Reform of vocational education

Long-term sustainability of central government finances requires that vocational education provides a solid foundation for students’ employment and that it meets the changing competence needs of business life and enterprises. The implementation of the reform has progressed in line with the objectives. The NAOF recommends that the Incomes Register be used as a source of information when the effectiveness of vocational education is monitored.

The funding for vocational education totals about EUR 1.9 billion in 2021. Of this, the share of local government is EUR 1 billion, while the rest is allocated by the state to education providers as statutory central government transfers and discretionary government transfers.

Students’ path to working life and competence that meets the needs of businesses play a key role in ensuring the long-term sustainability of central government finances. The aim of the audit was to ensure that the reform supports the employability of students and the competence-based structural competitiveness of the national economy.

On the basis of the audit, the achievement of the objectives of the reform seems to be making good progress. The problems that the audit found in the implementation are explained by the tight preparation schedule and the otherwise challenging environment. The tight schedule and the simultaneous cuts in appropriations have also increased the administrative workload and burdened the management and staff of educational institutions.

According to the principle of continuous learning, the education system should support the combination, deepening and targeting of different skills, not only through qualifications and qualification units but also through smaller education modules. Safeguarding learning in workplaces, in turn, is of utmost importance for ensuring the sustainability of the education system.