Definition as used in the 2016 Decree concerning certain aspects of alternating training schemes:
An apprenticeship scheme is any training in fulltime secondary education and some forms of special upper secondary education, identified as ‘dual’ by the Flemish Government. In apprenticeships, school-based education and in-company training are combined. Both components contribute to the realization of one training programme and are therefore intertwined on the level of organization and content.
There are three “apprenticeship” schemes in Belgium-Flanders:
- dual learning
- part-time vocational upper secondary education,
- apprenticeship ‘leertijd’.
All but dual learning belong to the system of learning and working. Dual Learning is a separate pathway, with similarities compared to the system of learning and working, but also important differences.
The main differences among the three schemes are:
1. Not all types of contracts can be used in all three schemes. The scheme ‘dual learning’ is the only scheme in which a specific contract (Alternation internship contract) can be used where apprentices receive a maximum of 20 hours per week of in-company training and are unpaid. That is not possible in the two schemes of the system of learning and working. The other two contracts can be used in all three schemes (depending on the amount of hours of in-company training and the sector).
2. In the scheme ‘apprenticeship leertijd’ the apprentices receive in-company training 4 days per week, while it is 3 days per week in the other two schemes.
3. The 2 schemes of the system of learning and working are more variable in terms of the duration of the programs.
4. Only under the dual learning scheme, a curriculum is entirely developed based on professional qualifications.
Definition used in the 2018 Decree concerning dual learning and the preparatory programme: dual learning is an apprenticeship scheme, where competences are developed in-company and at a dual learning provider in a balanced way. The goal is the attainment of a general education qualification of upper secondary level, or, in case this proves to be impossible, a professional qualification.