Employment rates of vocational education and training graduates vary

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The employment rates of those holding a further vocational qualification from a university of applied sciences and those holding a specialist vocational qualification are relatively high. In contrast, those holding an initial vocational qualification face more challenges in finding employment. In addition to the type of qualification, age and field of education affect finding a job.

The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) has published an overview examining the employment and unemployment of graduates from vocational education and training one year and five years after graduation. The overview is based on data from 2009–2021.

The employment rate of holders of a further vocational qualification was approximately 80% and the employment rate of holders of a specialist vocational qualification was over 90% both one year and five years after graduation.

In contrast, the average employment rate of holders of an initial vocational qualification was 64% one year after graduation, while the average unemployment rate was 17%. Five years after graduation, the employment rate of this group was 74% and the unemployment rate was 11%.

Age and field of education affect employment rates

Employment and unemployment varied between fields of education, and there were also differences within fields of education. The fields of education where employment rates were highest were health and well-being; business and administration; and services. The fields of education where employment rates were lowest were information and communication technology (ICT); natural sciences; and the humanities and arts.

Employment also varied according to age, with the employment rate of younger holders of an initial vocational qualification one year after graduation being notably lower than that of older ones. However, young people continue their studies more often than older people or complete military or non-military service after their studies. Five years after graduation, there was hardly any age-related variation in employment rates.

Differences in employment between fields of education were clearly smaller among holders of a further vocational qualification or specialist vocational qualification than among holders of an initial vocational qualification. That being said, holders of a further vocational qualification or specialist vocational qualification had the lowest employment rates in the same fields as holders of an initial vocational qualification.

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