Creating Markets Out of Nothing: The Case of the Continuing Education System in Greece

  • Ioannidis YIORGOS Labour Institute of the Greek General Confederation of Labour


The development of the vocational training policy constitutes one of the most interesting examples of a
policy which was introduced entirely due to the pressure exercised by the E.U., but it was implemented in such a
way that it served the domestic political economy. The seven laws and the dozens of ministerial decrees issued
from 1989-2004 reflect the effort made by the state to foster but also control the development of the market, the
conflict of interests among the main players–namely those of the state, the private training centers and the social
partners– but also the tensions generated by the pressures of the E.U. It will be argued that the development of
the continuing education market in Greece can be described and analysed on the basis of three distinct time
periods: (a) The period of initial capital accumulation (1989-1994), (b) the period of the controlled clearing of the
market (1994-2004) and, (c) the period of the liberalization of the market (2005 - ). In every stage the interests of
the main actors were accommodated accordingly, but this was achieved at the expense of the continuing training
system’s efficiency. The aim of the paper is to critically assess these developments by focusing on the latent
rationality underlying the state’s regulatory actions, as well as on the political economy which these actions have

Author Biography

Ioannidis YIORGOS, Labour Institute of the Greek General Confederation of Labour
Economic & Social Developments Observatory


[1] Amitsis, Y. 2000. Policies and Institutions for vocational training: the European challenge and the
development of the national system of vocational training, Papazisis, Athens (in Greek). Original Title:
ΑκίηζεοΗ, Θεζκνί θαη πνιηηηθέο επαγγεικαηηθήο θαηάξηηζεο: Ζ επξσπατθή πξόθιεζε θαη ε εμέιημε ηνπ
εζληθνύ ζπζηήκαηνο επαγγεικαηηθήο θαηάξηηζεο, Παπαδήζεο, Αζήλα.
[2] Barbier, J.C. 2001. Assessing the European Employment Strategy: Some Preliminary considerations,
Presentation to the Seventh Workshop on Alternative Economic Policy in Europe, Brussels, 28-30
[3] Chletsos, M., Kaminioti, O. 2006. Skills Demand in the Greek Labour Market, PAEP, Athens (in Greek),
Original Title: Μ. Υιεηζνο, Ο. Kακηληώηε, Εήηεζε Δηδηθνηήησλ & Γεμηνηήησλζηελ Διιεληθή Αγνξά Δξγαζίαο
– Απνηειέζκαηα Έξεπλαοζηηο Ηδησηηθέο Δπηρεηξήζεηο, ΠΑΔΠ, Αζήλα
[4] Dimoulas, K. 2002. Welfare state and vocational training, PhD Thesis, (in Greek), Original Title: Κ. Γεκνπιάο,
Κξάηνο Πξόλνηαοθαη Δπαγγε ικαηηθήο Καηάξηηζεο. Ζπεξίπησζεηεο Διιάδαο (1980-2000),
Γηδαθηνξηθήδηαηξηβή, Παλεπηζηήκην Αζήλαο, Αζήλα.
[5] Doxiadis, Α., Karadinos, D., Mpousas, N., Sountri, P., Chrissakis, M. 1993. Evaluation of the actions taken by
the Community Structural Funds in the field of human resources, ECOTEC, Athens (in Greek), Original Title:
Α. Γνμηάδεο, Γ. Καξαληηλόο, Ν. Μπνύδαο, Π. ΢νύληξε, Μ. Υξπζζάθεο, Αμηνιόγεζεησλπαξεκ βάζεσλησλ
