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General themes

VET in Germany comprises the following main features:

  • a high proportion of people have upper or post-secondary level qualifications (57.9% in 2017 compared to an EU average of 46.1%), which is mainly due to the popularity of dual VET;
  • the apprenticeship scheme (dual system) at upper secondary level (EQF 4) is the main pillar of VET and enables efficient school-to-work transition and low youth unemployment;
  • close cooperation between employers, trade unions and the government in shaping and implementing VET;
  • advanced vocational training at tertiary level (EQF 6-7), leading to qualification as master craftsperson, technician and specialist, is a major factor contributing to the attractiveness of the VET pathway.

 

Distinctive features ([1]Cedefop (2017). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Germany. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8116_en.pdf
):

Germany’s VET is seen as a successful model, largely based on the dual system (apprenticeship) leading to high-quality vocational qualifications. Apprenticeship enables smooth education to work transitions, resulting in low youth unemployment (2015: 7.2% of aged 15 to 24 versus 20.4% in the EU-28).

About one in two secondary school graduates chooses a vocational education programme; of those, 70% participate in apprenticeship. A growing share has a higher education entrance qualification, which shows the attractiveness of apprenticeship. Dual study programmes at tertiary level and advanced vocational training enable the acquisition of middle and top management qualifications in companies. Germany’s well-trained skilled workers are a prerequisite of its economic success.

National standards and training regulations (curricula for both in-company and school-based components) assure the success of the dual training programmes. Companies provide training in accordance with the vocational training regulations, developed by the four stakeholders (Federal and State governments, companies and trade unions). These regulations allow for flexibility to agree on company training plans with apprentices. Learning at vocational school is based on a framework curriculum aligned with training regulations, drawn up for every recognised training occupation.

Regular revisions to training regulations guarantee keeping pace with rapid technological and organisational changes. The initiative for updating or developing an entirely new occupational profile comes from social partners or the Federal Institute for VET ([2]Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (BIBB).). After consultation with all parties involved, the competent federal ministry decides whether to proceed. Cooperation between State and social partners is a core element of VET: social dialogue and shared decisions are the means to ensure that VET reforms are accepted.

Another particularity of the German VET system is its approach to how to acquire vocational competences, the so-called concept of ‘vocational action competence’: this holistic and integrated approach to competence acquisition during VET contrasts with the acquisition of isolated skills and competences based on the learning-outcomes approach of the European qualifications framework (EQF).

Improving transitions from general education to VET

The number of unfilled training places recently increased again, showing a need to reconcile supply and demand while taking into account significant regional and branch specific differences. Individual assistance for unsuccessful applicants and guidance for small and medium-size enterprises are provided in case of problems with matching. The Alliance for Initial and Further Training has committed to integrating all applicants in VET, including those from unfavourable starting positions, through pre-VET measures, assistance and support during training. To prevent training dropouts, senior experts provide individual coaching to apprentices.

Modernising and developing new occupational profiles with a view to digitalisation

Digital innovation has an impact on qualification profiles and curricula. The VET 4.0 initiative identifies changing demands in the qualification of skilled workers and how to respond to the challenge of digitalisation.

Increasing the attractiveness of VET

A large multimedia information campaign on apprenticeship was relaunched; early vocational orientation guidance in schools is now widely implemented from grade 7, in general upper secondary schools as well. Online VET portals are addressing specific target groups like young women or university dropouts.

Integrating migrants and refugees into education and training

Since 2015, more than one million asylum seekers have arrived in Germany. Their integration into the labour market and VET system is a priority: enabling German language learning, validating formal and non-formal skills, providing vocational orientation and access to VET, apprenticeships and employment. Existing programmes addressing disadvantaged groups (such as migrants) extended their focus to include refugees and new programmes were initiated specifically for this group.

Data from VET in Germany Spotlight 2017 ([3]Cedefop (2017). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Germany. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8116_en.pdf
)

Population in 2018: 82 792 351 ([4]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].)

It increased by 2.8% since 2013 due to migration (net migration in 2015: +1.1 million) ([5]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

As in many other EU countries, the population is ageing.

The old-age dependency ratio is expected to increase from 32 in 2015 to 55 in 2060 ([6]Old-age-dependency ratio is defined as the ratio between the number of persons aged 65 and more over the number of working-age persons (15-64). The value is expressed per 100 persons of working age (15-64).).

 

Population forecast by age group and old-age-dependency ratio

Source: Eurostat, proj_15ndbims [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

The ageing of the currently high proportion of middle-age population cohorts will lead to significant shifts in the age structure, once they join the group of 65+ years old. In 2015, 13.2% of the population were below 14, 65.8% were between 15 and 65, and 21% were 65 or older. By 2060, 13.8% of the population will be below 14, but only 55.6% will be between 15-64 years old, i.e. working age. The number of 65+ year-old people will increase to 30.6%.

There are fewer young people as time passes, more of them are choosing higher education. This partly explains the high number of unfilled apprenticeship places.

Since 2015, more than one million asylum seekers have arrived in Germany. Their integration into the labour market and VET system is a priority: enabling German language learning, validating formal and non-formal skills, providing vocational orientation and access to VET, apprenticeships and employment. Existing programmes addressing disadvantaged groups (such as migrants) extended their focus to include refugees and new programmes were initiated specifically for this group.

The overwhelming majority of companies in 2016 (3.46 million enterprises, 99.6%) were micro companies (1-9 employees) and small and medium-sized enterprises, (SMEs, 10-249 employees): of these, around 3.1 million (about 90% of all companies) were micro-enterprises. Only 14 630 enterprises had more than 249 employees. In total, 61% of the 29.1 million employees worked in micro and, SMEs: micro-enterprises employed about 19% of active persons, small enterprises (10-49 employees), approximately 23.2%, and medium-sized enterprises (50-249 employees), around 19.3%. These micro companies and SMEs form the Mittelstand, which is playing a major role in the dual VET system by providing the most apprentice placements (1.12 million apprentices in 2016 against approximately 450 000 in large companies having more than 249 employees) ([7]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018 [Data report of the vocational education and training report 2018.] Bonn: BIBB. p.206.
https://www.bibb.de/dokumente/pdf/bibb_datenreport_2018.pdf See also:
https://www.destatis.de/DE/Themen/Branchen-Unternehmen/Unternehmen/_inhalt.html
).

In 2017, most employed persons (74.5%) were working in the tertiary economic sector (mainly services), followed by 24.1% working in the secondary sector (production industry) and 1.4% working in the primary sector (agriculture, forestry and fishing) ([8]Results of the employment accounts within the national accounts (VGR): https://www.destatis.de/DE/Themen/Arbeit/Arbeitsmarkt/Erwerbstaetigkeit/...).

The share of enterprises in the primary sector providing apprentice placements has decreased in recent years. In the secondary sector, many enterprises provide apprenticeship and this number remained stable in 2016. The tertiary sector offers a differentiated picture: a positive trend in personal services (e.g. medical and nursing services), clearly negative trend in company-related services (e.g. financial and legal services, information and communication-related services) and less negative trend in transport, trade, accommodation and catering services.

Most occupations in Germany are regulated and only accessible with the relevant qualification.

Total unemployment ([9]Percentage of active population, aged 25 to 74.) (2018): 3.1% (6% in EU28); it has fallen by 3.9 percentage points since 2008 ([10]Eurostat table une_rt_a [extracted 20.5.2019].).

 

Unemployment rate (aged 15-24 and 25-64) by education attainment level in 2008-18

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011; breaks in time series. ISCED 0-2 = less than primary, primary and lower secondary education. ISCED 3-4 = upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education. ISCED 5-8 = tertiary education. Source: Eurostat, lfsa_urgaed [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Unemployment is distributed unevenly between those with low- and high-level qualifications.

The gap has increased during the crisis as unskilled workers are more vulnerable to unemployment. In 2018, the unemployment rate of people with upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education, the levels where most VET graduates exist (ISCED levels 3 and 4), was only slightly above the unemployment rate of people with tertiary education (2.9% compared to 1.9%). Low-skilled people (less than lower secondary education) however, faced a much higher risk of unemployment with the rate at 8.5%.

The employment rate of 20 to 34 year-old VET graduates increased from 87.6% in 2014 to 89.7% in 2018([11]Eurostat table edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

 

Employment rate of VET graduates (20 to 34 years-old, ISCED levels 3 and 4)

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011; breaks in time series. ISCED 3-4 = upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education. Source: Eurostat, edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

The increase (+2.1pp) in employment of 20-34 year-old VET graduates in 2014-18 was higher than the increase in employment of all 20-34 year-old graduates (+1.5 pp) in the same period in Germany ([12]NB: Breaks in time series. Eurostat table edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

For more information about the external drivers influencing VET developments in Germany please see the case study from Cedefop's changing nature and role of VET in Europe project [12a]Cedefop (2018). The changing nature and role of vocational education and training in Europe. Volume 3: the responsiveness of European VET systems to external change (1995-2015). Case study focusing in England. Cedefop research paper; No 67. https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/england_cedefop_changing_nature_of_vet_-_case_study.pdf

Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education at ISCED level 3-4, is quite popular (57.4%) in Germany, compared to most other EU Member States. This can also be linked to the fact, that apprenticeship is an attractive pathway and even chosen by upper secondary graduates.

 

Population (aged 25 to 64) by highest education level attained in 2018

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011; low reliability for Czech Republic, Poland, and Latvia. ISCED 0-2 = less than primary, primary and lower secondary education. ISCED 3-4 = upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education. ISCED 5-8 = tertiary education. Source: Eurostat, lfsa_pgaed [extracted 16.5.2019].

For more information about VET in higher education in Germany please see the case study from Cedefop's changing nature and role of VET in Europe project [12b]Cedefop (2019). The changing nature and role of vocational education and training in Europe. Volume 6: vocationally oriented education and training at higher education level. Expansion and diversification in European countries. Case study focusing on Germany. Cedefop research paper; No 70. https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/germany_cedefop_changing_nature_of_vet-_case_study.pdf

Share of learners in VET by level in 2016

lower secondary

upper secondary

post-secondary

4.7%

45.6%

92.5%

Source: Eurostat, educ_uoe_enrs01, educ_uoe_enrs04 and educ_uoe_enrs07 [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Share of initial VET learners from total learners at upper secondary level (ISCED level 3), 2017

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011; not applicable for Ireland. Source: Eurostat, educ_uoe_enrs04 [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Young women and men continue to orient themselves very differently on the VET market in Germany. This applies not only to the training paths taken by girls and boys, but also to the training occupations they choose. For example, male youths are overrepresented in the dual VET system (over 60%), and female youths in full-time school-based training (75%), mostly in healthcare, education and social occupations.

In the apprenticeship programmes, the top five occupations for males are automotive mechatronics technician, electronics technician, IT specialist, plant and industrial mechanics. Among female apprentices, the top five occupations are office management assistant, medical assistant, dental nurse, retail saleswoman and saleswoman.

The share of early leavers from education and training has decreased from 11.1% in 2009 to 10.3% in 2018 and has reached almost the national target for 2020 of not more than 10%.

 

Early leavers from education and training in 2009-18

NB: Share of the population aged 18 to 24 with at most lower secondary education and not in further education or training; break in series. Source: Eurostat, edat_lfse_14 [extracted 16.05.2019] and European Commission: https://ec.europa.eu/info/2018-european-semester-national-reform-programmes-and-stability-convergence-programmes_en [accessed 14.11.2018].

 

Specific support is offered targeting young people who need help to complete vocational training. Enrolment is voluntary and the support consists of special classes and accompanying socio-educational mentors to help apprentices overcome language and education deficits and acquire specialist theoretical knowledge during at least three hours a week. The law establishing this measure came into force in May 2015. In 2017, 36 000 young people were beneficiaries ([13]Actual expenditures 2017: EUR 97.1 million. Source: BMBF (2018). Berufsbildungsbericht 2018 [Report on vocational education and training 2018]. Bonn: BMBF, p. 121.
https://www.bmbf.de/upload_filestore/pub/Berufsbildungsbericht_2018.pdf
). This represented a share of 2.7% of all apprentices in 2017. It helps apprentices to avoid dropping out of training, stabilise training relationships and complete vocational training. Apprentices with difficulties can receive additional individual coaching by senior volunteers working for the Prevention of training dropouts initiative, VerA. The senior experts are retired professionals with broad experience in their respective field of work. ([14]Huismann, A. (2018). Guidance and outreach for inactive and unemployed – Germany. Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspectives series, pp. 22-26.
http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2018/guidance_outreach_Germany_Cedefo p_ReferNet.pdf
)

Specific measures are also targeting young people who need support earlier, i.e. to obtain a general school-leaving certificate and to make the transition from school to training: it includes career start coaching, introductory training, and preparatory VET. All these measures are part of the Educational chains programme, with a strong preventive approach ([15]BMBF (2018). Berufsbildungsbericht 2018 [Report on vocational education and training 2018]. Bonn: BMBF, p. 90.
https://www.bmbf.de/upload_filestore/pub/Berufsbildungsbericht_2018.pdf
).

Lifelong learning offers training opportunities for adults, including early leavers from education.

 

Participation in lifelong learning in 2014-18

NB: Share of adult population aged 25 to 64 participating in education and training. Source: Eurostat, trng_lfse_01 [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Participation in lifelong learning in Germany slightly increased from 2014 to 2018 from 8.0% to 8.2%, but during those years was still below the EU-28 average (10.8% and 11.1% in 2014 and 2018, respectively).

The European benchmark includes non-formal and formal learning in the last four weeks before the survey (Labour force survey) among respondents aged 25 to 64. In the Adult education survey, respondents are asked about learning activities during the last 12 months. In this case, the participation rate in lifelong learning in Germany is much higher: 52% in 2016 (compared to an average of 45.1% in EU-28).

Data as defined here are not available. However, yearly cohort data of entrants in dual vocational training (in accordance with the Vocational Training Act and the Crafts Code), entrants in school-based VET, entrants in pre-VET transitional area, entrants in grammar school and entrants in higher education are available in the integrated training reporting system (iABE) ([16]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018 [Data report of the vocational education and training report 2018]. Bonn: BIBB, p. 85, 88 and 167.
https://www.bibb.de/dokumente/pdf/bibb_datenreport_2018.pdf
BIBB (2017). VET data report Germany 2016-17: facts and analyses to accompany the Federal Government report on VET: selected finings. Bonn: BIBB, p 39-41.
https://www.bibb.de/datenreport/en/60595.php
).

The education and training system comprises:

  • primary education (ISCED level 1);
  • lower secondary education (ISCED level 2);
  • upper secondary education (ISCED level 3);
  • post-secondary non-tertiary education (ISCED level 4 and 5);
  • higher education (ISCED levels 6, 7 and 8).

Compulsory full-time education begins at the age of six and lasts nine years (or 10 years, depending on the Federal State). After that, young people who chose not to follow a full-time education programme can attend a (vocational) school for three years part-time, alongside their training in the company. Compulsory education is for all those aged 6 to 18.

Following four years of primary school for all, educational paths are divided in the subdivided school system, consisting of lower secondary programmes (until grade 9 or 10) and upper secondary programmes (until grade 12 or 13).

Germany is one of the European countries in which learning on the job is a traditional component of the education system: the apprenticeship programme (dual system, with two learning venues: 70% work-based and 30% school-based) is the main pillar of VET. About one in two secondary school graduates chooses a vocational path, mostly apprenticeship. Progression is possible through various regulated VET programmes provided at post-secondary and increasingly at tertiary level.

The German VET system comprises initial and continuing education; alongside school-based activity, work based learning (WBL) plays a major role in most of the programmes offered at secondary and tertiary levels. There are the following VET learning options, which all include WBL:

At upper secondary level:

  • general vocational programmes with vocational orientation;
  • school-based VET programmes;
  • apprenticeship programmes (incl. WBL of ca. 75%);

At post-secondary level:

  • specialised programmes;

At tertiary level:

  • advanced vocational qualifications and exams at EQF level 5 (certified advisor in specific professional areas; technician), EQF 6 (master craftsperson, specialist) and EQF 7 (management expert; vocational pedagogue, IT-Professional);
  • technician, specialist and similar programmes;
  • bachelor programmes;
  • master programmes.

The apprenticeship programme at upper secondary level (EQF level 4) is the main pillar of VET and also attracts upper secondary graduates. Parallel to the apprenticeships are school-based VET programmes at upper secondary level (EQF levels 2 to 4), which differ in terms of access, length, types and levels of qualification they lead to. ([17]Cedefop (2017). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Germany. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8116_en.pdf
)

The most important tool for assessing non-formal learning outcomes is admission to final examinations known as the Externen-Prüfung (examination for external candidates, i.e., those not involved in a formal vocational training programme) ([18]Under Section 45 (2) of the Vocational Training Act (BBiG).). Under this provision, people can be admitted to a final examination for a recognised occupation requiring formal training (training occupation) if they provide evidence that they have been employed in the relevant occupation for at least one and a half times as long as prescribed for the period of initial training.

At post-secondary level (EQF levels 4 and 5), specialised programmes building on secondary VET impart deeper occupational knowledge and lead to higher education entrance qualifications.

At tertiary level, there are the advanced vocational qualifications and exams. VET in Germany comprises three levels of advanced vocational qualifications (EQF levels 5 to 7). They differ regarding competence requirements and the related operational deployment in companies. Admission to level 7 qualifications requires level 6 qualifications; level 6 qualifications do not require level 5 qualification but can be acquired directly after IVET in the dual system and mostly work experience is necessary (master craftsperson, technician or specialist qualifications).

Unlike the training regulations for IVET in the dual system, these federally regulated advanced training regulations do not include a curriculum; however, they do define and describe examinations. Other features, which must be specified in the advanced training regulations, include (§ 53 para. 2 BBiG, § 42 para. 2 HwO):

(a) designation of the advanced qualification;

(b) the aim, contents and requirements of the examination;

(c) admission requirements;

(d) examination procedure.

Admission to an examination generally requires a completed course of vocational training and/or appropriate vocational experience. These regulations are laid down by the BMBF by agreement with the competent ministries and following consultation with the primary board (Hauptausschuss) of the BIBB. Advanced vocational training as a master craftsperson (Meister) entitles the holder to practice a craft trade independently, to employ and train apprentices, and opens up access to courses at craft academies, universities of applied sciences (UASs,

Fachhochschulen) as well as universities.

Data about this programme are not fully recorded in the ISCED-97 statistics for two reasons. First, the examinations do not generally require participation in a preparatory course. Second, even if a huge number of examinees were to participate in preparatory classes, these courses offered by the chambers are not seen as part of the education system. There is political pressure to remedy this lack of transparency in international statistics and to include all programmes that meet the ISCED-2011 level definition in the near future.

Advanced vocational programmes (ISCED 655; EQF 6) are offered at trade and technical schools, which are regulated according to the State law. Entrance requirements vary by subject area: an applicant normally needs a qualification in a recognised training occupation appropriate to the chosen subject, and relevant work experience of at least one year, or a qualification from a full-time vocational school and relevant work experience of at least five years. Advanced vocational programmes can be followed as part-time or full-time programmes (the latter last between one and three years) and they lead to a State vocational qualification (e.g. educator; technician). Students adopt extensive responsibility and management functions at the workplace. Some trade and technical schools also provide programmes that lead to a formal entrance qualification for the universities of applied sciences. They exist for the following occupational fields: agriculture, design, technology, business and social care. They end with a final State examination under State law.

Dual programmes (EQF levels 6 and 7) combine two learning venues (the workplace and the education institution) and are offered by universities of applied sciences (UASs, Fachhochschulen), the dual university (Duale Hochschulen), universities of cooperative education (Berufsakademien) as well as some universities. Around a quarter of all UAS programmes are dual study programmes ([19]Information based on: Hippach-Schneider, U.; Huismann, A. (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Germany. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/ReferNet_Germany_VET_in_Europe_2018.pdf p. 28 onwards).

Apprenticeship scheme (dual system)

Dual VET, which is used as a synonym for apprenticeships in Germany, is still very attractive. Particularly owing to how it links learning and work, as well as schools and companies, the system appears to be a successful model for structuring the transition from school to working life. Dual VET is provided in 327 recognised training occupations ([20]https://www.bibb.de/en/65925.php). A final exam, conducted by the chambers, completes the apprenticeship. For this task, the chambers are authorised by the State and are officially acting as a public institution. Upon passing the final examination, apprentices receive a chamber certificate to document that training has been successfully completed. This certification of qualification is fully recognised and highly trusted among employers.

An apprenticeship in the dual system normally lasts three years ([21]Some occupations only require two years and there are also regulations allowing a shorter training period for apprentices with an Abitur (the school leaving certificate allowing entry to higher education).). On average, young people take up VET at the age of 19.7 ([22]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018 [Data report of the vocational education and training report 2018]. Bonn: BIBB, p.167.
https://www.bibb.de/dokumente/pdf/bibb_datenreport_2018.pdf
). Compulsory education must have been completed before starting VET. There are no further formal access requirements but companies select their apprentices and the majority of them hold either the intermediate secondary school leaving certificate (mittlerer Schulabschluss) or the lower secondary school leaving certificate (Hauptschulabschluss). However, the share of apprentices with a higher education entrance qualification has been rising as well: in 2016, almost one in three apprentices (28.7%) was a high-school graduate ([23]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018 [Data report of the vocational education and training report 2018]. Bonn: BIBB, p. 132.
https://www.bibb.de/dokumente/pdf/bibb_datenreport_2018.pdf
). This group followed successively both paths of education at upper secondary level: first the general, followed by the vocational qualification. Despite being classified as ‘upper secondary’, initial VET is also considered by high-school graduates as an alternative option to tertiary education.

Apprentices attend a vocational school for one or two days per week, where they are mainly taught theoretical and practical knowledge related to their occupation; they take classes on general subjects such as economics, social studies and foreign languages. A framework curriculum is drawn up for every recognised training occupation in accordance with the training regulations. The primary aim of training is to enable young people to acquire comprehensive vocational competence. After finishing the apprenticeship, they should be able to fulfil their duties as employees efficiently, effectively, innovatively, autonomously and in cooperation with others. The array of competences must be demonstrated in exams regulated by law (Vocational Training Act, BBiG). Final exams are geared to vocational practice, i.e., to the work requirements and processes of the occupation. Performance in general subjects is evaluated via school reports.

Apprenticeship places are offered in both enterprises and public institutions. Enterprises enter into a contract with apprentices, where they bear the costs of the in-company training and pay the trainee remuneration. This is regulated by collective agreement and increases with every year of training, averaging about a third of the starting pay for a trained skilled worker. The professional competences to be acquired through in-company training are specified in training regulations and included by the training enterprise in an individual training plan. The binding requirements of the training regulations guarantee a uniform national standard. However, SMEs are often unable to provide all the stipulated learning content: they may lack suitable training personnel, or, owing to their particular specialisation, may not cover all the training content themselves.

There are various ways to overcome these problems:

  • inter-company vocational training centres (überbetriebliche Berufsbildungsstätten, ÜBS) designed to supplement in-company training: education institutions offer periods in these training centres, which are often sponsored by autonomous bodies in the relevant sectors of industry. Since 2016, digital transformation has been promoted in these training centres by funding the purchase of digital equipment as well as selected pilot projects on adaptation of teaching and learning processes ([24]https://www.bibb.de/uebs-digitalisierung);
  • enterprises can form joint training structures (Ausbildungsverbünde). There are four traditional models for this:
  • lead enterprise with partners (Leitbetrieb mit Partnerbetrieben): one enterprise takes the lead and bears overall responsibility for training; however, parts of the training are conducted in various partner enterprises;
  • training to order (Auftragsausbildung): some training takes place outside the regular enterprise, perhaps in a nearby larger one with a training workshop, on the basis of an order and against reimbursement of costs;
  • training consortium (Ausbildungskonsortium): several SMEs sign a cooperation agreement and work together on equal footing. They take on apprentices and train them independently. If an enterprise cannot cover a specific area of content, the apprentice moves to another enterprise (rotation principle);
  • training association (Ausbildungsverein): enterprises establish an organisation which takes over administrative tasks such as contracting, while the enterprises conduct training. Association structures usually comprise a general meeting and an honorary committee. A statute regulates members’ rights and obligations.

The repartition of apprentices according to the economic sector of occupation was as follows in 2016: 58.7% in trade and industry, 27.2% in craft sector, 8.3% in liberal professions, 2.8% in public sector, 2.5% in agriculture and 0.4% in housekeeping. There has been a fall in new apprenticeship contracts since 2008, the year of the financial crisis (with one exception, in 2011, when 569 379 new apprenticeship contracts were concluded). This downward trend stabilised between 2016 and 2017: 0.6% more apprenticeship contracts were signed in 2017 than in the previous year.

The apprenticeship market continues to be characterised by increasing matching problems. It is becoming more difficult each year to match companies’ training supply (2017: 572 226) with young people’s demand for training positions (2017: 603 510). This is particularly clear from the fact that vacant positions (2017: 48 937, 12.6% more than 2016 and highest value since 1995) as a proportion of provision has once again increased, from 7.7% to 8.6%. However, the share of unsuccessful applicants as a proportion of the officially identified demand for 2017 is still comparatively high but stable, at 13.3%. The skilled crafts and trades sector was particularly affected by a shortage of applicants. Many public policy measures are aiming to counteract these developments.

Types of school leaving qualification obtained differ among apprentices with newly concluded training contracts. As in the past years, the largest group in 2016 was those with the intermediate secondary school leaving certificate (mittlerer Schulabschluss), at 42.8% (215 976). Almost 30% (144 630) of those concluding a training contract, were in possession of a higher education entrance qualification (Abitur). About one in four (127 686 or 25.3%) had a lower secondary school leaving certificate (Hauptschulabschluss). The proportion of new trainees without a school leaving certificate was very low at 3.1% (15 876) ([25]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018 [Data report of the vocational education and training report 2018]. Bonn: BIBB, p. 136.
https://www.bibb.de/dokumente/pdf/bibb_datenreport_2018.pdf
).

For young people with a migration background, transition from general education to VET is often difficult and lengthy. The latest (2016) BA/BIBB survey among former dual VET applicants shows that one in four (26%) young people with a migration background registered with the federal employment agency (BA) had found a placement and had begun an in-company apprenticeship. In contrast, 42% of those without a migration background had started such an apprenticeship ([26]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018 [Data report of the vocational education and training report 2018]. Bonn: BIBB, p. 326.
https://www.bibb.de/dokumente/pdf/bibb_datenreport_2018.pdf
).

The number of refugees applying for asylum, mostly since 2015, and applying for an apprenticeship placement (with registration at an employment agency) drastically increased from 10 253 in September 2016 to 26 428 in September 2017. It was almost 5% of all registered dual VET applicants.

Additional qualifications

Since the amendment of the Vocational Training Act in 2005 ([27]https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bbig_2005/BBiG.pdf), there is the possibility of providing so-called ‘codified additional qualifications’ in the context of apprenticeship. This includes ’additional vocational skills, knowledge and qualifications (…) to supplement or broaden vocational competence’ (BBiG 2005 Section 5 (2) No. 5), which are anchored in the training regulations and go beyond the training occupation profile. The training regulations are supplemented by these additional qualifications. In addition to these, which are linked to a training regulation, there are numerous additional qualifications. For the mechatronics engineers alone, there are almost 400 optional additional qualifications ([28]See AusbildungPlus database:
http://www.ausbildungplus.de/webapp/suche?typ=zq&neuesuche=true and Berufsbildungsgesetz 2005:
https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bbig_2005/BBiG.pdf
).

However, these additional qualifications are not so much aimed at broadening a qualification profile as part of that occupation profile, but rather at subject-related additions or specialisations. In this, they differ from the codified additional qualifications, which serve explicitly the extension of the training occupation profile. One of the focuses of these non-codified additional qualifications lies in international qualifications; these include foreign language courses, stays abroad and international management. About one third of apprentices in additional qualifications receive additional training in this area.

Additional qualifications allow for flexible shaping of in-company training with regard to the qualification requirements in the company. This enables companies to respond promptly to changing skills needs, which is becoming increasingly important due to developments in digitalisation. At the same time, it is an attractive opportunity for young people to upgrade their vocational qualifications. Additional qualifications listed in the AusbildungsPlus database ([29]http://www.ausbildungplus.de/webapp/suche?typ=zq&neuesuche=true) vary significantly in duration: it ranges from under 40 to over 1 000 hours for obtaining an additional qualification. Training companies and vocational schools primarily provide additional qualifications. Chambers of commerce and industry as well as the chambers of crafts and their training centres are among the major providers of additional qualifications.

Two important sources of information and data on the dual apprenticeship scheme in Germany are the yearly Report on vocational education and training ([30]https://www.bmbf.de/de/berufsbildungsbericht-2740.html) and the corresponding Data report on VET ([31]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018 [Data report of the vocational education and training report 2018]. Bonn: BIBB.
https://www.bibb.de/datenreport/de/index.php
).

Learn more about apprenticeships in the national context from the European database on apprenticeship schemes by Cedefop: http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/apprenticeship-schemes/scheme-fiches

The Vocational Training Act ([32]BBiG:
https://www.bibb.de/dokumente/pdf/bmbf_berufsbildungsreformgesetz_en.pdf
) defines in detail, which institutions are in charge of organising, developing and monitoring VET in Germany.

The role of Federal government

VET is based on nationally recognised occupations and vocational training regulations, which guarantee a national standard. The federal government is responsible for designing the dual system training content for the occupations it has recognised. The nationally binding recognition of the training occupations ensures that the basic principles agreed with industry and the States are taken into account, and that training for a recognised occupation adheres to the regulations adopted by the federal government. The federal government’s responsibilities are not limited to implementing joint agreements; it also takes independent measures to promote dual training. These measures include permanent support programmes as well as special funding programmes, which, for example, aim to create additional training positions in less popular regions. The federal government provides funding for special research projects to ensure VET is constantly updated. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research ([33]Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF).) is responsible for general VET policy issues. These include the Vocational Training Act ([34]Berufsbildungsgesetz (BBiG).), the annual VET report, the implementation of programmes to improve VET and the legal supervision and funding of the Federal Institute for VET ([35]Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (BIBB).).

