European and national policies on Vocational Education and Training (VET) need to be informed by sound and internationally comparable statistical evidence. The VET country statistical overviews are concise, descriptive and user friendly statistical reports. For each country, they quantify and compare key aspects of VET and lifelong learning. The selection is based on the indicators' policy relevance and their importance in achieving the Europe 2020 objectives.

VET indicators for Estonia for the last available year
Index numbers (EU=100)

NB:   The index numbers are derived from data summarised in the table. Data in the table have been rounded to one or two decimal places. The calculation of index numbers is instead based on not rounded data.

Estonia’s performance on a range of indicators selected to monitor progress in VET and lifelong learning across the European Union (EU) is summarised below. The chart compares the situation in Estonia with that of the EU, based on the most recent data available (this differs by indicator). Data in the chart are presented as an index where the EU average equals 100. If the index for a selected indicator for Estonia is 100, then its performance equals the EU average. If the index is 90, its performance is 90% of (or 10% below) the EU average. If the index is 200, Estonia’s performance is twice (or 200%) the EU average. For some indicators, such as early leavers from education and training, a country is performing better if its score is below that of the EU average.

Data on which the index is calculated are presented in the table, which also shows developments over time. A technical definition of each indicator is provided in the annex.

Key points

Access, attractiveness and flexibility

Compared to the EU average (47.3% in 2015), IVET students in Estonia comprise a lower share of the student population at upper secondary level (35.7%). Only a small proportion of these IVET students are in combined work- and school-based programmes (1.4% compared to 28.4% in the EU in 2015). In contrast, the share of upper secondary IVET students enrolled in programmes giving direct access to tertiary education (94.6%) is high and also well above the EU average (66.7%).

Adult participation in lifelong learning (15.7%) is also above the EU average (10.8%) in 2016 and above the average target (15%) set by the strategic framework Education and training 2020. Data from the 2010 CVTS show that 68% of enterprises provided training compared with 66% in the EU, but participation of employees in CVT courses was less favourable (31% in Estonia, 38% in the EU).

Skill development and labour market relevance

The employment rate for IVET graduates (aged 20 to 34) at ISCED 3-4 (80.1%) is higher than the EU average (78.1%).

Their employment rate is 7.3 percentage points higher than for graduates from general education (compared with an average EU premium of 5.7). It is also higher than that for graduates with lower-level qualifications: compared to the latter, they enjoy an employment premium of 14.4 percentage points, though lower than the corresponding EU average premium of 23.4. These figures should be interpreted with some caution due to sample size issues. All these employment figures relate to 2016 and exclude young people in further education and training.

Overall transitions and labour market trends

In this section all data refer to 2016 unless otherwise stated.

Levels of early leaving from education and training in Estonia are just above the EU average (10.9% in Estonia, 10.7% in the EU as whole), still slightly above the Europe 2020 average target of 10% and the related national target of 9.5%. The share of 30 to 34 year-olds with tertiary-level education is higher than in the EU (45.4% compared with 39.1%) and than the Europe 2020 average target and the national target (both set at 40%). Estonia has a relatively small percentage of adults with lower-level educational attainment (10.9% compared with the EU average of 23.0%). The NEET rate in Estonia is lower than the EU average (11.4% versus 15.2%) as is the unemployment rate for 20 to 34 year-olds (7.9% versus 11.8%). Both indicators have improved (decreased) between 2010 and 2016 in Estonia. The employment rate of recent graduates fell between 2014 and 2016 to 77.1%, somewhat below the EU average (78.2%).


Score on VET indicators in Estonia and in the EU, 2010,
last available year and recent change

EU refers to EU-28, unless otherwise specified. Arrows ↗ or ↘ signal a positive or negative change. Arrow → indicates: no change.

(A) UOE back reconstruction of 2010 values based on ISCED 2011 not yet available. (B) AES 2011, used as proxy for 2010 baseline. (C) 2014 b flags in Eurostat online tables ignored on the basis of other relevant Eurostat metadata. (D) Forecast made in 2016. (E1) Based on 28 countries, with partial information for NL. (E2) Based on 28 countries, with partial information for EL, ES, NL, PL, RO. (E3) Based on 28 countries, with partial information for IT, NL. (E4) Based on 23 countries (missing: DK, EL, HR, IT, PT), with partial information for IE and FR. (E5) Based on 23 countries (missing: DK, EL, HR, IT, PT), with partial information for IE and FR. (E6) Based on 28 countries, with partial information for DK, EL, NL. (E7) Based on 25 countries (missing: HR, IT, UK), with partial information for BE, CZ, DK, DE, EE, EL, LU, NL, PL, SE. (E8) Based on 25 countries (missing: IE, FR, UK), with partial information for BE, EL, LU. (E9) Based on 26 countries (missing: IE, UK), with partial information for DK, DE. (E10) Based on 28 countries. (b) Break after 2010, therefore baseline data not included. (u) Eurostat: ‘low reliability’. (z) Eurostat: ‘not applicable’. (e) Eurostat: ‘estimated’.

Country-specific report details

Country report type


Statistical overview on VET - Estonia - 2017 edition

EN 185.35 KB

Annex 1 – Short descriptions of indicators and additional notes

EN 74.35 KB

Annex 2 – Reading the Country statistical overviews

EN 39.5 KB

Annex 3 – 2017 Masterfile Country statistical overviews

EN 488.58 KB