Brexit Disclaimer
This website as well as the publications and online tools accessible via this website may contain UK data and analysis based on research conducted before the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union on 31 January 2020. EU averages or other statistical parameters including the UK reflect the situation in the European Union before 31 January 2020 and should not be considered as representative of the situation in the EU thereafter. Any data or information pertaining to the UK will be gradually phased out from Cedefop’s website, publications and online tools, as ongoing research projects with the United Kingdom’s participation are concluded. Data coming from UK were collected, processed and published before its withdrawal from the EU. Therefore, EU averages contain UK related data up to 2019.

General themes

VET in the UK:

  • skills development is a major priority of all four countries ([1]See: Strategic development of VET under Section
    12. Shaping VET qualifications - design
    );
  • there is an increased demand for apprenticeships and skills-for-work;
  • across the UK there is a high participation rate (66%)([2]66% of UK workplaces that responded to the UK
    Employer Skills Survey 2017 had arranged on-the-job or off-the-job training for employees in the preceding 12 months, with on-the-job training slightly more popular. Adult and continuing education is part of the formal education system, but is also offered as non-formal training by employers and training providers.
    ) in adult and continuing education;
  • early leaving from education and training has decreased in the last decade and is slightly above the national target set at 10% ([3]Drop-outs under 15 years old are redirected to VET earlier that other school-age learners.).

Distinctive features: ([4]Cedefop ((2017). Spotlight on vocational education and training in the United Kingdom. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8111_en.pdf
)

The UK government has devolved decision-making powers in several areas of policy responsibility, including governance of VET, to the administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. While there are similarities between the systems in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, reforms are creating greater divergence and the Scottish system has always been different in many ways from those of the rest of the UK.

England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have different governance, regulation and quality assurance bodies. There is a complex institutional framework in the UK VET sector, with the policymaking authority for VET in England being the Department for Education, while the Department of Education and the Department for the Economy are responsible in Northern Ireland, and the Scottish and Welsh governments in Scotland and Wales respectively. The qualifications market in the UK is jointly driven by government policies and private interests. This has led to a large choice of qualifications and awarding organisations.

Matching qualifications with employer needs and increasing employer engagement with education and training are high priorities in the UK. The government’s July 2016 Post-16 skills plan proposes to simplify college-based VET in England by creating clear routes to occupations through qualifications developed with input from employers by 2019. The Regulated Qualifications Framework introduced in 2015 gives awarding organisations increased freedom and flexibility to develop qualifications that meet specific labour market needs. Qualifications are now expected to be validated and supported directly by employers rather than follow prescriptive rules and structures imposed by government agencies.

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework retains its credit and unit-based structure. Colleges in Scotland align their provision to the needs of employers and the Scottish economy through outcome agreements and a broad range of qualifications through their new regional governance structure. The Scottish Funding Council works with colleges to ensure outcome agreements address priority needs within their regions and contribute to improving young people’s life chances. The Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce also encourages colleges to develop more productive partnerships with local employers, schools and authorities.

The Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales continues to add clarity on the qualifications system and recognises all forms of learning across all levels and abilities. Vocational qualifications have also been classified as either IVET or CVET to clarify their purpose and whether they are introductory or lead to occupational competence. In 2015, Qualifications Wales was established as an independent agency tasked with ensuring that the Welsh qualifications system and qualifications meet the needs of learners, and promoting public confidence in the qualification system. The 2016 framework for post-compulsory education in Wales proposes to develop stronger links between education policy, providers and provision, and social and economic goals to ensure the future needs of Wales are met.

Youth training, further education, and apprenticeship reforms in Northern Ireland aim to raise skill levels of young people and will provide clear pathways from introductory VET to apprenticeships – which will start at upper secondary technician level – and higher education. Employers will be connected to education and training providers through a strategic advisory forum and sectoral partnerships to ensure curriculum design and training structure meet their needs. Further, the entitlement framework now encourages collaboration between post-14 school provision and vocational further education college provision. Centres of specialism and expertise will be set up in colleges that will develop networks of experts who will share the latest developments in curriculum and skills training.

Data from Spotlight on VET United Kingdom 2016/17 ([5]Cedefop ((2017). Spotlight on vocational education and training in the United Kingdom. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8111_en.pdf
).

Population in 2018: 66 273 576 ([6]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

Population increased since 2013 by 3.7% due to natural growth and migration ([7]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

The UK old age dependency ratio is showing a trend towards an aging population, with more people reaching pension age. It is expected to increase from 28 in 2015 to 43 in 2060 ([8]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).).

 

Source: Eurostat, proj_15ndbims [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Demographic changes have an impact on VET.

The amount of job roles requiring intermediate and higher skills and education is rising in the UK and it is expected that it will become even more important to possess specialist skills and higher education in the coming years, in order to qualify for a more technologically advanced labour market.

The demographic trend towards an ageing population raises challenges for VET. There may need to be a renewed focus on adult education and upskilling to keep up with the needs of the labour market. ‘As working lives are getting longer and the pace of technological change is increasing, the number of significant changes an individual will have to adapt to during their working life will increase.’([9]Government Office for Science (2015). Future of education in an ageing population. Presentation for the Expert meeting, York, 13 July 2016.
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/555576/future-of-ageing-education-expert-meeting-york.pdf [accessed 13.6.19].
)

Furthermore, efforts to curb immigration may result in a need to supply a greater number of intermediate skilled workers from the native labour force. The UK has relied on EEA skilled labour and curbs on immigration will impact on the skills profile of the workforce. ([10]Savour, B.; Keohane, N. (2019). Leading skills, exploring leadership in further education colleges: paper 1. London: SMF, p.14
http://www.smf.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Leading-skills-Exploring-leadership-in-Further-Education-colleges-Paper-1.pdf
)

 

Information not available

The UK has a market-based economy and is a major international trading power. Financial services as well as pharmaceutical, petroleum, automotive, aerospace, telecommunications and other technological industries play an important role in the UK’s economy, with the services industry being the largest contributor.