Nationally, the Federal Institute for VET is the core institution for consensus building between all parties involved in VET. It conducts research on in-company training and provides services and advice to the federal government and VET providers. Its four-party main board advises the government on fundamental issues of in-company vocational training and is involved in setting standards and designing training regulations.

It is the task of the federal ministries responsible for each occupational field to recognise individual occupations requiring formal training. In most cases, this is the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy ([36]Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi).). The approval of the education ministry is always required, so the ministry provides coordination and guidance for VET policy for all training occupations.

The role of State government

According to the Constitution, responsibility for school education lies with the State ministries of education and cultural affairs ([37]Landesministerien für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Kultur.). Their ministers participate in a standing committee ([38]Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK).) to ensure a certain degree of uniformity and comparability, especially in school and higher education policies. The standing committee decisions are only recommendations, and only become legally binding when passed by the individual State parliaments. The States have vocational training committees, with equal representation of employers, employees and the highest State authorities. They advise the State governments on vocational training issues in schools and also contribute to designing schemes that support disadvantaged youths and provide opportunities for additional qualifications that require school-based training.

The role of social partners

The dual system is based on a close cooperation between employers, trade unions and the government. Social dialogue and codetermination are important for reforms to be accepted. The social partners – employers and trade unions – have considerable influence on the content and form of VET to ensure their requirements and interests are taken into account. Responsible action by all participants – beyond each group's particular interests – is a precondition for the efficiency of the dual system. Their representatives are members of the Federal Institute for VET’s main board, together with the federal and State governments and participate in their vocational training committees and those of the competent bodies.

Organising apprenticeship/dual training requires a complex but clear division of responsibilities. Employers and unions play a central role in initiatives for change, because the structure of vocational training must meet the demands of industry. If there is a need for change – such as in qualification requirements – representatives of the federal government, State governments, employers and trade unions agree on the basic principles. Such work on the training regulations and framework curricula is continuously coordinated among the partners.

The role of competent bodies

Along with the State and social partners, the so-called ‘competent bodies’ ([39]Zuständige Stellen.) play a crucial role in Germany. They include professional chambers as well as various federal and State authorities. Their tasks are ensuring the suitability of training centres; monitoring training in enterprises; advising enterprises, trainers and apprentices; establishing and maintaining lists of training contracts; organising the exam system and holding final exams. Each competent body has a tripartite vocational training committee whose members represent employers, trade unions and teachers. These committees must be informed and consulted on all important VET issues and decide on regulations for implementing VET.

As self-governing bodies, the chambers of industry and commerce, the chambers of crafts and the appropriate professional boards for the liberal professions have all been assigned public tasks as ‘competent bodies’ in dual training (see above). Training advisers from the chambers verify the capacity of companies and ability of trainers to train and advise both companies and apprentices. They receive training contracts, check, register, and monitor them, and provide counselling services. The chambers also oversee the overall organisation of exams by fixing dates and establishing exam boards ([40]This section is based on: Hippach-Schneider, U.; Huismann, A. (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Germany. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/ReferNet_Germany_VET_in_Europe_2018.pdf).

In Germany, initial and continuing VET is based on mixed financing by various public and private bodies. These include the Federal Ministry of Education and Research ([41]Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF).), Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy ([42]Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi).), the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs ([43]BMAS), the Federal Employment Agency ([44]BA), the States and their ministries of employment, economic, education or cultural affairs, the European Union, local authorities, companies, unions, chambers, associations, private institutions and individuals themselves. In this respect, financing for initial VET and continuing general and vocational education differs quite substantially from the schools and universities sector, which benefits from relatively comprehensive public funding.

Funding of IVET

In the dual system, in-company training is usually financed by the individual enterprise: an enterprise decides whether or not it will offer training and in which occupations. It decides how many apprentices it will take on, and how much it wants to spend on training in general. Enterprises enter into a contract with apprentices and pay them remuneration. This is regulated by collective agreement and increases with every year of training, averaging about a third of the starting pay for a trained skilled worker. Average apprentice remuneration across Germany for 2017 was EUR 876 gross per month ([45]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018 [Data report of the vocational education and training report 2018]. Bonn: BIBB. p. 273.
https://www.bibb.de/datenreport/
).

According to the most recent calculations by the Federal Institute for VET ([46]Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (BIBB).), based on a representative study for the apprenticeship year 2012-13, the gross costs (apprenticeship costs without returns) were around EUR 25.6 billion. Companies' net costs for apprenticeship were around EUR 7.7 billion, meaning gross and net costs have somewhat increased (by approximately EUR 2 billion each) since the last study based on 2007 data. A new representative study is under way for the apprenticeship year 2017/18, with first results to be expected end of 2019 ([47]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018 [Data report of the vocational education and training report 2018]. Bonn: BIBB.
https://www.bibb.de/datenreport/
). Employers invest on average EUR 18 000 per apprentice per year (62% for remuneration and social benefits for apprentices; 23% for salaries of trainers; 10% other costs and 5% equipment). Companies also have benefits in providing apprenticeship, and estimate that 70% of investment is refinanced by the productive contribution of apprentices during training.

Small and medium-size enterprises, in particular skilled crafts companies, are important training suppliers. It might happen that they are unable, or not fully able, to provide all the facets of training required by regulations. This is primarily due to the increasing division of labour in working processes, increasing specialisation or accelerated technological change. The limited suitability of such enterprises as training providers is compensated by supplementary external training measures in inter-company vocational training centres ([48]Überbetriebliche Berufsbildungsstätten (ÜBSs) and in the skilled trade sector (ÜLUs).) or through training structures ([49]Ausbildungsverbünde.). Inter-company vocational training centres are operated mainly by public law bodies (municipalities, chambers and guilds) or non-profit private law bodies (trade associations). There is mixed financing, with subsidies from the federal employment agency, the federal government (capital grants from the education ministry) and the States added to the resources of the responsible body. Guidelines for funding inter-company vocational training centres and their development into competence centres entered into force in 2009. These guidelines ensure greater legal security and transparency for applicants as well as greater flexibility in funding. They also extend training centres’ scope of action. Funding is offered for the modernising and restructuring of inter-company training centres to adapt them to changing education and training policy and economic conditions, as well as the challenge of digitalisation.

The school-based element of dual vocational training is financed by State and local authority public funds: EUR 3 billion in 2017 for 1 550 public vocational schools providing part-time VET for apprentices ([50]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018 [Data report of the vocational education and training report 2018]. Bonn: BIBB, p. 277.
https://www.bibb.de/datenreport/
) and EUR 1.85 billion for steering, monitoring and other support measures. The States bear the costs of internal school affairs (supervision of schools, laying down of curricula, teacher training, teachers’ pay), and the local authorities are responsible for financing external school affairs (construction, maintenance and renovation of school buildings, management, procurement of teaching and learning resources). The total public expenditures for dual VET amount to approximately EUR 4.85 billion compared to EUR 7.7 billion net costs of dual VET for companies.

Training in full-time vocational schools outside the dual system (public funding in 2017: EUR 5.4 billion ([51]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018 [Data report of the vocational education and training report 2018]. Bonn: BIBB, p. 277.
https://www.bibb.de/datenreport/,
) and special measures to promote VET, such as support programmes (often partly financed by ESF funds) to create additional training places for specific target groups or in less popular regions, are financed from the Federal or State budgets ([52]Specific information on all public funding activities is available on
http://www.foerderdatenbank.de/
). The federal government also provides funding for special research projects to ensure that VET is constantly updated (for more details on public IVET expenditures ([53]See Table concerning public expenditure on IVET (BIBB, 2018, p. 278).) and on the funding structures of IVET in the dual system ([54]See Annex 1, Figures 5 and 6.)). The VET-related expenditure of the federal employment agency applies to both pre-VET and IVET (i.e. grants for young people). The data do not include the amounts spent on promoting the transition from IVET to the labour market, since these are classified as employment policy measures.

Funding of continuing VET

Enterprises, the State, the federal employment agency and private individuals themselves are involved in financing continuing VET. Federal, State and local authorities make funding available from their budgets primarily for continuing VET for public sector employees.

Most expenditure is related to continuing company- or job-related training. However, some spending on general, political, cultural and academic research education and training is also included, since such areas cannot always be clearly separated. The federal government contributes to financing continuing training via funding programmes from various ministries. The Federal States participate in financing continuing training in a similar fashion. Acting together with local government, and in some case municipal associations, the Federal States continue to finance adult education centres ([55]Volkshochschulen (VHSs).), teacher training institutes and other continuing training institutes ([56]See table concerning public expenditure on CVET in BIBB (2018, p. 404).).

The Continuing vocational training surveys (CVTS) provide data on enterprise expenditure on continuing vocational training courses for their employees. Initial results from the fifth survey (in 2015) offer insight into the costs of continuing education courses in Germany: direct course costs (payments to external training providers, personnel costs for internal training staff, travel expenses, costs for rooms and equipment) and personnel absence costs for participants in training courses. In 2015, companies invested EUR 683 per employee in continuing education courses. Of this, EUR 361 was for direct costs and EUR 322 for personnel absence costs of continuing VET participants. Compared to 2010, this is an increase of EUR 66 for the total costs, EUR 44 for direct costs and EUR 22 for personnel absence costs. On a percentage basis, this represents an increase between 7% and 14%. The total cost per participant was EUR 1 793 (direct costs EUR 947, personnel absence costs EUR 846). Here too, between 2010 and 2015, there was an increase in course costs of 11 to 18% ([57]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018 [Data report of the vocational education and training report 2018]. Bonn: BIBB, p. 355.
https://www.bibb.de/datenreport/
) ([58]This section is based on: Hippach-Schneider, U.; Huismann, A. (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Germany. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/ReferNet_Germany_VET_in_Europe_2018.pdf).

Germany differentiates between teachers and trainers in IVET and in continuing VET. The focus of the following information is on teachers and trainers in the dual system, but it also provides a brief description of teachers in full-time vocational schools and on continuing VET teachers and trainers ([59]See also: Hensen, K.A.; Hippach-Schneider, U. (2016). Supporting teachers and trainers for successful reforms and quality of vocational education and training: mapping their professional development in the EU – Germany. Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspectives series.
https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/ReferNet_DE_TT.pdf
).

Teachers and trainers in IVET

In the dual system, there are:

  • VET school teachers
    • vocational school teachers
    • practical work teachers ([60]Werklehrer.)
  • in-company trainers

VET school teachers teach theoretical knowledge (general and occupation-related).

General subjects teachers (including those teaching at vocational schools) must have a university degree at the master level (EQF level 7), and for occupation-related subjects, there are special teachers for vocational practice.

Vocational school teachers are trained under the jurisdiction of the Federal States. Their training has a two-phase structure: first a course of studies at a university, then the preparatory practical service, also called the probationary period ([61]Referendariat.). The process is regulated by a framework agreement adopted by the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs ([62]Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK).) in 1995 and amended in 2013: the Framework agreement on the training and examination for teaching at the Secondary Level II (vocational subjects) or for vocational schools.

In-company trainers are in charge of training the apprentice at the workplace according to the training regulation for the specific occupation and the individual training plan. According to the Vocational Training Act ([63]Berufsbildungsgesetz (BBiG), 2005
https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bbig_2005/BBiG.pdf
), only in-company trainers who possess pedagogical and professional aptitude are eligible to train, meaning that they have special competences. The aptitude of the training staff is guaranteed by the competent chamber that registers them (e.g. chambers of industry and commerce, chambers of skilled crafts). These competent bodies are responsible for adopting examination regulations and setting up examination boards to conduct aptitude examinations for trainers, according to the Trainer Aptitude Regulation ([64]Ausbilder-Eignungsverordnung (AEVO), last amended in 2009.
https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/ausbeignv_2009/AusbEignV_2009.pdf
). To support in-company trainers in the acquisition of pedagogical and technical/professional competence, the chambers and other education providers offer different types of course. The Federal Institute for VET recommends taking a 115-hour course to prepare for the Trainer Aptitude Regulation examination.

Types of teacher and trainer in IVET

Type of training

Type of staff

Dual system of training

Trainers (instructors) or master craftspersons within companies (certified educators/trainers in professional education, certified educators/trainers in initial and continuing vocational education, including VET managers in large companies).

VET teachers in vocational schools, two categories:

1. university-trained teachers for job-related theory and general education subjects; 2. Werklehrer (master craftspersons or technicians with additional further training) imparting practical skills.

Instructors and trainers within inter-company VET centres (ÜBS).

Special VET for disabled persons leading to dual system diplomas

VET teachers/trainers within private institutions

Full-time vocational schools

VET teachers in vocational schools (see above)

Learning facilitators

Youth workers in training schemes for the disadvantaged, training counsellors in the chambers, vocational guidance counsellors employed by the federal employment agencies, etc.

Source: compiled by ReferNet Germany.

The majority of initial VET trainers are skilled workers, journeymen or forepersons. They engage in training part-time directly at the workplace. However, any company carrying out apprenticeship training has at least one employee who is the designated (full-time) trainer and has proven his aptitude to take over this task by successfully passing the examination according to the Trainer Aptitude Regulation. Most full-time trainers also hold an advanced qualification certificate as master craftsperson. In-company trainers have an important role in helping the apprentices to develop a professional identity and occupational profile together with a strong identification with their company. In small enterprises, the trainer is a crucial role model for the following generation of employees.

Teachers and trainers in non-formal continuing VET

There is a wide variety of professionals acting as teachers or trainers in non-formal continuing VET; there is no common standard for what constitutes a continuing VET teacher or trainer. Their formal qualifications vary widely as does their occupational status, from retired or unemployed to qualified employees in training institutions. If formal advanced vocational training takes place in public sector establishments (such as trade and technical schools, colleges), the training, employment and activities of the teaching staff are based on criteria laid down in the relevant State legislation for teaching staff ([65]This section is based on: Hippach-Schneider, U.; Huismann, A. (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Germany. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/ReferNet_Germany_VET_in_Europe_2018.pdf).

The conditions for continuing professional development (CPD) are determined by the Education Act (Schulgesetz) of the relevant State (Bundesland) and therefore might differ among the single States. However, it can generally be stated that teachers are obliged to follow continuing training to maintain and further develop their skills and competences.

Teachers can organise on their own relevant training offered by one of various training providers; for this, however, they need the approval of their employer. CPD can be organised and offered by the employer and be mandatory for the teaching staff.

CPD can take place during school holidays as well as during the school year. If continuing training takes place during teaching time, the approval of the teacher’s training request depends on the possibility of finding a substitute, or that the lessons which will not take place due to the foreseen training will take place before or afterwards at an alternative time.

Schools receive a certain amount of money every year from the State for teacher CPD. Teachers might supplement this with their own money.

From the non-formal perspective, there is a variety of opportunities for continuing education and training. For example, regular updating of specialist knowledge and skills is necessary, particularly in the technical-commercial and the trades and crafts occupations. Media literacy, for example, is of high importance. Being able to handle confidently the new media (multimedia applications and the internet) is a prerequisite, especially for training staff. Various education providers offer training on this topic, targeted primarily at trainers ([66]BMBF (2013). Qualifizierungsmöglichkeiten für Ausbilderinnen und Ausbilder: Geprüfte/-r Aus- und Weiterbildungspädagoge/-in. Geprüfte/-r Berufspädagoge/-in [Qualification possibilities for trainers: certified education and training educator and certified vocational trainer]. Bonn: BMBF.
https://lit.bibb.de/vufind/Record/61379
); continuing training for trainers is usually organised by the company itself. If a company has a need for further qualification of their training staff, the necessary courses can be provided in or outside the company. Large companies usually have their own personnel development and training units, training rooms and particular teachers and trainers for the training of their staff. But small and medium-sized enterprises also support their trainers in acquiring additional qualifications by offering participation in further training courses organised by chambers or education providers ([67]This section is based on: Cedefop; ReferNet (2016). Supporting teachers and trainers for successful reforms and quality of VET – Germany.
https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/ReferNet_DE_TT.pdf
).

Chambers and other education providers offer different types of course providing theoretical and practical knowledge ([68]Especially skilled workers, journeymen, foremen acting as trainers.) to support VET trainers in the acquisition of pedagogical and technical/professional competence, particularly for the trainer aptitude examination ([69]AEVO, Ausbildereignungsprüfung.). The courses can be differentiated between attendance, distance learning and a mix of attendance and self-directed learning.

Further information is available in the Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspective on teachers and trainers ([70]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/teachers-and-trainers).

 

 

Systematic recording and research into future skills needs was initiated in the 1999 resolutions by the Alliance for Jobs, Training and Competitiveness ([71]Bündnis für Arbeit, Ausbildung und Wettbewerbsfähigkeit.); it was implemented within the subsequent initiative for early identification of skills needs launched by the education ministry ([72]Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF).). The most important resource is the research network FreQueNz ([73]http://www.frequenz.net/ [accessed 19.9.2018].). This includes several research institutions, an education organisation, the Federal Institute for VET ([74]Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (BIBB).), the Trade Union Confederation ([75]Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund (DGB).) and the Employers’ Organisation for Vocational Training ([76]Kuratorium der deutschen Wirtschaft für Berufsbildung (KWB).).

The Federal Institute for VET monitors new skills requirements using the following different main approaches:

  • qualification and occupational fields projections ( [77]Qualifikation und Beruf (QuBe).): in cooperation with the Institute for Employment Research ([78]Institut für Arbeitsmarkt und Berufsforschung (IAB).), forecasting model calculations on labour market developments by 2025 are set up. Longer-term developments in occupational fields and qualifications can now be displayed in a more differentiated manner. Projections include areas where a considerable shortage of skilled workers may occur and in which skills levels are at risk of being affected by unemployment ([79]https://www.bibb.de/en/qube_datenportal.php [accessed 19.9.2018].). This makes it possible to take necessary action at an early stage to improve the match between supply and demand in the labour market ([80]https://kooperationen.zew.de/dfgflex/links/datensaetze-deutschland/bibbiab-erhebungen.html [accessed 19.9.2018].);
  • company surveys help to build a comprehensive picture of technological and organisational developments and the associated skills requirements. Such surveys are conducted once or twice a year among the companies represented on the Federal Institute for VET panel. Known as the reference company system ([81]Referenz-Betriebs-System (RBS).), these are more than 2 000 training and non-training firms which vary in size, sector, legal form, length of time in operation and main occupations. There are also surveys in selected sectors geared towards particular fields of work to receive reliable information on the requirements in individual occupations ([82]https://www.bibb.de/de/12471.php);
  • the VET 4.0 initiative Effects of digital innovation on vocational training ([83]https://www.bibb.de/en/49603.php ) was launched in 2016 by the education ministry and the Federal Institute for VET. It includes various projects, such as the research initiative Skills, qualifications and competences for the digitised work of tomorrow;
  • job advertisement analyses yield empirically verified information on the demand for skilled workers on the job market and the qualification profiles desired by companies ([84]https://www.bibb.de/arbeit-im-wandel);
  • advertiser surveys determine whether vacancies have been filled and, if not, why not ([85]https://www.bibb.de/arbeit-im-wandel);
  • surveys of guidance staff generate expertise on in-company strategies for change and skills development ([86]https://www.destatis.de/DE/Startseite.html and
    https://expertenmonitor.bibb.de/index.php
    );
  • regular surveys of continuing education providers gather data on the implementation, reception and modifications to courses, along with experience and assessments of trends in training establishments;
  • structural and longitudinal studies of continuing VET courses listed in the KURSNET database ([87]https://kursnet-finden.arbeitsagentur.de/kurs/) yield information on changes and trends in provision.

These research activities focus on changes in existing fields of work or the emergence of new fields, and the accompanying development in qualification requirements, including the factors which influence these. In addition to quantitative assessment, the Federal Institute for VET qualification development also identifies qualitative trends. The education ministry also supports the development of a ‘labour market barometer’ ([88]Arbeitsmarktbarometer.), a future-oriented labour market monitoring system ([89]https://www.iab.de/de/daten/arbeitsmarktbarometer). The States and several regions pursue individual early identification activities (including regional monitoring of qualification developments, and skill needs surveys). Social partners are also involved in early identification, mainly in the context of modernising initial and further training regulations. All these activities help ensure that VET adapts to and meets qualification needs. Investigations into skill needs and qualification development are also carried out by:

See also Cedefop’s skills forecast ([96]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/skills-forecast) and European skills index ([97]https://skillspanorama.cedefop.europa.eu/en/indicators/european-skills-index)

Designing qualifications

This section describes the shaping of qualifications in the dual VET system (apprenticeship), which is the predominant form of initial VET in Germany (70% workplace training and 30% of participation in full-time school-based VET). Key elements of dual VET are training occupations ([98]Ausbildungsberufe.) and the corresponding regulations. These form the basis for in-company training and are complemented by the respective framework curricula from the school-based part of apprenticeships. They comprise VET standards, occupational characteristics, a two- or three-year training plan and examination regulations. In-company training for young people under 18 is only permitted in recognised training occupations. The Vocational Training Act defines the requirements that these training occupations must meet, ensuring binding quality standards and the protection of minors ([99]BIBB (2017a). Training regulations and how they come about. Bonn: BIBB.
https://www.bibb.de/veroeffentlichungen/en/publication/show/8277
). Since it is a federal government responsibility to decide on these training occupations, they are called ‘State-recognised training occupations’.

Another central feature of the VET system is the close partnership between employers, trade unions and the government. The employers and the unions assume responsibility through their codetermination in shaping VET. Without this codetermination, social partners would be unwilling to take responsibility. This connection forms the basis of a working ‘public-private partnership’ (PPP).

Developing standards

Training regulations are issued for recognised training occupations by the relevant ministry, usually the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy ([100]BMWi), in agreement with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research ([101]BMBF). These form the legal framework and contain minimum standards for the in-company part of initial training for individual occupations ([102]BIBB (2017). Training regulations and how they come about. Bonn: BIBB.
https://www.bibb.de/veroeffentlichungen/en/publication/show/8277
).

The development of new training regulations and framework curricula (or the adaptation of existing ones to meet changing vocational practices) follows a standardised procedure, involving the federal government, State governments, employers, trade unions and vocational education researchers ([103]BIBB (2017). Training regulations and how they come about. Bonn: BIBB.
https://www.bibb.de/veroeffentlichungen/en/publication/show/8277
).

The Vocational Training Act ([104]BBiG) stipulates that training regulations shall specify:

  • the name of the training occupation;
  • the duration of training, which shall not be less than two years and not more than three;
  • the training occupation profile, i.e., what a learner is expected to know, understand and be in a position to do;
  • the framework training curriculum, a guide to structuring the learning process in terms of time and content;
  • the exam requirements.

These key points, also referred to as ‘benchmarks’, form the basis for a proposed revision or development of a new occupation. Once a proposal has been submitted to the relevant ministry, training regulations are drawn up in three steps.

Defining the ‘benchmarks’:

These are set in a meeting (‘an application interview’) at the relevant ministry (in most cases the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy) ([105]Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi).) in which the social partners and the federal and State governments participate;

Elaboration and coordination:

Training regulations for the enterprises and framework curricula for vocational schools are prepared and coordinated. Social partner umbrella associations are asked to designate experts to design the training occupation together with the Federal Institute for VET ([106]Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (BIBB).). The work on the training regulation framework curricula is coordinated with the work on the corresponding framework curricula for vocational schools drawn up by State representatives to ensure they complement each other ([107]BIBB (2017). Training regulations and how they come about. Bonn: BIBB.
https://www.bibb.de/veroeffentlichungen/en/publication/show/8277
);

Adoption of the regulation:

The relevant Federal/State coordinating committee ([108]Der “Bund-Länder-Koordinierungsausschuss Ausbildungsordnungen/Rahmenlehrpläne” (KoA).) approves the new training regulation and the school framework curriculum. The committee comprises representatives from the State ministries responsible for VET, the education ministry and the ministries responsible for the respective training regulations, usually the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy ([109]BIBB (2017). Training regulations and how they come about. Bonn: BIBB.
https://www.bibb.de/veroeffentlichungen/en/publication/show/8277
). The training regulations generally offer enough flexibility to adapt to new technologies and to meet changing demands on training companies, because they are formulated in a broad sense, also with regard to digitalisation.

Between 2008 and 2017, new regulations were drafted for 126 training occupations; 114 of these were updates, 12 were newly introduced ([110]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018 [Data report oft he vocational education andn training report 2018]. Bonn: BIBB, p. 76.
https://www.bibb.de/datenreport/
).

Shared responsibilities

Cooperation based on mutual trust is essential between government and social partners. Employers and trade unions jointly formulate the requirements for the occupational standards. All cooperation related to VET is based on consensus; no regulations concerning initial or further VET may be issued against the declared will of either of the social partners. As a rule, the initiative to update the content or structure of a training occupation, or to develop an entirely new occupation, comes from industry associations: from top-level employer organisations, from trade unions or the Federal Institute for VET. After hearing the views of all parties involved, the responsible Federal ministry decides whether to proceed in consultation with the State governments, since they are responsible for the school regulations and curricula (school-based part of apprenticeships). In many cases, the Federal Institute for VET issues an opinion or, particularly when larger scale revisions are being considered, conducts research before the ministry takes its decision. The Federal Institute for VET provides the platform for this process and also coordinates and moderates it.

The competent federal ministry ([111]Usually the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs (BMWi).) commissions the Federal Institute for VET to draw up the new training regulation involving the social partners and the State governments. The Federal and State governments have agreed to limit the duration of the development process to around a year. The date when the new regulation is supposed to enter into force is normally set in the meeting that starts the process (‘application interview’). Development of the training regulation content and the design of the corresponding framework curriculum for the school-based part of the programme occur in parallel. The latter is the task of the States, with one of them taking the lead. The content development phase is followed by a joint meeting between the federal and State governments. This meeting ensures correlation between the two curricula. The agreed draft training regulation is subsequently submitted to the board of the Federal Institute for VET, which then formally recommends the federal government to enact the training regulation ([112]This section is based on: Hippach-Schneider, U.; Huismann, A. (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Germany. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/ReferNet_Germany_VET_in_Europe_2018.pdf).

 

Procedure for updating of training regulations

Source: Author’s illustration following Barbara Lorig et al. in: bwp, No 20, June 2011. http://www.bwpat.de/ausgabe20/lorig_etal_bwpat20.pdf [accessed: 19.9.2018].

 

Three overarching principles are significant for understanding quality assurance in VET. These are the dual principle, the occupation principle ([113]Berufsprinzip.), and the principle of consensus:

  • the dual principle combines learning in the work process with learning at a vocational school, and at the same time facilitates the acquisition of occupational experience;
  • the occupation principle is based on certification, which is binding and recognised across the country. It affords the opportunity to exercise a multitude of occupational activities;
  • the principle of consensus guarantees proximity to the labour market as well as transparency and acceptance of training occupations via the involvement of the social partners, the Federal Government and the federal States in the development of national training standards.

Laws, ordinances and recommendations stipulate nationally-binding minimum standards for company-based training ([114]BIBB (2017). Quality assurance of company-based training in the dual system in Germany: an overview for practitioners and VET experts.
https://www.bibb.de/veroeffentlichungen/en/publication/show/8548, p. 7.
).

Important instruments of quality assurance in VET are highlighted below:

  • national standards based on the VET law,
  • monitoring of initial and continuing VET learning, and
  • the referencing of the German qualification framework (DQR) to the EQF, allowing more transparency and comparability of qualifications within the EU.

VET law as basis for quality assurance

The VET Act ([115]Berufsbildungsgesetz (BBiG):
https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bbig_2005/
) and the Crafts Code ([116]Handwerksordnung (HWO):
https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/hwo/BJNR014110953.html
) describe the required standards for training facilities and trainers, training regulations and examinations. Training regulations are revised every few years to keep pace with rapid technological and organisational change ([117]In the period from 2007 to 2017, 135 occupations (more than a third of all 327 recognised occupations) were modernised, while 16 occupations have been created.).The framework curriculum required for the school section of dual education and training is regularly revised by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs ([118]Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK).). Compliance with quality assurance requirements by initial VET providers is monitored by the local school authorities. Quality assurance approaches are based on quality frameworks, education standards, centralised exams, monitoring and benchmarking exercises and school inspection. In some cases, for example Baden-Württemberg Landesinstitut für Schulentwicklung, specialised agencies for quality development are in charge of supervising the vocational schools.

As company-based VET is a core part of the German dual system, employers are important stakeholders in quality assurance in initial VET ([119]Quality assurance of company-based training in the dual system in Germany. Bonn: BIBB.). The Federal Association of German Employer Associations (BDA) has a key role in VET policy, including developing training regulations and setting minimum standards for company-based initial VET. The local chambers of industry and commerce and chambers of crafts and trades usually monitor regulations on training facilities and trainers.

Monitoring and data for evidence-based VET policy

The education ministry publishes an annual report on VET, providing a wealth of information and analysis on various aspects of its development. It is accompanied by the Federal Institute for VET data report which brings together data from different sources (own data, data from federal statistical office, statistical offices of the States, federal labour agency, Institute for Employment Research) on training entrants and on the outcomes of training (such as share of employed learners, occupation obtained after training). The report sets the basis for policy decisions on VET, including programme funding. Several other projects also inform VET provision:

  • the federal employment office and the Federal Institute for VET conduct regular surveys with school leavers and job applicants in order to research transitions to VET;
  • the Federal Institute for VET carries out a Transition Study ([120]Last BIBB transition study in 2011:
    https://www.bibb.de/de/9039.php
    );
  • every two years, the national education report analyses developments of the education system, including VET;
  • the German education panel study (NEPS) investigates education returns, competence development during lifelong learning, and transitions from VET to the labour market.

