MBO educations

Everything you want to know about MBO education opportunities in the hospitality industry.

Abuot mbo 

Secondary vocational education (MBO) prepares students, both young people and adults, for their future in society. It trains for a trade, further education and good citizenship. It leads to a legally recognised diploma. 
With almost 500,000 students, MBO is the largest education sector in the Netherlands. Over 25,000 students are currently following a MBO study within the hospitality education cluster. This cluster consists of all programmes aimed at the hospitality, tourism, recreation and facility services sectors.

Regional Training Centres (ROCs) and vocational schools offer relevant courses in their regions and do so in close cooperation with companies. 

Learning pathways BOL and BBL 

There are two main routes for students in secondary vocational education (MBO) to take a course. The vocational training route (bol) and the vocational accompanying route (bbl).

The bol student studies at school and gains practical experience through various internships. The bbl student works through an employment contract with an employer and usually attends school one day a week. On average, 75% of all students in secondary vocational education (MBO) follow a convex course. An important innovation in recent years is that, in addition to their internships, bol students are increasingly being trained within companies. Innovation under the heading of hybrid learning. Different training levels Senior secondary vocational education has courses at four levels. The duration of the courses varies from one to four years.


Young people without a diploma, progression to level 2 or labour market

1 year

Level 2 mbo

Basic vocational training for executive practical work

1 - 2 years

Level 3 mbo

Vocational training to become an independent professional, independent executive practical work, broad employability

2 - 3 years

Level 4 mbo

Intermediate vocational and specialist training (one-year course), fully independent executive work, broad employability or specialisation. A level 4 diploma gives access to hbo.

3 - 4 years

*With the exception of the entry level programme, there are entry requirements for the level 2, 3 and 4 programmes in mbo.

Customisation and lifelong development

The bol and bbl courses for young people are funded by the government. Besides training young people, ROCs and vocational schools are also offering education and training for adults, for professionals and companies. Integration courses, tailor-made programmes for companies and lifelong development. Several ROCs and vocational schools therefore have intensive consultations with companies in their regions to facilitate retraining, further training and refresher courses. The financing of such tailor-made work is often done through municipalities, subsidy programmes, training funds and investments from companies themselves.