Despite enjoying an excellent reputation abroad, vocational education and training (VET) in the Netherlands has a poor image at home. This was the striking finding of an opinion survey carried out by Cedefop to gain insights into the views EU citizens have about VET at upper secondary level.
Some 41% of survey respondents in the Netherlands say that VET has a negative image, well above the EU average of 23%. More than two-thirds of respondents say that general education has a better image than VET. The survey’s overall VET ‘attractiveness indicator’ combines answers to questions about VET’s image and relevance for the labour market. On this measure VET in the Netherlands comes next to last, just ahead of France and a long way behind countries such as Germany and Austria, which, like the Netherlands, have strong international reputations for high-quality upper secondary VET.
The question is why the Dutch VET system, one of the best in the world according to international organisations such as the OECD, has such a poor image at home. It is certainly not because of a lack of awareness. The vast majority (89%) of respondents in the Netherlands know what VET is. The Dutch VET system is also highly inclusive, comprising high-quality expert and specialist courses as well as support for marginalised social groups. Its inclusive nature and positive labour market outcomes (79% of VET graduates find a job within a month of completing their studies) may be why upper secondary VET in the Netherlands is widely admired internationally.
Read the full article from the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.