Initial vocational education
- Public service
Studies in vocational education institutions may lead to initial vocational qualifications, vocational qualifications or specialist vocational qualifications. The scope of studies for all initial qualifications is 120 credits, usually completed in three years. The qualifications lead to a vocation. After earning a qualification, students may seek employment or continue their studies at a higher education institution.
Initial vocational studies focus on the learning of practical skills. Initial vocational studies always include at least 20 credits of on-the-job learning at workplaces.
You can apply for initial vocational education meant for young people through the joint application system.
Initial vocational qualifications may also be earned though apprenticeship training. In Helsinki, apprenticeship training is organised by the Apprenticeship Training Office of the Helsinki Vocational Adult Institute.
The City of Helsinki organises initial vocational education through the Helsinki Vocational College.
To whom and on what terms
The service is free of charge.
The necessary study tools are also free of charge for students whose compulsory education includes secondary education. A student’s compulsory education includes secondary education if the student completed grade 9 of comprehensive school in spring 2021 or later.
Vocational education and training refers to vocational upper secondary education and training and vocational further education and training that lead to a qualification. Vocational upper secondary education and training leading to a qualification is intended for young people and adults.
In addition to their educational institution, students in vocational education and training acquire competence at the workplace and in online learning environments. Each student studies according to their own study plan and individual leaning needs. On-the-job learning is supported for example with apprenticeships. Application and completion of studies is flexible and studies can be completed in a shorter time than previously. Young people and adults are provided the same education and training services. Vocational education and training provide students with the competence and skills they need to apply for higher education studies.
Vocational education and training is provided by municipalities, joint municipal authorities, organisations, foundations or state enterprises that have an authorisation granted by the Ministry of Education and Culture.