09 November 2017

What EU citizens think of VET

People’s opinion is of major importance whatever market you are working in, Vocational Education and Training (VET) obviously make no difference. Indeed the image, quality, outcomes and effectiveness of VET have a strong impact on personal’s education choice and wide policymaking.

On June 2017, another Cedefop opinion survey came out on how EU citizens view VET in their country.


With both surveys we can point out some of the challenges that VET are facing, such as budget constraints, and what impact it does have on EU citizens’ perception. Some think VET is the key to develop a workforce ready to face the challenges coming ahead. That it will improve and maintain a high-level of competences and skills. And some are more willing to see VET as a second choice for second-rate students, including a massive gap with general education.

This Cedefop survey will help us to know more on public opinion regarding VET.

In this survey we will observe the responses of a large group of people on two main questions: how VET contributes to strengthening the economy while fighting unemployment and social exclusion. And how is their labour market situation and career satisfaction. Cedefop had run its survey on approximately 35,600 respondents coming from different education background, some from general education, others from vocational and some with no upper secondary education.

What came out is that more than four in five of them agree that VET strengthens their country’s economy, plays a major role in reducing unemployment and also fight social inclusion. If we are looking closer to the United Kingdom we can see that 83% of respondents think VET is of major interests when it touch unemployment.


Regarding further education and training, we have noticed that one in five respondents participated in work-related training in the previous 12 months. This shows the importance of training and skills development even if you are working on a full-time job. Respondents answering this survey point out the main reasons why they’ve been on work-related training. The first one is to acquire new skills, the second to update existing skills and the third for career development, but some of them in a minority said it was to change career.

As a conclusion on this Cedefop European public opinion on Vocational Education and Training, we can say that VET needs to focus on people’s understanding and opinions. So it could be more attractive and effective and become a first choice. The main results coming out from this survey is that people are familiar with VET and that it has a positive perception on EU citizens. But it’s true that general education remains with a more positive image in people’s mind, and that vocational education is a more one job specific education.

Also we have figured that VET graduates are more satisfied with their learning outcomes than general education graduates, especially on work-related expertise. Indeed VET students have more ability in speaking a foreign language and to develop cultural awareness, while VET students have more initiative and entrepreneurship skills.

Fighting stereotypes and give more information would actually be the right solutions to understand better what VET is really about.


You can access the Cedefop survey from here.


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