Vocational education, which can be acquired through several options on the basis of both basic and secondary education, provides both professional knowledge and skills.
Vocational education without the requirement of basic education, where only the profession is acquired is provided for persons without basic education who have exceeded the age of compulsory school attendance (17 years). After completing the vocational education or simultaneously with it, one can continue one’s general education studies in order to acquire a basic education.
Vocational education based on basic education is a type of education where only the general education subjects related to the profession are taught in addition to the profession. The pupil’s level of education (basic education) does not change.
Secondary vocational education is provided on the basis of basic education and the pupil acquires a secondary education in addition to the profession. The minimum study period is three years. Pupils who have completed a secondary vocational education curriculum in a vocational school can study general education subjects of their choice for up to 35 additional study weeks (the so-called additional year) and take state examinations.
This increases the competitiveness of graduates of vocational schools with regard to further studies at the tertiary education level. During the voluntary additional year, the pupils’ studies take place in adult upper secondary schools or in the evening or distance learning departments of upper secondary schools and are free of charge.
Vocational training based on secondary education represents the opportunity to acquire professional skills within 0.5 to 2.5 years of graduation from upper secondary school.
Vocational education in basic schools and upper secondary schools is intended for pupils of general education schools and is provided by vocational educational institutions. The studies take place on the basis of a separate curriculum and last for at least 15 study weeks during which pupils acquire basic knowledge of the selected profession and receive a certificate confirming the completion of the vocational education course. The knowledge and skills acquired in the basic school or upper secondary school can be taken into account in further studies if the pupil wishes to continue their studies in the same specialty.