Reference year 2019

    Understanding of apprenticeships in the national context

    Q2. Is there an official definition of ‘apprenticeship’ or ‘apprentice’ in your country?

    a. ‘Work-based learning’ scheme

    The term ‘work-based learning’ (WBL), used in the national context to refer to the new apprenticeship scheme, means that the student acquires practical skills and knowledge primarily in a real working environment of the company – at least for 25% of the duration of an initial VET programme.

    In short cycle (continuing) VET programmes (after secondary education) the share of training implemented at the workplace represents around 70% of the total volume of the programme.  

    b. Craftsmenship scheme

    As defined in the Law on Crafts, ‘craft apprentice’ is a person who, in order to acquire the craft, has joined a crafts company or an educational institution and has signed a training contract[1].


    Q3. At which level do apprenticeship schemes exist in your country?
    At upper secondary level
    At post-secondary (not tertiary)
    At tertiary level
    At sectoral level

    a. The work-based learning scheme an alternative way to get qualifications already offered at NQF/EQF levels 2-4. This means it is offered at both upper-secondary and post-secondary level. It can be offered as an initial (IVET) or continuing (CVET) option.   

    b.  Craftsmenship programmes lead to journeyman and master craftsman diplomas after the relevant exams.​ They are included in the sectoral qualifications frameworks that are referenced to LQF (SQfs being subsystems of LQF, using the same descriptors)

    Q4. How well-established are apprenticeship schemes in your country?
    A long history (before 2000)
    A recent history (in 2000s)
    Pilot scheme

    The work-based learning scheme was introduced formally in 2015 (Vocational Education Act amendment). It was piloted in a limited number of VET institutions in 2013/14 onwards, and then was mainstreamed and developed with a stable legal basis.

    Craftsmenships have a long-standing tradition in Latvia. The current craftsmen system acquired its legal basis with the adoption of the Law on Craftsmenship in 1993 ( 

    Q5. Relevant information that is essential to understanding the specificity of apprenticeships in the country and which does not fit under the scheme specific sections below.

    Drafting the 2016 regulation on WBL has proven to be challenging as there were different opinions among ministries and stakeholders, especially on the remuneration of apprenticeships (it took time for employers’ organisations and companies to accept the new responsibilities in VET programme implementation, and to paying remuneration).