It can include written, oral or practical evaluation, or a combination of the three, that can be organised by key competences areas in the case of the education path, or by professional competences in the case of the professional path.

Candidates can obtain a full certification (when they have proven that they possess all the competence units of the standard) or a partial certification. In the education path, a full certification enables the candidate to obtain a certificate of basic education (4, 6 or 9 years of schooling) or upper-secondary education (12 years of schooling) corresponding to EQF levels 1 to 4. In the professional path, a full certification testifies that the candidate holds the competences of specific professional standard at EQF level 2 and 4. Partial certifications allow the candidate to attend the remaining training to obtain a qualification.

These processes are under the responsibility of the Qualifica Centres, managed by ANQEP. Currently there are around 290 centres spread all over the country.

Participation in RVCC processes in 2017 was 11.1% when compared with all adults enrolled in VET offers.

For more information about arrangements for the validation of non-formal and informal learning please visit Cedefop’s European database ([60]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/european-database-on-validation-of-non-formal-and-informal-learning).

Allowances, grants and scholarships target learners with low income. The Operational Programme for Human Capital (Programa Operacional Capital Humano – POCH) foresees financial incentives for VET learners. Learners receive these incentives through VET providers. Incentives for VET learners are:

  • a scholarship received by learners during the WBL period (subject to learner’s attendance);
  • study material (Bolsa de material de estudo);
  • travel allowance;
  • accommodation subsidies for learners living more than 50km away from the VET provider premises;
  • food/ meals subsidies.

The most relevant funding for VET programmes and VET providers, including enterprises, is the Operational Programme for Human Capital (Programa Operacional Capital Humano - POCH), complemented by some actions of the Operational Programme for Employment and Social Inclusion (Programa Operacional Inclusão Social e Emprego - POISE). Moreover, VET support for employed adults is carried out by enterprises under the monitoring and evaluation of the Operational Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalisation (POCI/COMPETE 2020). These operational programmes fall under Portugal 2020 ([61]https://www.portugal2020.pt/Portal2020), a partnership agreement adopted between Portugal and the European Commission, which brings together the work of the five European structural and investment funds, including ESF.

Formal guidance is provided by professionals at schools, IEFP ([62]Training Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional (Institute for Employment and Vocational).
) public employment services and Qualifica Centres ([63]Qualifica centres target people over 18 years old who are seeking a qualification and, exceptionally, young NEETs; they initiate and develop recognition, validation and certification of competences process (RVCC).).

School psychology and counselling services develop their activity in the psycho-pedagogical field supporting learners and teachers in developing school community relationships and in providing lifelong guidance. They work in an integrated way and in close contact with the educational community, teachers, non-teaching staff, parents, caregivers, and other educational agents in the surrounding area.

The IEFP has a network of Professional Integration Offices (Gabinetes de inserção profissional - GIP) supported by public and private non-profit organisations. GIPs are accredited to provide support to unemployed young people and adults to (re)-enter labour market in close cooperation with employment services; they also promote VET awareness. IEFP also runs an online platform ( Vi@s), which provides information, allows users to interact and eases users in managing their career. It also supports guidance professionals, teachers and parents.

The main objectives of Qualifica Centres are to:

  • Inform and guide individuals to VET programmes that best fit their profiles, needs, motivations and expectations;
  • initiate and develop Recognition, validation and certification of competences processes (RVCC);
  • increase awareness among young people, adults, and enterprises/employers about lifelong learning.

Please also see:

Vocational education and training system chart

Tertiary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 5

CTeSP

2 years,

WBL =/> 25%

ISCED 554

Higher professional technical programmes (cursos técnicos superiores profissionais - CTeSP) leading to EQF level 5, ISCED 554
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

554 ([85a]According to Deliberação n.º 343/2017, de 2 de maio de 2017. http://dre.pt/application/file/a/106931970 
).

Usual entry grade

12+

Usual entry age

18

Length of a programme (years)

2 (four academic semesters)

  
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?

Not applicable

Is it offered free of charge?

N

In public higher education the value of the fees is set according to each programmes and with a minimum amount corresponding to 1.3 of the national minimum wage and a maximum calculated on the basis of the consumer price index ([84]https://www.dges.gov.pt/pt/pagina/propinas?plid=371).

