3.B. Quantities in VET supply

This section will focus on the supply side of VET. The programs, educations, courses etc that the different types of VET providers offer. This is done in many combinations where traditional school based VET, apprenticeship models and combinations of these are the most common.

This section will provide answers to the following questions:

  • How to define the sector in educational terms?
  • How to collect data on VET-supply?
  • How to increase the VET-supply?
  • VET Dynamics

In order to predict the timing of the future supply of graduated VET students is it important to know the duration of the VET, because this is the best indicator for when there will be learners educated. Drop out rates, shift to other activities are important too.

How to define the sector in educational terms?

The definition of the sector is mainly focused here on defining the different types of education offered when taking into account the supply and demand aspect of VET. Below, you will find an example of good practice from Greece, showing an overview of the education and training (type of VET, EQF-level, duration, full/part time, required/desirable and prerequisites) according to job profiles.

Good practice: The Greek hospitality sector

Statistics on iVET

The classification of VET programmes according to job profiles is presented in Table 5.

Table 5. VET programmes provided in Greece for Hospitality sector

Relevant VET programmes for kitchen personnel






EQF level


full/ part time

1 = desirable
2 = required


Kitchen Porter, Responsible for buffet, food service






Prerequisite:  work experience at least 2 years


3 years

full time



Prerequisite:  work experience at least 4 years

Cook, pastry chef, bakery, Professional Cookery



3 years

full time




WBL from min  0% to max 25%  


2 years





WBL= 80%

Head chef


2 years












Food safety and hygiene


10 hours





Prerequisite: Certified food handlers (Holder of a Food safety and hygiene certificate)

Food handling


50-100 hours







The Greek good practice example can inspire you to select dimensions that are important and relevant in your sector

Another example of good practice (below) outlines the occupational domain of the electrician education sector

Good practice: The Swedish Electrician sector

The example of the “sector map” below was taken from the Netherlands. It is a first step in creating transparency, defining the occupational domain.

EQF/IQF level*


and Planning

Installation, Service
and Maintenance


and Support

High level


Technical Manager

Operational Manager

General Manager

Commercial Manager


Project Manager

Head Execution

Service Manager


HR officer




Technical Specialist

(Senior/Leading Electrician)

Office Manager



Service Engineer





Warehouse Worker

(Junior Electrician)

Administrative Assistant


* “EQF” is European qualification framework, which isn’t (yet) implemented in Sweden. The installation sector uses its own qualification levels (IQF) which has a similar scale but a difference of one level.

The three distinct levels of the jobs concerned appeared to be less clear in Sweden, so the research focussed on “Electrician”.

Source: WP4 National Report – Sweden 2020

The good practice example from Sweden shows complexities in comparing education across countries, but at the same time it can assist you in overcoming similar challenges. 

How to collect data on VET-supply? 

The national report on the hospitality sector in the UK (below) shows how difficult it can be to get data on the number of students within initial VET (iVET) in the UK:

Practice. The Hospitality Sector in UK

Statistics on iVET


iVET Programmes


Number of Students

Number of Graduates



Kitchen Assistant: Level 1 Award in Introduction to Employment in the Hospitality Industry; Certificate in General Cookery; Level 2 in food Safety; NVQ Level 2 in Food Preparation and Cooking and Food Service

Guided Learning Hours range from 69 for introductory courses through to 170 for Food Preparation and Cooking for example





Cook/Chef de Partie: Foundation Degree in Culinary Arts, Professional Cookery; Higher National Diploma

12 weeks-2 years*





Head Chef: University Degree in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, Professional Cookery; Higher Level Apprenticeship; Higher Level National Diploma

3-4 years+ if specialist areas are chosen




* Professional Cookery: Level 1 Diploma: 12-weeks; Professional Cookery: Level 1 Diploma: 12-weeks; Professional Chef – Level 3 Diploma: 1-year

Overall, it has been challenging to put the three jobs of  (i) Kitchen Assistant (Kitchen Production/Food Production) (EQF 2), (ii) Chef de Partie (EQF 3) and (iii) Head Chef (EQF 4) into context in terms labour market statistics e.g. specifically in terms of the number of people employed in each of the roles, the number of those workers being certified and/or on work placements, and in terms of vacancies and hard to fill vacancies.  Further, it has been almost impossible to source comprehensive initial VET statistics across the three jobs, especially in terms of the number of students, the number of graduates, and flow-through. 

