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The aim of this article is to summarise the evolution of the labour market situation of vocational education graduates in the last 20 years in Poland. With the use of statistical analyses of LFS and PIAAC data, we present the main changes in the situation of vocational education graduates in terms of their number, employment status, wages and skills. The number of students has decreased sharply in the last 20 years, in basic vocational schools, but not in vocational upper secondary schools. Our results support the thesis that the main challenges facing vocational education in Poland are not the decline in the number of students, but the strong negative selection mechanisms, low effectiveness of attaining basic skills and the inability of vocational education to quickly adapt to structural changes in the economy. We show why the key success factor of vocational education should be the development of general skills, and why introducing a dual education system is unlikely to solve its most important problems in Poland.

Maciej Lis, Agata Miazga, Institute for Structural Research

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