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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: 27 November 2023


A government inquiry to propose a new form of vocational training for adults

The government has decided on an extended assignment to the ongoing Vocational Development Inquiry. The task is to propose how a new form of vocational training at upper secondary level can be introduced to strengthen the connection between education for adults and working life.

There is currently a shortage of vocationally trained workforce in several different fields, and the shortage risks persisting in the future as well. In, for example, technology and manufacturing as well as the construction sector, employers report a large shortage of upper secondary school educated labor. 

Since it was established in 2009, the Higher Vocational Education (Yrkeshögskolan) has been a successful form of education in terms of post-secondary education. Of those who graduated in 2021, 91 percent had work a year later. A key to success is that working life has a decisive influence in terms of higher vocational education courses to meet the skills needs of the labor market. The government therefore wants to use the higher vocational education model, which offers education with a strong connection to working life, also for vocational education at upper secondary level.

The assignment also includes analyzing the range of other forms of vocational education at secondary and post-secondary level and, if necessary, proposing boundaries between these forms of education and the new form of vocational education.

The assignment must be reported no later than February 15, 2024.

For more information (in Swedish)


Increased opportunities for basic eligibility to higher education for vocational programmes

In a government bill, the Swedish government proposes that all national vocational programmes in upper secondary school should contain what is required for pupils to achieve basic eligibility for higher education. In order for this to be possible without reducing vocational preparation, the scope of the programmes must also be expanded, both in terms of upper secondary school credits and guaranteed teaching time. However, it must be possible for the pupil to opt out.

Lack of upper secondary vocationally trained labor is one of the biggest and most acute problems in the Swedish labor market today. More skilled plumbers, electricians and childcare workers are needed. Making vocational programmes more attractive is part of the solution.

The bill proposes the necessary changes to the law. The amendments to the law are proposed to enter into force on 1 January 2023 and will be applied for the first time to education that begins in the autumn term of 2023.

The government bill (in Swedish)



Investments in adult education will combat the consequences of the pandemic

Many have lost their jobs during the current pandemic. Foreign-born, often newly arrived, who are far from the labor market, have been hit particularly hard by the crisis. Education is therefore an important tool for improving integration. The Government is now investing further in initiatives within municipal adult education and higher vocational education to improve for adults who need to strengthen their position in the labor market.

After the Parliament decided on 16 June on the spring amendment budget for 2021, the government has now made the decisions required for the proposed education initiatives to be realized. 

For more information (in Swedish)

Changed selection rules within municipal adult education to facilitate adjustment in the labor market

The Government has decided on amendments to ordinances within municipal adult education due to amendments to the law that have been decided through the bill “Komvux for strengthened competence supply”. Changed selection rules and a new university preparatory degree will simplify things for both students and municipalities.

For more information in Swedish