Reference year 2019
The minimum age limit for enrolment is 16. The age limit is defined in the Labour Code and in the VET Act.
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.
2Overview of the scheme
Ministry of Education and Science is responsible for organising the dual training in vocational schools.
In 2014 for the first time, dual education has been introduced in the legislation.
Employers provide the working places for the apprentices, instructors (mentors), materials and pay the salaries.
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.
2873 students enrolled in dual education (VET Directorate, Ministry of Education and Science, 2018)
EQF 4 for dual education in vocational schools. NQF 4
EQF 2-4 for dual training in training centres. NQF 2-4
This is valid to dual education in vocational schools and not for the dual training in training centres (see Q3 in country fiche).
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.
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.
Curricula define the distinction between training time at school and training time at the work place.
5Alternation of work-based (in-company) training and school-based training
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.
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.
6Formal relationship with the employer
The Labour Code requires a labour contract for dual training to be signed between the student and the company.
The type of labour contract is specific for the scheme.
The contract should be registered in the National Revenue Agency.
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.
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.
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.
8Responsibility of employers
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.
Employers’ and employees’ organizations representatives participate in the national level committees developing, approving and updating the state standards for VET qualifications.
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.