Γηαξ ζξσηηθώλ Σακείσλζηνληνκέαησλαλ ζξσπίλσλπόξσλ, ECOTEC, Αζήλα 1993
[6] Efstratoglou, Α. 2004. Continuing Vocational Training in Greece, Enimerosi, 106: 2-15 (in Greek). Original
Title: Α. Δπζηξάηνγινπ, Ζ ΢πλερηδόκελε Δπαγγεικαηηθή Καηάξηηζε ζηελ Διιάδα, Δλεκέξσζε.
[7] Karalis, T., Vergidis, D. 2004. Lifelong education in Greece: recent developments and current trends,
International Journal of Lifelong Education, 23 (2): 179-189.
[8] Karalis, Th. 2003. Adult Education in modern Greece (in Greek). Original Title: Θ. Καξαιήο, Ζ εθπαίδεπζε
ελειίθωλ ζηε ζύγρξνλε ειιεληθή πξαγκαηηθόηεηα.
[9] Karantinos, D., Pavlakis, Y., Delaporta, A. 1997. Employment Policy and the 2nd CSF, Ministry of Labour,
Athens (in Greek), Original Title: Καξαληηλόο Γ., Παπιάθεο Γ., Γαιαπόξηα Α., Δζληθή Πνιηηηθή Απαζρόιεζεο
θαη νη παξεκβάζεηο ηνπ ΔΚΣ ζην Β’ ΚΠ΢, Τπνπξγείν Δξγαζίαο, Αζήλα 1997.
[10] Kokkos, Α. 2005. Adult Education, Metechmio (in Greek). Original Title: Α. Κόθθνο, Δθπαίδεπζε Δλειίθσλ:
Αληρλεύνληαο ην πεδίν, Μεηαίρκην, 2005
[11] Kokkos, Α. 2008. Adult Education in Greece, 11th International Conference on Continuing Education in the
countries of the Balkan Region, Ikonio, 23-27/10/2008
[12] Κokkos, Α. Social attitudes towards typical education and adult education: the case of Greece (in Greek).
Original Title: Α. Κόθθνο, Οη θνηλωληθέο δηαζέζεηο απέλαληη ζηελ ηππηθή εθπαίδεπζε θαη ηελ εθπαίδεπζε
ελειίθωλ: ε πεξίπηωζε ηεο Διιάδαο.
[13] Lamans L.M.D., Visamber, V. 1999. Second Report on the O.P. Continuing Training and Employment 1994-
1999, Ministry of Labour, Athens (in Greek), Original Title: Λακάλο ΔΠΔ, ΒάιηεξΦηζζάκπεξ, Γεύηεξε
Δλδηάκεζε Έθζεζε Αμηνιόγεζεοηνπ Δ.Π. ΢πλερηδόκελε Καηάξηηζεθαη Πξνώζεζεζηελ Απαζρόιεζε 1994-
1999, Αζήλα, Τπνπξγείν Δξγαζίαοθαη Κνηλωληθώλ Αζθαιίζεωλ, αδεκνζίεπηε, 1999.
[14] Mpasdra, V. and Theodorakis, G. 2003. Skills Certification Systems and their outcomes, in The Role of
National Certification Systems in the development of life-long learning, EKEPIS, Athens (in Greek). Original
Title: Β. Μπάζδξα Β., Γ. Θενδωξάθεο, Πεξηγξαθή ηωλ ζπζηεκάηωλ αλαγλώξηζεο πξνζόληωλ,
ζπκκεηέρνληεο – απνηειέζκαηα, Ο Ρόινο ησλ Δζληθώλ ΢πζηεκάησλ Αλαγλώξηζεο Πξνζόλησλ ζηελ
Πξνώζεζε ηεο Γηά Βίνπ Μάζεζεο, ΔΚΔΠΗ΢, Αζήλα 2003.
[15] Palios, Ε. 2003. (ed.), Training and Employment, INE-GSEE, Athens (in Greek). Original Title: Ε. Παιεόο
(επηκ.), Καηάξηηζε θαη Απαζρόιεζε, ΗΝΔ-Γ΢ΔΔ, 2003, Αζήλα.
[16] Papadeodosiou, Th. and Stavrou, St. 1993. Survey on the fight against unemployment. The case of the
vocational training, ELKEPA-EETAA, Athens (in Greek). Original Title: Θ. Παπαζενδνζίνπ, ΢η. ΢ηαύξνπ,
Μειέηε γηα ηελ αληηκεηώπηζε ηεο καθξνρξόληαο αλεξγίαο. Ζ πεξίπησζε ηεο θαηάξηηζεο θαη ησλ εθπαηδεπηώλ
καθξνρξόληα αλέξγσλ, ΔΛΚΔΠΑ–ΔΔΣΑΑ, Αζήλα.
[17] Vergidis, D., Abrahamsson, Κ., Davis, R., Fey, R. 1999. Adult Education: social and economic aspects,
Greek Open University, Patras (in Greek). Original Title: Γ. Βεξγίδεο, Κ. Abrahamsson, R. Davis, R. Fey,
Δθπαίδεπζε Δλειίθσλ: Κνηλσληθή θαη νηθνλνκηθή ιεηηνπξγία, Διιεληθό Αλνηρηό Παλεπηζηήκην, Πάηξα
