Reference year 2019

Understanding of apprenticeships in the national context

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

According to Article 19 of the Law on VET (1997, amended in 2017), VET is organised in school-based and apprenticeship forms. Apprenticeship is a form of VET organisation, when training is implemented at the work-place: company, farm or at master.  The VET provider, when organising an apprenticeship concludes a VET contract with an apprentice and a company. Company (employer) and apprentice sign a bilateral apprenticeship employment contract. Theoretical training is provided by the VET institution or at the work-place by a company in case it has a license to deliver a VET programme and the relative appropriate conditions [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
Q4. How well-established are apprenticeship schemes in your country?
A long history (before 2000)
A recent history (in 2000s)
Pilot scheme

Although the apprenticeship regulation entered into force in 2008 (when the Law on VET was amended), apprenticeship became fully operational only after 2016, when the Labour code introduced the apprenticeship employment contract, clarified the status of apprentice, remuneration requirements and work / learning shifts. However, the in-take into apprenticeship scheme remains low.

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.

The following information refers to apprenticeship with formal VET contract (leading to a formal VET qualification). The other two apprenticeship schemes (apprenticeship with non-formal training contract and apprenticeship without concluding a training contract) are not monitored and it is not possible to provide details about their implementation.

  • There is significant variation between occupations in applying the apprenticeship schemes – sectors such as the engineering industry or ICT have made use of the scheme either in the form of CVET (in the case of the engineering industry) or IVET (ICT), while larger part of other sectors are still relatively inactive in making use of the scheme.
  • Only learners with at least lower-secondary education may enroll into apprenticeship schemes.
  • Any employer may address a VET provider with an apprenticeship proposal or to get a license for formal VET provision (if employer thinks he is eligible and has necessary resources).
  • Apprenticeship training follows the same curriculum applied for school-based VET (see Q20). School and company agree about individualised training plans for apprentices.
  • Upon apprenticeship completion, an officially recognised qualification and a VET diploma is awarded (only in case of apprenticeship with formal training contract).
  • Training and work in company should represent a larger part of whole training time: school-based training time should not exceed 30 % of apprenticeship contract duration. Training in school is not included into the working time of apprentice and the employer doesn’t have to pay for it. Maximum duration for work and in-company learning of apprentice – 48 hours per week.
  • Employers should appoint an employee responsible for the organisation of the apprentice's work and in-company practical training and a trainer who coordinates apprentice's work and in-company practical training . Heads of VET institutions should appoint a vocational teacher for the overall management of apprentices training at a workplace and at VET institution.
  • Apprentices learning outcomes are assessed according to agreed assessment plan. Assessment is done by a trainer and a VET teacher after finalising a programme module (i.e. a structural unit of programme) or during the modules. The final assessment of apprentices, as in school-based VET, is organised by independent external accredited competence assessment institutions (e.g. Chambers, branch associations).
  • The remuneration is subject to an agreement among apprentice and employer. The Labour code stipulates that it should not be less than official  minimum wage.