Reference year 2019

    Understanding of apprenticeships in the national context

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

    The legislation defines:
    - Apprenticeship programmes are initial vocational education and training (IVET) offered in alternation (dual) to young people, privileging their entrance into the labour market and allowing them to pursue studies. By alternation is meant the interaction between theoretical and practical training (WBL) and the contexts in which they take place. The practical training is distributed progressively throughout the programme (1).
    - Work-based learning (formação pratica em contexto de trabalho) is the development and acquisition of technical, relational and organisational knowledge and skills relevant to the responsible performance of a professional activity, based on quality standards and in compliance with safety and health rules (2).
    - Apprenticeship/learning (aprendizagem) is the lifelong process whereby knowledge, skills and attitudes are acquired within the education, training and professional and personal contexts (3).
    - Apprentice [formando (4)] is the term generally applied by the IEFP (5) to individuals who attend a training action. The word aprendiz is no longer used.


    ([1]) Current legislation.
    (2) 2018 IEFP Specific regulation
    (3) Decreto-Lei (Decree-Law) n.º 14/2017, de 26 de janeiro
    (4) Decreto-Lei (Decree-Law) nº 242/88 de 7 de julho
    (5) Instituto de Emprego e Formação Profissional





    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

    The scheme that can be considered as apprenticeship in Portugal refers to the apprenticeship programmes (cursos de aprendizagem). Other forms of work-based learning are not considered as aprpenticeship ones under Cedefop’s definition.

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

    The Decreto-Lei (Decree-Law) n.º 102/84, de 29 de março, established the legal framework for apprenticeship, which was considered a system of vocational training in alternance for young people.

    In 1984, the apprenticeship programmes were created as part of the so-called apprenticeship (dual) system. The system differed from the ‘technical-professional teaching’ because it recognised the enterprises as the privileged space for training (still valid nowadays). The emphasis given to the enterprise is mainly justified by the training potential of qualified professionals working there and the fact that learning is largely done at the workplace.

    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 legal framework for apprenticeship in the 80s and 90s:
    - Decreto-Lei (Decree Law) no. 338/85, de 21 de agosto introduced amendments to Decreto-Lei (Decree-Law) nº. 102/84, de 29 de março, which established the legal subject of vocational training in the apprenticeship system.
    - Decreto-Lei (Decree-Law) n.º 436/88, de 23 de novembro revised the legal regime of apprenticeship, approved by the Decreto-Lei (Decree-Law) nº. 102/84, de 29 de março.
    - Decreto-Lei n.º 383/91, de 9 de outubro established the principles with which pre-apprenticeship programmes must comply
    - Decreto-Lei (Decree-Law) n.º 205/96, de 25 de outubro approved the new legal regime to the apprenticeship system.

    The labour and education ministries approved and published the legislation to each professional area of apprenticeship by Portarias (Ordinances). These ordinances are the result of a broad consensus with the social partners, enterprises, professional and sectorial associations.