Quality assurance in continuous VET

Quality assurance is mandatory for continuous VET providers receiving public funding. Accreditation of continuous VET providers and programmes is done by private certification bodies according to criteria set out in the ordinance regulating accreditation and certification in continuing training. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funds regular checks of continuous VET providers through an independent foundation ([121]https://www.test.de/thema/weiterbildungsberatung/) and has prepared a quality checklist ([122]https://www.bibb.de/veroeffentlichungen/en/publication/show/8596) to help find a continuous VET offer and provider of good quality. The Federal Institute for VET, together with the German Institute for Adult Education ([123]Deutsches Institut für Erwachsenenbildung (DIE).), operates the online platform wbmonitor ([124]https://wbmonitor.bibb.de) which is dedicated to supporting continuous VET in Germany. It conducts a yearly survey of public and private continuous VET providers and monitored developments in the labour market ([125]This section is based on: Hippach-Schneider, U.; Huismann, A. (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Germany. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/ReferNet_Germany_VET_in_Europe_2018.pdf).

Validation of non-formal learning: external candidate final exams

The most important tool for assessing non-formal learning outcomes is admission to final vocational examinations under Section 45 (2) of the Vocational Training Act (BBiG), known as the Externen-Prüfung (examination for external candidates, i.e., those not involved in a formal vocational training programme). Under this provision, people can be admitted to a final examination for a recognised occupation requiring formal training (training occupation) if they provide evidence that they have been employed in the relevant occupation for a period that is equal to or longer than one and a half times the initial training.

Credit can be obtained for a higher level of general education attainment, such as the entrance qualification for specialised upper secondary school ([126]Fachoberschulreife.), which shortens the period of employment for which evidence must be produced. A previous relevant initial VET programme in a different training occupation can also be credited towards the required periods of employment.

In 2016, 5.9% of all final examinations for a recognised occupation were external examinations, almost identical with the previous year. There is, however, considerable variation in the proportions of external examinations between individual fields. Housekeeping is the area where external examinations are most significant for acquiring a vocational qualification, with just below 45.1% of candidates in the reporting year taking external examinations. In contrast, external examinations are virtually irrelevant for craft trades and liberal occupations, at 1.2% and 1.3%. Between these two extremes, other figures include 4% in the public sector, 7.4% in trade and industry and 11.9% in agriculture (BIBB 2018, p 164).

Project to set up a validation system

The ValiKom project ([127]http://www.bildungsspiegel.de/news/weiterbildung-bildungspolitik/17-valikom-chancen-fuer-menschen-ohne-berufsabschluss;
www.validierungsverfahren.de;
), agreed between the education ministry and the national organisations of German chambers (DIHK and ZDH), has been operational since 2015. ValiKom is considered as the reference project to set up a validation system in Germany. It addresses adults who acquired skills and competences through work but lack a formal qualification, including those who wish to access further training. The approach refers to the prevailing training regulations and occupational profiles, and leads to certificates ([128]Gleichwertigkeitsfeststellung.) expressing the extent to which the skills demonstrated are equivalent to those normally gained under the Vocational Training Act. The participating chambers of industry, commerce and trade started piloting in April 2017; interim results were presented to a broad public at a conference in Berlin in December 2017 ([129]https://www.valikom.de/fachtagung/content/impressionen/). The result of this reference project in developing a validation system will be a handbook with process description, admission criteria, instruments, certificate of validation and recommendations.

Assessment and recognition of foreign vocational qualifications

The Vocational Qualifications Recognition Act (BQFG), introduced in April 2012, provides individuals with the right to have their foreign-acquired qualifications matched to a German qualification by an appropriate authority. Depending on the sector, assessment and recognition of foreign occupational qualifications is carried out by IHK Fosa ([130]www.ihk-fosa.de) or lead chambers (Leitkammern). The implementation of the Recognition Act is monitored and documented in a yearly report ([131]https://www.bibb.de/en/68882.php). In June 2017, the report evaluated the first five years of implementing the Act.

Information and guidance are essential to success in the recognition process. The federal government has established a range of comprehensive services, such as the Recognition in Germany website ([132]https://www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de/html/de/), the counselling network of the Integration through qualification (IQ) programme and the Working and living in Germany telephone hotline, a project run jointly by the Federal Employment Agency and the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees ([133]Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF).).Where documentation of the acquired qualification is missing or incomplete, a skills analysis ([134]https://www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de/html/en/skillsanalysis.php) can help to demonstrate professional competences in a practical way (via a work sample, a work test at a company or an interview). A project of the education ministry and the association of German chambers of commerce and industry, which started at the end of 2015, offers recognition consultants to provide personal consultancy for people interested in having their qualifications recognised while still in their countries of origin (ProRecognition). The funding and residency options available for upskilling training where a foreign qualification has not been judged fully equivalent to a German qualification were substantially expanded in 2015.

The federal government’s law on assessing professional qualifications has proven an effective instrument in helping people with qualifications acquired outside Germany to integrate into the labour market and in securing a supply of skilled workers. Between 2012 and 2017, 111 500 applications for recognition were made in professions governed by federal law alone. Almost two thirds of these qualifications acquired abroad (67 500) were certified as being fully equivalent to the relevant German reference qualifications. Most of the qualifications recognised were in the regulated professions, especially in healthcare (nurse, doctor) ([135]https://www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de/html/de/daten_und_berichte.php) ([136]This section is based on: Hippach-Schneider, U.; Huismann, A. (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Germany. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/ReferNet_Germany_VET_in_Europe_2018.pdf).

In Germany various incentives are offered to learners, which differ for IVET and CVET learners:

Apprentice remuneration

According to the Vocational Training Act, the training company shall pay apprentices an appropriate allowance. The amount and payment procedure are specified in the training contract. Training allowances are based on collective wage agreements.

Average apprentice remuneration across Germany for 2017 was EUR 876 gross per month (increasing from the first year of training at EUR 794 to the fourth year at EUR 995). There are significant differences in the level of remuneration between the training sectors and occupations. In 2017, the highest monthly allowances were for the skilled craft occupation of brick layer (EUR 1 095) followed by the mechatronics technician (EUR 1 043 per month). At the other end, the lowest monthly remuneration was for the apprentices as chimney sweep (EUR 518) followed by florist and baker (EUR 617 and EUR 637).

Basic vocational training grant ([137]Berufsausbildungsbeihilfe BAB: Standard funding support under p. 56 ff. of the German Social Code (SGB III and BAföG). Actual expenditures 2017: EUR 304.7 million.
https://dejure.org/gesetze/SGB_III/58.html
www.bafoeg.bmbf.de
https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/bildung/ausbildung/berufsausbildungsbeihilfe-babhttps://www.arbeitsagentur.de/web/content/DE/BuergerinnenUndBuerger/Ausb...
http://www.bafoeg-aktuell.de/karriere/berufsausbildungsbeihilfe.html
)

Financial support is offered during IVET and prevocational training organised by the federal employment agency to help apprentices overcome the economic difficulties that can stand in the way of appropriate vocational qualification. The overall monthly needs of the apprentice not living with his or her parents are estimated and the amount which cannot be covered by own/parents’ income is subsidised. In 2017, 88 000 persons undergoing vocational training and 23 000 participating in pre-vocational training measures received funding and support through such a grant (from 1 August 2016 the maximum is EUR 622 per month) ([138]BMBF (2018). Berufsbildungsbericht 2018. Bonn:, p. 119). There are also vocational training grants specifically adapted to the needs of learners with disabilities ([139]https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/en/training-allowance-disabled-persons).

Support during training ([140]Ausbildungsbegleitende Hilfen abH - Standard funding support for dual apprenticeship and introductory training as defined in the German Social Code. (SGB III, 74 to 80).
https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/bildung/ausbildung/ausbildungsbegleitende-hilfen
)

This support is targeted at all young people who need help to start and complete vocational training. Enrolment is voluntary. Mentors help apprentices to improve German language and other academic skills through special classes during at least three hours a week. The law establishing this measure came into force in May 2015 and in 2017, 36 000 young people were beneficiaries ([141]Actual expenditures 2017: EUR 97.1 million (BMBF, 2018 p 121).). This represents a share of 2.7% of all apprentices in 2017. It helps apprentices to avoid dropping out of training, to stabilise training relationships and to complete vocational training. Six months after completing a measure, 81% of participants were in jobs subject to social insurance contributions.

Pre-VET measures ([142]Berufsvorbereitende Bildungsmaßnahmen – BvB (SGB III, 51).
www.arbeitsgentur.de
)

Prevocational education and training measures as defined in the German Social Code (SGB III) prepare young people who need extra support for vocational training or, if they cannot yet start training for inherent personal reasons, to enter employment in the mainstream labour market.

Pre-VET measures give participants opportunities to assess their skills and abilities as part of the process of choosing a possible occupation, e.g. through internships. The measures also provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to start initial vocational training. They can support them in their preparation to acquire a secondary general school-leaving certificate or equivalent school leaving qualification; if this is not or not yet possible, it helps place participants in employment and sustainably integrate into the training and/or labour market.

Around 63 000 young people (about 5% of apprentices) in need of extra support participated in a prevocational training measure in 2017 ([143]Actual spending for 2017: EUR 215.3 million. (BMBF (2018). Berufsbildungsbericht 2018 [Vocational education and training 2018]. Bonn: BMBF, p. 117.
https://www.bmbf.de/upload_filestore/pub/Berufsbildungsbericht_2018.pdf
).

Introductory training for young people ([144]Einstiegsqualifizierung – EQ (SGB III, 54a) https://
www.arbeitsagentur.de
)

The primary goal of introductory training is to give young people (although there is no actual age limit) with limited prospects of being placed in training an opportunity to acquire modular qualifications towards a recognised occupation. Introductory training also offers companies providing training an opportunity to get to know young people, not just in a brief job application interview, but to observe their skills and abilities over a period of six to twelve months in daily work processes.

Companies which offer introductory training enter into a contract with the young people concerned. Employers receive a subsidy of up to EUR 231 per month to remunerate apprentices, plus a flat-rate contribution towards the average total social security amount payable. On completion of the work placement, participants receive a certificate issued by the competent body (e.g. chamber of industry and commerce, chamber of skilled crafts). In certain circumstances, up to six months’ credit for the work placement can be offset against the qualifying period of a subsequent apprenticeship. 69% of those completing introductory training transfer into training six months after completing the introductory training measure. In 2017, around 24 000 young people began introductory training ([145]Actual spending 2017: € 50 million (BMBF (2018). Berufsbildungsbericht 2018 [Vocational education and training report 2018], Bonn: BMBF, p.118.
https://www.bmbf.de/upload_filestore/pub/Berufsbildungsbericht_2018.pdf
).

Training placements

Training placements are offered to all young people through employment agencies and jobcentres. The agencies also offer employers specific consultancy services and approach them to enquire about training places. In the 2016/17 reporting year, 549 785 training places and 547 824 training place applicants were registered with the federal employment agency ([146]BMBF (2018). Berufsbildungsbericht 2018.[Vocational education and training report 2018]. Bonn: BMBF, p. 118.).

Special measures for integrating refugees into IVET

Integrating young people with migration background and refugees in the education and VET system and in the labour market is a priority. Keys to integration are learning the host language, validation of formal and non-formal and informally acquired skills, provision of vocational orientation and access to pre-VET and VET programmes, apprenticeships, upskilling measures and employment. Following the arrival of about one million refugees at the end of 2015, existing programmes aiming to integrate disadvantaged groups into the labour market and the VET system opened up with an additional focus on refugees. New programmes were established in 2016, specifically addressing refugees. A synopsis of integration measures for refugees was published by the federal government in December 2016 ([147]https://www.bundesregierung.de/Content/DE/_Anlagen/2017/04/2017-04-25-integrationsmassnahmen.html). Since 2015, a specific ESF-supported programme German for professional purposes ([148]www.bamf.de) was carried out to help people with migration background learn the German language and integrate into society and the world of work. 80 000 people participated in the programme in 2017. A new information hub for German language courses, Handbook Germany ([149]https://handbookgermany.de/en.html), was also set up, funded by the federal office for migration and refugees (BAMF) ([150]BMBF (2018). Berufsbildungsbericht 2018, p. 57-60 and from p. 88.
https://www.bmbf.de/upload_filestore/pub/Berufsbildungsbericht_2018.pdf
).

Since a 2016 amendment to the Social Code, young refugees with tolerated residence status who participate in dual VET are entitled to financial support after 15 months’ stay in Germany instead of the previously required four years. Support is in the form of training loans, pre-vocational training measures, and the so-called assisted training scheme (see above). The Integration Act ([151]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/news-and-press/news/germany-new-act-aid-refugee-integration and
https://www.bundesregierung.de/Content/EN/Artikel/2016/07_en/2016-05-25-integrationsgesetz-beschlossen_en.html;jsessionid=9EF13197E8E4E1732BFC105F9A814042.s1t1
) was adopted in July 2016 and intends to facilitate refugee integration into society through a ‘support and challenge’ approach. Refugees with prospects of staying permanently will take integration courses at an early stage, and have legal certainty while in vocational training: up to three-year right of residence for those in apprenticeship until successful completion of training, followed by two-year right to reside, if the person works in the profession s/he was trained in. Asylum seekers will be granted temporary residence permits once they have submitted their application for asylum, so they have legal certainty and early access to the integration courses and labour market.

Mobility programme for young people interested in vocational training from other European countries ([152]MobiPro-EU: Förderung der beruflichen Mobilität von ausbildungsinteressierten Jugendlichen aus Europa
http://www.thejobofmylife.de/en/home.html
)

A special programme, Funding to promote the professional mobility of young people with an interest in training and unemployed young skilled workers from Europe (MobiPro-EU) develops measures and instruments to promote international mobility for apprentices in the EU. German language tuition, social and vocational training and mentoring, and financial support to enable mobility and to secure living costs help young people interested in apprenticeship and young adults from the EU to complete vocational training in a company in Germany.

Incentives for continuing VET learners

The State promotes participation in continuing VET with various support and funding instruments (grants, subsidies and loans to cover continuing VET and living costs), addressing various target groups. Some of them are regulated by law and others are in the form of programmes.

Upgrading Training Assistance Act (Aufstiegsfortbildungsförderungsgesetz, AFBG, known as Meister-BaföG) ([153]www.aufstiegs-bafög.de and
https://www.bmbf.de/de/aus-meister-bafoeg-wird-modernes-aufstiegs-bafoeg-3170.html
)

This law gives craftspeople and other skilled workers a statutory entitlement to financial assistance to cover costs of further training and living expenses. This financial support, jointly covered by the Federal and State governments, comprises subsidies (or, from a certain amount, bank loans at favourable rates) for a master craftsperson course and exam fees or other programmes leading to a comparable qualification. The AFBG, the equivalent to university student grants (BAföG), was amended in 2016 to improve the funding and support, and expand available funding options to new target groups. It increases VET career attractiveness.

In 2016, the number of funding recipients was approximately 162 000. In 2017, EUR 619 million funding was available for this programme: EUR 323 million in the form of subsidies and EUR 296 million in the form of loans. Since the Meister-BAföG was introduced in 1996, it has made it possible for around two million people to upgrade their vocational skills and achieve promotion by providing approximately EUR 8 billion in funding ([154]BMBF(2018). Berufsbildungsbericht 2018. Bonn: BMBF, p. 125.). AFGB is the most comprehensive continuing VET funding instrument. It is a major pillar and driver of skills upgrading and occupational advancement.

Continuing training grant (Weiterbildungsstipendium) ([155]https://www.bmbf.de/de/das-weiterbildungsstipendium-883.html)

Since 1991, the education ministry ([156]Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF).) has offered particularly gifted young workers a specific continuing VET grant (there is a similar programme in academic education). Grants are awarded to approximately 6 000 new recipients every year and more than 133 000 grants have been provided since the programme started. Funding is provided for the measure itself, for travel and accommodation costs and for costs of work materials. Scholarship recipients may apply for a total of EUR 6 000 for an unlimited amount of continuing training courses eligible for funding within the three-year funding period. They are required to bear 10% of costs themselves per course ([157]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018. Bonn: BIBB, p. 396.
https://www.bibb.de/datenreport/
).

Upgrading scholarship (Aufstiegsstipendium) ([158]https://www.bmbf.de/de/das-aufstiegsstipendium-882.html)

The education ministry’s upgrading scholarship offers incentives to study for skilled workers with professional experience, whether or not they gained a higher education entrance qualification at school. It was established for professionals with at least two years’ work experience and with outstanding talents. When qualified skilled professionals are already working, financial issues often prevent them from starting a course of studies. It is the only academic programme supporting talented students who are combining work and study (over a third of the scholarship holders) or studying full-time for the duration of their course of studies (standard prescribed study period). The funding provided for full-time study is EUR 815 a month (plus a one-off childcare payment) and EUR 2 400 a year offered for those combining work and study ([159]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018. Bonn: BIBB, p. 399.
https://www.bibb.de/datenreport/
). Scholarships are awarded to approximately 1 000 new recipients every year and about 9 900 were provided from 2008 to 2017 ([160]Funding volume in 2017: EUR 24.8 million.).

 

Continuing education bonus (Bildungsprämie) ([161]http://www.bildungspraemie.info/)

To encourage groups of people that tend to have lower rates of participation in company-based continuing vocational training (workers on low incomes, women, employees in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), people working part-time and healthcare professionals), the federal government approved an additional financing scheme in 2008: premium and savings vouchers. The premium voucher reduces training costs by up to 50% of tuition fees (max EUR 500) for job-related training courses or courses that help improve people’s employability. It targets employees and the self-employed who work at least 15 hours a week and have a maximum taxable annual income of EUR 20 000 (or 40 000 for couples; child allowances are taken into account) or are on parental leave. The voucher is valid for six months. People can receive vouchers every two years. This measure is supported by the European Social Fund. The savings voucher provides a right to withdraw money from capital formation saving plans without losing the savings grant. This is open to all people who have such saving plans, regardless of their income. Since the programme started in 2008, around 320 000 premium vouchers have been issued and 28 000 individual continuing VET savings plans established.

Continuing VET for the unemployed

One important national strategy is the prevention of unemployment through nation-wide standard (under the German Social Code, SGB III) upskilling programmes, specifically addressing those at risk of long-term unemployment: the low-skilled and the unemployed ([162]Huismann, A. (2018). Guidance and outreach for inactive and unemployed – Germany. Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspectives series.http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2018/guidance_outreach_Germany_Cedefop_ReferNet.pdf). The federal government implements active labour market policy (ALMP) measures addressing long-term unemployment.

To be eligible for a continuing VET voucher, participation must be considered necessary to enable occupational integration, to avert pending unemployment or because the candidate does not have a vocational qualification. When identifying the need for continuing VET measures, the employment agency or the authority providing basic income support for jobseekers must always consider labour market conditions. They must decide, among others, whether the candidate could find employment without continuing VET; whether other labour market policy instruments could be more appropriate; and whether the candidate could, in all likelihood, return to the labour market as a result of the training.

Persons meeting the general eligibility criteria are granted an education and training voucher (Bildungsgutschein) by the employment agency or the authority providing jobseeker support. This voucher contains data on the education objective, the time required to reach this objective and information as to where the voucher applies in the region. The holder can redeem it at any education institution of their choice which is accredited for funding under the conditions specified in the education voucher. The continuing VET activity must also be approved for funding and support. The education institution then charges the employment agency for the course costs on the basis of the education voucher. Information on approved continuing VET measures and providers can also be found in the database of the federal employment agency ([163]KURSNET:
http://kursnet-finden.arbeitsagentur.de/kurs/
).

By issuing an education and training voucher, the reimbursement of some or all of the following continuing VET expenses is confirmed: course costs, travel expenses, costs for external board and lodging, and childcare expenses. Candidates are also entitled to receive unemployment benefit for the duration of the continuing VET programme if specific requirements are met. Regulations related to unemployment benefits remain unchanged for the duration of the continuing VET programme.

The 2016 law to reinforce continuing VET and unemployment insurance coverage (AWStG)

Workers with low-level qualifications, the long-term unemployed and older employees in particular must be increasingly recruited into vocational further training. Qualifying further vocational training should also strengthen participants’ motivation, resilience and basic skills and reduce the rate at which people drop out of continuing training. To achieve these goals, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) expanded support and funding for further vocational training through a law to strengthen continuing VET and unemployment insurance coverage (AWStG) ([164]http://www.portal-sozialpolitik.de/recht/gesetzgebung/gesetzgebung-18-wahlperiode/staerkung-berufliche-weiterbildung-und-versicherungsschutz); this came into force in 2016. The law improves access and the overall conditions of continuing VET (such as allowances during training and financial incentives for passing exams) in order to attract more people with few or low-level qualifications, the long-term unemployed and older employees into qualifying continuing vocational training. This new law complements and reinforces standard continuing VET support instruments under the German Social Code, as in the following examples.

The FbW programme ([165]www.arbeitsagentur.de) promoting continuing VET

This is available both to the unemployed and employees under threat of imminent unemployment, as well as to workers with low levels of qualifications and employees in SMEs. Eligibility for funding also depends on labour market conditions, as with the education and training voucher. Eligible continuing VET courses aiming to obtain, update or upgrade a vocational (also partial) qualification are listed in the KURSNET ([166]http://kursnet-finden.arbeitsagentur.de/kurs/) database of the federal employment agency.

The IFlaS initiative for responding to structural changes ([167]www.arbeitsagentur.de)

Based on the German Social Code, this gives people with low-level qualifications living in structurally weak areas the opportunity to acquire a recognised vocational qualification or complete modular (partial) qualifications. Target groups are the unemployed and people at risk of becoming unemployed. Since 2012 the initiative is also helping those returning to work who have no VET qualifications (or have not worked in the occupation they trained for over four years) to get back into jobs subject to social insurance contributions.

The WeGebAU programme ([168]CVET for low-qualified and older employees in SMEs:
https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/unternehmen/foerderung-weiterbildung
)

Employment agencies can provide full or partial funding for qualification courses for employees aged over 45 working in SMEs with fewer than 250 employees. Since April 2012, such employees can also receive funding for continuing VET, regardless of their current qualification level, on the additional provision that their employer meets at least 50% of the course costs. Employees who have no or no useful vocational qualifications can also receive funding. Employers who release employees with low-level qualifications to take part in continuing VET to gain qualifications can receive a subsidy to cover the employee’s pay for the period they spend in training. The changed prerequisites for funding resulted in a significant increase in participation rates. WeGebAU has also been increasingly used to help employed geriatric nursing assistants upgrade their qualifications ([169]This section is based on: Hippach-Schneider, U.; Huismann, A. (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Germany. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/ReferNet_Germany_VET_in_Europe_2018.pdf).

For many German companies, it is a tradition and a matter of course to provide and to carry most of the costs for apprenticeship. However, the readiness to provide apprenticeship has been declining in the last decade (in 2007, 24.1% of companies against 19.8% in 2016), especially among the smallest companies (1 to 9 employees) who face increasing difficulties in filling the apprenticeship places they offer. This shows that companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), need support, which is provided in various forms, as described below ([170]For further information on this, please consult: Hippach-Schneider, U.; Huismann, A. (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Germany. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.
http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/ReferNet_Germany_VET_in_Europe_2018.pdf
):

Inter-company vocational training centres and training structures

SMEs, in particular crafts companies, are important training suppliers, but are unable, or not fully able, to provide all the facets of training required by regulations. This is primarily due to the increasing division of labour in production processes, increasing specialisation and, in some cases, financial problems or accelerated technological change. The limited suitability of such enterprises as training providers is compensated for by supplementary external training measures in inter-company vocational training centres or through training structures. Inter-company training centres also have an essential position in further and continuing training in SMEs, especially in the commercial and technical sectors. Such training centres also exist in the skilled trade sector ([171]www.bmwi.de/Redaktion/DE/Text-sammlungen/Mittelstand/hand-werk.html?cms_artId=243216). Funding is offered for the modernising and restructuring of inter-company training centres to adapt them to changing education and training policy and economic conditions, as well as the challenge of digitalisation.

Support for SMEs:

  • Training placement

The employment agencies offer employers specific consultancy services and approach SMEs to enquire about training places. Employers are free to register any training places they are offering. In the 2016/17 reporting year, 549 785 training places and 547 824 training place applicants were registered with the federal employment agency ([172]BMBF (2018). Berufsbildungsbericht 2018. Bonn: BMBF, p. 118.
https://www.bmbf.de/upload_filestore/pub/Berufsbildungsbericht_2018.pdf
).

  • Alliance training guarantee

As of 2016, a process to help find training places / apprentices has been put in place: every young person who is still looking for an apprenticeship on 30 September of a given year will receive three offers of company-based training from an employment agency.

  • Jobstarter plus

The federal ministry of education funds and supports projects in the national JOBSTARTER plus programme ([173]BMBF (2018). Berufsbildungsbericht 2018. Bonn: BMBF, p. 93.) with part-finances from the European Social Fund (ESF) to improve regional training structures and trial innovative training policy approaches to solving training market problems. The programme is designed to respond flexibly and actively to current training market developments with a range of variable funding priorities:

  • advise and support SMEs in the process of (re-) starting participation in dual training and increasing their commitment to training;
  • counteract matching problems and the difficulties that companies have in filling training places in certain industries;
  • advising and supporting SMEs in the process of adapting their training to the challenges posed by the increasing automation and digitalisation of the economy.

The Passgenaue Besetzung programme ([175]BMBF(2018). Berufsbildungsbericht 2018. Bonn: BMBF, p. 122.), financed jointly by the ESF and federal ministry for economic affairs ([176]Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie, BMWi.), works to counteract matching problems in the training market. The programme provides funding for consultants who support SMEs in filling the training places they offer with suitable local and foreign young people and young refugees and migrants. Since the programme began in 2007, Passgenaue Besetzung has successfully placed around 80 000 young people in training and 9 500 in introductory training.

The federal employment agency (BA) supports personnel development measures in SMEs as part of its preventative approach to securing a supply of skilled workers. It informs and advises employers and identifies the possibilities for further developing the potential in companies through company-based qualification measures. This consultancy makes employers aware of the advantages of more frequently including groups of employees who are often not considered for participation in measures (e.g. those without formal qualifications and older employees) in further training measures. By offering consultancy on qualification and support for personnel development to employers, the federal employment agency is helping companies to fill training and employment vacancies from within their own ranks ([178]BMBF (2018). Berufsbildungsbericht 2018. Bonn: BMBF, p. 124.).

  • Support measures to help integrate refugees in dual VET and work

The following support measures, helping to integrate refugees in apprenticeship, address especially SMEs and skilled trade companies:

  • the network Companies integrate refugees funded by the federal ministry for economic affairs ([179]Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi).) and the umbrella organisation of the chambers of industry and commerce (DIHK) is aimed at companies that are involved, or want to get involved, with refugees. The aim is to bring refugees to training and employment. The network offers its more than 1 650 member companies (three quarters of which are SMEs) the opportunity to exchange experiences and practical information on the employment of refugees;
  • the chambers' Welcome guides (Willkommenslotsen) are available to companies on all issues relating to the operational integration of refugees. Since the start of the programme in March 2016, the Welcome guides have achieved around 11 500 placements of refugees in employment, training or internship ([180]BMBF (2018). Berufsbildungsbericht 2018. Bonn: BMBF, p.94.);
  • by means of a matching process, the online internship platform JOIN ([181]http://www.join-now.org/) offers opportunities for companies and refugees to find and get to know each other through internship placements. The aim is to speed up integration into the labour market and to remove obstacles to employment. This joint initiative of the federal ministry of the interior and business looks to offer refugees the possibility of employment in a timely manner and to provide a first proof of their qualifications, even before they receive a residence permit and a work permit ([182]This section is based on: Hippach-Schneider, U.; Huismann, A. (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Germany. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.
    http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/ReferNet_Germany_VET_in_Europe_2018.pdf
    ).

Guidance and counselling provision is embedded in Germany’s overall employment strategy as well as in its education sector and lifelong learning strategy. Labour market policy has a long tradition of guidance and counselling; however, lifelong learning and lifelong and life-wide guidance and counselling have only recently become high-level topics on the political agenda. Due to the country’s constitution and its federal structure with split responsibilities between the Federal Government, sixteen State governments and local municipalities, and between education, labour and youth ministries, guidance policy and provision is also split between these sectors. Although there are several institutional links and cooperation agreements between labour market and education policy, there is so far no coherent cross-sectoral national lifelong guidance strategy.

Since the 1920s, vocational guidance and counselling for youth and adults has been a legal obligation of the federal employment agency (BA) and its local employment agencies. Until 1998, the BA had a State monopoly on vocational guidance and counselling for young people moving from school to work. The BA also offers guidance and counselling services for adults, although there are multiple providers in this area, including further training institutions, some municipalities, non-profit organisations and private career counselling practitioners. Since the abolishment of the State monopoly, the private and semi-private market has grown considerably. This is partly due to limited regulations, such as concerning finances and providers’ facilities (SGB III, § 289), with no stipulated qualification requirements for staff or quality standards. Nevertheless, the BA is still the largest and most important guidance and counselling service provider. This includes services for long-term unemployed from jobcentres under the social code (SGB II) ([183]Huismann, A. (2018). Guidance and outreach for inactive and unemployed – Germany. Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspectives series, pp. 13-16.
http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2018/guidance_outreach_Germany_Cedefop_ReferNet.pdf
).