Source: WP4 The National Report – UK - 2020

However, the national report on the hospitality sector in the UK had better access to data on apprenticeships in the sector, as the good practice example below shows

It has been relatively more straightforward to capture information on young people and apprenticeships through reports such as ‘Kitchen Talent’, as follows:

There were 9,000 young people in their first year of a chef or cookery course in the UK catering colleges – with the umber dropping to around 6,000 apprentices who started a chef apprenticeship last year (which an estimated 60-70 per cent complete), and it is clear that, in the last two years, colleges and apprenticeships were far from meeting the country’s demand for chefs.[1]

Of course, these measures of headcount are blunt. And we do not know how many chefs train directly with their employers (our interviews suggest a lot do).  The larger concern among chefs and restaurant owners is not the number of students completing culinary education (an industry-wide challenge), but that many young people coming out of training do not have the right skills to fit their needs or to thrive in the workplace.”[1]

Figure 5: Chef-related apprenticeship starts (England)

  Framework / Pathway / Standard Level 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19
Quarter 1
Framework* Food production and cooking 2 6,850 6,300 6,230 5,310 1,240 190
Patisserie ans confectionary 3 50 60 60 70 40 10
Professional cookery 2 4,650 4,330 4,140 3,650 1,000 150
Professional cookery 3 1,240 1,440 1,330 1,300 300 10
Standard* Commis Chef 2       320 2,050 900
Chef De Partie 3       10 350 100
Production Chef 2            
Senior Production Chef 3       10 730 190
  All chef-related apprenticeships 12,790 12,130 11,760 10,670 5,710 1,550
Excl. production chefs  5,940 5,830 5,530 5,350 3,740  1,170
Source: Department for Education (2019)
*Frameworks are being phased out by Government, they will be fully replaced by Standards in 2020/2021 
*Standards were first introduced in 2014/15

The UK overview of the different iVET-programmes has inspirational value and it can assist you in gathering information on specific variables e.g., the iVET-programmes, the EQF-level programme duration and other aspects.

Another example from Greece shows how difficult it can be to collect the data on iVET programmes.

Practice: The Greek hospitality sector

The National Organisation for the Certification of Qualifications and Vocational Guidance (EOPPEP) is the statutory body responsible for the certification examinations of iVET programmes. There is no available data per occupational profile but data is available concerning the total number of graduated learners/students from iVET programmes related to “food/cook art” as well as the number of certified/accredited students.

iVET programme

Number of graduated students


Number of students participated in the certification exams

Number of certified students


Food/cook art

Approx. 18.000



% of graduated: 47.49%

% of participated in the exams: 75.29%


Nevertheless, this example from Greece shows that some iVET data is being collected even if it might not provide the level of detail initially envisaged

Both the national reports, the interviews and our research showed that different stakeholders face a number of questions regarding estimation of the future quantity within the sector – see below another example of good practice in this regard

Good Practice: How do you assure to get an overview of the supply side:

  • The number of educational places
  • The number of current students
  • Duration of programmes and educational offers
  • The proportion of students searching for work directly after completion
  • The age profile of currently employed and unemployed
  • The numbers of employed and unemployed in the sector
  • The number of persons that might come from or go to other sectors
  • The regulations of the number of students educated (from Government, sectors, providers, unions etc.)

The national report on the hospitality sector in the UK presents some interesting insights on education and training, new apprenticeship standards and many courses offered

Good practice. The Hospitality Sector in UK

In terms of college education, London has a large and diverse offer of training for chefs – out of 48 colleges, 16 provide catering courses. In general, culinary education does not meet employers’ needs, and does not prepare young people well enough for chefs jobs.

