World TVET Database - Country Profiles

As of April 2017, a number of updated Country TVET Profiles will be available in a new and more user friendly format with some new features (for example, statistical information).

Sweden

TVET Country Profile
1. TVET mission
2. System
3. Governance and financing
4. TVET teachers and trainers
5. Qualifications
6. Projects
7. Statistical information
8. Links
9. References
Sweden
published: 2013-11-27

1. TVET mission, legislation and national policy or strategy

TVET mission

TVET is totally integrated into the education system in Sweden. The TVET mission as defined by the government is to fulfil the real labour market needs. The government therefore involves a diverse set of labour market actors in the planning and implementation of TVET policies and programmes.

TVET Strategy

The government focuses mainly on raising the quality and status of TVET provision through:

  • diversifying TVET programmes and qualifications, as well as streamlining of TVET options;
  • devoting more time to vocational subjects along with introducing new apprenticeship programmes; and
  • encouraging municipalities to organise vocationally-oriented programmes through the Local Authority Adult Vocational Education Framework (yrkesvux)
TVET Mobility

The government promotes mobility within TVET with reference to:

TVET legislation

  • The Education Act (skollagen - SFS 2010:800), the Vocational Education in Upper Secondary School (USS) Ordinance (gymnasieförordningen- SFS 2010:2039) and the Ordinance on Adult Education (förordningen om vuxenutbildningen - SFS 2011:1108) regulate vocational education in upper secondary school and municipal adult education (MAE) programmes. The Education Act contains the general provisions for all school forms and the basic provisions for the different school forms. These provisions were made more specific in their respective ordinances.
  • Chapter 16 (§ 18) of the Education Act 2010 states that students in vocational programmes at the upper secondary level are entitled to a minimum of 2,430 institutional hours over three years (on a full-time basis).
  • The Act of 2009 (lagen om yrkeshögskolan-SFS :128), which replaced the Law on Advanced Vocational Education (AVE) of 2001, regulates higher vocational education (HVE). The provisions in this Act aim to ensure the establishment of HVE that meets the needs of the labour market. HVE brings together vocational post-secondary programmes not found in the Swedish tertiary education system, including AVE programmes.
  • The Ordinance of 2009 on HVE (förordningen om yrkeshögskolan – SFS :130) also regulates the scope and specific requirements of HVE. This Ordinance lays down the responsibility of educational providers to ensure guidance and counselling on alternative study routes, admissions and entry. For instance, educational providers must describe how the counselling will be provided.
Sources:

  • CEDEFOP ReferNet (2012). Sweden VET in Europe - Country Report. Thessaloniki: European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.
  • Ministry of Education and Research Sweden (2009). Higher requirements for new upper secondary school. Stockholm: Ministry of Education and Research.
  • Ministry of Education and Research Sweden (2011). Sweden’s 2011 report on the implementation of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET2020): Stockholm: Ministry of Education and Research.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2012). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Sweden. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.


Back to top

2. TVET formal, non-formal and informal systems

Scheme compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC from CEDEFOP ReferNet (2012). Sweden VET in Europe - Country Report. Thessaloniki: European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.

Formal TVET system

Introductory Programmes (introduktionsprogram)

Students who are not eligible for upper secondary schools may apply to introductory programmes (introduktionsprogram). These programmes are adapted to each individual’s educational needs and provide clear educational routes. They mainly aim to prepare students to access the labour market, and also if possible provide a good foundation for further education.