Guidance and counselling in the education sector mainly focuses on vocational education, advice on educational career paths or individual learning difficulties. Services vary between States and schools. Following a formal agreement between the standing conference of ministers for education and cultural affairs of the States (KMK) and the BA, school career education and the local employment agencies’ vocational guidance services cooperate closely (KMK/BA 2004/17) ([184]https://www.kmk.org/aktuelles/thema-berufliche-bildung.html):

(a) vocational education is an established element in general education curricula. It is embedded in different school subjects such as work-studies (Arbeitslehre), economics and social studies, home economics, engineering, and polytechnic education. Vocational education in class is normally supported by a career counsellor from the local employment agency and supplemented in years 8, 9 or 10 by visits to the vocational information centre, to enterprises and by compulsory one- to three-week work placements in enterprises;

(b) State governments have launched special programmes (for example, Kein Abschluss ohne Anschluss) ([185]https://www.mags.nrw/uebergang-schule-beruf-startseite) and provide funding for additional efforts to improve learners’ career development and career management skills (DJI/Inbas 2010 ([186]https://www.dji.de/fileadmin/user_upload/bibs/9_11672_berufsorientierung.pdf). Additional funding from the federal government and/or from the BA as well as from private enterprises, foundations or employer associations enables schools to carry out multiple guidance activities;

(c) practice-oriented, systematic vocational guidance is being provided at inter-company vocational training centres and similar vocational training facilities as part of a specific career guidance programme (Berufsorientierungsprogramm, BOP) to make the transition from (compulsory) general education to apprenticeships (dual vocational training) easier for learners. The BMBF supports these centres financially to help them fulfil this task. The programme started in 2008 and was established permanently in 2010. These measures give young people the opportunity to spend two weeks at a vocational training facility gaining practical experience in three occupation-specific areas related to their potential. The aim is to achieve a sustainable improvement in school-to-work transition management ([187]http://www.berufsorientierungsprogramm.de/html/de/12.php).

Vocational guidance, work studies and initiatives to ease transition from school to apprenticeships/work have received more attention due to the risk of dropouts, low performers and unemployment. Programmes like the Educational chains initiative (Bildungsketten) (see below) and Career start mentors (Berufseinstiegsbegleiter) ([188]https://www.bmbf.de/pub/Berufseinstiegsbegleitung_die_Moeglichmacher.pdf) provide individual coaching and support for learners at risk. Regional transition management (Regionales Übergangsmanagement) ([189]https://www.ueberaus.de/wws/dossier-uebergangsmanagement.php) focuses on placing less able school leavers into apprenticeships to match demand from enterprises and provide suitable training opportunities for all school leavers.

Young refugees are specifically addressed by such measures ([190]https://www.berufsorientierungsprogramm.de/angebote-fuer-fluechtlinge/de/english-1993.html) as well as disadvantaged young people who are not or no longer reached by regular services (new section in Social Code: 16h SGB II) ([191]https://www.bmas.de/DE/Themen/Arbeitsmarkt/Modellprogramme/respekt-pilotprogramm.html).

Educational chains leading to vocational qualifications initiative (Abschluss und Anschluss - Bildungsketten bis zum Ausbildungsabschluss) ([192]https://www.bildungsketten.de/ and
https://www.berufsorientierungsprogramm.de/
)

This initiative aims to secure young people’s success in education and training and to develop a structured and consistent funding and support policy of the Federal government (BMBF, BMAS), the federal employment agency (BA) and federal States for a vocational orientation and transition system. It focuses on analysing the potential of young people at an early stage (from grade 7), action-oriented career orientation options such as the vocational guidance programme Discover your talent (BOP), vocational orientation measures as defined in the German Social Code (SGB), individual career start coaching, mentoring through training by volunteers, introductory training, support for apprentices during training and assisted training. To extend the range of the Educational chains initiative, the BMBF started facilitating agreements between the BA and Federal and State governments in 2014. This close and binding cooperation clarifies funding structures for vocational guidance and the transition from school into work ([193]BMBF (2018). Berufsbildungsbericht 2018. Bonn: BMBF, p. 90.
https://www.bmbf.de/upload_filestore/pub/Berufsbildungsbericht_2018.pdf
).

The website www.klischee-frei.de provides information and supports young people with their career choice, with a brief to disregard gender clichés.

In addition to regular student counselling services, universities have increasingly established career services to ease the transition from academic education to the labour market. In 2014 the BMBF started an initiative to attract university dropouts (dropout rate of 29% in bachelor courses) into vocational training ([194]https://www.studienabbruch-und-dann.de/).

Some large municipalities began to establish education guidance services in the 1980s to ensure independent and high quality service delivery for citizens aiming to take up further education (Kommunale Bildungsberatung). Due to financial constraints, many of them had to close down, and by the end of the 20th century there was a lack of independent guidance provision, especially for adults and employed persons. In order to implement and support the lifelong learning strategy, the BMBF launched a Learning regions network in 2001. With ministerial funding, local and regional networks were established to initiate regional lifelong learning and employment strategies, including guidance and counselling provision. Training providers, employment agencies, chambers of commerce, enterprises, local schools and municipalities, trade unions, as well as other local actors and stakeholders participated in these networks. In most cases, guidance services formed an integral part.

The follow-up programme, Local learning (Lernen vor Ort), was designed to support municipalities in their efforts to establish efficient education management systems. This included educational monitoring and guidance. The programme helped establish or maintain many municipal career guidance services.‘Transferinitiative Kommunales Bildungsmanagement ([195]https://www.transferinitiative.de/) is a structural funding programme that builds on the results of the BMBF’s Local learning funding programme. The programme’s fundamental idea is to optimise local government coordination of education and training.

In addition to these comprehensive guidance services, there are numerous specific services addressing, for example, women entering or re-entering the labour market, people with disabilities, people with migrant backgrounds ([196]https://www.jobstarter.de/de/kausa-21.php), and disadvantaged youths and refugees. Some services are provided by non-profit organisations, funded either by federal or State ministries or by public employment services. Some of them work only on a temporary financial basis and are not always well connected to other mainstream guidance services.

Examples of online information and guidance tools include Arbeitsagentur.de and BERUFENET, studienwahl.de, Bildungsserver, KURSNET, InfoWebWeiterbildung iwwb.de, Berufsorientierungsprogramm.de, Studienabbruch-und-dann.de, and Klischee-frei.de. The BMBF offers a telephone information and guidance service supporting individuals who are considering their further education options ([197]https://www.der-weiterbildungsratgeber.de/) ([198]BMBF (2018). Berufsbildungsbericht 2018. Bonn: BMBF, p. 126.
https://www.bmbf.de/upload_filestore/pub/Berufsbildungsbericht_2018.pdf
).

Please see:

Vocational education and training system chart

Tertiary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 5-7

Management and expert

qualifications and exams;

Master craftsperson specialist

qualifications and exams;

ISCED 554, 655

Certified advisor

qualifications and exams

ISCED 554

Advanced vocational qualifications at three levels: - EQF level 5: certified advisor (Fachberater), - EQF 6: master craftsperson, specialist (Fachwirte und -meister) and - EQF 7: management and experts (geprüfter Betriebswirt). Four ‘vertical’ paths lead across the three levels mentioned: commercial path, technical path, vocational pedagogical path, IT and media path.
EQF level
5-7
ISCED-P 2011 level

554, 655

Data about these programmes are not fully recorded in the ISCED-97 statistics for two reasons. First, the examinations do not generally require a participation in a preparatory course. Second, even if a huge number of examinees were to participate in preparatory classes, these courses offered by the chambers are not seen as part of the education system. There is political pressure to remedy this lack of transparency in international statistics and to include all programmes that meet the ISCED-2011 level definition in the near future.

Usual entry grade

Varies

Usual completion grade

Varies

Usual entry age

Varies

Usual completion age

Varies

Length of a programme (years)

Varies: depends on preparation classes

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

N

Is it continuing VET?

It is advanced VET.

Is it offered free of charge?

N

Exams fees and fees for preparation classes provided by the Chambers for example.

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

These advanced vocational qualifications do not contain a curriculum; however, they do define and describe examinations. The candidates can prepare themselves while continuing to work. Most candidates attend preparatory courses. These courses may be full-time, part-time or distance learning.

Main providers

Exams: Assessment/certification by the chambers;

Preparatory courses: provided by the chambers.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

The candidates can prepare themselves while continuing to work. Most candidates attend preparatory courses (full time or part time after work), which mostly do not include any work-based learning. However, professional practice is required to access each new level of qualifications.

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)

The candidates can prepare themselves while continuing to work. Most candidates attend preparatory courses (full time or part time after work), which mostly do not include any work-based learning. However, professional practice is required to access each new level of qualifications.

Main target groups

Programmes are aimed at people who have already completed vocational or professional training and/or have a number of years of professional experience. They are designed to offer further professional development.

Advanced vocational training as a master craftsperson (Meister; at EQF level 6) entitles the holder to practise a craft trade independently, to employ and train apprentices and opens up access to courses at craft academies, universities of applied sciences (UASs, Fachhochschulen) as well as universities.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

The admission requirements to the examination are threefold:

  • IVET qualification,
  • work experience
  • advanced vocational qualification at EQF level 6 to do an advanced vocational qualification at EQF level.
Assessment of learning outcomes

Unlike the training regulations for IVET in the dual system, these federally regulated advanced training regulations do not contain a curriculum; however, they do define and describe examinations. Other features, which must be specified in the advanced training regulations, include (§ 53 para. 2 BBiG, § 42 para. 2 HwO):

  • designation of the advanced qualification,
  • the aim, contents and requirements of the examination,
  • admission requirements and
  • examination procedure.

The assessment and certification is carried out by the Chambers.

Diplomas/certificates provided
  • certified advisor in specific professional areas; technician (EQF 5),
  • master craftsperson, specialist, etc. (EQF 6),
  • management expert; vocational pedagogue, IT-Professional (EQF 7).
Examples of qualifications

EQF 5

Technical consultant, foreign language correspondent, automotive service technician

EQF 6

  • Crafts: e.g. Master painter, baker, hairdresser
  • Commerce and industry: e.g. certified industrial supervisor specializing in footwear manufacturing, certified audio-visual media production specialist, certified financial services consultant, certified commercial specialist for logistics systems.

EQF 7

Certified Business Manager, Certified Technical Business Manager, Certified Professional Educator and Strategic Professionals

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Completion of advanced vocational training at EQF level 6 as a master craftsperson (Meister) and at EQF level 7 opens up access to higher education.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

These advanced vocational qualifications do not contain a curriculum; however, they do define and describe examinations. Validation of prior learning is therefore not relevant for those advanced vocational qualifications.

General education subjects

Varies according to the qualification and corresponding examination

Key competences

Varies according to the qualification and corresponding examination

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Information not available

EQF 6

Technician, specialist etc. programmes

incl. WBL

1.5-4 years

ISCED 655

Technician, specialist etc. programmes in trade and technical schools (Fachschule) leading to EQF level 6 and ISCED 655.
EQF level
6
ISCED-P 2011 level

655

Usual entry grade

Varies

Usual completion grade

Varies

Usual entry age

Varies

Usual completion age

Varies

Length of a programme (years)

1.5 up to 4 years

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

N

Is it continuing VET?

Y

advanced VET

Is it offered free of charge?

Varies

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

Depends on the field of study: mostly school-based learning but also work-based learning required in the fields of curative education care and social pedagogy (one third of the learning).

Main providers

State regulated technical and trade schools

They exist for the following occupational fields: agriculture, design, technology, business and social care.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Depends on the field of study: mostly school-based learning but also work-based learning required in the fields of curative education care and social pedagogy (one third of the learning).

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)

work practice

Main target groups

Programmes are available to graduates from apprenticeship and school-based VET programmes after a certain number of years working in the related profession.

They qualify learners to take on management tasks and encourage them to become self-employed. They can also be used to prepare the master craftsperson examination.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

Entrance requirements vary by subject area: an applicant normally needs a qualification in a recognised training occupation relevant to the chosen subject and relevant work experience of at least one year, or a qualification from a full-time vocational school and relevant work experience of at least five years.

Assessment of learning outcomes

They end with a final state examination under state law.

Diplomas/certificates provided

The programmes end with a final state examination under state law with a state certified qualification.

Examples of qualifications

State vocational qualification (e.g. educator; technician)

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Progression to vocational bachelor programme is possible ([213]KMK resolution of 5.6.1998 in the version currently in force.) and prior education may be recognised affecting the programme duration.

They qualify learners to take on management tasks and encourage them to become self-employed. They can also be used to prepare the master craftsperson examination.

Destination of graduates

They qualify learners to take on management tasks and encourage them to become self-employed. They can also be used to prepare the master craftsperson examination.

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

An applicant normally needs a qualification in a recognised training occupation relevant to the chosen subject and relevant work experience of at least one year, or a qualification from a full-time vocational school and relevant work experience

General education subjects
Key competences

Y

Depends on the field of study

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Information not available

EQF 7

Master programmes

2 years

ICSED 747

Master programme (Master Programm) leading to EQF level 7, ICSED 747
EQF level
7
ISCED-P 2011 level

747

Usual entry grade

17

Usual completion grade

18

Usual entry age

23

Usual completion age

24

Length of a programme (years)

2

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

can be both initial and continuing VET

Is it continuing VET?

Y

can be both initial and continuing VET

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

in most federal states, no general tuition fees during the standard period of study.

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

For a Master programme on average 30 credits each semester have to be achieved. A one-year programme has therefore typically 60 credits, a two-year programme 120 points in line with the European Credit Transfer System ([217]For further information on ECVET read:
https://ec.europa.eu/education/resources-and-tools/the-european-credit-system-for-vocational-education-and-training-ecvet_en
).

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

Dual learning:

  • school-based learning
  • work-based learning
Main providers

Dual programmes (EQF levels 6, 7) are offered by:

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Information not available

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)

• practical training at school

• in-company practice

Initial dual study programmes have the following characteristics:

  • alternation between theory phases in the institution of higher education or academy and practical phases in the training enterprise;
  • a regulation about the practical training;
  • learners have the status as a student-employee (a) or an mostly unpaid-trainee (b), based on a contract with the company;
  • closely interwoven learning activity in the company and acquisition of theoretical knowledge in the higher education institution / academy;
  • close coordination and cooperation between the higher education institution and company.
Main target groups

The continuing VET dual study Master programmes with an employment component are primarily aimed at people who have already completed vocational or professional training and/or have a number of years of professional experience as well as the bachelor diploma.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

To enter the dual study Master programmes, learners must have successfully graduated from a general or vocational Bachelor programme.

Assessment of learning outcomes

The examinations are in general performed as an accompaniment to studies. The study courses are provided with a credit point system (at least 120 ECTS for a Master’s degree). A written dissertation (Master’s thesis) is obligatory. The examinations regulations (Prüfungsordnungen) prescribe the objectives of and subject-matter on the examinations, the required standards and the examining procedures for each study course.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Information not available

Examples of qualifications

The most common combination for initial dual study programmes is a business management programme plus commercial training, as well as an engineering or computer science programme combined with technical training. There is a wide range of possible subject areas, such as insurance, mechatronics, commercial law, health economy, mathematics, biology, architecture, and media informatics.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates holding a Master degree can progress to do a PHD programme and degree.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Information not available

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Information not available

EQF 6

Dual study bachelor programmes leading to EQF level 6 and ISCED level 645

Dual study bachelor programmes (Duales Studium im Bachelor Programm) leading to EQF level 6 and ISCED level 645
EQF level
6
ISCED-P 2011 level

645

Usual entry grade

13-14

Usual completion grade

Varies

Usual entry age

Varies but minimum 17-18

Usual completion age

Varies

Length of a programme (years)

3-4

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Around a quarter of all Fachhochschulen programmes are dual study programmes. They combine two learning venues (i.e., the workplace and the education institution) and are provided in three different forms of programmes: two are regarded as initial studies and one as continuing education.

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Around a quarter of all Fachhochschulen programmes are dual study programmes. They combine two learning venues (i.e., the workplace and the education institution) and are provided in three different forms of programmes: two are regarded as initial studies and one as continuing education.

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

In most federal states, no general tuition fees during the standard period of study.

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Graduate need to proof a minimum of 180 ECTS points ([215]For further information on ECVET read:
https://ec.europa.eu/education/resources-and-tools/the-european-credit-system-for-vocational-education-and-training-ecvet_en
).

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

Dual learning:

  • school-based learning
  • work-based learning
Main providers

Dual programmes (EQF levels 6, 7) are offered by

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Percentage of in-company training varies, but at least 40-50%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)

• practical training at school

• in-company practice

The initial dual study programmes have the following characteristics:

(1) alternation between theory phases in the institution of higher education or academy and practical phases in the training enterprise;

(2) a regulation about the practical training;

(3) learners have the status as a student/employee (a) or an mostly unpaid-trainee (b), based on a contract with the company;

(4) closely interwoven learning activity in the company and acquisition of theoretical knowledge in the higher education institution / academy;

(5) close coordination and cooperation between the higher education institution and company.

Main target groups

The continuing VET dual study programmes with an employment component are primarily aimed at people who have already completed vocational or professional training and/or have a number of years of professional experience.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

As a rule, enrolling in an IVET dual study programme requires a higher education entrance qualification (Allgemeine Hochschulreife or Fachhochschulreife). However, vocationally qualified applicants without a higher education entrance qualification obtained at school can be granted the right of entry to higher education under standard preconditions. (e.g. successful completion of apprenticeship, years of work experience in the field).

The programme with a training component also requires an employment contract. In some cases, the completion of an internship (8 to 12 weeks) in a company working in the field of study is required before the start of studies (Vorpraktikum).

The CVET dual study programmes with an employment component are primarily aimed at people who have already completed vocational or professional training and/or have a number of years of professional experience. They are designed to offer further professional development and combine a course of study with professional experience that is directly relevant to the course. No higher education entrance qualification is required.

Assessment of learning outcomes

The examinations are in general performed as an accompaniment to studies. The study courses are provided with a credit point system (at least 180 ECTS for a Bachelor’s degree). A written dissertation (Bachelor’s thesis) is obligatory. Learners are to demonstrate the ability to independently address a problem from their subject within a specified period of time using academic methods. The examinations regulations (Prüfungsordnungen) prescribe the objectives of and subject-matter on the examinations, the required standards and the examining procedures for each study course.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Programmes lead in general to a bachelor qualification, which can differ in the following way:

  • initial dual study programmes with an integrated training component combine a course of study with practical training in a recognised occupation in a company. In addition to the bachelor degree, learners obtain a formal IVET qualification;
  • initial dual study programmes with a work experience component combine a course of study with extended practical placements with an employer (about 40-50% in-company training). Learners obtain a bachelor degree but not a recognised vocational qualification;
  • continuing VET dual study programmes with an employment component are primarily aimed at people who have already completed vocational or professional training and/or have a number of years of professional experience. They are designed to offer further professional development and combine a course of study with professional experience that is directly relevant to the course.
Examples of qualifications

The most common combination for initial dual study programmes is a business management programme plus commercial training, as well as an engineering or computer science programme combined with technical training. There is a wide range of possible subject areas, such as insurance, mechatronics, commercial law, health economy, mathematics, biology, architecture, and media informatics.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates can further progress to professional or general Master programmes.

The CVET dual study programmes with an employment component are designed to offer further professional development and combine a course of study with professional experience that is directly relevant to the course.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Information not available

Post-secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 4-5

Specialised programmes

incl. WBL

1-3 years

ISCED 444, 453, 454

Specialised programmes (Berufsoberschule BOS – Fachoberschule FOS – Schule für Gesundheits-, Erziehungs- und Sozialberufen GES nach Bundes- und Landesrecht) leading to EQF level 4-5, ISCED 444, 453, 454
EQF level
4-5
ISCED-P 2011 level

444, 453, 454

Usual entry grade

minimum 11

Usual completion grade

minimum 12 ([212]Learners enter this programme at grade 11 or grade 12, depending on their previous vocational education and experience.)

Usual entry age

minimum 15/16

Usual completion age

minimum 16/17

Length of a programme (years)

1-3

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

in some cases

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Varies

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

• school-based learning;

• work-based learning (practical training at school and work practice);

BOS: full time vocational schools;

FOS: school- and work-based VET programmes

GES: Many of these health VET programmes are attached to hospitals providing both theoretical and practical training.

Main providers

Regulated by Federal or state law

  • senior vocational school (Berufsoberschule BOS)
  • specialised upper secondary school (Fachoberschule FOS)
  • schools of health, education and social care (GES)
  • other vocational schools such as Fachschule and Fachakademie
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Varies from low share (BOS) to high share (FOS and GES)

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)

• practical training at school

• work practice (e.g. in attached hospital in the case of healthcare schools)

Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

Leaving certificate from intermediate secondary school (mittlerer Schulabschluss at the end of grade 10) and

(1) two years’ successful vocational training or

(2) five years’ practical experience

Assessment of learning outcomes

final examinations

Diplomas/certificates provided

Programmes at post-secondary level aim at increasing the permeability between secondary (for holders of general intermediate secondary leaving certificate) and tertiary education, by acquiring a higher education entrance qualification (subject-specific or not).

Examples of qualifications

Heath/education/social sector schools: nurse, physical therapist, pharmaceutical-technical assistant, educator, social worker

Post-secondary programmes at ISCED level 454 correspond to cases having acquired two qualifications: a higher education entrance qualification and a dual VET qualification or two VET qualifications.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Programmes at post-secondary level aim at increasing the permeability between secondary (for holders of general intermediate secondary leaving certificate) and tertiary education, by acquiring a higher education entrance qualification.

Depending on their chosen programme and duration, graduates from specialised programmes can further progress to vocational and general bachelor programmes, as well as to technician specialists programmes.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

information not available

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Y

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Information not available

Secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 3-4

General education programmes

with vocational orientation

incl. WBL

2-3 years

ISCED 344

General education programmes with vocational orientation, EQF level 3-4, ISCED 344 (Berufliches Gymnasium or Fachgymnasium)
EQF level
3-4
ISCED-P 2011 level

344

Usual entry grade

minimum 11

Usual completion grade

minimum 12/13

Usual entry age

minimum 15/16

Usual completion age

minimum 17/19

Length of a programme (years)

2-3

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

N

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • school-based learning;
  • work-based learning parts (with career-oriented subjects such as business and technology).
Main providers

Technical grammar school (Fachgymnasium)

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Information not available

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)

Information not available

Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

An intermediate secondary school leaving certificate is required.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Abitur examination as in a general Gymnasium but with career-oriented subjects in addition; leading to a general higher education entrance qualification.

Diplomas/certificates provided

These programmes lead to the general higher education entrance qualification.

Examples of qualifications

These programmes lead to the general higher education entrance qualification.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates can continue their education at tertiary level in one of the following institutions:

  • university;
  • university of applied science;
  • university of cooperative education;
  • dual university.
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Y

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Information not available

EQF 2-4

School-based VET

programmes

incl. WBL,

1-3 years

ISCED 354

School-based VET programmes at EQF level 2-4, ISCED 354 (Berufsfachschule)
EQF level
2-4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

minimum 10

Usual completion grade

minimum 10/12

Usual entry age

minimum 14/15

Usual completion age

minimum 15/18

Length of a programme (years)

1-3

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • school based learning
  • work-based learning elements
Main providers

Full time vocational schools (Berufsfachschule)

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Varies

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)

• practical training at school

• in-company practice

Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

Minimum entry requirement is the lower secondary school leaving certificate.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Assessment methods vary; some schools are governed by the federal states; some are governed by federal law ([200]https://www.kmk.org/fileadmin/veroeffentlichungen_beschluesse/2013/2013_10_17-RV-Berufsfachschulen.pdf).

Diplomas/certificates provided

Vocational school at upper secondary level offering a wide range of branches and courses of varying duration. A full-time school, it prepares or trains learners for a specific occupation at different levels of qualification.

Examples of qualifications

Chemical technician, business assistant, technical designer, tourism assistant, childcare assistant ([201]https://www.kmk.org/themen/berufliche-schulen/schulische-berufsausbildung/europass-zeugniserlaeuterungen/downloads-berufsfachschulen.html)

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates can progress to programmes offered at:

  • trade and technical school,
  • vocational academy,
  • specialised upper secondary school,
  • senior vocational school,
  • school of health care
  • the entrance qualification to university of applied sciences can be acquired under certain conditions on completion of a course lasting a minimum of two years.
Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

In cases where such schools do not provide a full career qualification, the successful completion of the Berufsfachschule may, under certain conditions, be credited as part of the training period in occupations requiring formal training (Art. 7 of the Vocational Training Act). In order to prove the equivalence of a vocational qualification at a Berufsfachschule with dual vocational education and training, successful graduates can sit an examination before the competent authority. Admission to this so-called chamber examination is possible if the Land in question has adopted appropriate regulations pursuant to Article 43, paragraph 2 of the Vocational Training Act or if there are arrangements to this end between the vocational schools and the competent authorities.

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Y

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Information not available

EQF 1-2

Transition programmes,

1year

ISCED level 254

Transition programmes leading to EQF level 1-2 and ISCED level 254 and include the following programmes: pre-vocational training year (Berufsvorbereitungsjahr – BVJ); basic vocational training year (Berufsgrundbildungsjahr – BGJ); introductory training (Einstiegsqualifizierung – EQ).
EQF level
1-2
ISCED-P 2011 level

254

Usual entry grade

minimum 10

Usual completion grade

minimum 10

Usual entry age

minimum 14/15

Usual completion age

minimum 15/16

Length of a programme (years)

1

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

School and work based learning:

  • pre-vocational training year (Berufsvorbereitungsjahr – BVJ): the BVJ is a one-year course of training, usually offered full-time by schools and designed to prepare young people for the demands of vocational training. The majority of participants do not have a secondary school leaving certificate. However, this can be acquired in the course of the BVJ, thus improving the holder’s prospects in the market for training positions;
  • basic vocational training year (Berufsgrundbildungsjahr – BGJ): basic vocational education can be completed either as a year at school (full-time) or in joint fashion at an enterprise and school. Successful completion of the BGJ can be credited as the first year of vocational training in the training occupations assigned to the relevant occupational field. In the BGJ, learners receive basic educational knowledge in a specific occupational field (e.g., metalworking techniques, electrical engineering, business and administration);
  • Introductory training (Einstiegsqualifizierung – EQ): EQ provides young people whose prospects of being placed in VET are limited due to individual reasons with an opportunity to acquire or enhance personal and vocational competences and gives companies offering training the chance to get to know these young people. It has proved to be a ‘door-opener” to apprenticeship for approx. 70% of participants.
Main providers

Varies

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Varies

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)

• practical training at school

• in-company practice

Main target groups

Young people and adults with social disadvantages, learning difficulties or handicap or insufficient German language skills (migrants) have different possibilities for pre-vocational education and training measures.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

The minimum entry requirement is the lower secondary school leaving certificate for BGJ and EQ; for the BVJ, the certified attendance of grade 1 to 9 is enough.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Information not available

Diplomas/certificates provided

a) BVJ: lower secondary school certificate, in case not yet obtained;

b) Successful completion of the BGJ can be credited as the first year of vocational training in the training occupations assigned to the relevant occupational field;

c) EQ does not lead to a certificate but it has proved to be a ‘door-opener” to apprenticeship for approx. 70% of participants.

Examples of qualifications

In the BGJ, learners receive basic educational knowledge in a specific occupational field (e.g., metalworking techniques, electrical engineering, business and administration).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Progression is possible to school-based VET programmes and apprenticeship programmes (even in the 2nd year, in case of the BGJ).

Destination of graduates

The former participants in these programmes mostly start an apprenticeship or a school-based VET programme. ([202]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018 [Data report of the vocational education and training report 2018]. Bonn: BIBB, p. 141-147. https://www.bibb.de/dokumente/pdf/bibb_datenreport_2018.pdf
)

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Y

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Information not available

The share of apprentices having taken part in such a so-called transition or preparatory VET programme before starting the apprenticeship amount to approx. 9% (2016: 45 585 out of 509 997 first-year-apprentices) ([203]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018, p. 142. https://www.bibb.de/dokumente/pdf/bibb_datenreport_2018.pdf
).

EQF 3-4

Apprenticeship programmes,

WBL ca. 75%

2-3.5 years

ISCED level 354

Apprenticeship scheme (dual system: duale Ausbildung) according to the Vocational Training Act (BBiG) and the Crafts Code (HwO) at EQF level 3-4 and ISCED level 354 (in 2017: 327 programmes, one for each occupation that can be learnt in the apprenticeship scheme).
EQF level
3-4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

minimum 10

Usual completion grade

minimum 11-13

Usual entry age

minimum 14/15 but in practice, average age of entry is 19.7 ([204]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018, p. 167. https://www.bibb.de/dokumente/pdf/bibb_datenreport_2018.pdf
)

Usual completion age

minimum 16/17 but in practice from 22 upwards (see above)

Length of a programme (years)

2-3,5

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

According to the Vocational Training Act (BBiG), the training company shall pay apprentices an appropriate allowance. The amount and payment procedure are specified in the training contract. The training allowances are based on collective wage agreements and increase with every year of training, averaging about a third of the starting pay for a trained skilled worker.

Average apprentice remuneration across Germany for 2017 was EUR 876 gross per month (increasing from 1st year of training: EUR 794 to 4th year: EUR 995). There are significant differences in the level of remuneration between the training sectors and occupations. In 2017, the highest monthly allowances were for the skilled craft occupation of brick layer (EUR 1 095) followed by the mechatronics technician (EUR 1 043 per month). On the other end, the lowest monthly remuneration was for the apprentices as chimney sweeper (EUR 518) followed by florist and baker (EUR 617 and EUR 637).

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • school-based and practical learning in schools and inter-company vocational training centres (überbetriebliche Berufsbildungsstätten, ÜBS), (e.g. one or two days per week or one week per month);
  • company-based learning (share of approx. 70%).

The system is described as dual because training is conducted in two places of learning: companies and vocational schools. Apprentices attend a vocational school one or two days per week, where they are mainly taught theoretical and practical knowledge related to their occupation; they attend classes on general subjects such as economics, social studies and foreign languages. Systematic teaching at vocational school is a necessary supplement to process-oriented training within a company, which is more based on specific in-company requirements. The primary aim of training is to enable young people to acquire comprehensive vocational competence. Training programmes are designed on the principle that they should be as broad as possible and as specific as necessary.

Main providers

Companies in cooperation with vocational schools

Apprenticeship places are offered in both enterprises and public institutions. The professional competences to be acquired through in-company training are specified in training regulations and included by the training enterprise in an individual training plan. The binding requirements of the training regulations guarantee a uniform national standard. However, SME are often unable to provide all the stipulated learning content: they may lack suitable training personnel, or, owing to their particular specialisation, may not cover all the training content themselves.

