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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
National reforms in vocational education and training and adult learning


14.Ongoing reforms and policy developments

14.3National reforms in vocational education and training and adult learning

Last update: 18 April 2024


Finland’s National Implementation Plan (NIP) has been updated 

In Finland, the most important instrument for implementing the Council of the European Union Recommendation and the Osnabrück Declaration in VET policy is the Education Policy Report of the Finnish Government. The strategic report, which steers the development of entire education system in the long term, describes the target state of education and research into the 2030s and towards the 2040s. The report also presents the resources needed to achieve the target state and the need for changes in structures and guidance. The report examines VET and its development as part of the entire education system and its development.

The Programme of Prime Minister Petteri Orpo’s Government  has been implemented in Finland June 2023, and the National Implementation Plan (NIP) was updated in February 2024 to correspond to the development measures under the new Government Programme. The key development measures are related to strengthening the impact and overall efficiency of VET activities. The first version of the National Implementation Plan 2022 was based on the Programme of Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Government.


Supply of vocational education and training in English extended

From the beginning of 2023, 8 new education providers will have the right to provide qualifications in English. It means that the supply of education and training in English will expand by 50 per cent and now total 23 education providers have the right to provide 61 different kinds of qualifications in English. The decision will expand the supply of education in English especially in the fields of cleaning and property services, accommodation, restaurant and catering services, tourism services, health and social services, and mechanical engineering and production technology.

In Finland many sectors are experiencing labour shortages, and therefore it was necessary to increase the supply of vocational education and training in English. Providing more education and training to complete a qualification in English widens the educational opportunities of foreign-language speakers and helps them find employment. Another aim is to strengthen the vitality and competitiveness of regions. 

The prerequisite for the authorisation to provide vocational qualifications in a foreign language is that the education provider makes sure that the students develop, improve and achieve sufficient skills in Finnish and Swedish as part of the education and training to complete a qualification in English. Education providers must have close cooperation with employers so that employers, too, are committed to the education to ensure their access to skilled labour. Ensuring that employees want to stay working in a sector requires that these students have the possibility to acquire Finnish language and cultural skills to get a job in Finland. 

Current Government Programme defined objectives for VET   

In June 2023, Finland’s 77th Government was appointed and the outcome of the negotiations on the Government Programme was published. The Government set the goals for VET.  These main goals are: 

  • Reducing discontinuation of studies. 
  • Promoting the use of training agreements and apprenticeship training. 
  • Guaranteeing access to contact teaching, workplace instruction and support for learning.  
  • Restructuring the financing of VET by introducing stronger incentives for education providers to ensure that students complete their studies, find employment and transition to further studies; reviewing the indicators used in effectiveness-based financing, as well as their monitoring; introducing incentives for students to complete micro-credentials. 
  • Strengthening cooperation between VET and business and industry to ensure VET better meets the needs of working life and reduces labour market mismatches.  
  • Ensuring a wider offering of VET studies provided in English.  
  • Including more physical and health education into qualification requirements. 

The goals agreed on in the Government Programme do not come to effect immediately but will work as a guideline that the Government will intend to follow through its term of office. For example, legislative amendments must be prepared before bringing them to the Parliament for approval.  


Preparatory education for an upper secondary qualification

Preparatory education for an upper secondary qualification (TUVA) combines voluntary additional basic education, also known as 10th grade, with preparatory education for general upper secondary education (LUVA) and preparatory education for vocational education and training (VALMA). TUVA education will start on 1 August 2022.

The goal is to ensure that preparatory education is available as close as possible to the student's home. A student could, for example, apply for preparatory education provided by an upper secondary education provider, even if his goal is to transfer to vocational education and training, or the other way around. The student would also not need to know whether he intends to apply for upper secondary education or vocational education and training when starting preparatory education.

International competence as an optional part of all IVET qualifications

New optional qualification unit allows VET students to gain work experience in international environments. The new unit brings opportunities especially to those students whose fields have not traditionally had international mobility as a part of their training.

The unit consists of the following parts:

  • preparing to work in international environments
  • interaction in international networks
  • working in an international environment
  • applying and sharing international competence

The new unit does not require a working period abroad.

Programme for the sustainable development of vocational education and training and the green transition

The Programme for the sustainable development of vocational education and training and the green transition supports the achievement of the global Agenda 2030 objectives in VET and addresses the challenges posed by climate change and biodiversity loss in the functioning of VET institutions. Development work focuses on actions to strengthen a sustainable future in the following themes:

  • development of a roadmap for the sustainability of VET and of education providers’ sustainable development programmes;
  • strengthening, innovation and piloting an active culture of experimentation that will strengthen a sustainable future.

Digital service package for continuous learning

The aim is to develop a digital service package for continuous learning, which would consist of interconnected smart e-services and related information reserves. Every individual (including employed persons) would have easy access to career planning online: to identify their own interests, constraints and skills, to define a future target state and to identify opportunities from the perspective of competence development and employment. Alongside the transfer of TE services and the preparation of the labour market service model, the Finnish Government is preparing a number of other reforms that will improve the services for jobseekers and promote employment, such as the reform of digital TE services. The positive employment impact will be generated by the combined effect of these reforms.