Malta ranks last in vocational education enrollment, Eurostat figures show

Malta is the EU state with the lowest percentage of upper secondary school students enrolled in vocational education, new Eurostat figures have shown.

Just 13 per cent of Malta’s upper secondary students are enrolled in vocational education, compared to the EU average of 48 per cent. In 12 member states, more than half of all upper secondary pupils studied vocational programmes.

Vocational education prepares people to work in a trade or craft, as a technician, or in support roles for professions such as engineering, accountancy, nursing, medicine, architecture, or law.

The European Commission has emphasised the importance of vocational education and training in enabling young people to develop the skills needed for modern-day labour markets.

In the Czech Republic, 73 per cent of upper secondary pupils are enrolled in such courses. Croatia, Austria and Finland also have more than 70 per cent enrolment rates.

Malta sits at the bottom of the member state list, with Cyprus close behind with just 15 per cent of students enrolled. Hungary, with a 25 per cent enrolment rate, is third-from-bottom.

The Eurostat figures also show how men continue to dominate vocational education, with only Belgium, Finland and the UK having a higher percentage of female pupils enrolled in vocational education than men. In Sweden, the split is an even 50-50.

In Malta, 42 per cent of pupils enrolled in vocational education are women – a shade lower than the EU average of 44 per cent, but far better than Cyprus, where just 20 per cent of vocational education students are female, or Estonia or Greece’s 35 per cent.

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