Photo: Esko Koivisto

Finns trust the quality of vocational education and training, finds Eurobarometer

According to a Eurobarometer survey requested by the European Commission, almost half of Europe’s young people go on to vocational education and training (VET) after finishing compulsory education. The survey shows that most age groups have a positive image of vocational education and training, and think highly both of its quality and employability. Finns appear considerably more positive about vocational education and training than Europeans on average.

The Eurobarometer survey gauged how Europeans felt about vocational education and training in their own countries, interviewing 27,000 persons in the different EU nations.

Of all the respondents, 71% found vocational education and training a positive thing. The image was the most favourable in Malta and Finland: 90% of the Finns and 92% of the Maltese respondents had a positive view about vocational education and training.

Positive image builds on quality

Europeans have confidence in the quality of vocational education and training, as 75% of the respondents regard VET as offering high-quality learning. The positive image is enhanced by the respondents’ faith in competent teachers and trainers (76%) and in VET graduates’ opportunities to go on to university-level studies (68%).

Finns were again more positive than on average, for 88% of the Finnish respondents were convinced of the high quality of VET and 84% were confident about the competence of teachers and trainers. Also, 83% felt that the possibility to continue in higher education is a good thing for vocational education and training.

There is widespread trust in the employability of vocational education and training. Of the respondents, 82% feel that people in VET acquire skills appreciated by employers. Most (73%) believe that VET offers a route to sought-after jobs in the labour market. More than half (55%) said that VET helps to secure a well-paid job. Finns trust their vocational education and training to an even greater extent: 89% of the Finnish respondents are convinced of the employability of VET and feel that it offers skills that employers want. 68% of the Finnish respondents say that VET guarantees good pay.

Not enough awareness of VET opportunities to study abroad

Europeans could be better informed about VET opportunities to study abroad. Of the respondents, 35% thought mistakenly that vocational education and training did not provide opportunities to study abroad, while 22% said that they did not know whether VET provided such opportunities. Only 43% of the European respondents knew that qualifications could be partially acquired abroad.

Finns were better informed, since 69% were aware that VET students, too, could study abroad. At the same time, 23% of the Finnish respondents thought that vocational education and training did not provide such opportunities.

Elsewhere on the web

Eurobarometer survey on attitudes about vocational education and training

(20 October 2011 / TL)