Vocational Education at upper secondary schools (USS)

After 9 years of compulsory school, students may proceed to upper secondary schools (USS) (gymnasieskola) whether vocational or general streams. Both streams are provided at the same school. Vocational education in USS is offered through mainly two types of programmes:

  • Vocational Programmes (yrkesprogram); and
  • Higher Education Preparatory Programmes (HEPPs)(högskoleförberedandeprogram).
Vocational Programmes last normally three years and comprise workplace-based learning (APL) (arbetsplatsförlagt lärande) as a compulsory component of the programme in condition that APL covers a minimum of 15 weeks with no maximum limit during the three-year of the study. HEPPs last also three years however, APL is not compulsory and generally the requirements for admission in HEPPs are higher than the ones for Vocational Programmes. Foundational vocational subjects are included in all USS programmes and vary in scope based on the programme type. Also, students have the right to study the necessary courses to be eligible to access tertiary education during or through extension of their vocational education. With the introduction of the modularised programmes, students in USS acquire the right to change their study routes and transfer their taught courses in the old route to the new one.

Apprenticeship education (lärlingsutbildning)

This education is introduced in 2011 as an alternative to school-based TVET programmes. 70% of the time in education must be performed in a workplace. These programmes are available for adult learners, consisting of a range from 400 to 1600 upper secondary school (USS) credits. The education is shared by the school responsible for the programme and the workplace where students perform their work based learning activities.

Municipal Adult Education (MAE) (kommunal vuxenutbildning)

Students enrolled in MAE may study one or more courses according to their specific needs and preconditions. The duration of the study varies based on each individual study plan, which is designed by both the individual and the education provider. In many places, MAE students are taught in the same building as USS students. MAE offers, with few exceptions, the same courses of USS that allows MAE students to design their individual study plan based on their earlier studies. MAE admits adults who are resident in Sweden, lack the knowledge that the education aims at providing, and also have the preconditions to satisfactorily complete the education. Adults who do not have an upper secondary education and/or wish to change career paths can also be admitted to MAE. MAE leads to various vocational qualifications based on the completed courses.

Higher Vocational Education (HVE)

HVE applies to education for professions requiring specific knowledge or certification to work within the profession. The education varies in length; from six months to two-year full-time studies. HVE combines school-based and work-based learning (Lärande i arbetslivet – LIA). For instance, in programmes called Advanced Vocational Education (AVE), at least a quarter of the study period must be taught at the workplace. This allows students to gain solid working experience and maintain contact with future employers. HVE can also be delivered in the form of distance-learning.

Learning centres (lärcentra)

These centres run by municipalities, trade unions, adult education associations among others, are open to adult students enrolled in any education form such as; tertiary education, HVE, MAE, Liberal Adult Education (LAE). They offer students guidance and counselling with regard to their studies and serve as examination centres when required. They also provide students with premises and technical functions in which students may have access to computers, internet, video conferencing, and copying machines.

Supplementary Education (SE) (Kompletterande Utbildningar)

SE refers to courses targeted school-leavers and mature students. SE courses are offered at upper-secondary and post-secondary levels. The content of SE courses comprises a single subject mainly within the fields of arts, crafts and culture. Although SE is not part of the public education system, it is supported by the government as it is considered a complement to upper secondary education. SE is owned by individuals or private organisations.

Non-formal and informal TVET systems

Liberal Adult Education (LAE) (folkbildning) has a long tradition in Sweden. It is a type of non-formal learning, which is characterised by being free and voluntary. LAE courses are offered by folk high schools (folkhögskolor) and adult education associations (studieförbund). LAE courses are not restricted to national determined curricula or syllabuses. Each folk high school and adult education association decides on the content and organisation of their education.

Sources:

  • CEDEFOP ReferNet (2012). Sweden VET in Europe - Country Report. Thessaloniki: European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2012). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Sweden. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.
  • Webpage of the Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education. Accessed: 15 July 2013.


Back to top

3. Governance and financing

Governance

The parliament and government have the ultimate responsibility for Education. The Ministry of Education (Utbildningsdepartementet) regulates the TVET system. Municipalities, National Programme Councils and the State are the public TVET providers.

The National Agency for Education (NAE) (Skolverket)

NAE develops and determines the educational content of TVET programme and requirements for graduation. NAE prepares and leads the meetings of the National Programme Councils. These meetings are held about six times per year. Recently, NAE was assigned to analyse and propose measures at the national level to support regional and local actors in implementing the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) at all levels of TVET.

