Reference year 2019

    1Target group

    Q6. Does the legal basis define the minimum and maximum age limits for enrolment of the target group of this scheme?
    Minimum and maximum age limits defined
    Minimum age limits defined only

    Minimum: 15 years old at the time of the apprenticeship start or by the time of the year. Max: 29 years

    Exceptions are possible under certain conditions (people receiving public subsidies, such as unemployment benefit, etc.): in such cases the minimum/maximum age can be 65

    Q7. What is the average age of learners in practice?
    Between 15 and 18
    Between 18 and 24
    Above 24

    Between 15 and 18 is the classical target group but the annual analysis of new apprenticeship contracts shows that the average age is slightly above 18 years.


    2Overview of the scheme

    Q8. Is the scheme included in the ISCED 2011 mapping?

    Generally, on level 3-6, but many variations

    Q9. Is there any organization at the national level with roles in co-ordinating the scheme?

    There are central level bodies, one for each training provider:

    • IAWM for apprenticeship provided by vocational and educational training institutions
    • Social partner organisations for industrial apprenticeship
    Q10. When was the scheme introduced?
    Long history (before 2000)
    Recently introduced (between 2000-2012)
    New pathway (after 2012)

    Apprenticeships are under the remit of competence of the German Speaking Community since 1991

    Q11. How did the apprenticeship scheme originate?
    Traditional craftsmanship (master-apprentice relation) to prepare apprentices for the occupation
    School-based VET track by including more work-based learning to supply skilled workforce to match labour market needs

    Apprenticeship schemes have a very long tradition. Even before IAWM was created, it was possible to sign apprenticeship contracts. The earliest records date from the early 50ies.

    Q12. What are the sources of financing of the direct costs for the in-company training part of the apprenticeship scheme?
    Single employers hosting apprentices
    Sectoral funds

    The construction sector organisation pays an annual bonus to companies engaged in apprenticeship: 300€ for first year apprentices, 400€ for second year apprentices, 500€ for third year apprentices

    Q13. Are there any financial incentives for companies that offer apprenticeship places?
    Yes, subsidies
    Yes, tax deductions
    Yes, other incentives
    No financial incentives

    Initially the federal entity offered a bonus for every successful apprentice and a reduction of social charges. This amounted to 500€ for first- and second-year apprentices, 750€ for third year apprentices, on condition that at the beginning of the apprenticeship, the apprentice is under the age of 18. The bonus system has been taken in charge of the German Speaking Community meanwhile.

    Besides, companies engaged in apprenticeships delivery benefit from a reduction of social charges amounting to 1750€ per year for every employee receiving training


    Q14. How many learners are enrolled in this scheme?

    More or less 500 apprentices currently in academic year 2019-2020. The level of activity was similar in the past years and no major changes have been registered.


    Q16. Which is the type of qualification obtained through the apprenticeship scheme?
    Formal VET qualification (which does not indicate the pathway)
    Formal VET qualification (which indicates the pathway)
    Formal apprenticeship qualification (journeyman, etc.)

    Official qualification “Gesellenzeugnis” which is an apprenticeship qualification, also considered as a formal VET qualification

    Q17. Is the qualification included in the National Qualification Framework (NQF)?
    There is no NQF

    Level 4

    Q19. Does the scheme provide direct access to higher education?

    Access to higher education is possible throughout an additional course, specially arranged for apprentices



    Q21. If the scheme is implemented via specific apprenticeship programme, what is its duration?

    Apprenticeship programmes can’t take different forms. They always have the same duration (3 years) and the same form of alternation. With just one exception: if apprentices have job-relevant pre-knowledge, as for example years of VET at school in the same job, then contracts might be signed for a shorter time but still will be end with the same certification (Gesellenzeugnis)

    Q22. If the scheme is not implemented via specific apprenticeship programme, how is duration of apprenticeships defined in the regulation?
    It Is defined as minimum and maximum share of a VET programme
    Is defined as minimum share of a VET programme
    Is defined as maximum share of a VET programme
    Is not defined by regulation
    Q23. Is there a distinction between the training time and working time for the period spent at workplace, as per regulation?
    Yes, the legal framework makes this distinction
    No, the legal framework makes no distinction

    Single companies themselves decide on that

    5Alternation of work-based (in-company) training and school-based training

    Q24. Is it compulsory to alternate training between two learning venues (school and company)?
    Q25. Is the in-company training defined as minimum share of the apprenticeship scheme duration?
    Yes, equivalent or more than 50% of scheme duration
    Yes, between 20% and 50% of the scheme duration
    Yes, less than 20% of the scheme duration
    No, no minimum share is compulsory