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Graduates are credited 120 ECTS points (practical training lasts at least one semester and grants 30 ECTS points)

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

These programmes comprise school-based general, scientific and technical components, and practical training which takes place through an internship

Main providers

These programmes are provided by polytechnic institutions

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>= 25%

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

Programmes are available for young people and adults.

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

To enter CTeSP programmes learners must have:

Assessment of learning outcomes

To complete a CTeSP programme, learners need to succeed in the final examinations of the subjects and achieve the number of ECTS required.

Diplomas/certificates provided

These programmes lead to a Diploma of Higher Professional Technician at EQF level 5 (not a higher education degree)

Examples of qualifications

Information not available

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

CTeSP graduates can access the 1st cycle of higher education programmes or integrated master programmes through specific application procedures, leading to a higher education degree.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Y

These programmes comprise general and scientific training components

Key competences

Y

These comprise general and scientific training components

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

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

Information not available

Post-secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 5

CET

1-1.5 years,

WBL 30-46%

ISCED 454

Technological specialisation programmes (cursos de especialização tecnológica - CET) leading to EQF level 5, ISCED 454
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

454

Usual entry grade

12+

Usual completion grade


Usual entry age

18

Usual completion age

19-20

Length of a programme (years)

1 to 1.5 years (from 1 200 to 1 560 hours)

  
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?

It depends on the training provider. Whenever the training provider applies to public funding the CET programmes are free of charge.

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Through agreements with higher tertiary institutions CET graduates are credited 60 to 90 ECTS points

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

CET programmes comprise general, scientific and technological training components and WBL:

  • general and scientific - aims at developing attitudes and behaviours appropriate for higher level qualification professionals, adaptability to the labour and corporate world; and improving, if needed, the scientific knowledge related with the specific technological field of study.
  • technological - integrates areas of a technological nature oriented to the understanding of practical activities and to the resolution of problems in the professional practice.
  • WBL - aims at applying the knowledge and know-how acquired to the practical activities of the respective professional profile; and performing tasks under guidance, using the techniques, equipment and materials that are integrated in the production processes of goods or services. The WBL can adopt different types of practical training in a real work context, namely internships and it is developed through partnership.
Main providers

These programmes are provided by public, private and cooperative schools, vocational training centres direct or jointly managed by IEFP([83]Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional (Institute for Employment and Vocational Training).), technological schools and other training providers certified by the labour ministry

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

30% to 46%

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

CET programmes are available for young people and adults.

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

To enter CET programmes learners must have:

  • an upper secondary qualification (EQF level 4); or
  • successfully completed all school subjects of the 10th and 11th years and have been enrolled in the 12th year but not completed it; or
  • a professional qualification at EQF level 3 or 4, or;
  • a specialisation technological certificate or a higher education degree and wishing to have a professional requalification.
Assessment of learning outcomes

To complete a CET programme, learners need to pass formative and summative assessments according to the professional competences that the technological specialisation diploma certifies. A CET graduate is the one who has been approved in all their training components including the practical part.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Graduates receive a qualification at EQF level 5 (ISCED 454) and a technological specialisation diploma called Diploma de Especialização Tecnológica (DET).

Examples of qualifications

Training is offered in various fields such as computer science, trade, electronics and automation, and tourism and recreation.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

The CET diploma allows learners to apply to higher education through a special admission procedure determined by a broader regulatory framework, provided that they meet the entry requirements set by each academic institution.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Y

These programmes comprise general and scientific training components.

Key competences

Y

These programmes comprise general and scientific training components.

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 2

CEF programmes for >15 years-olds,

3 years,

WBL 17%

ISCED 254

Education and training programmes for young people (cursos de educação e formação de jovens - CEF) including four types of initial VET programmes leading to EQF level 2, ISCED 254
EQF level
2
ISCED-P 2011 level

254

Usual entry grade

7

Usual completion grade

9

Usual entry age

15 (minimum)

Usual completion age

18

Length of a programme (years)

3

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

In 2009, compulsory education was extended to 12 years of schooling, between the age of six and 18 ([67]Lei (Law) n.º 85/2009, de 25 de agosto.).