The National Programme Councils (nationella programråd)

They are advisory bodies and a permanent forum for dialogue between the NAE and stakeholders concerning the quality, content and organisation of TVET. Each vocational programme offered at upper secondary schools has a National Programme Council to advice and support the NAE in its tasks. The councils also perform other duties such as collecting data on students’ entry into the labour market, and enhancing cooperation between school and the business sector. The Councils have representatives from the industry sector and employee organisations and authorities.

The Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education (MYh) (Myndigheten för yrkeshögskolan)

The MYh is responsible for higher vocational education. MYh has a clear mandate to ensure:

  • HVE programmes aligned to the actual needs for qualified labour in working life; and
  • the development and maintenance of advanced vocational expertise in certain narrowly defined occupational fields.
The Agency collects and analyses information about the skills needed by the labour market in different industries and regions. The MYh uses this information as a basis to assess which programmes will be included in HVE, using the criteria of labour market relevance. MYh carries out functions such as; evaluations and inspections, as well as monitoring students’ entry into the labour market and producing statistics on the proportion of students in work. MYh ensures the accuracy of programmes through for instance checking if students occupied positions in the field they have studied. In addition, MYh administrates the Supplementary Education (SE).

The Labour Market Council (arbetsmarknadsråd) is a special body linked to MYh. The Council provides information about the labour market, such as which vocational specialisations are required, what qualifications need to be introduced or, phased out. The Council is chaired by the head of the MYh, and its members are representatives of the Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) and social partners.

Private providers may be approved to run independent upper secondary schools (fristående gymnasieskolor). The Swedish Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen) is responsible for approving independent schools, which are regulated by the same steering documents as municipal schools.

Financing

Funds for the schools come from the municipal budget through state grants and municipal taxes. Central government financing is based on a number of different parameters such as population, social structure and number of immigrants. TVET upper secondary programmes and Municipal Adult Education (MAE) are free of charge. In MAE, students must pay for their teaching materials. All higher vocational education (HVE) programmes are free of charge and moreover qualify students for financial aid from the Swedish National Board for Student Aid (CSN).

Independent schools that obtained a permit to run vocational education may receive grants from municipalities on the same conditions as for public schools.

Non-formal TVET is financed by student fees, by companies and organisations, or public grants. MYh makes the final decisions regarding public funding allocations and whether the programmes qualify students for financial aid. The majority of the Supplementary Education (SE) providers charge tuition fees and some of these qualify students for financial aid. Liberal Adult Education (LAE) is largely financed through support from the state, regions and municipalities.

Sources:

  • CEDEFOP ReferNet (2012). Sweden VET in Europe - Country Report. Thessaloniki: European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.
  • Webpage of the Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education. Accessed: 15 July 2013.


Back to top

4. TVET teachers and trainers

Normally, TVET teachers are required to have a higher education degree in the subject to be taught, which can be obtained by studying 1.5 years at a university college or university. TVET teachers must also have relevant vocational knowledge and pedagogical skills. A person who is already working as a TVET teacher, but lacks a degree in vocational education needs to study at a university college or university for one year.

TVET teacher education comprises education methodology, general teaching knowledge and skills, and practical supervised training in a school.

To teach in a Swedish school a teacher registration is required, demonstrating that the teacher is qualified to teach in the subjects. However, due to the lack of qualified staff, TVET teachers are exempt from the registration requirement although schools should give priority to registered teachers when they are recruiting.

A TVET trainer must be appointed when teaching is provided at a workplace. The trainer is the contact person for the school and provides support to students at the workplace.

Sources:

  • CEDEFOP ReferNet (2012). Sweden VET in Europe - Country Report. Thessaloniki: European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.
  • Ministry of Education and Research Sweden (2011). Sweden’s 2011 report on the implementation of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET2020). Stockholm: Ministry of Education and Research.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2012). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Sweden. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.