    The law foresees that at least 24h in average per week (during one year) have to be spent at the workplace, i.e. the weekly average is calculated over one year. Apprentices’ weeks last 38 hours and should include training in both venues

    Q26. What is the form of alternation of training between workplace (company) and school?
    Every week includes both venues
    One or more weeks (less than 1 month) spent at school followed by one or more weeks at workplace
    One or more months (less than 1 year) spent at school followed by one or more months at workplace
    A longer period (1-2 years) spent at school followed by a longer period spent training at workplace
    Various – depends on agreements between the school and the company
    Not specified

    Two half days at school, rest of 38 hours/week at work place

    6Formal relationship with the employer

    Q27. Is any contractual arrangement between the learner and company, required as per regulation?

    The school doesn’t enter the contractual arrangement.

    Q28. What is the nature of the contractual arrangement?
    Apprenticeships are a specific type of contract
    Apprenticeships are an ordinary employment contract
    A formal agreement

    It is normally a formal agreement, but it can also be an employment contract

    Q29. Where is the contract or the formal agreement registered?
    At the school
    At the Ministry of employment
    At the chambers
    At the Ministry of education
    Q30. What is the status of the learner?
    Apprentice is a specific status

    Apprentices usually have a specific status but It is possible to start apprenticeship with an ordinary employment contract, in which case they are employees. This was the case for 15 apprentices out of 485 apprenticeship contracts in 2019.


    Q31. Do apprentices receive a wage or allowance?
    Yes, all apprentices receive a wage (taxable income)
    Yes, all apprentices receive an allowance (not a form of taxable income)
    Apprentices receive a reimbursement of expenses
    No form of compensation is foreseen by law

    Fixed by law (Erlass der Regierung der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft zur Festlegung der Ausbildungsbedingungen für mittelständische Lehrlinge und Ausbildungsbetriebe vom 4. Juni 2009) and annually adjusted by the Governement.

    1st year: 1.7.-30.06.: 239,42€

    2nd year 1.7.-31.12.: 292,66€

    2nd year 1.1.-30.06.: 425,85€

    3rd year 1.7.-31.12.: 498,85€

    3rd year 1.1.-30.06.: 544,08€

    Q32. How is the apprentice wage (taxable income) set?
    By law (applying for all)
    By cross-sectoral collective agreements at national or local level
    By sectoral collective agreements at national or local level
    By firm-level collective agreements or individual agreements between apprentice and company

    The law sets the minimum, additional remuneration is possible and depending on negotiations

    Q33. Who covers the cost of the wage or allowance of the apprentice?
    Q34. Does the wage or allowance of the apprentice cover both the time spent at school and in the company?
    No, it covers only the time spent in the company

    No difference between the wage or allowance for the time at school and in the company.

    8Responsibility of employers

    Q35. Is the company hosting apprentices required by regulation to follow a training plan at the workplace?
    Yes, the training plan is agreed at the level of school and company
    Yes, the training plan is based on the national/sectoral requirements for the in-company training
    No, is not required formally

    Programmes are established by the government of the German Speaking Community with sectors and companies. They define the competences, skills and knowledge needs for each occupation.

    Q36. What are the requirements on companies to provide placements, as per regulation?
    Have to provide a suitable learning environment
    Have to provide a mentor / tutor / trainer

    Regulated by the law: Erlass der Regierung der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft für mittelständische Lehrlinge und Ausbildungsbetriebe vom 4. Juni 2009

    Q37. Are there any sanctions on companies that do not provide training to apprentices at the workplace?

    The institute for vocational and educational training is responsible to control and react. Sanctions are termination of the apprenticeship contract and withdraw of the agreement to sign new contracts, in case of non-respect of all duties forseen by law (Erlass der Regierung der Deutschcsprachigen Gemeinschaft zur Festlegung der Ausbildungsbedingungen für mittelständische Lehrlinge und Ausbildungsbetriebe vom 4. Juni 2009).

    Q38. What is the role of chambers, employers’ and employees’ representatives, sectoral councils (if existent), in shaping apprenticeship content, as per regulation?
    Role in designing qualification
    Role in designing curricula
    No role

    Advisory-role on establishing apprenticeship (as well as VET) programmes

    Q39. What is the role of chambers, employers’ and employees’ representatives in implementing the apprenticeship scheme, as per regulation?
    Role in final assessment of apprentices
    Role in accreditation of companies
    Role in monitoring of the in-company training
    No role

    Employers’ representatives take part in the final practical assessment (together with the teacher)