18

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

Exempt of fees for learners under compulsory education.

Is it available for adults?

Y

The legislation does not set an age limit, but only young adults (up to the age of 21) attend it.

ECVET or other credits

Depending on the programme, the minimum of credits is 120 ([66]Article 5 of the
Portaria (Ordinance) n.º 47/2017, de 1 de fevereiro.
).

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

CEF programmes comprise four training components: sociocultural, scientific, technological and practical including a minimum of 210 hours of work-based learning (WBL) each year.

Main providers

- network of public, private and cooperative schools;

- professional schools;

- IEFP ([68]Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional (Institute for Employment and Vocational Training).) vocational training centres (directly and jointly managed);

- accredited training providers; linked with community entities, namely local authorities, enterprises or business organisations, other social partners and local or regional associations, set up by protocols aimed at maximising physical structures and human and material resources.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

17%

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

The aim of these programmes is to reduce the high number of early school leavers. Learners must be 15 or more years old and without a lower secondary education qualification.

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

Learners must have completed only the first cycle of basic education (four years) and be at least 15 years old.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Learners’ assessment is carried out per subject/area and per training component. Assessment is formative and summative and includes a final test comprising a professional performance presentation in front of a jury, with one or more practical works related with the most relevant knowledge and skills included in the programme profile

Diplomas/certificates provided

Successful completion of a CEF leads to a double certification: an education certificate (3rd cycle of lower secondary education certificate at EQF level 2 ISCED 254) and a professional qualification. A learner that only completed the 2nd cycle of basic education receives a certificate of EQF level 1 and a professional qualification.

Examples of qualifications

Training is offered in various fields, such as crafts, computer sciences, environmental protection, accounting, management, beauty care, domestic services, therapy and rehabilitation, electronics, food industry, metallurgy.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Progression is allowed to upper secondary education and to higher level CEF programmes after meeting certain requirements

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Y

Two of the four training components of CEF programmes is the sociocultural (including Portuguese; foreigner language; and, ICT) and the scientific (including applied sciences, including mathematic).

Key competences

Y

Two of the four training components of CEF programmes is the sociocultural (including Portuguese; foreigner language; and, ICT) and the scientific (with applied sciences, including mathematic).

Application of learning outcomes approach

information not available

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

6.9% of all VET learners in lower and upper secondary education were in these programmes ([69]DGEEC (2018). Estatísticas da Educação 2016/2017: jovens [Education statistics 2016/17: young people].
http://www.dgeec.mec.pt/np4/96/%7B$clientServletPath%7D/?newsId=145&fileName=DGEEC_DSEE_DEEBS_2018_EE20162017_Jovens.pdf
)

EQF 4

CEF 1-3 years,

WBL 15-19%

ISCED 354

Education and training programmes for young people (cursos de educação e formação de jovens - CEF). Including three types of initial VET programmes leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

10

Usual completion grade

12

Usual entry age

16

Usual completion age

18

Length of a programme (years)

1 to 3 years (from 1 125 to 2 276 hours)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

In 2009, compulsory education was extended to 12 years of schooling, between the age of six and 18 ([71]Lei (Law) n.º 85/2009, de 25 de agosto.).

18

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

Exempt of fees for learners under compulsory education.

Is it available for adults?

Y

The legislation does not set an age limit, but only young adults (up to the age of 21) attend it.

ECVET or other credits

Depending on the programme, the minimum of credits is 180 ([70]Article 6 of the
Portaria (Ordinance) n.º 47/2017, de 1 de fevereiro.
).

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

These programmes combine sociocultural, scientific and technological school-based training with work-based learning (WBL).

Main providers
  • network of public, private and cooperative schools;
  • professional schools;
  • IEFP vocational training centres (directly and joint managed);
  • accredited training providers; linked with community entities, namely local authorities, enterprises or business organisations, other social partners and local or regional associations, set up by protocols aimed at maximising physical structures and human and material resources.
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

15%-19%

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

These programmes aim to reduce the high number of early school leavers. They are meant to enhance learner integration into the labour market and to motivate them to continue further studies/training by providing flexible learning paths in line with their expectations and local labour market needs.

