Decline in vocational education enrolments
In the school year 2019/2020 vocational education enrolments accounted for 26.8 thousand, which is 1.4 % less than a year ago. Data1 compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia (CSB) show that also the number of entrants has reduced by 4.6 %.
Number of entrants fell by 541 person
In time period from 1 October 2018 until 30 September 2019, vocational education programmes were entered by 11.1 thousand new students, which is 541 student less than a year ago. Engineering, manufacturing and construction as well as services programmes were the most popular ones. These fields of education were chosen by 33.2 % and 25.2 % entrants, respectively. Within the engineering, manufacturing and construction field, engineering and engineering trades (35.2 %), building and civil engineering (25.5 %), as well as mechanics and metal work (14.4 %) were the most popular programmes. Within the services field, the greatest number of entrants was recorded in the programmes of hotel, restaurant and catering (56.1 %) and hair and beauty services (27.5 %). Share of entrants aged over 30 comprised 11.2 %, which is slightly more than in the previous school year (11 %). For comparison, share of entrants in this age group comprised only 3.6 % in the school year 2010/2011.
The greatest vocational education enrolments in engineering, manufacturing and construction, the smallest – in health and welfare
The greatest vocational education enrolments were unchangeably recorded in engineering, manufacturing and construction (9.2 thousand) and services2 fields (6.4 thousand), comprising 34.4 % and 23.7 % of the total enrolments, respectively. Humanities and arts enrolments have risen by one third over a five-year period. In this school year, humanities and arts programmes are acquired by 4.2 thousand students, accounting for 15.8 % of the total vocational education enrolments. Social sciences, business and law are acquired by 11.6 % of students, while science, mathematics and computing by 8.3 %. The lowest enrolments still may be observed in agriculture (3.1 %) and health and welfare (3 %) programmes.
Share of males and females evens out in vocational education
Recently the proportion of males and females in vocational education tend to even out slightly – share of males in this school year comprises 55.1 % (last year – 54.7 %), but ten years ago it comprised 60.2 %. This trend was also observed in enrolment results of this year, where share of males comprised 53.1 %.
As the number of young people reduces, the number of graduates also falls
Unlike the last three years, when the number of graduates with degree or qualification remained almost the same (about 7.8 thousand a year), in the last school year it was attained by significantly smaller number of students – 6.4 thousand. 2.1 thousand students or one third of the graduates acquired qualification in engineering, manufacturing and construction, while 1.7 thousand or 26.6 % in services programmes (including 1 thousand in hotel, restaurant and catering). Compared to the number of vocational education graduates in 2010, in this school year there is a decrease of 30.2 %. The main reason behind the downturn lies in the sharp reduction – of 34.7 % – in the number of young people aged 15–19.
Vocational education programmes are implemented in 45 vocational education institutions, 11 colleges, and 2 general schools. Almost one third of the enrolments have entered six of the largest vocational education institutions: Riga State Technical School, Riga Technical School of Tourism and Creative Industry, Liepaja State Technical School, Daugavpils Construction Technical School, Riga Technical College and Ogre Technical School.
1Information on vocational education has been arranged based on the data of the Ministry of Education and Science and CSB.
2Services field covers: hotel, restaurant and catering services, hair and beauty services, travel, tourism and leisure services, sports, transport services, etc.
3Category “Other” merges the following fields: agriculture, health and welfare, and education.