Private sector invests 1.7 billion euro in vocational education

29/07/2008 15:00

In 2006, the public sector spent 1.7 billion euro (5 percent of total spending on education and 0.3 percent of the GDP) on apprenticeship training programmes and other combinations of education and learning on the job. Spending on apprenticeship training mainly concerns personnel costs of apprenticeship supervisors.

Stability after many years of mounting costs

Public sector spending on apprenticeship training programmes has been stable for the past four years. Between 1998 and 2003, it rose by an average of 9 percent annually. The increase was mainly caused by rising wage costs for apprenticeship supervisors and an increase in the number of pupils who combined attending classes with learning on the job. After 2003, the combination of education and learning on the job became less popular.

Public sector spending on apprenticeship training programmes

Public sector spending on apprenticeship training programmes

Costs are partly compensated by tax relief legislation. A company offering apprenticeship training programmes can get compensation to the amount of 2,500 euro for each pupil participating in the programme. In 2006, the compensation amount totalled 180 million euro.

Dual education accounts for three quarters of costs of training programmes

Nearly three quarters of spending on apprenticeship training programmes goes to dual education. In dual education, pupils combine attending classes and learning on the job, for instance the apprenticeship track in lower secondary general and vocational education (vmbo), the apprenticeship-based learning track in senior secondary vocational education (mbo) and the dual education system in higher vocational education (hbo). These pupils and students are often considered as regular employees and companies are prepared to invest in their training programme.

Companies spend far less (28 percent) on apprenticeship training programmes in mbo and hbo than on dual education. The programmes in mbo and hbo tend to be shorter and pupils do not participate in these programmes every school year. For companies, this is less time-consuming. In 2006, an average of 8,400 euro per was spent on each pupil in the dual system, as opposed to only 1.750 euro for each pupil in training programme in mbo and hbo.

Public sector spending on apprenticeship training programmes by type of school, 2006

Public sector spending on apprenticeship training programmes by type of school, 2006

Care and technology sectors most costly

The largest proportion of costs (80 percent) was designated for apprenticeship training programmes in the sectors care and technology. Jobs in the care sector are notoriously labour-intensive and students require an above-average amount of supervision. High costs in the technology sector are caused by the relatively large number of mbo students attending technical training programmes.

Public sector spending on apprenticeship training programmes by sector, 2006

Public sector spending on apprenticeship training programmes by sector, 2006

Chie-Yong Lai