MBO (Middelbaar Beroeps Onderwijs) is the abbreviation for secondary Vocational Education and Training (VET) in the Netherlands. VET is the main supplier to the labour market and is often regarded as the “foundation of the economy” and the “backbone of society”.
Approximately 40% of the Dutch working population have completed a vocational course to at least a secondary vocational training level.
There are currently 580,000 students in the VET sector, 490,000 of them taking part in regular VET courses. The remainder follows adult education programmes. The government invests about 2.6 billion euros annually in this sector, which represents approximately 12% of the total budget for education.