There are various ways to overcome these problems:

  • inter-company vocational training centres (überbetriebliche Berufsbildungsstätten, ÜBS) designed to supplement in-company training: education institutions offer periods in these training centres, which are often sponsored by autonomous bodies in the relevant sectors of industry. The federal ministry of education supports sponsors with investment subsidies (for buildings and infrastructure). The BIBB is responsible for promoting inter-company training centres and supporting the planning, establishment and development of these facilities. Since 2016, an additional programme is promoting the digital transformation of these training centres by funding the purchase of digital equipment as well as selected pilot projects on adaptation of teaching and learning processes ([205]https://www.bibb.de/uebs-digitalisierung);
  • enterprises can form joint training structures (Ausbildungsverbünde). There are four traditional models for this:
  • lead enterprise with partners (Leitbetrieb mit Partnerbetrieben): one enterprise takes the lead and bears overall responsibility for training; however, parts of the training are conducted in various partner enterprises;
  • training to order (Auftragsausbildung): some training takes place outside the regular enterprise, perhaps in a nearby large enterprise with a training workshop, on the basis of an order and against reimbursement of costs;
  • training consortium (Ausbildungskonsortium): several SMEs sign a cooperation agreement and work together on equal footing. They take on apprentices and train them independently. If an enterprise cannot cover a specific area of content, the apprentice moves to another enterprise (rotation principle);
  • training association (Ausbildungsverein): enterprises establish an organisation which takes over administrative tasks such as contracting, while the enterprises conduct training. Association structures usually comprise a general meeting and an honorary committee. A statute regulates members’ rights and obligations.
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

About 75%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • in-company practice (about 70%),
  • practical training at school,
  • practical training in inter-company vocational training centres (überbetriebliche Berufsbildungsstätten, ÜBS).
Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

Completion of full-time compulsory education, no further requirements for access (but companies select their apprentices).

The majority of apprentices hold either the intermediate secondary school leaving certificate (mittlerer Schulabschluss) or the lower secondary school leaving certificate (Hauptschulabschluss). However, the share of apprentices with a higher education entrance qualification has been rising as well: in 2016, almost one in three apprentices (28.7%) was a high-school graduate ([206]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018, p. 132. https://www.bibb.de/dokumente/pdf/bibb_datenreport_2018.pdf
). This group followed successively both paths of education at upper secondary level: first the general, followed by the vocational qualification. Indeed, despite being classified as ‘upper secondary’, initial VET is also considered by high-school graduates as an alternative option to tertiary education.

Assessment of learning outcomes

A final exam is testing the practical and general knowledge of the learner based on the work requirements and processes of the occupation. As a rule, a final exam covers four or five fields relevant to the occupation. Performance in general subjects is evaluated via school reports. The exams are regulated by law (Vocational Training Act – BBiG) and is performed by the chambers. For this task, the chambers are authorised by the state and are officially acting as a public institution. Upon passing the final examination, apprentices receive a chamber certificate to document that training has been successfully completed. This certification of qualification is fully recognised and highly trusted among employers.

In 2016, 431 667 apprentices took the final exams ([207]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018, p. 162. https://www.bibb.de/dokumente/pdf/bibb_datenreport_2018.pdf
). The success rate was 92.6%, and after retaking the exam by those who first missed, even 99.4% in total. The repartition of exam participants according to the economic sector of occupation was as follows: 63.3% in trade and industry, 23% in craft sector, 8% in liberal professions, 2.7% in public sector, 2.6% in agriculture and 0.4% in housekeeping.

Diplomas/certificates provided
  • certificate from the training company,
  • certificate from the vocational school,
  • final examination certificate of apprenticeship (Gesellen- oder Facharbeiterbrief; IHK-Prüfungszeugnis)
Examples of qualifications

Among Top 10 dual apprenticeship programmes (out of 327) in 2017 ([208]https://www.bibb.de/en/pressemitteilung_77368.php): Office manager, management or sales assistant for retail services, motor vehicle mechatronics technician, industrial clerk, medical assistant, IT specialist. The four most popular apprenticeship programmes in craft trades are hairdresser, cook, joiner and painter([209]A list of qualifications (in DE/E/F) can be found at:
https://www.bibb.de/en/occupationsinfo.php/certificate_supplements/en
).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

In general, graduates of dual apprenticeship programmes are fully qualified to enter the labour market and most of them do so.

Those who successfully completed their apprenticeship programme, have several possibilities to further progress to post-secondary programmes, such as specialised and technician programmes, or and master craftsperson. Access to certain tertiary vocational programmes are restricted to related subject of the graduate’s apprenticeship programme. Short term apprenticeship programmes do not always provide access to tertiary education programmes.

Destination of graduates

Graduates of dual apprenticeship programmes are fully qualified to enter the labour market and most of them do so. They have very good prospects of finding a work placement in a short delay.

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

The most important tool for assessing non-formal learning outcomes is admission to final examinations under Section 45 (2) of the Vocational Training Act (BBiG), known as the ‘Externen-Prüfung’ (examination for external candidates, i.e., those not involved in a formal vocational training programme). Under this provision, people can be admitted to a final examination for a recognised occupation requiring formal training (training occupation) if they furnish evidence that they have been employed in the relevant occupation for a period at least one and a half times as long as prescribed for the period of initial training.

General education subjects

Y

General subjects such as mathematics, economics, social studies and foreign languages, depending on the programme

Key competences

Y

The primary aim of apprenticeship is to enable young people to acquire comprehensive vocational competence. Apprenticeship programmes are designed on the principle that they should be as broad as possible and as specific as necessary. After finishing the apprenticeship, they should be able to fulfil their duties as employees efficiently, effectively, innovatively, autonomously and in cooperation with others.

The professional competences to be acquired through in-company training are specified in training regulations and included by the training enterprise in an individual training plan. The binding requirements of the training regulations guarantee a uniform national standard.

For teaching in vocational schools, a framework curriculum is drawn up for every recognised training occupation in accordance with the training regulations.

Application of learning outcomes approach

As part of the implementation of the DQR (German qualification framework), the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), together with the social partners and the ministries, adopted in June 2014 a recommendation of the BIBB Board on the structure and design of training regulations which addresses the issue of competence orientation.

According to this recommendation, the Vocational Training Act equates vocational action capacity with the DQR's understanding of action competence. The four competence dimensions of the DQR are to be systematically taken into account in all training regulations that are to be developed from 2015 onwards, so that competence orientation is increasingly incorporated into the regulatory work."

These are:

  • professional competences: knowledge and skills,
  • social competences: social competence and independence,

which together form the vocational action competence (Handlungskompetenz). ([210]BIBB (2015). Ausbildungsordnungen und wie sie entstehen [Vocational training regulations and the process behind them]. Bonn: BIBB, p. 22f .
https://www.bibb.de/veroeffentlichungen/de/publication/show/2061
)

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

The data available is on a different base: More than two thirds (68.5%) of new entrants in upper secondary VET programmes in 2017 chose the dual apprenticeship scheme (dual system), while 31.5% enrolled in a school-based VET programme. ([211]BIBB (2018). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht 2018, p. 86 (iABE). https://www.bibb.de/dokumente/pdf/bibb_datenreport_2018.pdf
)

VET available to adults (formal and non-formal)

Programme Types
Not available

General themes

Luxembourg’s education system (including VET) is shaped by the country’s political, economic, demographic and linguistic particularities, and strongly influenced by its:

  • relatively small territory;
  • multinational population and workforce: almost half of the country’s population have are foreign citizens (47%), among them the largest group being Portuguese (16%) and 24.6% from other European Union countries;
  • multilingualism: there are three official languages (German, French and Luxembourgish);
  • fast growing number of inhabitants since 1991 (the population has increased by 50% to a total of 602 000 inhabitants in 2018).

Distinctive features of VET ([1]Cedefop (2017.) Spotlight on vocational education and training in Luxembourg. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8112_en.pdf
)

Social partner involvement is a core principle in VET policy. The professional chambers act as independent policy institutes; they are represented in the tripartite advisory committee on vocational training and consulted on VET legislation. The 2008 reform reinforced their role, which includes involvement in developing and revising VET programmes. They also accompany enterprises and apprentices through practical training and organise CVET.

Learners have an opportunity to follow cross-border apprenticeship to acquire qualifications that Luxembourg’s education system cannot offer; the number of learners is not always sufficient given the small size of the country. Practical training in a company based in Luxembourg is combined with learning at school in one of the neighbouring countries. Teaching in vocational programmes has been based on units and modules since the VET reform of 2008, which was implemented until 2013/14 ([2]SCL (2008a). Loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle]. Mémorial A 220, 3273-3288.
http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2008/0220/a220.pdf#page=2
). Each module focuses on concrete professional situations; the learning outcomes to be acquired (competences and knowledge) are defined for each module.

Learner progression to general education or (pre-) VET in secondary education is guided based on achievements and interests, parents’ opinions and the view of education staff, including a (pre-) VET representative.

Close ties with neighbouring countries, multilingualism in all spheres of life and the high share of foreign citizens with a mother tongue other than one of the three official languages have a strong impact on VET. Luxembourg provides more language training than any other country, in terms of both the number of foreign languages studied per learner and time spent in learning. Multilingualism is a strength but also a challenge: the official language used varies, depending on the type and level of education and training.

Tackling youth unemployment and investment in skills are high on the policy agenda. Reinforced stakeholder involvement and youth guarantee measures aim to match young people’s skills/qualifications better to labour market demand, and to target the low-skilled. In line with the Europe 2020 headline targets, national policies focus on keeping the share of early leavers from education and training below 10%. One of the challenges is to ensure education and training equity, irrespective of origin or socioeconomic status. One of the education ministry’s priorities is to ensure a diversified offer to meet the needs of increasingly heterogeneous target groups. Implementation of the 2008 VET reform has revealed weaknesses in the system. Bringing about change was difficult: adapting to new realities was challenging for institutions, teachers and learners. Amendments to current legislation were developed to fine-tune the reform. The law of 22 June 2017 art. 12) which gives its legal basis to the House of Guidance (Maison de l’orientation) also foresees that each secondary school should develop its own clear and general guidance approach.

To give learners better opportunities in the labour market, the education ministry is expanding the apprenticeship offer in vocational and technician programmes.

There is a need for stronger links between the world of education and training and that of work. Emphasis has been put on dovetailing in-company and school-based training phases, and on strengthening on-the-job training requirements. In collaboration with professional chambers, the government promotes implementation of quality assurance in work-based learning. This implies defining the process that will ensure better quality without disrupting doing business.

Data from VET in Luxembourg Spotlight 2017 ([3]Cedefop (2017) Spotlight on vocational education and training in Luxembourg. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8112_en.pdf
).

Population in 2018: 602 005 ([4]NB: Data for population as of 1 January; break in series. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 28.1.2019].)

It increased by 12.1% since 2013 due to immigration ([5]NB: Data for population as of 1 January; break in series. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 28.1.2019].).

Luxembourg's population growth is mainly due to immigration, as the natural balance is relatively low. The share of foreigners in Luxembourg's total population is growing steadily.

As in many other EU countries, the population is ageing.

The old-age dependency ratio ([6]Old-age-dependency ratio is defined as the ratio between the number of persons aged 65 and more over the number of working-age persons (15-64). The value is expressed per 100 persons of working age (15-64).) is expected to increase from 21 in 2015 to 44 in 2060

 

Population forecast by age group and old-age-dependency ratio

Source: Eurostat, proj_15ndbims [extracted 6.05.2019].

 

Demographic changes have an impact on VET.

In 2018, Luxembourg had 602 005 inhabitants. Since 1991 the population has increased by 50% mainly due to immigration, which has a major impact on VET.

The figure below shows that 47% of the country’s population are foreign citizens ([7]Foreign citizens residing in Luxembourg can obtain Luxembourgish nationality by naturalisation. Legislation requires them to attend citizenship training and to pass an oral Luxembourgish language exam.). Their share has more than doubled in the past 25 years. In the first half of the 1960s most of the immigrants came from Italy. However, since 1966, the immigrant population from Portugal increased from 1 100 to 82 400 in 2011 ([8]The latest population census available from 2011.) and became the largest in the country. In 2018, the Portuguese community was 96 800 inhabitants (16.0%).

 

Population structure by nationality - 2018 (%)

Source: Statec 2018- Table b1101 [accessed 30.7.2018].

 

The share of the population with a foreign nationality and a mother tongue other than the official German, French and Luxembourgish languages is high. Multilingualism is one of the country’s strengths but it is also a challenge for education and training. The high share of foreign nationals requires education and training and labour market integration policies. A public agency for integration (Office Luxembourgeois de l'Accueil et de l'Intégration) under the auspices of the Ministry of Family, Integration and the Greater Region implements this policy. This includes providing information on training in the official languages and information about the recognition of foreign diploma and secondary general education ([9]General education is nationally referred to as ‘classical education.) and VET certificates and reports ([10]This information is also easily accessible at
www.guichet.lu and
www.lifelong-learning.lu [accessed 23.1.2019].
).

The economy has undergone structural changes in the past two decades (see Figure below). The industrial economy evolved into a service economy with jobs that often require tertiary level qualifications. Employment in the industrial sector decreased from 16.9% in 1997 to 9.0% in 2017. The service, professional, scientific and technical sectors and the administrative and support service sectors have had the highest growth, from 9.0% to 16.1%. Adapting VET provision to the constantly changing employment structure has been a challenge. In 2017, more than 40% of employment was concentrated in the following sectors:

  • wholesale and retail trade;
  • transport and storage;
  • accommodation and food service activities;
  • public administration and other public services.

The public administration includes civil servants and public employees from the State and municipalities and permanent staff from national railways. In 2016, there were approximately 11 204 teachers; 4 931 of these were in secondary general and technical education ([11]MENJE (2018a). Les chiffres clés de l’Éducation nationale: statistiques et indicateurs 2016-2017 [Key figures of national education: statistics and indicators 2016-17]. Luxembourg: MENJE.
http://www.men.public.lu/fr/actualites/publications/themes-transversaux/statistiques-analyses/chiffres-cles/2016-2017/index.html
).

 

Employment by activity sector in 1997 and 2017 (%)

Source: Statec 2018 Table - B3003 Emploi salarié intérieur par branche d'activité - données désaisonnalisées 1997-2017

 

Access to skilled craftsperson and commercial activities and some liberal professions is regulated.

Commercial activities and skilled craftsmanship in the territory require a business permit, issued if the manager satisfies qualification requirements and professional integrity. Qualification requirements for skilled craftsperson companies differ depending on the trade. For main craft trades such as baker/confectioner, dental technician, specialist in mechatronics, the manager must have a master craftsperson certificate (brevet de maîtrise) or a bachelor degree (if not linked to the core business it should be complemented with at least two years of professional experience), or a vocational aptitude diploma (diplôme d'aptitude professionnelle, DAP) completed by managing experience of six years in the field. For secondary craft trades such as dry-cleaner/launderer, heating mechanic, the manager must have a DAP or similar in a related field or three years’ professional experience in the activity.

Total unemployment ([12]Percentage of active population, 25 to 74 years old.) (2017): 5.6% (7.6% in EU28), it increased by 1.4 percentage points since 2007 ([13]Eurostat table tps00203 [extracted 25.1.2019].).

 

Unemployment rate (aged 15-24 and 25-64) by education attainment level in 2008-18 ([14]Time series for the 15-24 group must be considered with caution due to the small number of observations taken into account.)

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011; breaks in time series.
ISCED 0-2 = less than primary, primary and lower secondary education.
ISCED 3-4 = upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education.
ISCED 5-8 = tertiary education.
Source: Eurostat, lfsa_urgaed [extracted 16.05.2019].

 

Unemployment differed between those with low- and high-level qualifications only slightly for the age group 25-64 during 2008-18. In 2018 it was the lowest for VET graduates at ISCED levels 5-8 (4.1%) and highest for those at ISCED level 0-2 (6.5%). Since 2008 the unemployment rate of the age group 25-64 has increased for ISCED level 0-2 (by 1.7 percentage points) and 5-8 (1.9 pp.) but remained stable for VET graduates at ISCED level 3-4.

The age group 15-24, however, faced a much higher risk of unemployment during those years (2008-18), especially those having only ISCED level 0-2 who suffered unemployment of 22.4-19.9%.

Employment of 20 to 34-year-old VET graduates is high rate, but decreased between 2014 and 2018, from 88.6% to 81.6%. However, it was always higher than the EU-28 average which was 76.9% in 2014 but increased to 80.5% in 2018.

 

Employment rate of VET graduates (20 to 34 years old, ISCED levels 3 and 4) ([15]Time series must be considered with caution due to the small number of observations taken into account.)

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011; breaks in time series.
ISCED 3-4 = upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education
Source: Eurostat, edat_lfse_24 [extracted on 16.05.2019]

 

The employment rate of VET graduates (20 to 34 years old, ISCED levels 3 and 4) ([16]Time series must be considered with caution due to the small number of observations taken into account.) decreased between 2014 and 2018 by 7.5 percentage points; it increased from 76.9% to 80.5% across the EU-28.

The employment rate of all graduates aged 20 to 34 years was 85% in 2014 and decreased by 1.3 percentage points to 83.7% in 2018. Whereas the employment rate of VET graduates was still above that of all graduates in 2014, in 2018 the employment rate of VET graduates was the below that of all graduates ([17]NB: Break in series. Eurostat table edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

Among the working population aged 25-64, 41.9% had ISCED level 5-8, above the EU-28 average of 32.2%, but only 32.8% had ISCED level 3-4, 12.9 percentage points below the EU-28 level. 20.4% of the population only had a low or no qualification (ISCED 0-2), 1.4 percentage points below the EU-28 average.

 

Population (aged 25 to 64) by highest education level attained in 2018

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011. Low reliability for ‘No response’ in Czechia, Iceland, Latvia, and Poland.
ISCED 0-2 = less than primary, primary and lower secondary education.
ISCED 3-4 = upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education.
ISCED 5-8 = tertiary education.
Source: Eurostat, lfsa_pgaed [extracted 16.05.2019].

 

Share of learners in VET by level in 2016

lower secondary

upper secondary

post-secondary

Not applicable

61.0%

100%

Source: Eurostat, educ_uoe_enrs01, educ_uoe_enrs04 and educ_uoe_enrs07 [extracted 31.1.2019].

 

Share of initial VET learners from total learners at upper-secondary level (ISCED level 3), 2016

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011; not applicable for Ireland.
Source: Eurostat, educ_uoe_enrs04 [extracted 31.1.2019].

 

In 2016/17, in lower, middle and upper technical secondary programmes (27 221 learners), there were more males (53%) than females (47%).

The share of early leavers from education and training has fallen from 7.7% in 2009 to 6.3% in 2018. It is below the national target for 2020 of no more than 10%, and the EU-28 average of 10.6% (2018).

 

Early leavers from education and training in 2009-18

NB: Share of the population aged 18 to 24 with at most lower secondary education and not in further education or training; break in series.
Source: Eurostat, edat_lfse_14 [extracted 16.5.2019] and European Commission: https://ec.europa.eu/info/2018-european-semester-national-reform-programmes-and-stability-convergence-programmes_en [accessed 14.11.2018].

 

However, these data are subject to important variations due to the small sample size in the country and may not allow easy identification of the causes of early school leaving at national level. In response to the lack of reliable data, the national education authorities produce annual statistics based on administrative data and on a survey of early school leavers. These data indicate a higher early leaving rate for those up to age 25 (13.5%) ([18]MENJE (2017b). Le décrochage scolaire au Luxembourg, année scolaire 2014-2015 [School drop out in Luxembourg, school year 2014/15]. Luxembourg: MENJE.
http://www.men.public.lu/fr/actualites/publications/secondaire/statistiques-analyses/decrochage-scolaire/decrochage-14-15/index.html
) for 2015 than the rate calculated via the labour force survey for this year. The share of early leavers is relatively high among the migrant population, especially for those not having one of the three national languages as mother tongue.

Lifelong learning offers training opportunities for adults, including early leavers from education.

 

Participation in lifelong learning in 2014-18

NB: Share of adult population aged 25 to 64 participating in education and training; break in series.
Source: Eurostat, trng_lfse_01 [extracted on 16.05.2019]

 

Participation in lifelong learning in Luxembourg has been increasing in the past decade. While it was at 14.5% in 2014, it increased to 18.0% in 2018, almost seven percentage points above the EU-28 average.

 

VET learners in secondary education by age group

NB: VET learners include learners from lower, medium and upper technical secondary education

Source: National data.

 

The education and training system comprises:

  • pre-school education (ISCED level 0);
  • primary and lower secondary education (ISCED levels 1 and 2);
  • upper secondary education (ISCED level 3);
  • post-secondary non-tertiary education (ISCED level 4);
  • higher education (ISCED levels 5, 6, 7 and 8).

School attendance is compulsory between 4 and 16, i.e. for at least 12 years, including two years of pre-school education. At the end of primary education (enseignement primaire), learners receive an end-of-cycle report, stating the level attained for each competence domain. Learners are guided towards either general or vocational secondary education by dedicated councils, which include a teacher working in VET ([19]Following the Law of 29 August 2017 (SCL, 2017d) on secondary education ‘general secondary education’ is nationally referred to as ‘classical secondary education’ (éducation secondaire classique - ESC) while ‘technical secondary education’ is referred to as ‘general secondary education’ (éducation secondaire générale - ESG). However, to allow comparison at EU level, the previous terminology will be kept.). The guidance takes account of learning achievement (based on the end-of-cycle report), parent and teacher opinions and performance in standardised basic skills tests (in relation to the national average).

Secondary education comprises two types with different objectives:

- general secondary education (enseignement secondaire classique ESC) which conveys general knowledge in humanities, mathematics and natural sciences and prepares for higher education studies;

- vocational secondary education, nationally referred to as technical secondary education (enseignement secondaire général) which gives access to higher education and/or to the labour market.

Various programmes at post-secondary and tertiary levels are available as general; others as vocational pathways ([20]Based on: INFPC (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Luxembourg. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/Vocational_Education_Training_Europe_Luxembourg_2018_Cedefop_ReferNet.pdf).

The Luxembourgish VET system comprises initial and continuing VET which are composed of several VET learning options:

  • school-based learning;
  • practical training at school;
  • in-company training in form of apprenticeship or short term work placements.

The dual system is an important feature of secondary VET (hereafter referred to as technical secondary education), which implies a strong relationship between school-based education and work-based learning in enterprises.

In technical secondary education (enseignement secondaire général, ISCED 353 and 354) learners are prepared both for professional life and enrolment in higher education. It is divided into three cycles:

(a) the lower cycle (cycle inférieur);

(b) the medium cycle (cycle moyen);

(c) the upper cycle (cycle supérieur).

A preparatory programme (programme préparatoire) supports learners who find it difficult to adapt to secondary education.

After successful completion of the lower cycle, learners can choose between technical, vocational and technician programmes. Depending on the programme, duration varies between six and eight years. Since 2013/14, all technical secondary programmes are based on principles implemented with the 2008 VET reform, providing also the possibility for learners to move from one type of secondary education to another. Tuition is in French, German and Luxembourgish.

Depending on the occupation, secondary VET programmes may be provided in technical secondary schools or in mixed schools that offer both technical and general secondary education. While most VET learners in 2016/17 attended public schools (86.9%), some were enrolled in private schools that apply national curricula (12.1%) or in private/international schools that do not apply them (1%).

Lower cycle

The lower cycle of technical secondary education (ISCED 244, EQF 1) is considered as pre-VET and lasts three years. It offers learners an orientation phase in which they can decide on their further education pathway. Upon successful completion, they can continue in the medium cycle of technical, technician or vocational programmes.

Practical activities in workshops make up an important part of the technical secondary programmes and focus on supporting learners in choosing their career.

Depending on their performance at the end of primary school, learners are directed to a preparatory (préparatoire) or orientation (orientation) path.

Medium and upper cycles

The medium and upper cycles of technical secondary education offer (mainly) school-based VET programmes, apprenticeships and similar schemes. Learners acquire occupational qualifications for which a certificate or a diploma is awarded. Schooling includes various training schemes, which last from six to eight years, depending on the chosen orientation. There are four different programmes within these cycles:

(a) technical programmes (régime technique) leading to a technical secondary school leaving diploma (diplôme de fin d’études secondaires générales) (ISCED 354, EQF 4);

(b) vocational programmes leading to a vocational capacity certificate (certificat de capacité professionnelle, CCP) (ISCED 353, EQF 2);

(c) vocational programmes leading to a vocational aptitude diploma (diplôme d’aptitude professionnelle, DAP) (ISCED 353, EQF 3);

(d) technician programmes (régime de la formation de technicien) leading to a technician diploma (diplôme de technicien, DT) (ISCED 354, EQF 4).

Learners can choose between three different training programmes which (can) include an apprenticeship contract and lead to different qualifications:

  • vocational capacity certificate (certificat de capacité professionnelle, CCP) at EQF level 2 always includes an apprenticeship contract. This programme is designed for learners facing difficulties in being accepted on another programme and lead to semi-skilled worker skills ;
  • vocational aptitude diploma (diplôme d’aptitude professionnelle, DAP) at EQF level 3 can be done under an apprenticeship contract or an internship contract. They provide the graduate access to the labour market as a skilled worker;
  • technician programme (diplôme de technician, DT) at EQF level 4 which are school-based and include a job placement of 12 or more weeks. They are mostly organised under an internship contract but can also be organised under an apprenticeship contract. This programme offers in-depth and diversified competences and a higher part of general education than the vocational programmes.

Learners are responsible for finding a training place in an enterprise. The vocational guidance service of the public employment service (Agence pour le Développement de l'Emploi, ADEM) supports young people through counselling and a central register of all available apprenticeship places.

Once the learner has signed a contract with a company, (s)he has the legal status of an apprentice and receives an apprenticeship allowance which varies between EUR 400 and 1 300 depending on the trade/profession learned ([21]https://www.lllc.lu/fr/formation-professionnelle-initiale/indemnites-d-apprentissage-nouveau-regime-dt-dap-ccp). Upon successful completion of an academic year, learners receive a premium allowance based on a monthly rate of EUR 130 for CCP or EUR 150 for DAP and DT. The best apprentices receive an award which also includes a prize of EUR 1 500.

Enterprises offering apprenticeship places need to comply with certain criteria, verified by the professional chambers. Financial support and an award to encourage their engagement are available. VET trainers, who receive special training, supervise the apprentices in the training companies. In accordance with the amended VET legislation of 2008, an apprenticeship is based on key principles such as:

• qualitative assessment of learning outcomes (transcript of acquired and non-acquired skills rather than marks in figures);

• modular system allowing apprentices who fail a required module to continue their training and catch up at a later stage during their apprenticeship ([22]Cedefop (2017.) Spotlight on vocational education and training in Luxembourg. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8112_en.pdf
).

Learn more about apprenticeships in the national context from the European database on apprenticeship schemes by Cedefop: http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/apprenticeship-schemes/scheme-fiches

The Ministry of National Education, Children and Youth ([23]Ministère de l'Éducation Nationale, de l’Enfance et de la Jeunesse (MENJE). Hereinafter referred to as education ministry.) is responsible for all types of education, including initial and continuing VET. Initial and continuing higher education is under the Ministry of Higher Education and Research ([24]Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche (MESR). Hereinafter referred to as higher education ministry.). In cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy ([25], Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de l’Économie Sociale et Solidaire (MTE). Hereinafter referred to as labour ministry.), the Ministry of National Education, Children and Youth is also responsible for training measures for the unemployed.

Higher education is under the responsibility of the higher education ministry.

Cooperation between the State and the social partners is a core principle in VET. As stated in the law reforming VET ([26]SCL (2008). Loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A, 220, 3273–3288.
http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2008/0220/a220.pdf#page=2
), social partners are essential stakeholders who contribute to its organisation and implementation. The professional chambers’ opinion is systematically sought on laws and regulations on economic, financial and social policy: labour law, social security, taxation, the environment, initial and continuing vocational training, and education. Development and periodic revision of programmes are ensured by curriculum teams.

There are five professional chambers in Luxembourg. The Chamber of Commerce ([27]Chambre de Commerce.), Chamber of Trades and Skilled Crafts ([28]Chambre des Métiers.) and Chamber of Agriculture ([29]Chambre d’Agriculture.) represent employers. The Chamber of Employees ([30]Chambre des Salariés.), and Chamber of Civil Servants and Public Employees ([31]Chambre des Fonctionnaires et Employés Publics.) represent wage earners. These chambers act as independent policy institutes; they are involved in Luxembourg’s legislative procedures and are officially consulted on education matters. They are represented both at national (Economic and Social Council, Tripartite Advisory Committee on Vocational Training) and at European level (Cedefop Governing Board, Advisory Committee on Vocational Training). In contrast to trade unions and employers’ associations, membership in the professional chambers is compulsory (with an annual subscription) for all employees and private companies.

The professional chambers were created by law in 1924 ([32]SCL (1924). Loi du 4 avril 1924 portant création de chambres professionnelles à base élective. Mémorial A, A(2).
http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/textescoordonnes/compilation/code_administratif/VOL_1/CHAMBRE_PROF.pdf
) and in 1964 (Chamber of Civil Servants and Public Employees ([33]SCL (1964). Loi du 12 février 1964 ayant pour objet de compléter la loi du 4 avril 1924, portant création de chambres professionnelles à base élective par la création d’une chambre des fonctionnaires et employés publics. Mémorial A, 13, 230.
http://www.legilux.public.lu/rgl/1964/A/0230/1.pdf
). They are public establishments, legal persons governed by civil law. Although the professional chambers are supervised by the government, they enjoy financial autonomy. Since 1929, the chambers have been involved in initial education, especially with regard to VET preparing for an occupation. They also have substantial powers regarding apprenticeships; in 1945, their remit in the establishment, supervision and termination of apprenticeship contracts was extended. Their power and involvement were reinforced by the 2008 law reforming VET ([34]SCL (2008a). Loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A, 220, 3273–3288.
http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2008/0220/a220.pdf#page=2 and SCL (2008b). Loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant révision du régime applicable à certains. Mémorial A, 207, 3135–3138.
). Their involvement in vocational training includes:

  • identifying training needs;
  • guidance and information on training;
  • determining the professions or trades offered in VET;
  • training offers;
  • organising training;
  • designing framework training programmes;
  • assessing training programmes and the training system;
  • qualifications and validating experience acquired.

