Every year, two thirds of secondary school students in Montenegro choose Vocational Education and Training (VET) to access pre-university schooling. However, the whereabouts of these students after graduation remains largely unknown - do they find a job in their vocation, register with the Employment Agency or continue with university education? To support policy makers in getting answers to these questions, the International Labour Organization (ILO) conducted a background study and developed a proposal for tracking graduates from VET education in Montenegro based on administrative data.
The research was presented at a workshop on October 22nd organized by ILO, with the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, the National VET Agency, the Taxation Agency, the Employment Agency, the Montenegrin Statistical Office and the University of Montenegro. All participants provided valuable contributions to the discussions from the perspective of their portfolio and agreed on future steps for implementing a Graduate Tracking System.
The background study analyses European best practices and suggests a step-by-step model for introducing a Graduate Tracking System, including institutional roles and responsibilities. In spite of sporadic attempts to track students from VET and higher education with qualitative tracer studies, the response rates did not provide the results to support evidence-based policy making. The ILO study therefore suggests creating a comprehensive Graduate Tracking System that combines qualitative surveys with quantitative data on Education, Taxation and Employment, to get a fuller picture on VET graduates’ employment and education outcomes in the long run.
The three most important workshop recommendations include: a) Establishing an inter-institutional Coordination Group and define roles and responsibilities; b) Conducting a pilot tracking of smaller cohorts of VET graduates in 2022 in two sectors (three-year students in the dual vs. the school-based environment and four-year students) by combining administrative and survey data; c) Designing a methodology for data collection and processing of VET graduates in the first half of 2022. The background study and the road map will be published in late 2021 and be freely accessible online.