Hitherto relatively shunned vocational education is gaining ground in Greece, according to Education Ministry data which show an increase in the number of teenagers choosing Vocational High Schools (EPALs) and of young adults that opt for a public Vocational Training Institute (IEK).
The increased interest in public IEKs is seen to be linked to the minimum grade threshold to enter university that was introduced in 2021, leaving many high school graduates out of higher education.
According to the latest data (February 2022) of the MySchool information system, the total number of students at the 413 EPALs came to 105,691 in 2021-22, compared with 86,566 students enrolled in 2017-18.
As regards public IEKs, in 2021 there was a large increase in enrollments of 18-20-year-olds. More specifically, 12,078 people aged 18-20 registered at public IEKs in 2021, while in 2020 it was 6,715, and 7,129 in 2019.