Vocational education and training (VET) in Finland is an attractive educational option. It is competence-based and learner-oriented.
The 2019-23 government programme aims to increase the number of people completing upper secondary education, improve outreach, invest more in VET and promote continuing learning.
In its programme for the second semester of 2019 the Finnish EU Presidency puts emphasis ‘on taking full advantage of research, development, innovation and digitalisation.’ Fostering skills education and training is part of an EU strategy to create sustainable growth and wellbeing for its citizens.
Cedefop Head of Department for VET Systems and Institutions Loukas Zahilas presented the agency’s work on the changing nature and role of vocational education and training (VET) at the Taitaja2019 international seminar, in Joensuu, Finland, on 22 May.
A National Forum for Skills Anticipation report highlights changes in competences and skills that will be needed in 2035. Important future skills include customer-oriented development of services and knowledge of sustainable development. The labour market will require digital, information evaluation and problem-solving skills.
More than a half of learners enrolling in vocational education and training (VET) have previously acquired an upper secondary or tertiary level qualification. This reflects the role on VET in lifelong learning in Finland.
The Finnish government’s new budget proposal for 2019 includes plans to grant a learning material supplement to some upper secondary learners, including VET. Although upper secondary education is free of charge, students are required to buy their own learning materials.
A new funding system for vocational education and training (VET) at secondary level was included in a 2018 reform; it will be fully in force in 2022, after gradual implementation. Funding is divided into several core parts: performance-based and effectiveness-based, as well as strategic.
The Finnish national agency for education report highlighted that 11.4% of IVET students do not complete their initial undergraduate degree. The share of learners leaving their studies early has risen by 2.8% since the academic year 2013/14. The student's age, gender, language background and field of study were found to affect the completion of the qualification. However, about 25% of the cases of discontinuing IVET programmes are explained by transition to other studies.
Amisbarometri, the VET student survey, was published at the end of 2017. It is the most comprehensive national survey, including all Finnish vocational students enrolled in Finnish vocational institutions. It carried out for the first time in 2015 and is repeated every second year. The data from the survey are the most extensive so far as it strives to include all students studying a curriculum-based vocational programme in a Finnish VET institution.