Vocational education and training, which nearly half of all Europeans choose to enrol in after their compulsory education, has a generally positive image among most age groups, linked to the high quality of training on offer and the strong job prospects that this brings.
However, only 27% of young people aged 15-24 say they would recommend it to their peers, which shows that more needs to be done to improve the image and attractiveness of vocational educational and training within this crucial age group. These are among the key findings of a Eurobarometer survey on "Attitudes towards vocational education and training" presented by the European Commission today. The survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews with 27 000 people across all the Member States. Country-by-country findings are available.
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: “I believe all of us would prefer to fly in an aeroplane with a well-trained pilot rather than a well-educated pilot. Our objective is to achieve the right blend of education and training to suit the vocational world. Investing in vocational education and training is also one of the best ways of combating youth unemployment. By creating high quality training, we enable young people to boost their personal development and to acquire the kind of specific and transferable skills which employers need. But in spite of its advantages vocational education and training is failing to attract enough young people. We must continue to improve career guidance and better communicate the high demand for vocational professions to young people."
According to the Eurobarometer report, 47% of EU citizens were or are currently enrolled in vocational education and training. There are, however, large differences between countries: as many as 76% in the Netherlands, 70% in Slovakia and 66% in the Czech Republic have experienced vocational education and training, while this is the case for only 24% in Portugal and Spain and 27% in Malta.
When asked about the image of vocational education and training in their country, 71% said it was positive and 23% viewed it as negative. The highest share of positive responses was recorded in Malta (92%), Finland (90%) and Austria (88%), with the least in Slovenia and the Netherlands (both 50%), Hungary and Belgium (both 59%).