Professional chambers have established a platform for supervisors/tutors where they can find all the necessary support during apprenticeship. They have also created the label ‘training enterprise’ to put the companies committed to training young people into the limelight.

The Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Trades and Skilled Crafts have appointed apprenticeship counsellors for each trade and profession. Their main mission is to inform companies and apprentices about vocational training issues (legislation, organisation, programmes, class visits). They also assist enterprises and apprentices in practical process where they:

  • can intervene as mediators in case of disagreement or conflict between the company, the school or the apprentice;
  • participate in organisation of intermediary tests and support the relationship between the school and the company in case of difficulties;
  • are available to apprentices who need to reorient themselves and find an appropriate apprenticeship;
  • follow their evaluation and, if needed or concerned, take part in the class council and in the disciplinary councils;
  • signal irregularities in legislation on vocational training to the competent institutions.

The professional chambers are also authorised by law to organise continuing training courses.

The Education Ministry has created two new structures, to improve the adaptation of schools to the needs of learners and the professional world.

A National Programme Council ([35]Conseil national des programmes.) was created alongside the National Observatory of School Quality at the beginning of 2018, to allow more exchanges and debates about educational matters and to build a bridge between the educational and professional worlds. It should represent the voice of society in discussions about school programmes. The council has eight members (at least three men and at least three women), chosen according to their experience and expertise in different fields such as culture, economics, ecology, associations and others ([36]This section is based on: INFPC (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Luxembourg. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.
http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/Vocational_Education_Training_Europe_Luxembourg_2018_Cedefop_ReferNet.pdf
).

Total total government expenditure for public education in percentage of GDP increased from 4.8% in 2008 to 5.0% in 2017 ([37]Eurostat - Table gov_10a_exp [accessed 7.11.2018].). Luxembourg devotes the highest level of financial resources to education per learner among the OECD ([38]OECD - Table 10.1787/ca274bac-en [accessed 7.11.2018].) countries. At secondary level, the expenditure per learner is EUR 18 484, while the OECD average is about EUR 8 080 ([39]OECD (2015). Regards sur l’éducation 2015 [Education at a glance 2015].
http://www.oecd.org/education/education-at-a-glance-2015.htm
, [40]European Central Bank Euro foreign exchange reference rate as on 3 June 2016 EUR/USD=1.1154,
https://www.ecb.europa.eu/stats/exchange/eurofxref/html/index.en.html [accessed 9.1.2019].
).

In 2017, funding for initial public education was EUR 2.09 billion ([41]MENJE (2018b). Rapport d’activités 2017 [Activity report 2017]. Luxembourg: MENJE.
http://www.men.public.lu/fr/actualites/publications/themes-transversaux/rapports-activites-ministere/rapport-activite-2017/index.html
), shared between the three levels of initial education: primary, general secondary, and technical secondary. Education is financed at two levels: central government and local administrations (106 municipalities).

In 2015, more than half (54.5%) of the funding went to primary education (EUR 928 million). At secondary level, expenditure on technical education was higher (EUR 517 million, 30.4% of total funding) than general education (EUR 258 million, 15.1% of total funding). It covered remuneration of teachers, administrative and technical staff, operating costs and investments.

 

Investment in education 2002-15

Source: MENJE 2018.

 

Public funding for general and VET schools was slightly, but constantly, increasing up to 2012. In 2013, it fell by 3.7% but increased in 2014 (+8%) and remained stable in 2015 (+1%). There was a break in time series in 2009; since then the State has been fully in charge of remunerating primary education teachers, previously shared between the State and the communes.

Public funding includes:

  • teachers’ salaries;
  • non-teaching staff salaries;
  • current expenses (goods and services to ensure the daily functioning of educational services; school allowances; care of children outside school hours at municipal level for extra-curricular and after-school activities; the costs incurred by school medicine and school transport);
  • capital expenses (movable and immovable assets).

 

School funding in 2015, % (EUR million)

Source: MENJE (2018). The key figures of national education : statistics and indicators 2016-17. http://www.men.public.lu/fr/actualites/publications/themes-transversaux/statistiques-analyses/chiffres-cles/2016-2017/index.html

 

As shown in the above figure, salaries make up the highest costs of all education programmes (73-77%). The share is greater in primary education (77%) than in secondary education. The share of current expenses is higher in primary (14.5%) education than in general (12.5%) or in technical (13.0%) secondary education, possibly because care of children outside school hours at municipal level is costlier at this level.

 

Funders of public education in 2015

Source: MENJE (2018). The key figures of national education: statistics and indicators 2016-17. http://www.men.public.lu/fr/actualites/publications/themes-transversaux/statistiques-analyses/chiffres-cles/2016-2017/index.html

 

According to the latest available data, total central government expenditure (the cumulative expenditure of the various ministries and administrations involved in the financing of education) was nearly EUR 1 390 million. With a total contribution of 81.7%, the State is the primary funder of education in Luxembourg. The 106 communes contribute 18.3%, or about EUR 311 million.

Apart from national funds, money spent on public education can also come from foreign sources. The Schengen-Lyzeum Perl is a German and Luxembourgish high school set up in 2007, located in Germany close to the border. Learners can acquire the general and technical secondary school leaving diplomas (administrative and commercial division). The Landkreis Merzig-Wadern (LKMV), a German neighbouring district, pays 60% of the running costs and 50% of the building maintenance and investment in school equipment. The Luxembourg State pays the other part.

Funding for individuals in higher education

The government offers higher education learners financial support in the form of a grant and a loan (basic grant: EUR 1 000, mobility grant: EUR 1 225, grant on social criteria: EUR 0 to 1 900, family grant: EUR 250, student loan: EUR 3 250, registration fee: EUR 0 to 1 850) per academic semester: the grant and loan proportions depend on the applicant’s income ([42]http://portal.education.lu/etudes/Laide-financi%C3%A8re [accessed 6.3.2017].). Tuition fees are taken into account when calculating the financial support. In each academic year, higher education learners apply for the support twice: before the winter and summer semesters ([43]SCL (2010). Loi du 26 juillet 2010 concernant l’aide financière de l’état pour études supérieures. Mémorial A 118, 2039 - 2043.
http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2010/0118/a118.pdf#page=2
).

Funding continuing VET

Continuing training for employees or for individuals (private initiative) is normally funded by the enterprises or individuals themselves. However, in some sectors, companies must pay a levy to sectoral training providers to benefit from specific access conditions and prices. Companies may also contribute to training centres voluntarily to benefit from specific access conditions and prices. Companies and individuals can receive support and incentives for CVET, often non-financial but linked to working time arrangements.

Funding training for the unemployed and other vulnerable groups

Training for the unemployed and other groups excluded from the labour market is supported by the labour and the education ministries. The labour ministry finances training schemes run by the national centres for continuing vocational training and training schemes run by private centres under contract with the labour and the education ministries. The public employment service also provides financial support for different training programmes for job seekers.

Some projects for job seekers are jointly financed by the European Social Fund. Most are focused on job segments with a high development potential, such as Fit4coding (development of skills for the IT sector) or Fit4 Greenjobs (in cooperation with Institute for Construction Training - IFSB) ([44]This section is based on: INFPC (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Luxembourg. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.
http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/Vocational_Education_Training_Europe_Luxembourg_2018_Cedefop_ReferNet.pdf
).

The Law of 25 March 2015 established different teacher careers in the Luxembourgish educational system.

Teacher career

Type of teacher

Type of teaching

Required diploma

Secondary school Teachers A1

Technical and general secondary education

BA and MA

Technical education Teachers A2

Technical secondary education

BA

Master of technical education B1

Technical secondary education

Master craftsman diploma or BTS

There are no additional specific access or training requirements for VET teachers beyond a diploma and language requirements (proficiency in the three administrative languages). Recruitment procedures and training provisions for teachers in general secondary education are the same as for teachers in technical secondary education.

All teacher applicants must have a relevant bachelor or master degree for the subject that is being taught. They must pass an examination, and complete a three-year induction course at the Training Institute of National Education (Institut de formation de l’Éducation nationale, IFEN) created in 2015 ([45]SCL (2015). Collection of laws concerning the Training Institute of National Education. Mémorial A, 166.
http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2015/0166/a166
). During the induction course, future teachers are already teaching at secondary schools while attending a teacher education programme at the IFEN. The induction course ends with a final examination.

Luxembourg University has provided a master degree in secondary education since the 2016-17 academic year, accessible to students holding a bachelor degree in maths, Romance or German languages, who wish to develop the necessary didactic skills to teach in class. Trainee teachers can thereby acquire teaching skills before applying for the examination at the IFEN. The programme includes courses in educational sciences, sociology of education, and psychology, to provide learners with the necessary skills to understand and meet the challenges of teaching in a multicultural and multilingual school system. Four options are available: maths, French language and literature, German language and literature, Luxembourgish language and literature.

The Chamber of Commerce has a training programme for teachers providing continuing vocational training, to facilitate the transfer and appropriation of knowledge by learners. This programme provides fundamental tools for effective teaching, as well as specific aspects to help perfect teachers’ pedagogic approaches.

The law of 19 December 2008 stipulates that an enterprise offering training or apprenticeship has to designate one or more tutors to mentor apprentices throughout their apprenticeship. The tutor is in charge of the practical training and the pedagogic supervision of the apprentice. He is also appointed as the contact person for the apprenticeship counsellor and the competent professional chamber with regard to the progress of the apprentice. The law has increased the responsibility of the tutor for training and assessment of the apprentices. The training of tutors has become central to increasing and assuring the quality of initial and continuing vocational training and in promoting the recognition of diplomas and certificates across the borders. Participation in tutor training is mandatory for each enterprise involved in the training of one or more apprentices. Each tutor has to undergo three-day training, organised by the competent professional chamber. A trainer holding a master craftsperson diploma (Brevet de Maîtrise) or equivalent is exempted from this mandatory training. The training Tuteur en Entreprise (Tutor in company) comprises a legal section, a pedagogic section and a section on assessment. It gives tutors useful tools to set up a training path, manage the relationship with the apprentice, identify the mission of the tutor and be able to help apprentices integrate in the working world and the enterprise ([46]This section is based on: INFPC (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Luxembourg. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/Vocational_Education_Training_Europe_Luxembourg_2018_Cedefop_ReferNet.pdf).

The Training Institute of National Education (IFEN) designs, implements and evaluates the professional insertion (internship) and the continuing professional development of teachers and psycho-social staff in education.

Continuing professional development has become increasingly important over the years and is now considered a professional duty in the Luxembourgish education system. A new regulation has entered into force, in which the minimum mandatory continuing training for secondary school teachers has been increased to 48 hours over three years. Within the SCHiLW framework (Schulinterne Lehrer/innen-Weiterbildung - School teachers’ continuing training), the IFEN supports secondary schools that are willing to set up training plans (plans de formation, not compulsory). These plans contribute to greater coherence between the school’s objectives and teachers’ training activities.

The continuing training offer is elaborated by the IFEN in collaboration with school staff, who are consulted annually, and upon their request. IFEN endeavours to meet individual needs that have been identified at various levels, as well as political decisions. Continuing professional development is therefore organised according to training objectives and the availability of the teachers being trained, such as seminars (one-off training courses), training days, conferences, sequential continuing training (introductory module followed by a practical phase which may or may not be accompanied by an exchange and intensification phase). In a period of rapid technological change, it is essential that VET teachers continuously update their vocational skills and knowledge, to ensure trainees leave the VET system with skills that can be put into practice immediately.

In order to contribute to the academic success of learners, training offered aims to develop, in priority, the following teachers’ professional skills:

  • priority 1: teaching and learning in a competence-based approach;
  • priority 2: teaching and learning language skills in a multilingual context;
  • priority 3: information and communication technologies;
  • priority 4: teamwork and communication;
  • priority 5: personal professional development;
  • priority 6: school development;
  • priority 7: school management;
  • priority 8: socio-educational work.

Each year new continuing training courses are proposed in order to answer to individual needs or needs identified at regional or national level.

VET standards are developed in cooperation between the education ministry and the professional chambers. Curricula are based on occupational standards and informed by skill needs in enterprises. The following institutions ensure VET provision in line with labour market needs:

  • Permanent Labour and Employment Committee (Comité Permanent du Travail et de l’Emploi): the ministries of education and labour, cooperate through this committee. It is responsible for reviewing the labour market situation regularly. Its working methods include analysis of job supply and skills demand;
  • Training Observatory: established in 2012 by the National Institute for the Development of Continuing Vocational Training (INFPC); it provides the government and social partners with detailed statistics and reliable qualitative analyses on training issues; these are useful insights for public policy and private strategies in the lifelong learning domain;
  • Employment Observatory: established by the labour ministry; analyses labour market data, publishes a labour market dashboard and organises annual conferences on relevant labour market issues and employment;
  • Competence Observatory: to help improve initial and continuing training offers, the University of Luxembourg competence centre (previously Luxembourg International University Institute - Institut Universitaire International Luxembourgeois, IUIL), in cooperation with companies, identifies and anticipates competence needs in sectors and occupations. Analyses cover the trade, law, health, food and catering sectors, management, socio-professional integration and green professions;
  • Business Federation of Luxembourg: since 1997 has conducted annual surveys ([47]This survey is conducted in collaboration with the Luxembourg Bankers' Association, the Luxembourg Confederation of Commerce, the Chamber of Commerce and the education ministry, with support from the European Union (EURES).) on skill needs, alternatively in the industrial and in the information technology and communication sectors. It explores skill needs of enterprises to achieve a good balance between vocational training supply and labour market demand. The survey is the basis for the Qualifications of tomorrow (Les qualifications de demain) publication. It offers forecasts of enterprise skill requirements for replacements and new job openings, and the associated qualification levels. The publication provides young people and their parents with insights into education paths and encourages public authorities, professional chambers and other VET actors to take account of enterprises’ training needs in CVET ([48]This section is based on: INFPC (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Luxembourg. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/Vocational_Education_Training_Europe_Luxembourg_2018_Cedefop_ReferNet.pdf).

See also Cedefop’s skills forecast ([49]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/skills-forecast) and European Skills Index ([50]https://skillspanorama.cedefop.europa.eu/en/indicators/european-skills-index)

The development of the VET qualifications is based on the following elements:

  • occupational profile: lists the areas of activities as well as the activities and tasks of future occupations after two to three years of workplace experience;
  • training profile: based on the occupational profile by areas of competence: occupational and general competences;
  • training programme based on the training profile:

- defines the learning outcomes for each competence and regroups them by learning domain;

- organises the learning domains and outcomes in modules and credits;

- curriculum: determines the content of the different modules.

The main bodies responsible for designing qualifications are curriculum teams and national vocational commissions ([51]SCL (2011). Règlement grand-ducal du 30 juillet 2011 portant institution et organisation des équipes curriculaires, des commissions nationales de formation et des commissions nationales de l’enseignement général pour la formation professionnelle de l’enseignement secondaire technique. Mémorial A 173.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/rgd/2011/07/30/n3/jo
). A curriculum team is associated with a specific profession or group of professions; training centres and schools are equally represented. The education minister decides on the maximum number of representatives for each team. The curriculum team:

  • develops and revises programmes for the trades and professions it is responsible for;
  • ensures consistency between the objectives of school-based and work-based training;
  • provides guidelines and procedures for continuous assessment of learners at school and in the workplace, in cooperation with the respective committees. The guidelines and procedures feed into evaluation frameworks adopted by the education minister;
  • develops and evaluates the ’integrated project’ (projet integré) that replaces the former final exams. The project aims to check whether the learner has developed the complex competences needed to solve a real or simulated work situation.

National vocational commissions (commissions nationales de formation) exist for each division, trade and profession of general and technical secondary education; they propose course content, methods and evaluation criteria to the education minister. The commissions are made up of:

  • a teacher from each school where vocational or technician programmes are offered;
  • a representative of the national general education commissions, designated by the minister;
  • a representative of each professional chamber associated to the training;
  • representatives of the higher council of health professions and employer representatives in the case of health sector professions;
  • employer representatives of education and social institutions, in the case of social sector professions.

A Division for Curriculum Development ([52]SCL (2017). Loi du 14 mars 2017 portant modification de la loi modifiée du 7 octobre 1993 ayant pour objet: (1) la création d’un Service de Coordination de la Recherche et de l’Innovation pédagogiques et technologiques; (2) la création d’un Centre de Gestion Informatique de l’Éducation ; (3) l’institution d’un Conseil scientifique. Mémorial A 439.
http://memorial.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2017/03/14/a439/jo
) was created within the Department for Coordination of Educational and Technological Research and Innovation (SCRIPT) within the Ministry of Education, to simplify the implementation of the 2008 reform. It provides support to the national commissions of programmes in elementary and secondary education, as well as the curriculum teams and national vocational commissions of vocational training, assisting in their tasks, developing and adapting curricula. This division coordinates the work of national commissions, guarantees the implementation and supervises the coherence and consistency of curricula. The division works in close collaboration with various stakeholders to guarantee the scientific framework of curriculum development. It also works in collaboration with the recently installed National Programme Council.

The development and implementation of the European qualifications framework for lifelong learning (EQF) is seen as an opportunity to make explicit the existing education and training levels and the links between them. The key objective of the eight-level national qualifications framework (cadre luxembourgeois des qualifications, CLQ) is to increase the transparency of qualifications. The CLQ serves as a non-binding guiding framework for stakeholders: individuals, education and training providers, and the labour market.

The CLQ was referenced to the EQF and the qualifications framework in the European higher education area (QF-EHEA) in 2012. Beginning in 2014, a committee represented by the education ministry and the higher education ministry published a report which detailed the links between the CLQ and the EQF and to the QF-EHEA. Levels 6-8 include qualifications awarded by Luxembourg University only. VET qualifications have been assigned to EQF levels 2-5, with the higher technician and the master craftsperson certificate, for instance, at the latter.

The philosophy of the CLQ is to show that lifelong learning is not fragmented and that it should not be restricted to formal qualifications. The referencing report, however, only reflects formal education and training, which is changing and moving towards a learning outcomes approach. Once this change is complete, a new report reflecting an adjusted lifelong learning framework, including qualifications acquired through non-formal and informal learning, will be published ([53]Based on: INFPC (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Luxembourg. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/Vocational_Education_Training_Europe_Luxembourg_2018_Cedefop_ReferNet.pdf).

A national approach to quality assurance has been devised, and evaluation and review procedures are in development stage. There is no real quality framework, but legislation and the current organisation take the quality component into account.

Quality standards for VET providers are part of legislation and are used for accreditation and funding. Guidelines and standards are used to promote a culture of continuous improvement. Over the past 10 years, the education and training system has been overhauled to provide the resources needed to cope with the challenges of a rapidly changing environment. Administrative structures have been changed to allow modern school management with a degree of autonomy. In 2004, the legislation promoted partnership-based school community approaches and school initiatives to improve the quality of education. For VET programmes the education ministry coordinates the implementation of the EQAVET recommendation ([54]See EQAVET recommendation at
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32009H0708(01)&from=EN [accessed 6.3.2017].
).

National indicators related to the 10 proposed by the recommendation are used and monitored nationally. While most are applied in IVET, their use for CVET, which is not monitored centrally, varies by sector or provider.

Secondary education - School development plan, PDS ([55]Plan de développement de l’établissement scolaire (PDS).)

The school development plan (PDS) was introduced by the law of 15 December 2016 ([56]SCL (2016). A-N° 263 du 21 décembre 2016.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2016/12/15/n1/jo
).

Schools should describe their school and extracurricular activities in the school development plan to outline their profile and analyse their general situation, as well as constantly to develop and innovate. This approach covers domains that may help their learners receive the best quality education. Each school should elaborate its own steps in a series of areas that are critical for success.

Seven domains are foreseen for secondary education:

  • organisation of pedagogical support. Each learner should have access to remedial measures that meet their needs and capabilities;
  • supervision of children with specific needs to provide tailor-made solutions for their needs and support their learning process;
  • partnerships with parents to improve their involvement in the schooling process and create a partnership culture between families and schools;
  • integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) to prepare learners for the challenges of the employment market influenced by ICT;
  • psycho-social support for learners who face problems at school, or have psychological or family problems, to prevent school dropouts/failure;
  • relevant guidance for learners to help them make the right choices, according to their profiles;
  • extracurricular activities to guarantee equal access for all learners to non-formal learning opportunities, in addition to mainstream classes.

For each of these domains, national objectives have been defined in a national reference framework. Secondary schools are free to choose the domains and objectives they need to focus on.

The school development plan also contains:

  • definition of at least one objective from the description and analysis mentioned above;
  • an action plan for each objective (persons in charge, resources needed, schedule, evaluation criteria);
  • an evaluation and continuous adaptation of the current PDS.

Following the law of December 2016 ([57]SCL (2016). A-N° 263 21 décembre.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2016/12/15/n1/jo
), as of the 2017/18 school year each secondary school should elaborate a PDS produced by a school development committee ([58]Cellule de développement scolaire (CDS).). The school development committee is coordinated by the school directorate and includes school staff appointed by the director for a three-year period that may be renewed. Its mission is to analyse and interpret the school’s data, to identify the school’s priority needs, to define school development strategies, to elaborate the school charter, the profile and the PDS, and to ensure internal and external communication, while establishing a triennial plan for the continuing training of its high-school staff.

The Division for the Development of Schools ([59]Division du développement des établissements scolaires.) from the Department for Coordination of Educational and Technological Research and Innovation (SCRIPT) was set up according to the law of 14 March 2017 ([60]SCL (2017). Loi du 14 mars 2017 portant modification de la loi modifiée du 7 octobre 1993 ayant pour objet: (1) la création d’un Service de Coordination de la Recherche et de l’Innovation pédagogiques et technologiques; (2) la création d’un Centre de Gestion Informatique de l’Éducation; (3) l’institution d’un Conseil scientifique. Mémorial A 439.
http://memorial.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2017/03/14/a439/jo
). Its mission is to accompany schools in their general approach to school development and, more specifically, to elaborate and implement the PDS, collaborating with various departments, educational structures, national and international partners, who may to optimise the quality of schools. The Division for the Development of Schools has provided several transversal tools, such as a website ([61]https://portal.education.lu/developpementscolaire/Accueil-Lyc%C3%A9es) dedicated to the development of schools, forms allowing schools to coordinate and follow up their PDS, and adaptable questionnaires to facilitate data collection about the perception of school actors.

The school development committee has been working on the PDS since September 2017; it was then adopted by the Education Ministry in September 2018.

A National Observatory of School Quality ([62]Observatoire national de la qualité scolaire.), created at the start of 2018, is responsible for evaluating and supervising the quality of the education system. It is an independent structure. The observatory systematically evaluates the quality of the school system and the implementation of education policies. It does not assess the individual work of teachers, but the organisation and operation of schools and the Ministry of Education. The observatory is composed of eight observers, from public or private sectors, who are totally independent. They visit schools and meet representatives for various school stakeholders, such as parents, learners and teachers, and have exchanges with Education Ministry departments. The Observatory produces an annual activity report and at least one thematic report on a priority area. Every three years, it produces a national report on the school system with its findings and recommendations.

These reports are transmitted to the Government and the Chamber of Deputies and made accessible to the public.

The Division for Data Analysis of The Department for Coordination of Educational and Technological Research and Innovation (SCRIPT) is commissioned to collect and analyse data on the quality of the education offer by analysing school reports or in the context of a project. The results of the surveys may be consulted during the elaboration of a PDS or before making decisions to improve the school’s organisation. This division organises national and international standardised tests. Standardised tests elaborated by the Luxembourg Centre for Educational Testing (University of Luxembourg) and common tests are used as instruments of formative or summative evaluation or the individual learner guidance process. International tests like the OECD’s PISA (Programme for international student assessment), the IEA’s ICILS (International computer and literacy study) generate results which help with the governance of the education system.

Tertiary education

Short-cycle programmes leading to higher technician certificates (BTS) ([63]Brevet de technicien supérieur.) are evaluated externally before being accredited by the higher education ministry for a period of five years. After this time, the accreditation has to be renewed through a new evaluation. This procedure should ensure that the programmes are relevant to the related professional sector ([64]SCL (2010). Règlement ministériel du 15 mars 2010 portant sur l’accréditation des programmes de formation menant au brevet de technicien supérieur. Mémorial A 65.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/rmin/2010/03/15/n1/jo
).

The university is largely free to design and implement its own quality assurance processes. At Luxembourg University, quality culture and regular quality control through internal and external evaluation of teaching, research and technical, administrative and logistics services are key elements. External audit of the University of Luxembourg has been conducted every four years since 2008 by an external evaluation committee. The independent Committee of External Evaluation is appointed by the Minister for Higher Education and Research.

The University of Luxembourg produces a key performance indicators report in the frame of a multiannual development contract between the Luxembourgish government and the university (2014-17) ([65]Contrat d’établissement pluriannuel entre l’Etat et l’Université du Luxembourg, 2014-17.); this includes publications per researcher, bachelor degrees awarded, master degrees awarded, and master recruitment rate.

Luxembourg has been a member of the European quality assurance register for higher education (EQAR) since 2008 ([66]Although there are no agencies registered in Luxembourg three foreign EQAR agencies operate in the country.).

Continuing VET

Even though there is no real quality framework, quality is a major concern and is covered in the legislation and in the organisation of CVET. Quality will be a major issue in the future of CVET.

The white paper on the national lifelong learning strategy ([67]Anefore (2012). Livre blanc - Stratégie nationale du lifelong learning [White book on the national lifelong learning strategy].
http://www.men.public.lu/catalogue-publications/adultes/informations-generales-offre-cours/livre-blanc-lifelong-learning/131025-s3l-livreblanc.pdf See also
www.S3l.lu
), defines six cross-cutting key principles and related measures and recommendations for implementation. These include developing the quality of lifelong learning and establishing a framework for the quality of adult education and training. This framework will be based on:

  • a quality label awarded to training providers that meet specified criteria in structure and content of the training offer;
  • accreditation of training offers. A working group on training provider accreditation was set up in 2014.

A quality label for municipal governments and non-profit associations can be awarded in CVET by the education minister for a five-year period ([68]SCL (2000). Règlement grand-ducal du 31 mars 2000 ayant pour objet: (1) de fixer les modalités des contrats conventionnant des cours pour adultes et les conditions d’obtention d’un label de qualité et d’une subvention; (2) de créer une Commission Consultative à l’Education. Mémorial A 34, 846-848.
http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2000/0034/a034.pdf#page=2
). Courses must be of general interest in so-called areas of general education and social advancement. They must meet educational and financial quality criteria. Objectives and course content must be in line with the priorities for adult education.

Quality criteria and priorities are defined for periods of up to five years by the education ministry based on the advice of the Adult Education Advisory Committee ([69]Commission Consultative à l'Éducation des Adultes.). The committee consists of the persons in charge of the Adult Education Department, two representatives delegated by schools offering evening classes, a representative of the Department of Vocational Education and a private sector representative. The committee may also involve adult training experts in its work.

While some private providers commit to quality assurance approaches, a large part of adult education is not subject to systematic evaluation or quality assurance ([70]This section is based on: INFPC (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Luxembourg. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/Vocational_Education_Training_Europe_Luxembourg_2018_Cedefop_ReferNet.pdf).

The 2008 legislation ([71]SCL (2008). Loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 220, 3273-3288.
http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2008/0220/a220.pdf#page=2
) reforming VET stipulates that everyone has the right to have his/her prior learning and occupational experience validated to obtain a professional qualification. Validation of prior learning is a procedure that recognises the value of learning at school (incomplete qualifications), non-formal and informal learning, and work experience.

Individuals who have at least three years (5 000 hours) of paid, unpaid or voluntary work (whether continuous or not) directly related to the requested qualification may request certification from the education ministry ([72]SCL (2010). Règlement grand-ducal du 11 janvier 2010 portant organisation de la validation des acquis de l’expérience pour la délivrance des brevets, diplômes et certificats prévue au chapitre V de la loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 6.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/rgd/2010/01/11/n1/jo
). A recent law ([73]SCL (2016). Loi du 24 août 2016 modifiant la loi modifiée du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 175.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2016/08/24/n1/jo
) modifying the 2008 legislation, specifies that during validation of prior learning the education ministry will offer support to candidates through either collective workshop or personalised interviews with a coach nominated by the minister. Validation is possible for technical school-based programmes, all VET diplomas and certificates as well as for the master craftsmanship. If all conditions are met, the process leads to a certificate or diploma, or to a part thereof. Experience must be directly related to the requested certification. At higher technician certificate level, an ad hoc evaluation committee is set up for each individual asking for recognition of prior learning.

At university level, validation of non-formal and informal learning allows experience to be recognised with a view to accessing various bachelor or master university studies. The request is considered by a board of examiners whose members are appointed by the chancellor, following recommendation of the dean of the relevant faculty.

Formal VET leads to seven European qualification levels (1 to 7). The 2008 legislation ([74]SCL (2008). Loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 220, 3273-3288.
http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2008/0220/a220.pdf#page=2
) reforming VET stipulates that everyone has the right to have his/her prior learning and occupational experience validated to obtain a professional qualification. Validation of prior learning is a procedure that recognises the value of learning at school (incomplete qualifications), non-formal and informal learning, and work experience.

For more information about arrangements for the validation of non-formal and informal learning please visit Cedefop’s European database ([75]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/european-database-on-validation-of-non-formal-and-informal-learning).