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

Learners should have completed basic education or lower secondary education CEF programmes.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Assessment is formative and summative, including a final test that comprises a professional performance presentation in front of a jury, with one or more practical assessments related to the most relevant knowledge and skills included in the programme profile.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Successful completion of a CEF leads to a double certification – a professional qualification and a 12th year school leaving diploma at EQF level 4.

Examples of qualifications

Training is offered in various fields, such as crafts, computer sciences, environmental protection, accounting, management, beauty care, domestic services, therapy and rehabilitation, electronics, food industry, metallurgy.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

After being awarded a double certification, learners can continue their studies at:

  • post-secondary non-tertiatry; or
  • tertiary education.

as long as they meet the relevant access requirements.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Y

These programmes include sociocultural (including Portuguese; foreigner language; and, ICT) and scientific (including applied sciences) training components.

Key competences

Y

These programmes include sociocultural (including Portuguese; foreigner language; and, ICT) and scientific (including applied sciences) training components.

Application of learning outcomes approach

information not available

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

0.29% ([70a]2016/2017

 
).

EQF 4

Apprenticeship

programmes,

3 years,

WBL >40%

ISCED 354

Apprenticeship programmes (cursos de aprendizagem). Initial VET programmes leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

10

Usual completion grade

12

Usual entry age

16

Usual completion age

18

Length of a programme (years)

3 (maximum of 3 700 hours)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

In 2009, compulsory education was extended to 12 years of schooling, between the age of six and 18 ([73]Lei (Law) n.º 85/2009, de 25 de agosto.).

18

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

Exempt of fees for learners under compulsory education.

Is it available for adults?

Y

The legislation does not set an age limit, but only young adults (up to the age of 25) attend it.

ECVET or other credits

Depending on the programme, the minimum of credits is 180 ([72]Article 6 of the
Portaria (Ordinance) n.º 47/2017, de 1 de fevereiro.
).

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

These programmes comprise school-based sociocultural, scientific and technological training and WBL in an enterprise.

Main providers

These programmes are provided by IEFP ([74]Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional (Institute for Employment and Vocational Training).) vocational training centres or private providers (e.g. employers’ associations, companies, trade unions) under protocols with IEFP.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

> 40%

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

These programmes target young learners up to 25 years old.

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

Learners should have successfully completed the 9th year of schooling (the 3rd cycle of basic education/lower secondary education or a CEF programmes).

Assessment of learning outcomes

The assessment is formative and summative. The final evaluation test (Prova de Avaliação Final - PAF) constitutes an integrated set of practical activities at the end of the training programme that helps a jury assess the competences acquired during training.

Diplomas/certificates provided

A double certification – a professional qualification and a 12th year school leaving diploma at EQF level 4 (ISCED 354) is granted upon successful completion of the programme.

Examples of qualifications

Priority areas of training include audio-visual and media production, computer sciences, trade, construction and repair of motor vehicles, electricity and energy, electronics and automation, hospitality and catering, manufacturing of textiles, clothing, footwear and leather, metallurgy and technologies of chemical processing.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

After being awarded the double certification, learners can continue their studies at:

• post-secondary non-tertiary; or

• tertiary education.

as long as they meet the relevant requirements set by the higher education establishment for the respective field of study.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Y

These programmes include sociocultural and scientific training.

Key competences

Y

These programmes include sociocultural and scientific training.

Application of learning outcomes approach

It depends on the fields of education and training ([75]http://www.catalogo.anqep.gov.pt/Destaques/Detalhe/172).

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

14.5% ([76a]2016/2017
).

EQF 4

Professional

programmes,

3 years,

WBL 19-24%

ISCED 354

Professional programmes (cursos profissionais) leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

10

Usual completion grade

12

Usual entry age

16

Usual completion age

18

Length of a programme (years)

3 (from 3 100 to 3 440 hours)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

In 2009, compulsory education was extended to 12 years of schooling, between the age of six and 18 ([77]Lei (Law) n.º 85/2009, de 25 de agosto.).

18

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

Exempt of fees for learners under compulsory education.

Is it available for adults?