    Back to top

    5. Qualifications and qualifications frameworks

Secondary vocational education

TVET upper secondary programmes (USS) lead to a vocational diploma (yrkesexamen) and, under certain circumstances, a student enrolled in municipal adult education (MAE) can also receive a vocational diploma upon completion.

Post-secondary vocational education

Higher vocational education (HVE) programmes lead to different qualifications based on the length of the programmes:

  • a one-year programme leads to a diploma in HVE (yrkeshögskoleexamen)
  • a two-year programme leads to an advanced diploma in HVE (kvalificerad yrkeshögskoleexamen).
National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

The Government aims to implement the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). The Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education (MYh) is the national coordination point for EQF and reports on how the Swedish TVET system meets the requirements imposed by the recommendation. The NQF is under development and MYh has therefore been instructed to prepare proposals on broad description to facilitate such development. MYh has also been given the task of managing the link between the NQF and the EQF.

The National Agency for Education (NAE) is assigned to implement the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET). Since 2012, NAE has worked to analyse and propose measures at national level that can support regional and local actors in implementing ECVET at all levels of TVET.

Quality assurance

The Swedish Schools Inspectorate (SSI) (Skolinspektionen) is responsible for the supervision and quality assurance of both vocational upper secondary education (USS) and Municipal Adult Education (MAE). Regular supervision of schools is carried out on the basis of a number of assessment areas and points, whilst quality assurance follows up a specific area. SSI has been commissioned to further develop methods for both the supervision and quality assurance, ensuring that the assessment areas and points are always taken into account.

The Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education (MYh) is responsible for quality assurance of higher vocational education (HVE) programmes. MYh carries out three different types of inspections; (1) introductory supervision, (2) regular supervisions and (3) supervisions owing to certain circumstances.

The table below shows the responsible agencies for steering quality assurance of certain education levels:

Education Level Responsible for quality assurance
upper secondary schools (USS) Education providers and The Swedish Schools Inspectorate (SSI)
higher vocational education (HVE) and advanced vocational education (AVE) Education providers and the Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education (MYh)
Table extracted from CEDEFOP ReferNet (2012). Sweden VET in Europe - Country Report. Thessaloniki: European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.


Sources:

  • CEDEFOP ReferNet (2012). Sweden VET in Europe - Country Report. Thessaloniki: European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2012). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Sweden. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.


Back to top

6. Current and ongoing reforms, projects, and challenges

Current reforms and major projects

In the budget bill for 2013-17, the government highlights a number of areas in vocational secondary and tertiary education where measures need to be developed such as:

  • Strengthening TVET teachers’ and trainers’ competencies through further training and qualifications;
  • Investing in the Vocational Introduction Programme (yrkesintroduktion) by offering incentives to providers;
  • Reinforcing quality assurance in work-based learning through the introduction of incentives to providers, and developing a national training for TVET trainers who teach in workplaces;
  • Continuing investments in apprenticeship programmes by increasing grants to employers providing places for apprenticeship;
  • Improving quality of adult vocational education, allocating substantial investments to expand opportunities for vocationally-oriented adult education; and
  • Strengthening higher vocational education (HVE) to attract more students, in particular foreign born students and students with functional disabilities.
New projects and programmes

  • Vocationally-oriented upper secondary adult education (yrkesvux) - This education aims to counter the effects of the recession and labour shortages, and to reach individuals who have not completed upper secondary education or need to supplement their upper secondary vocational education. It is a three-year initiative whereby the government allocates grants to municipalities to expand the number of enrolled students.
  • Adult vocational education initiative - National funds have been earmarked to expand the number of available places in vocational municipal upper secondary adult education. The initiative aims to address those who do not complete their education and also those who are either unemployed or at risk of being unemployed.
Sources:

  • CEDEFOP ReferNet (2012). Sweden VET in Europe - Country Report. Thessaloniki: European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.
  • EURYDICE (2013). Sweden. Ongoing reforms and policy developments, Education in the Europe 2020 Strategy. Brussels: Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency.
  • Ministry of Education and Research Sweden (2011). Sweden’s 2011 report on the implementation of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET2020). Stockholm: Ministry of Education and Research.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2012). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Sweden. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.