  • 70 per cent of our interviewees felt that culinary schools don’t provide the chef training that the City needs.
  • One course manager (told us that) “All students have a job before finishing the course, some a year before.” But chefs and restaurateurs were often unconvinced by culinary education in colleges.’
  • There is a widespread criticism of college training, simply as it takes place at colleges – catering courses do not include any work experience even though they can last up to three years. After completing the courses, joining the “real world of work” is a shock for most college graduates.
  • In London, catering colleges tend to be invisible to young people and lack specialisation. One culinary school does stand out: Westminster Kingsway College. Most of the chefs interviewed could name check one or two colleges.

Employers and college course managers agree on another point – that most catering colleges today are not able to teach some of the qualities required to be a good chef. “Courses do not easily teach thirst for learning, flair, teamwork, entrepreneurship, which all our interviews agreed were the skills that make a good chef,  Responses from 28 research interviews (from the Kitchen Talent report).

In summary,

  • London has a good provision of catering courses, including some of the best in the country, but catering colleges have high dropout rates.
  • Most courses cannot provide the range of skills needed to thrive as a chef, such as creativity and resilience: these are best learnt in the workplace.
  • The UK Government apprenticeship scheme is not yet delivering for the profession, particularly in London.

Source: WP4 The National Report – UK - 2020

This example of good practice can inspire you to search for a direct and honest overview while evaluating your sector, providing a platform for discussing real challenges and the potential solutions and actions with the stakeholders. 

How do you make an estimate based on weighting all the information?

After collecting and presenting the data it is important to reflect on it and to interpret it in the context of EQAVET Indicator 5.

Questions to ask/aspects to consider:

  • What is the ratio between the number of students with a need for workplace training and the amount of (short/part-time) work placements and (long/full-time) internships offered by companies?
  • What is the ratio between the number of graduates and job vacancies?
  • Is there a shortage or surplus (of VET supply)?
  • Are there regional differences? (if so: what are they?)
  • Are there any changes over time? (for the better or worse and why?)
  • Are there any measures being taken? (if so: what are they and have they worked?)

Questions like these can inspire you and other stakeholders in your sector.   

How to increase the VET-supply?

The national report on the hospitality sector in the UK (see below) shows for instance an importance of employer-led initiatives and other initiatives in increasing the number of students

Good practice. The Hospitality Sector in UK

Sector bodies such as UK Hospitality are now campaigning for the earlier implementation of catering 'T-levels', to come in from 2021; to expand the T-level to encompass wider hospitality, which had recently been dropped; and, ensure that there is direct industry involvement in the development of T-levels. Further, People1st is currently driving the quality of hospitality apprenticeships and aligning other workplace skills and vocational education activities through one strategic, employer-led Board.

  • Apprenticeships: the sector is a major advocate of apprenticeships and sees them as a way of nurturing young talent and providing a career pathway.
  • T-levels: vocational education has a key role to play in developing the workforce of the future and supporting T-levels to assist non-academic learning and providing young people with the skills to make them ready for work.

People1st’s Hospitality Skills and Quality Board brings together the hospitality trailblazer and hospitality apprenticeships (EQA) board to form one employer-led skills and quality board, which will drive the quality of apprenticeships, ensuring they remain fit for purpose, but also have a wider interest to align other workplace skills and vocational education activities in the UK. Critically, the board brings together employers and other stakeholders, including industry bodies and learning provider representation.

Source: WP4 The National Report – UK - 2020

The good practice above can inspire you about how to campaign for more students and how to bring all the stakeholders together and contribute to enhancing the sector.

Another example is provided by  the National Report from Sweden that shows some important trends that influence the educational landscape

Good practice: The Swedish Electrician sector

VET Dynamics

Not only labour is subject to change, education is too. These developments were mentioned by respondents as being relevant.

  • Decreasing numbers of El+E students
  • Third year specialisation: Automation, Data
  • Shortage of teachers (ageing/retirement of ‘baby-boomers’)
  • ETG development (growing numbers but not only positive response)
  • SeQF development (showing gaps in VET supply)
  • Growing commitment to the sector from VET policies (but also too little involvement of individual companies)

Source: WP4 National Report – Sweden 2020

Previous   Next