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Scheme fiche

Work based learning (dual system of training)

Обучение чрез работа (дуална система на обучение)
Bulgaria

Country fiche

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Reference Year 2019

Target 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
Other

The minimum age limit for enrolment is 16. The age limit is defined in the Labour Code and in the VET Act.

Q7. What is the average age of learners in practice?

Between 15 and 18
Between 18 and 24
Above 24

Most of the dual education students are between 16 and 19 years of age (VET Directorate, Ministry of Education and Science). This is due to the fact that dual education is better developed in vocational schools than in training centres.

Overview of the scheme

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

Yes
No
 

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

Yes
No

Ministry of Education and Science is responsible for organising the dual training in vocational schools.

Q10. When was the scheme introduced?

Long history (before 2000)
Recently introduced (between 2000-2012)
New pathway (after 2012)

In 2014 for the first time, dual education has been introduced in the legislation.

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
Ex-novo
Other
 

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
State
Other

Employers provide the working places for the apprentices, instructors (mentors), materials and pay the salaries.

Q13. Are there any financial incentives for companies that offer apprenticeship places?

Yes, subsidies
Yes, tax deductions
Yes, other incentives
No financial incentives

As of 2018, the apprentices’ health insurance is covered by the state budget instead of the employers, as it used to be before. This is a specific policy initiative and has been made possible with an amendment in the Health Insurance Act in 2018, and it is considered as an incentive for the employers participating in the scheme.

Q14. How many learners are enrolled in this scheme?

2873 students enrolled in dual education (VET Directorate, Ministry of Education and Science, 2018)

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.)
Others
 

Q17. Is the qualification included in the National Qualification Framework (NQF)?

Yes
No
There is no NQF

EQF 4 for dual education in vocational schools. NQF 4

EQF 2-4 for dual training in training centres. NQF 2-4

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

Yes
No

This is valid to dual education in vocational schools and not for the dual training in training centres (see Q3 in country fiche).

Programme

Duration

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

The duration of the VET programme is 5 years; however, students spend time at the workplace only in the last 2 years of the programme.

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
Other

In the last two years of the apprenticeship programme when the students actually learn on the job in a company the minimum share of the time spent on the workplace is at least 50 %. This share is set as a minimum in the framework programmes for dual education approved with an Order by the Minister of Education on the basis of the VET Act. Days per week in class: 3 or less in grade 11, 2 or less in grade 12. The exact percentage is defined in the curricula and it can be higher than the minimum.

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

Curricula define the distinction between training time at school and training time at the work place.

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

Q24. Is it compulsory to alternate training between two learning venues (school and company)?

Yes
No

It is compulsory as per the Vocational Education and Training Act that students alternate between two learning venues – VET school or training company in the case of adults, and the 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

Each curriculum for dual training defines at least 50 % for in-company training.

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
Other
Not specified

Each week includes both venues. In the 11th grade, students spend minimum 2 days a week at the workplace, in the 12th grade students spend minimum 3 days a week at the workplace.

Formal relationship with the employer

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

Yes
No

The Labour Code requires a labour contract for dual training to be signed between the student and the company.

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

The type of labour contract is specific for the scheme.

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
Other

The contract should be registered in the National Revenue Agency.

Q30. What is the status of the learner?

Apprentice is a specific status
Student
Employee
Other

At the workplace, the student is an employee with a specific status as he/she works under the supervision of an instructor. As such, apprentices are subject to the same rights and obligations as other employees.

At the school, the student has a normal student status.

Compensation

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

The apprentices receive a salary. The law defines minimum salaries in the 11th and 12th grade.

In November 2018, a progression mechanism was introduced. Before then, the rate was at least 90% of the national minimum wage. With the changes in the Labour Code of Nov 2018, in 11th grade apprentices receive a wage which is at least 2 times the maximum student grant defined by the Council of Ministers, and in the 12th grade – 3 times the maximum student grant.

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
Other

The law defines the minimum wage, however, in practice many firm collective agreements apply and also individual agreements between apprentice and company, which can only increase the minimum wage.

Q33. Who covers the cost of the wage or allowance of the apprentice?

Employers
State
Other
 

Q34. Does the wage or allowance of the apprentice cover both the time spent at school and in the company?

Yes
No, it covers only the time spent in the company
 

Responsibility 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
 

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
Other

Besides suitable work place and enough mentors/instructors: each company should provide at least 1 instructor for every 5 apprentices. Moreover, companies should be registered according to the Trade Act or the Act for NGOs and should not have unpaid liabilities to the state budget.

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

Yes
No
 

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
Other
No role

Employers’ and employees’ organizations representatives participate in the national level committees developing, approving and updating the state standards for VET qualifications.

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
Other
No role

Employers’ and employees’ organizations representatives participate in the committees for final evaluation of apprentices, which are organised by schools. Sometimes the exams are held in companies.