Back to top

7. Statistical information(*)

Population (Million)


2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

9.03
9.09
9.16
9.24
9.31
9.38
Average yearly population growth rate 2005 - 2010

+0.78 %


For comparison:
Global average yearly population growth rate 2005-2010: 1.17%
4.55 4.48
female male  
4.58 4.51
female male  
4.61 4.55
female male  
4.64 4.59
female male  
4.68 4.63
female male  
4.71 4.67
female male  

50.43 %

50.39 %

50.33 %

50.29 %

50.24 %

50.21 %





GDP per capita (currency: US$)


2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012


41 041

43 949

50 558

52 731

43 640

49 360

57 071

55 245




Employment (Million)


total female male
Population

9.38

4.71 4.67
.
Labour Force
52.3%
Labour Force Rate

52.3%

49.4%

55.2%

Labour Force

4.91

2.33 (47.4%) 2.58 (52.6%)
Unemployment Rate

8.3%

8%

8.6%

.
Unemployment
8.3%
Unemployed

0.41

0.19 (45.6%) 0.22 (54.4%)


Youth Employment (Million)


total youth total female male
Population 9.38 1.23 (13.1%) 0.60 (48.8%) 0.63 (51.2%)
.
Labour Force Rate

50.6%

50.7%

50.6%

Labour Force 4.91 0.62 (12.7%) 0.31 (48.9%) 0.32 (51.1%)
Unemployment Rate

25%

23.6%

26.3%

.
Unemployed 0.41 0.16 (38.2%) 0.07 (46.2%) 0.08 (53.8%)
Unemployed
youth : total

38.2%

.



Participation in TVET (% of upper secondary)


2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

58%

58%

59%

59%

60%

60%

59%

Average yearly population growth rate 2005 - 2011

+0.29 %

52 63
female male  
53 63
female male  
54 64
female male  
54 64
female male  
54 65
female male  
54 65
female male  
53 64
female male  
(ratio 45.2 %) (ratio 45.7 %) (ratio 45.8 %) (ratio 45.8 %) (ratio 45.4 %) (ratio 45.4 %) (ratio 45.3 %)





Back to top

8. Links to UNEVOC centres and TVET institutions

UNEVOC Centres

TVET Institutions

References

  • CEDEFOP ReferNet (2012). Sweden VET in Europe - Country Report. Thessaloniki: European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.
  • EURYDICE (2013). Sweden. Ongoing reforms and policy developments, Education in the Europe 2020 Strategy. Brussels: Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency.
  • Ministry of Education and Research Sweden (2009). Higher requirements for new upper secondary school. Stockholm: Ministry of Education and Research.
  • Ministry of Education and Research Sweden (2011). Sweden’s 2011 report on the implementation of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET2020): Stockholm: Ministry of Education and Research.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2012). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Sweden. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.
Webpage of the Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education. Accessed: 15 July 2013.

Abbreviations

  • APL - Workplace-based learning (arbetsplatsförlagt lärande)
  • AVE - Advanced Vocational Education
  • CSN - Swedish National Board for Student Aid
  • ECVET - European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training
  • EQAVET - European Quality Assurance for Vocational Education and Training
  • EQF - European Qualifications Framework
  • HEPPs - Higher Education Preparatory Programmes
  • HVE - Higher Vocational Education
  • LAE - Liberal Adult Education
  • LIA - Work-based learning (Lärande i arbetslivet)
  • MAE - Municipal Adult Education
  • NAE - Swedish National Agency for Education
  • NQF - National Qualifications Framework
  • SE - Supplementary Education
  • SSI - Swedish Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen)
  • USS - Upper Secondary School




Published by: UNESCO-UNEVOC
Publication Date: 2013-11-27
Validated by: Stefan Wiik;
Managing Director CFL;
Centre for flexible learning;
Municipality of Söderhamn



page date 2017-02-22

Back to top