Using data from the European Labour Force Survey, the characteristics of individuals who receive vocational training is compared in six European countries; Germany, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and the UK. As well as the incidence of training, the intensity is also considered. In addition, training is split into its on-the-job and off-the-job components. The spectrum of training within these six countries runs from Germany at one end, where most training is the intensive upskilling of young, unqualified workers, to Sweden at the other end, where the typical training spell is of short duration and is given to middle-aged, well-educated employees in professional jobs. Thus the pattern of training is largely determined by a country's system of education. In Germany, vocational skills are not taught within the formal education sector, and are learned through participation on an apprenticeship scheme, while in Sweden, students do learn vocational skills at school, and so the workplace training we observe is mainly 'top-up' courses.