Individual training leave

The objective of individual training leave is to ease access to continuing training. Employees working in a company for at least six months, self-employed workers and individuals in a liberal profession (and having been affiliated to the social security system for at least two years) can benefit from 80 days of paid leave during their entire career, but not more than 20 days per two years. Employers can have salaries reimbursed by the government. Training must be provided by an institution issuing certificates recognised by the government. The employee is required to submit a request to the education ministry which then approves the leave – stating the number of days granted – or refuses it.

Language training leave

Language training leave allows employees, the self-employed and individuals in a liberal profession of all nationalities to learn Luxembourgish for social and professional integration. The courses take place during normal working hours. The maximum paid leave is 200 hours over a professional career. Each leave hour entitles employees to a compensatory allowance equal to their average hourly salary paid by the employer. The employer advances the allowance and is reimbursed 50% by the State. The request must be sent to the labour ministry by the employer prior to the start of the course; the leave can be deferred by the employer if it disrupts company operations.

Unpaid training leave and personal working time arrangement

The 2006 Grand Ducal regulation on the organisation of working time (organisation du temps de travail) ([76]SCL (2006). Règlement grand-ducal du 30 mars 2006 portant déclaration d’obligation générale d’un accord en matière de dialogue social interprofessionnel relatif à l’accès individuel à la formation professionnelle continue conclu entre les syndicats OGB-L et LCGB d’une part et l’Union des Entreprises Luxembourgeoises, d’une autre. Mémorial A 85.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/rgd/2006/03/30/n2/jo
) stipulates a general obligation to reach an agreement on access to CVET through inter-occupational social dialogue to be signed between the trade union federations and the Union of Enterprises. Organising working hours within a flexi-time arrangement and unpaid leave for vocational training purposes is part of this regulation.

Unpaid training leave releases a worker from duties to take part in professional training. The agreement applies to private sector employees who have been employed for at least two years, regardless of the type of employment contract. During the leave, the employment contract is suspended. The employer can refuse the unpaid leave, if the applicant is a high-level executive or if the company has fewer than 15 employees. The employer can also defer the unpaid leave for up to one year where the leave is no more than three months or for up to two years where the leave exceeds three months.

Employees working flexi-time may request amendment of their working time to support participation in training. The employer can refuse to grant such an amendment based on operational needs or impact on the efficient organisation of the business.

Tax exemptions

Every income tax payer may deduct expenses for professional development from taxable income. Such expenses must have a direct link with the business activity performed by the employee and allow improving professional knowledge. They must be paid by the participant and refund claimed through a tax declaration ([77]This section is based on: INFPC (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Luxembourg. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/Vocational_Education_Training_Europe_Luxembourg_2018_Cedefop_ReferNet.pdf).

State shared funding for CVET

A company can receive State funding (operated by the education ministry) for investment in CVET. Private companies established in Luxembourg that undertake most of their activities inside the country are eligible. The training targets:

  • employees affiliated with the national social security system;
  • persons bound to the company by an employment contract (fixed-term or permanent);
  • subcontractors working for the applicant company;
  • owners of craft, trade, industry, agriculture or forestry companies.

Investment in training is capped according to the size of the company:

  • at 20% of total payroll for companies with 1 to 9 employees;
  • at 3% of total payroll for companies with 10 to 249 employees;
  • at 2% of total payroll for companies with more than 249 employees.

The share of funding is calculated based on the investment in CVET ([78]SCL (2018a). Loi du 13 mars 2018 portant création d’un Observatoire national de la qualité scolaire. Mémorial A 183.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2018/03/13/a183/jo
). Companies receive direct grants: 15-35% of investment (depending on employee profiles).

Support for learning Luxembourgish

Private sector companies legally established in the country can partly recover the costs associated with learning Luxembourgish. Eligible costs include training fees and the costs of study materials and are paid by the labour ministry.

Funding for additional apprenticeship places

The fund for employment provides financial support for the creation of apprenticeship places to encourage enterprises to hire apprentices. It partly reimburses the apprenticeship allowance (27% for vocational DAP programme ([79]Vocational aptitude diploma (diplôme d’aptitude professionnelle, DAP).) and 40% for the vocational CCP programme ([80]Vocational capacity certificate (certificat de capacité professionnelle, CCP).)) and covers the employer’s share of social security costs for the apprentice ([81]SCL (2012). Règlement grand-ducal du 31 octobre 2012 fixant les conditions et modalités des aides et primes de promotion de l’apprentissage. Mémorial A 239, 3153-3154.http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2012/0239/a239.pdf#page=5). Applications for financial support must be submitted by the enterprises and the apprentice to the public employment service before 1 July of the year following the year in which the learning ended.

Apprenticeship award for a training company

Since 2013, the award for the best training company has been presented each year during the apprenticeship graduation ceremony to the company that commits itself most to apprenticeships (creation of apprenticeship places, follow-up of apprentices) ([82]This section is based on: INFPC (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Luxembourg. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/Vocational_Education_Training_Europe_Luxembourg_2018_Cedefop_ReferNet.pdf).

Most guidance services offered during secondary education, operate within the guidance house (maison de l’orientation, 2012). The initiative centralises administrations and counselling services that help people move into working life. It focuses on young people but anyone can find information and advice there. The guidance house includes:

  1. the vocational guidance service of the public employment service (Adem) which provides information on trades/professions and apprenticeship placement;
  2. the Psycho-Social and Educational Accompaniment Centre (CePAS) which helps learners in their school or career guidance and may provide psychological support;
  3. the National Youth Service (SNJ) which supports the acquisition of practical experience through the voluntary Youth Service;
  4. the Local Bureau for Youth (Antennes locales pour jeunes) which offers individual coaching to achieve school or professional projects;
  5. the school reception centre for newcomers for 12 to 17 year-old immigrant learners;
  6. the Centre of Documentation and Information on Higher Education (CEDIES).

This centralisation ensures better coordination of services and stakeholders, while improving visibility.

In 2017 the Guidance Forum (Forum orientation) was set up this is a national council in charge of establishing a national information and guidance strategy. It includes ministries, social partners, directors of secondary schools, parent and learner representatives. The guidance forum has adopted the following definition of guidance:

’Guidance refers to a series of activities that enable the citizen, at any time in his/her life:

  • to identify his/her abilities, skills and interests;
  • to make informed decisions as regards his/her studies and training choices as well as his/her professional activities.

The shared goal is to foster personal fulfilment and the development of society.’

Since 2017, every secondary school must develop its own general guidance approach. The approach has to be in accordance with the reference framework for school and professional guidance elaborated by the guidance house ([83]MENJE (2017a). Cadre de référence pour l’orientation scolaire et professionnelle [Reference framework for school and professional guidance]. Luxembourg: MENJE.
http://www.men.public.lu/fr/actualites/publications/secondaire/psychologieorientation/170124-cadre-reference/index.html
). In each secondary school, a guidance unit is responsible for the implementation of the guidance process set out in the school's development plan (PDS). It is composed of at least two members of teaching staff,

two educational or psychosocial staff and at least one guidance counsellor.

The Higher Education Documentation and Information Centre (Centre de Documentation et d’Information sur l’Enseignement Supérieur) is available to people who require general information about higher education.

The web portal Anelo ([84]https://www.anelo.lu/) is an information and exchange platform for all young people preparing for training, studies or work experience. It centralises information on:

  • trades and professions ([85]http://beruffer.anelo.lu);
  • the steps to follow during a job search;
  • ePortfolio tool that allows young people to gather important documents and certificates showing their strengths and skills;
  • how to gain practical experience in the world of work (jobs for students, volunteer services);
  • where to find information on guidance and support.

The Anelo Web portal and the various connected sites are now being managed by the Guidance House Coordination Department. They are also in charge of promoting the portal and training courses to help young people use the various tools on Anelo.

The Youth guarantee ([86]http://www.jugendgarantie.lu/) was launched in June 2014. It commits national authorities (National Employment Agency, Local Action for Youth, National Youth Service) to offer young people between 16 and 25 high-quality guidance to help them find a job, make it possible to return to school or an apprenticeship, or to offer work experience in projects on a voluntary basis. Each is offered support tailored to his/her background, personal situation and aspirations. Diversification of the school offer is the main priority for education policies in Luxembourg. A recent reform provides growing autonomy to schools to boost this diversification and to support individual school efforts to innovate.

Choosing the right school is becoming more challenging for learners; the MENJE has launched a platform www.mengschoul.lu to help young people and their parents. The platform is for learners going into secondary education, as well as for those going into higher secondary education and foreign learners joining the Luxembourgish school system. The platform is based on a standardised detailed portrait of each school. An interactive map allows users to filter secondary schools according to the innovative projects on offer; other filters allow users to select the school programmes. This tool helps parents and learners to compare VET schools and their specificities to make the best choice. [87]Based on: INFPC (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Luxembourg. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.http://libserver.cedefop.europa.eu/vetelib/2019/Vocational_Education_Training_Europe_Luxembourg_2018_Cedefop_ReferNet.pdf

Please see:

Vocational education and training system chart

Tertiary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 5

Higher technician

programmes (BTS),

2 years

ISCED 554

Higher technician programme (brevet de technicien supérieur, BTS) leading to EQF level 5, ISCED 554
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

554

Usual entry grade

15-17 ([152]Counting of grades starts from age four when children enter pre-school, which is the first grade.)

Usual completion grade

17 and later ([153]Counting of grades starts from age four when children enter pre-school, which is the first grade.)

Usual entry age

19-20

Usual completion age

21-22

Length of a programme (years)

2

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Information not available

Is it continuing VET?

Information not available

Is it offered free of charge?

N

Registration fees

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

120 credits

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

Information not available

Main providers

Public and private secondary schools, and technical secondary schools recognised by the State.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Information not available

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)

BTS programmes alternate; they provide both theoretical instruction including general education (like languages) and training in a work environment ([154]www.bts.lu).

Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

To be admitted to the programme, learners require either a general or a technical secondary school leaving diploma (diplôme de fin d'études secondaires classique, diplôme de fin d’études secondaires générales), or a technician diploma (diplôme de technicien – DT) complemented by optional modules.

Assessment of learning outcomes

The BTS programme is organised in modules spread over four semesters. Each module has between 5 and 20 ECTS credits and can be composed of different courses with at least one ECTS credit.

Attendance at courses, practical training courses and any other pedagogical activities organised as part of the training is compulsory.

Each course is subject to knowledge assessment that results in a grade. The score is either the result of a continuous assessment carried out during the six-month period, or of a final examination carried out exclusively during an examination session, or by these two assessment modes combined.

 

Diplomas/certificates provided

Graduates receive the higher technician certificate (brevet de technicien supérieur, BTS;

Examples of qualifications

Nurse, paediatric nurse, responsible for exploitation of automated installations, game artist, character designer

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduation from the higher technician programme does not provide progression possibilities to any other programme.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Validation of non-formal and informal learning (Validation des acquis de l'expérience – VAE) allows experience to be recognised with a view to obtaining all or part of a higher technician certificate (Brevet de Technicien Supérieur – BTS).

VAE is for everyone, regardless of age, level of study or professional status. The prerequisite is to have completed at least three years or 5 000 hours of paid, unpaid or voluntary work directly related to the requested certification, whether continuous or not.

In order to identify the diploma matching his/her experience, the applicant is advised to consult the list and obtain information from the schools and colleges in question. Some BTS qualifications are not yet accessible through VAE.

The validation application and registration application should be sent to the Head of the school/college in question in order to obtain the diploma. The validation application is accompanied by a portfolio which must set out, with reference to the diploma sought, the knowledge, aptitude and skills that the applicant has gained through experience.

Based on the proposal of the college director, the ministry appoints an ad hoc committee for each training programme.

This committee assesses the validation request and the portfolio and interviews the applicant. It may request a placement into a professional situation (whether real-life or simulated). While deliberating, it assesses the knowledge acquired through experience with regard to the curriculum of the desired diploma.

The ad hoc committee may take one or several of the following decisions:

  • exemption from producing one of the certificates set out by Article 10 (1) of the Law of 19 June 2009 (setting out the terms and conditions for higher education courses of study leading to a higher technician certificate (BTS));
  • registration, provided that an additional part of the curriculum is completed;
  • exemption from attending some of the training modules or classes comprising the modules;
  • exemption from compliance with some of the validation measures;
  • exemption from all of the modules, classes and examinations leading to the diploma being granted.
General education subjects

Information not available

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Information not available

EQF 6

Professional bachelor

programmes,

3 years

ISCED 655

Professional bachelor programmes leading to EQF level 6, ISCED 655
EQF level
6
ISCED-P 2011 level

655

Usual entry grade

16-17 ([155]Counting of grades starts from age four when children enter pre-school, which is the first grade.)

Usual completion grade

19-20 ([156]Counting of grades starts from age four when children enter pre-school, which is the first grade.)

Usual entry age

19-20

Usual completion age

21-22

Length of a programme (years)

3

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Information not available

Is it continuing VET?

Information not available

Is it offered free of charge?

Information not available

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

180 to 240 credits

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

- academic teaching

- applied courses

- internship abroad and/or case studies

Main providers

Information not available

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Information not available

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)

- practical training at school

- in-company practice abroad

- case studies

Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

Professional bachelor (bachelor professionnel) programmes are accessible to holders of a general or technical secondary leaving diploma or a technician diploma in the field of study.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Information not available

Diplomas/certificates provided

Graduates receive an application-oriented bachelor degree (professional bachelor, bachelor professionnel).

Examples of qualifications

Information not available

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Progression to professional or academic Master programme is possible.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

At university level, validation of non-formal and informal learning allows experience to be recognised with a view to accessing various bachelor or master university studies. The request is considered by a board of examiners whose members are appointed by the chancellor, following recommendation of the dean of the relevant faculty ([157]http://www.lifelong-learning.lu/Detail/Article/Diplomes/pour-les-diplomes-universitaires----bachelor-et-master/en and
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2009/06/19/n1/jo
).

General education subjects

Information not available

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Information not available

EQF 7

Professional master

programme,

2 years

ISCED 757

Professional master programme leading to EQF level 7, ISCED 757
EQF level
7
ISCED-P 2011 level

757

Usual entry grade

19-20 ([158]Counting of grades starts from age four when children enter pre-school, which is the first grade.)

Usual completion grade

20-21 ([159]Counting of grades starts from age four when children enter pre-school, which is the first grade.)

Usual entry age

21

Usual completion age

23

Length of a programme (years)

2

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Information not available

Is it initial VET?

Information not available

Is it continuing VET?

Information not available

Is it offered free of charge?

Information not available

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

60 to 120 credits

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

Information not available

Main providers

Information not available

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Information not available

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)

Information not available

Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

Learners need to hold a (professional) bachelor degree to enter the professional master programme.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Information not available

Diplomas/certificates provided

Graduates receive an application-oriented master degree (professional master, Master professionnel).

Examples of qualifications

Information not available

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates holding a professional master programme can progress to academic PhD programmes.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

At university level, validation of non-formal and informal learning allows experience to be recognised with a view to accessing various bachelor or master university studies. The request is considered by a board of examiners whose members are appointed by the chancellor, following recommendation of the dean of the relevant faculty ([160]http://www.lifelong-learning.lu/Detail/Article/Diplomes/pour-les-diplomes-universitaires----bachelor-et-master/en and
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2009/06/19/n1/jo
).

General education subjects

Information not available

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Information not available

Post-secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 5

Master craftsperson

programmes

ISCED 453

Master craftsperson programmes leading to EQF 5 and ISCED 453 – Brevet de maîtrise.
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

453

Usual entry grade

Applicants , who must be at least 18, must hold one of the following qualifications:

  • vocational aptitude diploma (Diplôme d'aptitude professionnelle - DAP) 
  • technician's diploma (Diplôme de Technicien - DT)
  • general secondary school leaving diploma (Diplôme de fin d'études secondaires classiques - DFESC)
  • technical secondary school leaving diploma (Diplôme de fin d'études secondaires générales - DFESG)
  • Any other post-secondary qualification (higher technician's certificate (Brevet de technicien supérieur - BTS), bachelor, master)
  • A foreign diploma or certificate recognised by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth
Usual completion grade

Not applicable

Usual entry age

18+

Usual completion age

Not applicable

Length of a programme (years)

Information not available

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

N

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

The registration fee for preparatory courses is EUR 600 per year of registration.

The registration fee for exams is EUR 300 per exam session.

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

Courses are organised in the evenings on weekdays and weekends. They are held either at the training centre of the by the Chamber of Trades and Skilled Crafts, or in secondary schools, or in the National Centre for Continuing Vocational Training (CNFPC).

Main providers

Programmes are organised by the Chamber of Trades and Skilled Crafts

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Information not available

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)

The courses in professional theory are specific to each trade. They consist, in principle, of three different modules.
The Chamber of Trades and Skilled Crafts proposes the module that the candidate must follow for the current year.
There is a list with the trades for which preparatory courses are offered. 
In some trades, complementary courses, compulsory and subject to fees, have to be followed.

Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

To access these programmes, learners are required to have successfully completed at least EQF level 3 in any trades or occupations. Learners should also have at least one year of work experience to be able to take the final exam.

Assessment of learning outcomes

The master craftsperson programmes is organised in modules and the candidates are free to adapt their training to their own pace. When registering, they choose the modules they would like to follow during the school year.
As the maximum duration to finalise the master craftsperson programmes is six years, the Chamber of Trades and Skilled Crafts proposes course planning that allows regular progression, while preserving a margin of safety

Diplomas/certificates provided

Graduates receive the master craftsperson qualification.

Examples of qualifications

Graduates can settle in the craft industry as self-employed and to train apprentices. The qualification confers the title of master craftsperson in the particular trade.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

The master craftsperson qualification does not give any access right for higher education; progression opportunities depend on the certificate gained at secondary level.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

The 2008 legislation ([149]SCL (2008a). Loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A, 220, 3273–3288. http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2008/0220/a220.pdf#page=2
) reforming VET stipulates that everyone has the right to have his/her prior learning and occupational experience validated to obtain a professional qualification. Validation of prior learning (validation des acquis de l’expérience) is a procedure that recognises the value of learning at school (incomplete qualifications), non-formal and informal learning, and work experience. Individuals who have at least three years (5 000 hours) of paid, unpaid or voluntary work (whether continuous or not) directly related to the requested qualification may request certification from the education ministry ([150]SCL (2010b). Règlement grand-ducal du 11 janvier 2010 portant organisation de la validation des acquis de l’expérience pour la délivrance des brevets, diplômes et certificats prévue au chapitre V de la loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 6. http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/rgd/2010/01/11/n1/jo
). A recent law ([151]SCL (2016c). Loi du 24 août 2016 modifiant la loi modifiée du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 175. http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2016/08/24/n1/jo
) modifying the 2008 legislation, specifies that during the validation of prior learning the education ministry will offer support to candidates through either collective workshop or personalised interviews with a coach nominated by the Minister. Validation is possible for all VET diplomas and certificates as well as for the master craftsmanship. If all conditions are met, the process leads to a certificate or diploma or to a part thereof. Experience must be directly related to the requested certification.

General education subjects

Information not available

Key competences

The preparatory courses for the master craftsperson programmes are organised in the following fields:

  • business organisation and management, and applied pedagogy;
  • professional theory and practice.
Application of learning outcomes approach

information not available

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Information not available

Secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 1

Lower secondary

technical programmes (pre-VET)(ESG),

3 years

ISCED 244

The lower cycle of technical secondary education (ISCED 244, EQF 1) is considered as pre-VET and lasts three years. It comprises the ’orientation programme’ and the ’preparatory programme’, designed for learners who struggle with the regular secondary education curriculum.
EQF level
1
ISCED-P 2011 level

244

Usual entry grade

9 ([90]Counting of grades starts from age four when children enter pre-school, which is the first grade.)

Usual completion grade

11 ([91]Counting of grades starts from age four when children enter pre-school, which is the first grade.)

Usual entry age

12

Usual completion age

14

Length of a programme (years)

3

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

School attendance is compulsory between 4 and 16 years.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

Adults may attend the last year of the lower secondary education programme and then access the technical and technician programme as well as a vocational programme.

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

Orientation programmes’ (Les classes inférieures de la voie d’orientation)

In the ‘orientation programme’ classes (three years: 7G, 6G and 5G) of general education (languages, mathematics, human and social sciences, natural sciences) the learners’ knowledge is deepened. The language of instruction is German, except for mathematics and the French language course, which are taught in French. During the second year, language courses (French and German) as well as mathematics are taught on two levels: in a basic course or in an advanced class. The choice of enrolment in one of the two courses is made according to the level of competence of the learner and the orientation advice from the class council. In the last year (5G), English is also taught on two levels. The orientation programme includes workshops in secondary schools that allow the learner to discover several trades and occupations. This is complemented by placements and visits in companies.

The preparatory programme (Les classes inférieures de la voie de preparation) :

The lower grades of the preparatory programme (three years: 7P, 6P and 5P) are for learners who, in one or more disciplines, have not reached the core competence referred to at the end of cycle 4 of primary education. They prepare learners for later transition to the orientation programme or vocational training. German, French, mathematics, general culture, physical education and sports and practical learning in workshops are taught in modules spread over three years of teaching. These allow the learner to progress at his own pace and capitalise on a maximum of modules for the subsequent training envisaged.

These two lower secondary programmes are distinguished by their general orientation, the relative importance of the subjects taught and the teaching methods.

Candidates have the choice between daytime and evening courses.

Main providers

Secondary schools and national school for adults.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Information not available

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)

Programmes include workshops that allow learners to discover several trades and occupations. This is complemented by placements and visits in companies.

Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

The mediator for school maintenance, inclusion and integration was set up in mid-2018 ([92]SCL (2018b). Loi du 18 juin 2018 portant: (1) Institution d’un service de médiation au maintien, à l’inclusion et à l’intégration scolaires; (2) modification de la loi modifiée du 6 février 2009 relative à l’obligation scolaire. Mémorial A 548.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2018/06/18/a548/jo
). The mediator's role is to deal with complaints about learners at risk of dropping out of school, the inclusion of learners with special educational needs, and the integration of children from immigrant backgrounds into the mainstream school system.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

Young people must have successfully finished primary education.

Candidates should be 17 or more and have a school level allowing access to the last year of lower secondary education.

 

Assessment of learning outcomes

The different functions of assessment are given in detail:

  • formative evaluation: helping the learner to become aware of their strengths and weaknesses while documenting their learning process;
  • certification of the learner's individual knowledge and competences at the end of a learning period;
  • serve as a basis for the learner's guidance.

With a view to these objectives, the quarterly school reports (bulletins trimestriels) are complemented by a report supplement (complément au bulletin).

The quarterly report includes for each taught subject the average (out of 60) of classwork notes and other tests or assignments. The supplement to the report gives information on the progress of the learner in the different areas of competence of the taught subjects, giving an unencrypted assessment. This assessment by skills area offers a differentiated and nuanced view of the learners’ abilities.

At the end of each quarter (or semester), the parents (or the adult learner) receive a report (bulletin) detailing:

  • quarterly (or each semester) marks of the subjects taught;
  • the general quarterly (or each semester) mark;
  • remedial measures for unsatisfactory results.

The report at the end of the school year also includes further details:

  • each subject's annual mark;
  • the general annual mark:
  • promotion decision (positive or not) towards the higher class (at the third year of the lower cycle of technical secondary education).
Diplomas/certificates provided

Not applicable

Examples of qualifications

Not applicable

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

After successful completion of the lower cycle, learners can choose between technical, vocational and technician programmes.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Y

Languages, humanities and social sciences, mathematics and natural sciences

Key competences

Mathematics, languages

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

Teaching by competences is applied in the lower classes of technical secondary.

Competences refer to the ability of a learner to implement an organised set of knowledge, skills, and attitudes to provide an adequate response to a problem.

Competences sets describe the knowledge and competences that learners must master in a sustainable way at the end of the two last years of lower cycle of technical secondary education.

For language and mathematics, these sets are divided into two levels: basic set and advanced set.

The set of competences differ from the teaching programme, which describe the contents treated in each domain (maths, French, history…).

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Lower technical secondary education in 2016/17 represented 46.9% ([93]2016/17.) of total learners in technical education (lower, medium and upper level) ([94]MENJE (2018a). Les chiffres clés de l’Éducation nationale : statistiques et indicateurs 2016-2017 [Key figures of national education: statistics and indicators 2016-17]. Luxembourg: MENJE.
http://www.men.public.lu/fr/actualites/publications/themes-transversaux/statistiques-analyses/chiffres-cles/2016-2017/index.html
).

The total number of learners in lower technical secondary education has remained stable since 2011/12; at that time 12 915 learners attended lower technical secondary education and 12 760 in 2016/17.

EQF 1

Integration classes

ISCED 244

Integration classes (classe d'insertion) of the lower cycle of technical secondary education, EQF1, ISCED 244
EQF level
1
ISCED-P 2011 level

244

Usual entry grade

9 ([95]Counting of grades starts from age four when children enter pre-school, which is the first grade.)

Usual completion grade

11 ([96]Counting of grades starts from age four when children enter pre-school, which is the first grade.)

Usual entry age

12

Usual completion age

14

Length of a programme (years)

3

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

School attendance is compulsory between 4 and 16 years.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

Adults may attend the last year of the lower secondary education programme and then access the technical and technician programme as well as a vocational programme.

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

Information not available

Main providers

Information not available

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Information not available

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)

Information not available

Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults. For the latter, the completion corresponds to a completion of lower technical secondary education.

Integration classes (classe d'insertion) of the lower cycle of technical secondary education have been created for learners who have a good academic record in their country of origin, but do not have a sufficient command of the languages used for tuition. Based on language skills gaps, learners receive intensive support in learning French or German.

The mediator for school maintenance, inclusion and integration was set up mid-2018 ([97]SCL (2018b). Loi du 18 juin 2018 portant: (1) institution d’un service de médiation au maintien, à l’inclusion et à l’intégration scolaires; (2) modification de la loi modifiée du 6 février 2009 relative à l’obligation scolaire. Mémorial A 548.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2018/06/18/a548/jo
). The mediator's role is to deal with complaints about learners at risk of dropping out of school, the inclusion of learners with special educational needs and the integration of children from immigrant backgrounds into the mainstream school system.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

Information not available

Assessment of learning outcomes

Information not available

Diplomas/certificates provided

Information not available

Examples of qualifications

Not applicable

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Those who complete the integration classes can continue their studies in one of the following programmes: - vocational programme (CCP), ISCED 354, EQF 4;

- vocational programme (DAP) ISCED 354, EQF 4;

- technician programme (DT) ISCED 354, EQF 4;

- technical programme ISCED 354, EQF 4.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Information not available

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Teaching by competences is applied in the lower classes of technical secondary.

Competences refer to the ability of a learner to implement an organised set of knowledge, skills, and attitudes to provide an adequate response to a problem.

Competences sets describe the knowledge and competences that learners must master in a sustainable way at the end of the last two years of lower technical secondary education.

For language and mathematics, these sets are divided into two levels: basic set and advanced set.

The set of competences differ from the teaching programme, which describe the contents treated in each domain (maths, French, history…).

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Information not available

EQF 4

Technical

school-based programmes (ESG),

4 or 5 years,

WBL % varies

ISCED 354

Technical school-based programmes (Diplôme d’enseignement secondaire général) leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

12 ([98]Counting of grades starts from age four when children enter pre-school, which is the first grade.)

Usual completion grade

15 ([99]Counting of grades starts from age four when children enter pre-school, which is the first grade.)

Usual entry age

15

Usual completion age

18 or 19

Length of a programme (years)

4-5

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

School attendance is compulsory between 4 and 16 years.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

N

This programme is not considered as IVET at national level.

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

The curriculum includes general and technical education; the latter includes practical and theoretical classes. The share of the technical part depends on the grade and on the chosen field and varies from approximately 25 to 65%.

Main providers

Secondary schools

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Share of work-based learning ([100]Nationally referred to as technical learning.) depends on the grade and on the chosen field and varies from approximately 25 to 65%.

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • practical training at school
  • in-company practice for some programmes
Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and some of them also for adults.

The mediator for school maintenance, inclusion and integration was set up mid-2018 ([101]SCL (2018b). Loi du 18 juin 2018 portant: (1) institution d’un service de médiation au maintien, à l’inclusion et à l’intégration scolaires: (2) modification de la loi modifiée du 6 février 2009 relative à l’obligation scolaire. Mémorial A 548.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2018/06/18/a548/jo
). The mediator's role is to deal with complaints about learners at risk of dropping out of school, the inclusion of learners with special educational needs and the integration of children from immigrant backgrounds into the ‘main-stream’ school system.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

Information not available

Assessment of learning outcomes

Learner assessment is mainly based on summative evaluations, i.e. periodical tests on contents which have been taught recently. Depending on the subjects, one, two or three tests per term may be organised.

The quarterly report includes for each taught subject the average (out of 60) of classwork notes and other tests or assignments.

At the end of each quarter (or semester), the parents (or the adult learner) receive a report (bulletin) mentioning among others:

  • quarterly (or each semester) marks of the subjects taught;
  • general quarterly (or each semester) mark;
  • remedial measures in case of unsatisfactory results.

The report at the end of the school year also includes further details:

  • each subject's annual mark;
  • general annual mark;
  • promotion decision (positive or not) towards the higher class.
Diplomas/certificates provided

Learners who succeed in technical programmes are awarded a technical secondary school leaving diploma (diplôme de fin d’études secondaires générales). This diploma confers the same rights as that from general secondary education; depending on the strand and section, graduates can enter the labour market or pursue higher education.

