Ahola S

The Matching of Educational and Occupational Structures in Finland and Sweden

(Thessaloniki: CEDEFOP - European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities 1999)

The Matching of Educational and Occupational Structures in Finland and Sweden


Final report


This study report has been commissioned by CEDEFOP in the framework of its Ciretoq network on trends in occupations and qualifications to the Research Unit on Sociology of Education at the University of Turku. The Swedish Statistical Office made available its database in order to permit the necessary comparisons between Finland and Sweden. The main work has been performed by RUSE however.


The study shoes the usefulness of such a comparison because it permits insights in a number of important elements linked to common as well as to certain contradictory developments. It is for instance highly interesting to note that in both countries we seem to have at a large degree a 'mismatch' between delivery of qualifications and their actual employment characteristics; and in same time we can affirm a rather high overlap in the actual use of different qualifications within the same occupational domain, which the author is calling 'multimatch'. It is thus highly questionable whether and in how far the often heard plea for a closer 'matching' of educational qualifications and occupational domains or structures is realistic any more.


The contradictions are going further: In certain fields we seem to have a widening of occupational domains in others however we have a narrowing down of occupational domains by respective qualifications. Real specialists in VET-policy and guidance are therefore either pleading for a too narrow specialisation nor for an often rather superficial flexibility, they eventually plead for a 'flexibel specialisation' during intial education and training, a plea which could form the major conclusion of this work.


Pdf online.