Y

The legislation does not set an age limit, but only young adults (up to the age of 25) attend it.

ECVET or other credits

Depending on the programme, the minimum of credits is 180 ([76]Article 6 of the
Portaria (Ordinance) n.º 47/2017, de 1 de fevereiro.
).

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

These programmes combine the following training components:

  • sociocultural, scientific and technological training (school-based components); and
  • work-based learning (WBL) in the form of a traineeship carried out in enterprises or other organisations.
Main providers

Programmes are offered by professional, public (upper secondary) or private schools.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

19% - 24%

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

The technological training component includes subjects of technological, technical and practical nature provided at school. It also includes in-company practice foreseen in an agreement between the school and the enterprise and has a minimum duration of 600 hours up to a maximum of 840 hours. The learner’s work plan, once signed, is considered an integral part of the training contract (different from a labour contract).

Main target groups

These programmes target learners that want to follow a more practical and labour market-oriented programme.

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

To enrol in these programmes learners need to be between 15 and 18 years old (with exceptions foreseen by legislation) and to have completed lower secondary education.

Assessment of learning outcomes

The programme has formative and summative assessment and includes a presentation of a project called Proof of Professional Aptitude (Prova de Aptidão Profissional - PAP) in front of a jury.

Diplomas/certificates provided

They lead to a double certification – a professional qualification and a 12th year school leaving diploma

Examples of qualifications

Training fields include applied arts, business administration, computer sciences, electronics, engineering, energy, construction and architecture, food industries, health services, tourism and hospitality, etc.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates can pursue further studies in Technological specialisation programmes, access higher education, upon the fulfilment of requirements foreseen in the regulations, or enter the labour market.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Y

These programmes include three general education subjects (common for all training fields): Portuguese, foreign languages and physics.

Key competences

Y

These programmes include three general education subjects (common for all training fields): Portuguese, foreign languages and physics.

Application of learning outcomes approach

It depends on the fields of education and training ([78]http://www.catalogo.anqep.gov.pt/Destaques/Detalhe/172).

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

68.7% ([79]DGEEC (2018). Estatísticas da Educação 2016/2017: jovens [Education statistics 2016/17: young people].
http://www.dgeec.mec.pt/np4/96/%7B$clientServletPath%7D/?newsId=145&fileName=DGEEC_DSEE_DEEBS_2018_EE20162017_Jovens.pdf
)

EQF 4

Art education

programmes,

3 years,

WBL varies

ISCED 344, 354

Art education programmes (cursos artísticos especializados) leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 344, 354
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

344, 354

Usual entry grade

10

Usual completion grade

12

Usual entry age

16

Usual completion age

18

Length of a programme (years)

3 (from 3 645 to 6 390 hours according to the training field)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

In 2009, compulsory education was extended to 12 years of schooling, between the age of six and 18 ([81]Lei (Law) n.º 85/2009, de 25 de agosto.).

18

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

Exempt of fees for learners under compulsory education.

Is it available for adults?

Y

The legislation does not set an age limit, but only young adults (up to the age of 21) attend it.

ECVET or other credits

Depending on the programme, the minimum of credits is 180 ([80]Article 6 of the
Portaria (Ordinance) n.º 47/2017, de 1 de fevereiro.
).

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

These programmes combine:

  • education, science and technological training (school-based components); and
  • work-based learning (WBL) in the form of a traineeship carried out in enterprises or other organisations.
Main providers

Programmes are offered by public, private or cooperative 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)

The technical-artistic component includes practical training at school and in-company practice. It is mandatory only in the third year of the programme (12th year of schooling). It is preferentially performed at the workplace, in workshops, companies or other organisations, through the transmission of know-how, by taking on occasional jobs or via an internship. It can be performed via the simulation of a set of relevant professional activities to the programme profile, developed in similar conditions to a real world working context, integrated in the school subject of the Technical-artistic training component called ‘Project and Technologies’.

Main target groups

These programmes target learners who want to have a career in the artistic field of their choice and develop their capacities and talent or to take further studies/training in one of the fields.

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

Learners must be at least 15 years old and completed the 3rd cycle of lower secondary education (9th year of schooling).

