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10. How many VET graduates continue in further education and training?

Indicator 1080: participation of VET graduates (18-24 year-olds) in further education and training
Figure 10 Young VET graduates in further education and training (%), including comparison with a similar indicator for graduates from upper secondary general education

For VET to be an attractive learning option, young VET graduates should experience smooth transitions not only to the labour market but also, if they wish, to further learning opportunities.

This is particularly important in countries where VET suffers from poor parity of esteem with general education. The indicator below is defined as the share of VET graduates (ISCED 3-4) aged 18-24 who participated in formal or non-formal further education and training in the four weeks prior to the survey.

Figure 10: Young VET graduates in further education and training (%), including comparison with a similar indicator for graduates from upper secondary general education

Source: Cedefop calculations based on Eurostat, EU labour force survey ("flat files").

Key points

In 2016, 32.8% of VET graduates aged 18-24 in the EU participated in further education and training over the four weeks prior to the survey. This share is considerably lower than the participation rate among general education graduates in the same age range (at 79.0% in the EU in 2016). These data reflect structural differences between general and vocational education, with the former mainly preparing people for further studies and the latter mainly preparing people for the world of work. But they also show, with one third of VET graduates continuing in further education and training, that obtaining a VET qualification does not necessarily bring individual learning to a halt.

Participation rates of VET graduates aged 18-24 in further education and training vary significantly across countries. Among the EU Member States, the highest participation rates in 2016 are found in Slovenia (56.0%), the Netherlands (49.0%), and Romania (48.2%). Greece (15.5%) reports the lowest share. In Turkey (49.0%), the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (42.2%), Switzerland (41.0%), and Norway (37.9%),the participation rates (in 2015) are above the EU average of 33.0%.

On average, in the EU, the share of VET graduates aged 18-24 participating in further education and training dropped slightly between 2014 and 2016 (down 0.6 percentage points). There are larger changes, in both directions, in some Member States. The largest change was in Sweden where participation fell by 5.9 percentage points to 31.4%, dropping below the EU average. Latvia reported the largest increase in participation of young VET graduates in further education and training (by 3.6 percentage points), but at 22.8% in 2016 still remained well below the EU average.

Table 10: Young VET graduates in further education and training (%), including comparison with a similar indicator for graduates from upper secondary general education

Arrows ↗ or ↘ signal a positive or negative trend based on more than two data points and of magnitude 0.1 per year or more. Trends based on more than two data points but of smaller magnitude are indicated by →; trends based on two points only are marked ▪. Trends are estimated by means of regression models.
(b) Break after 2010. Therefore baseline data not included. (u) Eurostat: "low reliability". (z) Eurostat: "not applicable". (e) Eurostat: "estimated".
Source: Cedefop calculations based on Eurostat, EU labour force survey ("flat files").

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Annex 1: short description of indicators and additional notes

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Annex 2: Reading the indicator statistical overviews

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01/02/2018