[18] Vretakou, Β., Rouseas, P. 2002. Vocational training in Greece, Cedefop, Thessaloniki (in Greek).
OriginalTitle: Β. Βξεηάθνπ, Π. Ρνπζέαο, Δπαγγεικαηηθή εθπαίδεπζε θαη θαηάξηηζε ζηελ Διιάδα, Cedefop,
*** EKEPIS 2006. National Monitoring and Evaluation System of the Vocational Training Centers 2003-2005, Final
Report, EKEPIS (in Greek). Original Title: ΔΚΔΠΗ΢, ΢ύζηεκα Παξαθνινύζεζεο θαη Αμηνιόγεζεο ησλ Κέληξσλ
Δπαγγεικαηηθήο Καηάξηηζεο, Γεύηεξε θάζε εθαξκνγήο 2003-2005, Σειηθή Αλαθνξά, Μάξηηνο 2006.
*** EKEPIS. 2008. National Monitoring and Evaluation System of the Vocational Training Centers 2005-2007,
Final Report, EKEPIS (in Greek). Original Title: ΔΚΔΠΗ΢, ΢ύζηεκα Παξαθνινύζεζεο θαη Αμηνιόγεζεο ηωλ
Κέληξωλ Δπαγγεικαηηθήο Καηάξηηζεο, Σξίηε θάζε εθαξκνγήο 2005-2007, Σειηθή Αλαθνξά, Ννέκβξηνο 2008.
*** EKEPIS. 2011. National Monitoring and Evaluation System of the Vocational Training Centers 2007-2009,
Final Report, EKEPIS (in Greek). Original Title: ΔΚΔΠΗ΢, ΢ύζηεκα Παξαθνινύζεζεο θαη Αμηνιόγεζεο ησλ
Κέληξσλ Δπαγγεικαηηθήο Καηάξηηζεο, Σέηαξηε θάζε εθαξκνγήο 2007-2009, Σειηθή Αλαθνξά, Φεβξνπάξηνο
*** EKPA. 2005. Evaluation of the Vocational Training under the 3rd CSF, University of Athens (in Greek). Original
Title: ΔΚΠΑ, Αμηνιόγεζε Δλεξγεηώλ Καηάξηηζεο Γ’ ΚΠ΢ – Δπηηειηθή ΢ύλνςε, Αζήλα 2005.
*** European Commission. 1994. Greece: Community Support Framework 1994-1999, Athens (in Greek). Original
Title: ΔπξωπαϊθήΔπηηξνπή, Διιάδα: ΚνηλνηηθόΠιαίζην΢ηήξημεο 1994-1999, Αζήλα 1994.
*** General Secretariat of Community Funds. 2007. Evaluation of the E.P. Employment and Vocational Training,
2000-2006, Ministry of Labour, Athens (in Greek). Original Title: Γεληθή Γξακκαηεία Γηαρείξηζεο Κνηλνηηθώλ
Πόξωλ, Απνηίκεζε παξεκβάζεσλ Δ.Π. Απαζρόιεζε θαη Δπαγγεικαηηθή Καηάξηηζε 2000-2006, Τπνπξγείν
Δξγαζίαο, Αζήλα 2007.
*** Greek Economic and Social Committee. 1998. Opinion on Vocational Training, (in Greek), Original Title: ΟΚΔ,
Γλώκε Πξσην βνπιίαογηαηελ Δπαγγεικαηηθή Καηάξηηζε, 18 Ηνπλίνπ 1998.
*** GSEE& SEV& GSEVEE & ESEE. 2006. National Labour Agreements 1975-2005, Athens (in Greek).
OriginalTitle: Γ΢ΔΔ, ΢ΔΒ, Γ΢ΔΒΔΔ, Δ΢ΔΔ, Κσδηθνπνηεκέλεο Βαζηθέο Ρπζκίζεηο Δζληθώλ ΢πιινγηθώλ
΢πκβάζεσλ Δξγαζίαο θαη Γηαηηεηηθώλ Απνθάζεσλ εηώλ 1975-2005, Αζήλα, 2006.
*** UNESCO. 1985. Adult Education since the fourth International Conference on Adult Education, Paris.
*** UNESCO 1999. World Trends in Adult Education Research, UNESCO, Hamburg.
*** University of Piraeus. 1994. Evaluation of the training programs for the strengthening of the competitiveness of
the Greek private companies, OAED, Athens (in Greek), Original Title: Κέληξν Δξεπλώλ Παλεπηζηεκίνπ
Πεηξαηώο, Αμηνιόγεζε Πξνγξάκκαηνο Δλδνεπηρεηξεζηαθήο Καηάξηηζεογηαηε βειηίσζεηεοαληαγσληζηη
θόηεηαοησλε ιιεληθώληδησηηθώλεπηρεηξήζεσλ, ΟΑΔΓ, Αζήλα 1994.
How to Cite
YIORGOS, Ioannidis. Creating Markets Out of Nothing: The Case of the Continuing Education System in Greece. Journal of Research in Educational Sciences, [S.l.], v. 7, n. 8, p. 19 - 25, feb. 2015. ISSN 2068-8407. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 13 july 2024.