Assessment of learning outcomes

Assessment is formative and summative, including a final test (Prova de Aptidão Artistica - PAA) that comprises a professional performance presentation in front of a jury, with one or more practical assessments related to the most relevant knowledge & skills included in the programme profile.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Successful completion of an art education programme leads to a double certification (a professional qualification and a 12th year school leaving diploma).

Examples of qualifications

The programme in the field of visual arts includes communication design, product design, and artistic production. The programme in the audio-visual field includes audio-visual communication.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Progression is possible to technological specialisation programmes (EQF level 5) or higher education (university or polytechnic), provided that learners meet the access requirements.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Y

These programmes have a general and a scientific training component.

Key competences

Y

These programmes have a general and a scientific training component.

Application of learning outcomes approach

information not available

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

1.3% ([82]DGEEC (2018). Estatísticas da Educação 2016/2017: jovens [Education statistics 2016/17: young people].
http://www.dgeec.mec.pt/np4/96/%7B$clientServletPath%7D/?newsId=145&fileName=DGEEC_DSEE_DEEBS_2018_EE20162017_Jovens.pdf
)

VET available to adults (formal and non-formal)

Programme Types
Not available

General themes

Main aspects of VET system in Lithuania in 2018:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Population is ageing.

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

 

Population forecast by age group and old-age-dependency ratio ([9]Old-age-dependency ratio is defined as the ratio between the number of persons aged 65 and more over the number of working-age persons (15-64). The value is expressed per 100 persons of working age (15-64).)

Source: Eurostat, proj_15ndbims [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

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

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

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

Most companies are micro and small-sized.

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

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

The labour market is considered flexible.

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

 

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

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

 

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

Employment rate of 20 to 34-year-old VET graduates increased from 74% in 2014 to 83.6% in 2018 ([14]Eurostat table edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Share of learners in VET by level in 2017

lower secondary

upper secondary

post-secondary

2.4%

27.4%

100%

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Early leavers from education and training in 2009-18

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

 

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

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

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

 

Participation in lifelong learning in 2014-18

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Lithuanian education and training system comprises:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Formal IVET and CVET programmes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Funding for IVET institutions by source (000) EUR

 

2014

2015

2016

2017

State budget

75.1

94.7

101.8

103.0

Private sources (physical and legal entities)

7.1

10.6

13.1

13.4

International organisations

17.8

9.9

4.5

4.7

Source: Statistics Lithuania, 2018.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teaching personnel in IVET institutions

School year

Teaching personnel, total (*)

Of which, vocational teachers

Total

%

2015/16

3 507

2 011

57.3

2016/17

3 481

1 958

56.2

2017/18

3 263

1 822

55.8

(*) At the beginning of the school year.

Source: Statistics Lithuania database, 2018.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sectoral qualifications standards

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

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

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

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

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

VET curricula design

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

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

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

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

Internal quality management systems

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

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

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

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

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

External evaluation and accreditation of VET providers

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

Monitoring framework for VET and HE (state level)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reforming the network of IVET and CVET providers

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

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

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

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

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

Bringing GE and VET closer together

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

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

Measures to improve mobility between VET and higher education

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

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

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

Incentives for youth

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

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

Training leave for employees

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guidance services and providers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Organisation and funding

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

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

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

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

Please see also:

Vocational education and training system chart

Tertiary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 6

Higher education

college studies,

3 years

ISCED 655

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

655

Usual entry grade

13

Usual completion grade

16

Usual entry age

19+

Usual completion age

21

Length of a programme (years)

3 - (3 ½)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

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

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

Is it continuing VET?

N

Information not available

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

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

Is it available for adults?

Y

Learners aged 19+ may enter these programmes.

ECVET or other credits

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

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

In terms of credits allocation:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Assessment of learning outcomes

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

Diplomas/certificates provided

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

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

Examples of qualifications

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

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates from post-secondary ISCED 454 programmes may:

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

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

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

General education subjects

N

Key competences

Y

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

Y

All HE VET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

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

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

Post-secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 4

Post-secondary VET,

WBL>60%,

1-2 years

ISCED 454

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

454

Usual entry grade

13

Usual completion grade

14 or 15

Usual entry age

19+

Usual completion age

20 or 21

Length of a programme (years)

1-2

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Information not available

both IVET and CVET

Is it offered free of charge?