Examples of qualifications

Work in the administrative field in private companies or public institutions.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Depending on the strands followed (referred to nationally as ‘divisions’), graduates have the following progression opportunities:

a) administrative and commercial: graduates can pursue higher education in economics, law and accounting. They may work in administration in private companies or public institutions);

b) healthcare and social professions: graduates can pursue higher education in these professions. Graduates in nursing education can continue their education as midwife or medical technical assistant in radiology. Graduates in educator training can continue their studies as a state-certified educator for a period of one year;

c) general technical: graduates can pursue higher education in their specialties: engineering, natural science, architecture, design and sustainable development, computer science, environmental sciences);

d) division of arts: graduates can pursue higher education in the same domain;

e) division of tourism and hospitality: graduates can pursue higher education while preparing for the profession of manager in hospitality.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

The 2008 legislation ([102]SC (2008a). Loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A, 220, 3273-3288.
http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2008/0220/a220.pdf#page=2
) reforming VET stipulates that everyone has the right to have his/her prior learning and occupational experience validated to obtain a professional qualification. Validation of prior learning (validation des acquis de l’expérience) is a procedure that recognises the value of learning at school (incomplete qualifications), non-formal and informal learning, and work experience. Individuals who have at least three years (5 000 hours) of paid, unpaid or voluntary work (whether continuous or not) directly related to the requested qualification may request certification from the education ministry ([103]SCL (2010b). Règlement grand-ducal du 11 janvier 2010 portant organisation de la validation des acquis de l’expérience pour la délivrance des brevets, diplômes et certificats prévue au chapitre V de la loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 6.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/rgd/2010/01/11/n1/jo
). A recent law ([104]SCL (2016c). Loi du 24 août 2016 modifiant la loi modifiée du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 175.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2016/08/24/n1/jo
) modifying the 2008 legislation, specifies that during validation of prior learning the education ministry will offer support to candidates through either collective workshop or personalised interviews with a coach nominated by the Minister. Validation is possible for technical school-based programmes, all VET diplomas and certificates as well as for master craftsmanship. If all conditions are met, the process leads to a certificate or diploma or to a part thereof. Experience must be directly related to the requested certification. At higher technician certificate level, an ad hoc evaluation committee is set up for each individual asking for recognition of prior learning ([105]SCL (2016b). Loi du 23 juillet 2016 modifiant la loi modifiée du 19 juin 2009 portant organisation de l’enseignement supérieur, fixant les modalités du cycle d’études d’enseignement supérieur aboutissant à la délivrance du brevet de technicien supérieur. Mémorial A 143.
http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2016/0143/a143.pdf#page=2
).

General education subjects

Y

The curriculum includes general and vocational (nationally referred to as technical) education; the latter includes practical and theoretical classes. The share of the technical part depends on the grade and on the chosen field and varies from approximately 25 to 65%.

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

information not available

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Technical programmes (medium and upper level) represents 48.7% ([106]2016/17.) of all medium and upper secondary technical education ([107]MENJE (2018a). Les chiffres clés de l’Éducation nationale: statistiques et indicateurs 2016-2017 [Key figures of national education: statistics and indicators 2016-17]. Luxembourg: MENJE.
http://www.men.public.lu/fr/actualites/publications/themes-transversaux/statistiques-analyses/chiffres-cles/2016-2017/index.html
).

The total number of learners in technical secondary education (medium and upper levels) has increased since 2011/12. At that time 5 677 learners attended technical secondary education programme, with the number increasing to 7 043 in 2016/17.

EQF 4

Technician programmes (DT),

4 years,

WBL % varies

ISCED 354

Technician programmes (le diplôme de technicien), leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

12 ([108]Counting of grades starts from age four when children enter pre-school, which is the first grade.)

Usual completion grade

15 ([109]Counting of grades starts from age four when children enter pre-school, which is the first grade.)

Usual entry age

15

Usual completion age

18

Length of a programme (years)

4

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

School attendance is compulsory between 4 and 16 years.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

  
ECVET or other credits

Information not available

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

This technician programme is mainly offered as a full-time track (filière de plein exercice), where all training occurs in an education institution and includes a minimum job placement of 12 weeks. The offer of programmes in the concomitant track (learning in school and in an enterprise takes place in parallel throughout the year - filière concomitante) or mixed track (theoretical and practical training in school in the first years and last year with the concomitant track - filière mixte) has been extended since 2015/16.

Main providers
  • Secondary schools
  • Companies/training centres
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Information not available

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)

• practical training at school

• in-company practice

Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and some of them also for adults.

The mediator for school maintenance, inclusion and integration was set up in mid-2018 ([110]SCL (2018b). Loi du 18 juin 2018 portant: (1) institution d’un service de médiation au maintien, à l’inclusion et à l’intégration scolaires; (2) modification de la loi modifiée du 6 février 2009 relative à l’obligation scolaire. Mémorial A 548.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2018/06/18/a548/jo
). The mediator's role is to deal with complaints about learners at risk of dropping out of school, the inclusion of learners with special educational needs and the integration of children from immigrant backgrounds into the mainstream school system.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

Orientation towards vocational programmes takes place at the end of third year of lower technical education upon decision of the class council based on the assessment reports of the whole academic year.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Since the entry into force of the 2008 reform, the technician (and also vocational) programmes have been organised into modules. For each module, an assessment framework has been set up. It distinguishes compulsory and optional skills and specifies indicators and minimum standards. At the end of the module, learners take an exam to assess the acquisition of required skills for the module and receive an assessment report (bulletin), which indicates whether the module has been passed (unsuccessful, successful, very successful).

Technician and vocational programmes also foresee integrated projects in the middle (only for vocational programmes leading to the vocational aptitude diploma and the technician programme) and at the end ([111]SCL (2016e). Règlement grand-ducal du 31 août 2016 portant sur l’évaluation et la promotion des élèves de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 187.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/rgd/2016/08/31/n1/jo
). These integrated projects aim to monitor whether the learner has developed the complex skills needed to solve a real or simulated work situation. An integrated project can be spread over a maximum duration of three days (24 hours) for programmes leading to vocational aptitude diploma and technician programmes. This project allows learners to demonstrate the acquisition of required skills in a professional situation. The intermediary and the final integrated projects are a compulsory module for these programmes.

An interim assessment sheet is drawn up at the end of

1. the second academic year of normal four-year training;

2. the first academic year of normal training of three years.

The assessment is based on the learner's results in the compulsory modules as planned in the curriculum from the start. Neither the placement in companies nor the intermediate project is taken into account.

A final assessment is made at the end of the programmes taking into account compulsory modules followed since the interim assessment. Neither the final integrated project nor the intermediate project is taken into account.

Assessments are successful if the following conditions are met:

For a DT (other training durations):

  • 85% success in compulsory modules ([112]Compulsory modules comprise fundamental and complementary modules.);
  • 85% success in compulsory vocational modules;
  • success of all fundamental modules.

For a DT (other training duration of training: one year). For other training periods:

  • 90% success in the compulsory modules of the last two years of training;
  • 90% success of compulsory vocational modules;
  • success of all fundamental modules.
Diplomas/certificates provided

The technician diploma certifies that the holder is competent to perform the trade/profession in question. It differs from the programme leading to the vocational aptitude diploma (DAP) ([113]Diplôme d’aptitude professionnelle (DAP).) by in-depth and diversified competences as well as in-depth general education.

Examples of qualifications

Information not available

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Technician programme graduates may progress to the third year of the general upper secondary programme or follow a one-year optional preparatory module allowing them to enter tertiary education.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

The 2008 legislation ([114]SCL (2008a). Loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A, 220, 3273-3288.
http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2008/0220/a220.pdf#page=2
) reforming VET stipulates that everyone has the right to have his/her prior learning and occupational experience validated to obtain a professional qualification. Validation of prior learning is a procedure that recognises the value of learning at school (incomplete qualifications), non-formal and informal learning, and work experience. Individuals who have at least three years (5 000 hours) of paid, unpaid or voluntary work (whether continuous or not) directly related to the requested qualification may request certification from the education ministry ([115]SCL (2010b). Règlement grand-ducal du 11 janvier 2010 portant organisation de la validation des acquis de l’expérience pour la délivrance des brevets, diplômes et certificats prévue au chapitre V de la loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 6.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/rgd/2010/01/11/n1/jo
). A recent law ([116]SCL (2016c). Loi du 24 août 2016 modifiant la loi modifiée du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 175.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2016/08/24/n1/jo
) modifying the 2008 legislation, specifies that during the validation of prior learning the education ministry will offer support to candidates through either collective workshop or personalised interviews with a coach nominated by the minister. Validation is possible for all VET diplomas and certificates as well as for the master craftsmanship. If all conditions are met, the process leads to a certificate or diploma or to a part thereof. Experience must be directly related to the requested certification.

General education subjects

Y

In comparison to the vocational DAP programme, the technician programme offers more in-depth general education

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

The major VET reform of 2008 ([117]SCL (2008a). Loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 220, 3273-3288.
http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2008/0220/a220.pdf#page=2
) was implemented between 2010/11 and 2013/14. Among the key principles of the reform is also that teaching by subject is replaced with teaching by units and modules. Each module focuses on concrete professional situations; the learning outcomes to be acquired (competences and knowledge) are defined for each module.

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

In 2016/17 the number of learners following technician programmes (medium and upper level) was 24.2% ([118]2016/17) of all learners following medium and upper secondary technical education ([119]MENJE (2018a). Les chiffres clés de l’Éducation nationale : statistiques et indicateurs 2016-2017 [Key figures of national education: statistics and indicators 2016-17]. Luxembourg: MENJE.
http://www.men.public.lu/fr/actualites/publications/themes-transversaux/statistiques-analyses/chiffres-cles/2016-2017/index.html
).The total number of learners in technician programmes (medium and upper level) has slightly increased since 2011/12. At that time 3 378 learners attended technical secondary education programmes, with the number increasing to 3 504 in 2016/17.

EQF 3

Vocational programmes (DAP),

3 years,

WBL % varies

ISCED 353

Vocational programmes leading to a vocational aptitude diploma (diplôme d’aptitude professionnelle, DAP) leading to EQF level 3, ISCED 353.
EQF level
3
ISCED-P 2011 level

353

Usual entry grade

12 ([120]Counting of grades starts from age four when children enter pre-school, which is the first grade.)

Usual completion grade

14 ([121]Counting of grades starts from age four when children enter pre-school, which is the first grade.)

Usual entry age

15

Usual completion age

17

Length of a programme (years)

3

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

School attendance is compulsory between 4 and 16 years.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

Adults (those 18 years old and above), having left school more than one year before and willing to learn a trade or to change their career, can follow an ‘adult apprenticeship’ leading to the vocational aptitude diploma DAP ([122]Vocational capacity certificate (certificat de capacité professionnelle, CCP).). This is available both to job holders and seekers registered at the public employment service. Upon proof of certain work experience, a dedicated committee may guide the adult learner to a suitable grade. The committee includes representatives of the education ministry, Vocational Training Service, labour ministry, guidance service of the employment service, Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Trades and Skilled Crafts, Chamber of Agriculture, and Chamber of Employees.

Theory training takes place in a technical secondary school or at the national continuing vocational training centre. The practical part is apprenticeship in an enterprise. Adult apprentices receive allowances equal to the minimum wage for unskilled workers (EUR 1 922.96, 1 January 2016) as defined in a 2010 regulation ([123]SCL (2010c). Règlement grand-ducal du 17 décembre 2010 portant organisation de l’apprentissage pour adultes. Mémorial A 245, 4075-4085.
http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2010/0240/a240.pdf#page=4
).

The 2008 reform introduced a modular system for apprenticeship, which guarantees the validity of any module acquired during initial training for a certain period, aiding access to lifelong learning.

Vocational programmes for adults: evening classes

Within vocational programmes, employed adults can attend the first year a vocational aptitude diploma (DAP) as administrative and commercial agent. The theoretical part is provided through evening classes in a technical secondary school or in the national continuing vocational training centre. The practical part is acquired through full-time employment in a company. After the first year DAP evening class, adults can continue the second and third year DAP classes under an adult apprenticeship contract.

Vocational programmes for adults: on-the-job training

The nursing assistant vocational aptitude diploma can be obtained through on-the-job training. This training is suitable for those with some work experience in the care sector, who have not had the opportunity to undertake IVET. The three-year training course leads to a nursing assistant DAP. Applicants must fulfil admission criteria such as professional experience of minimum 2 500 hours in the care sector, an employment contract (minimum 50% part-time) and the agreement of their employer.

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • school-based learning;
  • work practice (practical training at school and in-company practice);
  • apprenticeships.

DAP Vocational programmes can be followed in one of three different tracks:

a) the concomitant track (filière concomitante), where learning in school and in an enterprise takes place in parallel throughout the apprenticeship. Depending on the profession, the two parts can be organised as day-release (such as two days per week in school and three days in an enterprise) or block-release (for example, nine weeks at school and nine weeks in enterprise); the allocated time may also vary depending on the profession;

b) the mixed track (filière mixte) which is suitable for some professions. This programme offers theoretical and practical training in school in the first year. After successful completion of the school-based part, training is continued in line with the concomitant track;

c) the full-time track (filière de plein exercice), where all training occurs in an educational institution, with 12 weeks of practical training or more within an apprenticeship or internship contract.

The shares of general education, VET theory and practice in vocational programme curricula vary by trade. Vocational learning ratios (practical training in companies and in vocational training school) for each trade/profession are defined by the education ministry on the advice of professional chambers.

Main providers

Technical secondary schools

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Varies

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)

• practical training at school

• in-company practice

Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

The mediator for school maintenance, inclusion and integration was set up mid-2018 ([124]SCL (2018b). Loi du 18 juin 2018 portant: (1) institution d’un service de médiation au maintien, à l’inclusion et à l’intégration scolaire; (2) modification de la loi modifiée du 6 février 2009 relative à l’obligation scolaire. Mémorial A 548.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2018/06/18/a548/jo
). The mediator's role is to deal with complaints about learners at risk of dropping out of school, the inclusion of learners with special educational needs and the integration of children from immigrant backgrounds into the mainstream school system.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

Guidance towards vocational programmes takes place at the end of the last year of lower technical education upon decision of the class council based on the assessment reports of the whole academic year.

Except for admission criteria, there are no differences between apprenticeships for adults and young people. Those aged 18 and above, having left school more than one year before and willing to learn a trade or to change their career, can follow an ‘adult apprenticeship’ leading to DAP.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Since the entry into force of the 2008 reform, the technician (also vocational and technical) programmes have been organised into modules. For each module, an assessment framework has been set up. It distinguishes compulsory and optional skills and specifies indicators and minimum standards. At the end of the module, learners take an exam to assess the acquisition of required skills for the module and receive an assessment report (bulletin), which indicates whether the module has been passed (unsuccessful, successful, very successful).

Vocational and technician programmes also foresee integrated projects in the middle (only for vocational programme leading to the vocational aptitude diploma and the technician programme) and at the end ([125]SCL (2016e). Règlement grand-ducal du 31 août 2016 portant sur l’évaluation et la promotion des élèves de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 187.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/rgd/2016/08/31/n1/jo
). These integrated projects aim to monitor whether the learner has developed the complex skills needed to solve a real or simulated work situation. An integrated project can be spread over a maximum duration of three days (24 hours) for programmes leading to vocational aptitude diploma and technician programmes. This project allows learners to demonstrate the acquisition of required skills in a professional situation. The intermediary and the final integrated projects are a compulsory module for these programmes.

An interim assessment sheet is drawn up at the end of

1. the second academic year of normal four-year training;

2. the first academic year of normal training of three years.

The assessment is based on the learner's results in the compulsory modules as planned in the curriculum from the start. Neither the placement in companies nor the intermediate project is taken into account.

A final assessment is made at the end of the programmes taking into account compulsory modules followed since the interim assessment. Neither the final integrated project nor the intermediate project is taken into account.

Assessments are successful if the following conditions are met:

For a DAP (other training durations):

  • 85% success in compulsory modules ([126]Compulsory modules comprise fundamental and complementary modules.);
  • 85% success in compulsory vocational modules;
  • success in all fundamental modules.

For DAP (other training duration of training: one year). For other training periods:

  • 90% success in the compulsory modules of the last two years of training;
  • 90% success in compulsory vocational modules;
  • success in all fundamental modules.
Diplomas/certificates provided

Graduates receive the vocational aptitude diploma (diplôme d’aptitude professionnelle, DAP). This diploma certifies that the holder has the skills to perform the trade/profession in question as a skilled worker on the labour market. DAP graduates may also progress to the third year of a technician programme in the same field of study, the third year of the technical programme, or enter a master craftsperson programme. Subject to completing supplementary preparatory modules they can also pursue higher technical studies (études techniques supérieures, ISCED 550 or 650).

Examples of qualifications

Hairdresser, assistant nurse, administrative and commercial agent, butcher, bricklayer, architectural drafter, aircraft mechanic.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

DAP graduates may progress to the third year of a technician programme in the same field of study, the third year of the technical programme, or enter a master craftsperson programme. Subject to completing supplementary preparatory modules they can also pursue higher technical studies (études techniques supérieures, ISCED 550 or 650).

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

The 2008 legislation ([127]SCL (2008a). Loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 220, 3273-3288.
http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2008/0220/a220.pdf#page=2
) reforming VET stipulates that everyone has the right to have his/her prior learning and occupational experience validated to obtain a professional qualification. Validation of prior learning (validation des acquis de l’expérience) is a procedure that recognises the value of learning at school (incomplete qualifications), non-formal and informal learning, and work experience. Individuals who have at least three years (5 000 hours) of paid, unpaid or voluntary work (whether continuous or not) directly related to the requested qualification may request certification from the education ministry ([128]SCL (2010b). Règlement grand-ducal du 11 janvier 2010 portant organisation de la validation des acquis de l’expérience pour la délivrance des brevets, diplômes et certificats prévue au chapitre V de la loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 6.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/rgd/2010/01/11/n1/jo
). A recent law ([129]SCL (2016c). Loi du 24 août 2016 modifiant la loi modifiée du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 175.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2016/08/24/n1/jo
) modifying the 2008 legislation, specifies that during the validation of prior learning the education ministry will offer support to candidates through either collective workshop or personalised interviews with a coach nominated by the Minister. Validation is possible for all VET diplomas and certificates as well as for the master craftsmanship. If all conditions are met, the process leads to a certificate or diploma or to a part thereof. Experience must be directly related to the requested certification.

General education subjects

Y

The general education for the DAP programme includes a module on citizenship education as well as French or German. In comparison to the curricular of the CCP programme, credit units and modules are more detailed and extensive.

Key competences

Y

The general education for the DAP programme includes a module on citizenship education as well as French or German.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

The major VET reform of 2008 ([130]SCL (2008a). Loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 220, 3273-3288.
http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2008/0220/a220.pdf#page=2
) was implemented between 2010/11 and 2013/14. Among the key principles of the reform is that teaching by subject is replaced with teaching by units and modules. Each module focuses on concrete professional situations; the learning outcomes to be acquired (competences and knowledge) are defined for each module.

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Vocational programmes (medium and upper level) DAP and CCP are 27.1% ([131]2016/17.) of medium and upper secondary technical education ([132]MENJE (2018a). Les chiffres clés de l’Éducation nationale: statistiques et indicateurs 2016-2017 [Key figures of national education: statistics and indicators 2016-17]. Luxembourg: MENJE.
http://www.men.public.lu/fr/actualites/publications/themes-transversaux/statistiques-analyses/chiffres-cles/2016-2017/index.html
).

The total number of learners in vocational programmes (medium and upper level) has decreased since 2011/12. At that time 4 360 learners attended technical secondary education programme, with the number decreasing to 3 914 in 2016/17.

EQF 2

Vocational programmes (CCP),

3 years,

WBL % varies

ISCED 353

Vocational programmes leading to a vocational capacity certificate (certificat de capacité professionnelle, CCP) leading to EQF level 2, ISCED 353
EQF level
2
ISCED-P 2011 level

353

Usual entry grade

12 ([133]Counting of grades starts from age 4 when children enter pre-school, which is the first grade.)

Usual completion grade

14 ([134]Counting of grades starts from age 4 when children enter pre-school, which is the first grade.)

Usual entry age

15

Usual completion age

17

Length of a programme (years)

3

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y School attendance is compulsory between 4 and 16 years.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

Adults (18 years old and above) having left school more than one year before and willing to learn a trade or to change their career, can follow an ‘adult apprenticeship’ leading to CCP. This is available both to job holders and seekers registered at the public employment service. Upon proof of certain work experience, a dedicated committee may guide the adult learner to a suitable grade. The committee includes representatives of the education ministry, Vocational Training Service, labour ministry, guidance service of the employment service, Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Trades and Skilled Crafts, Chamber of Agriculture, and Chamber of Employees.

Theory training takes place in a technical secondary school or at the national continuing vocational training centre. The practical part is apprenticeship in an enterprise. Adult apprentices receive allowances equal to the minimum wage for unskilled workers (EUR 1 922.96, 1 January 2016) as defined in a 2010 regulation ([135]SCL (2010c). Règlement grand-ducal du 17 décembre 2010 portant organisation de l’apprentissage pour adultes. Mémorial A 245, 4075-4085.
http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2010/0240/a240.pdf#page=4
).

The 2008 reform introduced a modular system for apprenticeship, which guarantees the validity of any module acquired during initial training for a certain period, aiding access to lifelong learning.

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • school-based learning;
  • work practice (practical training at school and in-company practice);
  • apprenticeships.

Vocational CCP programmes can be followed in the concomitant track (filière concomitante), where learning in school and in an enterprise takes place in parallel throughout the apprenticeship. Depending on the profession, the two parts can be organised as day-release (such as two days per week in school and three days in an enterprise) or block-release scheme (for example, nine weeks at school and nine weeks in an enterprise); the allocated time may also vary depending on the profession;

The shares of general education, VET theory and practice in vocational programme curricula vary by trade. Vocational learning ratios (practical training in companies and in vocational training school) for each trade/profession are defined by the education ministry on the advice of professional chambers.

Main providers
  • Technical secondary schools
  • Companies
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Varies

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • practical training at school
  • in-company practice
Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

The mediator for school maintenance, inclusion and integration was set up mid-2018 ([136]SCL (2018b). Loi du 18 juin 2018 portant: (1) institution d’un service de médiation au maintien, à l’inclusion et à l’intégration scolaires; (2) modification de la loi modifiée du 6 février 2009 relative à l’obligation scolaire. Mémorial A 548.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2018/06/18/a548/jo
). The mediator's role is to deal with complaints about learners at risk of dropping out of school, the inclusion of learners with special educational needs and the integration of children from immigrant backgrounds into the mainstream school system.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

Guidance towards vocational programmes takes place at the end of the third year of lower technical education upon decision of the Class Council based on the assessment reports of the whole academic year.

Except for admission criteria, there are no differences between apprenticeships for adults and young people. Those 18 years old and above, having left school more than one year before and willing to learn a trade or to change their career, can follow an ‘adult apprenticeship’ leading to CCP.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Since the entry into force of the 2008 reform, the technician (also vocational and technical) programmes have been organised into modules. For each module, an assessment framework has been set up. It distinguishes compulsory and optional skills and specifies indicators and minimum standards. At the end of the module, learners take an exam to assess the acquisition of required skills for the module and receive an assessment report (bulletin), which indicates whether the module has been passed (unsuccessful, successful, very successful).

CCP also foresee integrated projects at the end of the programme ([137]SCL (2016e). Règlement grand-ducal du 31 août 2016 portant sur l’évaluation et la promotion des élèves de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 187.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/rgd/2016/08/31/n1/jo
). These integrated projects aim to monitor whether the learner has developed the complex skills needed to solve a real or simulated work situation. An integrated project can be spread over a maximum duration of three days (24 hours) for programmes leading to vocational aptitude diploma and technician programmes. For programmes leading to a vocational capacity certificate, the integrated project is spread over a maximum duration of two days. This project allows learners to demonstrate the acquisition of required skills in a professional situation. The intermediary and the final integrated projects are a compulsory module for these programmes.

An interim assessment sheet is drawn up at the end of

  1. the second academic year of normal four-year training;
  2. the first academic year of normal training of three years.

The assessment is based on the learner's results in the compulsory modules as planned in the curriculum from the start. Neither the placement in companies nor the intermediate project is taken into account.

A final assessment is made at the end of the programmes taking into account compulsory modules followed since the interim assessment. Neither the final integrated project nor the intermediate project is taken into account.

Assessments are successful if the following conditions are met, for the CCP: 80% success in compulsory modules.

Diplomas/certificates provided

This apprenticeship programme prepares learners for the labour market and leads to the vocational capacity certificate (certificat de capacité professionnelle, CCP). This certificate attests that the holder has the social and basic practical skills for a trade/profession as a semi-skilled worker. After two years of working experience in this trade/profession, the holder is considered a skilled worker.

Examples of qualifications

Automotive mechanic assistant, florist assistant, gardener assistant, plasterer, sales assistant, hairdresser (at a lower level than if acquired over the DAP programme).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

This programme prepares learners for the labour market and leads to the vocational capacity certificate (certificat de capacité professionnelle, CCP). It is designed for learners with learning difficulties who cannot access studies leading to a vocational aptitude diploma (diplôme d’aptitude professionnelle, DAP) or a technician diploma (diplôme de technician, DT). This certificate attests that the holder has the social and basic practical skills for a trade/profession as a semi-skilled worker. After two years of working experience in this trade/profession, the holder is considered a skilled worker. Learners graduating from CCP can progress to the second year of the DAP programme in the same field. By decision of the class council, the learner can even be admitted to the last year of the DAP programme in the same field ([138]SCL (2016e). Règlement grand-ducal du 31 août 2016 portant sur l’évaluation et la promotion des élèves de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 187.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/rgd/2016/08/31/n1/jo
).

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

The 2008 legislation ([139]SCL (2008a). Loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 220, 3273-3288.
http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2008/0220/a220.pdf#page=2
) reforming VET stipulates that everyone has the right to have his/her prior learning and occupational experience validated to obtain a professional qualification. Validation of prior learning (validation des acquis de l’expérience) is a procedure that recognises the value of learning at school (incomplete qualifications), non-formal and informal learning, and work experience. Individuals who have at least three years (5 000 hours) of paid, unpaid or voluntary work (whether continuous or not) directly related to the requested qualification may request certification from the education ministry ([140]SCL (2010b). Règlement grand-ducal du 11 janvier 2010 portant organisation de la validation des acquis de l’expérience pour la délivrance des brevets, diplômes et certificats prévue au chapitre V de la loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 6.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/rgd/2010/01/11/n1/jo
). A recent law ([141]SCL (2016c). Loi du 24 août 2016 modifiant la loi modifiée du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 175.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2016/08/24/n1/jo
) modifying the 2008 legislation, specifies that during the validation of prior learning the education ministry will offer support to candidates through either collective workshop or personalised interviews with a coach nominated by the Minister. Validation is possible for all VET diplomas and certificates as well as for the master craftsmanship. If all conditions are met, the process leads to a certificate or diploma or to a part thereof. Experience must be directly related to the requested certification. At higher technician certificate level, an ad hoc evaluation committee is set up for each individual asking for recognition of prior learning ([142]SCL (2016b). Loi du 23 juillet 2016 modifiant la loi modifiée du 19 juin 2009 portant organisation de l’enseignement supérieur, fixant les modalités du cycle d’études d’enseignement supérieur aboutissant à la délivrance du brevet de technicien supérieur. Mémorial A 143.
http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2016/0143/a143.pdf#page=2
).

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Y

The general education part includes a module on citizenship education.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

The major VET reform of 2008 ([143]SCL (2008a). Loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle. Mémorial A 220, 3273-3288.
http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2008/0220/a220.pdf#page=2
) was implemented between 2010/11 and 2013/14. Among the key principles of the reform is that teaching by subject is replaced with teaching by units and modules. Each module focuses on concrete professional situations; the learning outcomes to be acquired (competences and knowledge) are defined for each module.

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Learners following one of the vocational programmes DAP and CCP (medium and upper level) are 27.1% ([144]2016/17.) of all medium and upper secondary technical education learners ([145]MENJE (2018a). Les chiffres clés de l’Éducation nationale: statistiques et indicateurs 2016-2017 [Key figures of national education: statistics and indicators 2016-17]. Luxembourg: MENJE.
http://www.men.public.lu/fr/actualites/publications/themes-transversaux/statistiques-analyses/chiffres-cles/2016-2017/index.html
).

The total number of learners in vocational programmes (medium and upper level) has decreased since 2011/12. At that time 4 360 learners attended technical secondary education programme, with the number decreasing to 3 914 in 2016/17.

VET available to adults (formal and non-formal)

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

Optional preparatory module

Optional preparatory module - Modules préparatoires aux études techniques supérieures
EQF level
Not applicable
ISCED-P 2011 level

Not applicable

Usual entry grade

14 or 15 ([146]Counting of grades starts from age four when children enter pre-school, which is the first grade.)

Usual completion grade

15 or 16 ([147]Counting of grades starts from age four when children enter pre-school, which is the first grade.)

Usual entry age

18 or 19

Usual completion age

Not applicable

Length of a programme (years)

Not applicable

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Information not available

Is it initial VET?

Information not available

Is it continuing VET?

Information not available

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

- school-based learning (English, German, French and Maths)

Main providers

Information not available

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Information not available

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)

Information not available

Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

The mediator for school maintenance, inclusion and integration was set up mid-2018 ([148]SCL (2018b). Loi du 18 juin 2018 portant: (1) institution d’un service de médiation au maintien, à l’inclusion et à l’intégration scolaires; (2) modification de la loi modifiée du 6 février 2009 relative à l’obligation scolaire. Mémorial A 548.
http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2018/06/18/a548/jo
). The mediator's role is to deal with complaints about learners at risk of dropping out of school, the inclusion of learners with special educational needs and the integration of children from immigrant backgrounds into the mainstream school system.

Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

Learners must have graduated from a technician programme or hold a vocational aptitude diploma (DAP) to enter these optional preparatory modules.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Information not available

Diplomas/certificates provided

In order to certify access to higher technical studies in the corresponding specialty, learners must have passed all the preparatory modules in a language (German, French or English) and all the preparatory modules in mathematics as described in the timetable of the curricula concerned.

Examples of qualifications

Not applicable

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Successful completion of the optional preparatory modules provides the graduates access to tertiary programmes.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Information not available

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

Share of learners in this programme type compared with the total number of VET learners

Information not available.