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The report discusses the impact of demographic trends on vocational education and training (VET) in EU-27. It presents short-, medium- and long-term projections of the future number of VET students and graduates, for the period 2005-50 focusing on up to 2030. The analysis is based on the 2004 Eurostat population projections and centres on the cohorts aged 15-24.

Assuming constant participation and graduation rates, the number of young VET students, at secondary, post-secondary and tertiary level, is likely to fall by over two million and of graduates by around 600 000 between 2005 and 2030 (baseline scenario). At upper secondary level, the number of VET students is expected to decrease from 11.5 million to 9.6 million.

This projected decline will most likely affect demand for VET teachers and trainers and VET facilities. Fewer VET graduates may lead to labour-market shortages for people with VET qualifications.

Apart from posing a challenge, demographic change can also yield new opportunities. Potential (public) budget savings resulting from fewer VET students could be used to improve the quality and effectiveness of VET systems.

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Implications of demographic change for vocational education and training in the EU

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