Yes and no

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

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

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

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

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

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

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>60%

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

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

Main target groups

ISCED 454 programmes are accessible to learners over 18.

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

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

Assessment of learning outcomes

VET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

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

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

Diplomas/certificates provided

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

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

Examples of qualifications

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

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates from post-secondary ISCED 454 programmes may

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

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

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

General education subjects

N

Key competences

N

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

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

All IVET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

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

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

43.9% ([121]2017/18)

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

Secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 2

Mainly school-based

programmes,

WBL>60%,

2-3 years

ISCED 252

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

252

Usual entry grade

8

Usual completion grade

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

Usual entry age

14

Usual completion age

17

Length of a programme (years)

2 to 3 years

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

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

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

60 credits/year.

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

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

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

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

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>60%

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

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

Main target groups

School-age learners and adults.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Assessment of learning outcomes

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

Diplomas/certificates provided

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

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

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

Examples of qualifications

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

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

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

Destination of graduates

information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

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

General education subjects

N

Key competences

N

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

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

All IVET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

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

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

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

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

EQF 2

Mainly school-based

programmes,

WBL >44%,

2-3 years

ISCED 254

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

254

Usual entry grade

8

Usual completion grade

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

Usual entry age

14

Usual completion age

17

Length of a programme (years)

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

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Education is compulsory till 16 years of age

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

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

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

60 credits /year

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

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

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

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

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>44%

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

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

Main target groups

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

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

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

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

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

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

Assessment of learning outcomes

VET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

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

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

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

Diplomas/certificates provided

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

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

Examples of qualifications

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

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates from ISCED 254 programmes may:

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

Y

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

General education subjects

Y

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

Key competences

N

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

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

All IVET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

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

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

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

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

EQF 3

Mainly school-based

programmes,

WBL>60%,

2-3 years

ISCED 352

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

352

Usual entry grade

11

Usual completion grade

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

Usual entry age

18

Usual completion age

19 (20 for those with special education needs)

Length of a programme (years)

2 to 3 years

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

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

Is it available for adults?

Y

Learners enter at age 18

ECVET or other credits

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

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

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

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

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>60%

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

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

Main target groups

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

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

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

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

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

Assessment of learning outcomes

VET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

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

Diplomas/certificates provided

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

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

Examples of qualifications

Railroad builder; road worker; metal constructions assembler.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates from ISCED 352 programmes may:

  • enter the labour market.
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

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

General education subjects

N

Key competences

N

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

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

All IVET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

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

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

43.7% ([104]2017/18)

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

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

EQF 4

Mainly school-based

programmes,

WBL>44%,

3 years

ISCED 354

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

354

Usual entry grade

11

Usual completion grade

13

Usual entry age

18

Usual completion age

20

Length of a programme (years)

3

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

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

Is it available for adults?

Y

Learners enter at 18.

ECVET or other credits

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

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

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

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

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

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>44%

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

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

Main target groups

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

Upper secondary vocational education with secondary education.

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

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

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

Assessment of learning outcomes

VET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

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

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

Diplomas/certificates provided

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

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

Examples of qualifications

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

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates from ISCED 354 programmes may:

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

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

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

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

N

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

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

All IVET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

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

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

43.7% ([113]2017/18)

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

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

EQF 2-4

CVET

programmes

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

2 - 4

Usual entry grade

Information not available

Usual completion grade

Information not available

Usual entry age

18+

Usual completion age

Information not available

Length of a programme (years)

Up to one year

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

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

Is it initial VET?

N

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

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

Is it available for adults?

Y

Formal CVET courses are available to learners over 18.

ECVET or other credits

20 to 90 credits depending on the programme.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

60-80%

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

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

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

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

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

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

Assessment of learning outcomes

VET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

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

Diplomas/certificates provided

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

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

Examples of qualifications

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

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

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

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

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

General education subjects

N

Key competences

N

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

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

All VET programmes are based on learning outcomes.

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

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

Information not available

VET available to adults (formal and non-formal)

Programme Types
Not available