Having completed the 8-grade primary school, pupils might opt to continue their learning pathway in general secondary schools or in institutions of initial vocational education and training (IVET). Institutions of initial vocational education can be of two different types: vocational schools and secondary vocational schools. Approximately 20% of students opt for vocational schools, 42% for secondary vocational schools, 35% for general secondary schools, and 3% for other institutions.
Preparatory and pre-vocational courses are offered in the lower grades of both types of institutions (in grades 9-10, in the case of short-term vocational schools, and in grades 9-12 in the case of secondary vocational schools), with vocational education and training starting only at grades 11 or 13, respectively. Following the completion of vocation training, students are awarded state-approved vocational qualifications, all listed in the National Qualifications Register.
Further measures aiming at reducing drop-outs from IVET include a scholarship programme combined with mentoring (the ‘Út a szakmához’ /Road to vocation/ Programme), supporting a growing network of ‘extra-curricular afternoon schools’ (tanoda) and various second-chance programmes.
In fact, social partners and chambers of commerce have been playing a significantly more active role in IVET than before (through providing practical training, cooperating in the organisation of examinations, designing the training profiles of the institutions, etc).
Finally, it must also be noted that the establishment and rearrangement of regional training centres is an on-going process, which was started a few years ago with the aim of increasing the quality of IVET, focusing particularly on practical training with a view to creating a more cost-effective institutional structure and training facilities.