The UK labour market is demand-led and amongst the least regulated in the world. Skill shortages exist in various sectors.

The top five occupations experiencing shortages are currently finance, medicine associate professionals, nursing and midwifery, other health professionals and ICT ([11]Skills Panorama (2018).
Mismatch priority occupations in the United Kingdom. Cedefop analytical highlights.
https://skillspanorama.cedefop.europa.eu/en/analytical_highlights/united-kingdom-mismatch-priority-occupations [accessed 3.8.2018].
).

The UK Government lists shortage occupations for work permit purposes and currently includes various engineering and technician jobs, medicine, health, science, teaching (secondary level), IT/computing, chefs and arts amongst other professions ([12]Home Office (2018
). UK Immigration rules - Appendix K: shortage occupation list from 6 July 2018 [accessed 3.8.2018]. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix...
).

UK NARIC ([13]UK NARIC is the National Agency responsible for providing information, advice and opinion on academic, vocational and professional qualifications and skills from all over the world:
https://www.naric.org.uk/naric/
) works with the UK immigration authority by providing recognition of formal qualifications from abroad to the most appropriate level within the UK education system.

 

Employment in the UK by industry

Source: Office for National Statistics (2018: employment by industry [accessed 6.7.2018].

 

Total unemployment ([14]Percentage of active population, 25 to 74 years old.) (2018): 3% (6% in EU28); it decreased by 0.9 percentage points since 2008 ([15]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].

 

People with low qualifications experience higher unemployment rates compared to those with middle or higher level qualifications. Unemployment increased during the economic crisis (especially among young people aged 15-24 with low qualifications), but has regained the pre-crisis levels. Moreover, in 2018 unemployment rates are lower than in 2008 in all age groups.

Employment rate of 20 to 34-year-old VET graduates increased from 78.0 % in 2014 to 80.5% in 2018 ([16]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 (+2.5 pp) in employment of 20-34 year-old VET graduates in 2014-18 was lower compared to the increase of all 20-34 year-old graduates (+3.2pp) in the same period in the United Kingdom ([17]NB: Break in time series. Eurostat table edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

See 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. [17a]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

In 2018, the share of population aged up to 64 with higher education in the UK was the sixth highest in the EU28+(43.1%) and well above the EU average (32.2%)in the same group. The share of those with low level qualifications (19.6%) is below the EU average (21.8%) while middle-level qualifications is rather low (37.1%) compared to the EU average (45.7%) and the seventh lowest in the EU, following Spain, Portugal, Malta, Luxembourg, Iceland and Ireland.

 

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

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011; low reliability for ‘no response’ in Czech Republic, 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 16.5.2019].

See 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 United Kingdom. Cedefop research paper; No 70. https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/united_kingdom_england_cedefop_chang...

 

Share of learners in VET by level in 2017

lower secondary

upper secondary

post-secondary

17.5%

46.6%

Not applicable

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

The share of learners in VET increased since 2013, by 5.7% and 2.9% respectively in lower and upper secondary education.

The share of upper-secondary VET learners compared to the total number of learners in upper secondary education increased from 43.8% in 2013 to 46.6% in 2017 (+2.9 pp) in the UK. UK was among the eleven EU28+ countries that had a positive change in the VET population while nineteen countries had seen a decrease in the share of upper-secondary VET population in the same period ([18]Data not available for the Netherlands.).

 

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

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011.
Source: Eurostat, educ_uoe_enrs04 [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Information not available

The share of early leavers from education and training has dropped by 5 percentage points from 15.7% in 2009 to 10.7% in 2018, close to the national target set for 2020 (10%) and close to the EU average share (10.6%) in 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].

 

Education or training is compulsory up to age 16 (18 in England). Most VET programmes can be accessed from age 15/16, although learners can be introduced to VET earlier after dropping out of compulsory schooling ([19]In 2019, national achievement (completion) rates in the 19+ education and training and in apprenticeships were 88.3% and 67.3% respectively:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/789589/201718_NARTs_MainText.pdf
).

More information on early leaving from education and training is available in the Cedefop report 2017: United Kingdom - Leaving education early: putting vocational education and training centre stage ([20]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/united_kingdom_-_leaving_education_early.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 decreased (-1.7 percentage points) from 16.3% in 2014 to 14.6% in 2018, at 3.5 percentage points above the EU-28 average (11.1%) in 2018.

In England, 2.2 million people registered with further education (FE) colleges in 2017/18, 1.4 million of those VET learners (63.3%) were adults ([21]Association of Colleges (2017). College key facts 2017/18. https://www.aoc.co.uk/sites/default/files/Key Facts 2017-18_1.pdf).

Adult and continuing education is part of the formal education system, but is also offered as non-formal training by employers and training providers.

 

Participation of 16-18 year olds in education and training in England in 2017 (%)

Source: Department for Education (2018). Participation in education, training and employment: 2017 [accessed 15.11.2018].

 

 

Participation of 16-19 year olds in education and training in Scotland in 2018 (%)

Source: Skills Development Scotland (2018). Annual Participation Measure for 16 – 19 year olds in Scotland 2018 [accessed 15.11.2018].

 

The education and training system comprises:

  • preschool education (ISCED level 0);
  • primary education (ISCED level 1);
  • lower secondary education (ISCED levels 2 and 3)
  • upper secondary education (ISCED 4);
  • higher/tertiary education (ISCED levels 5, 6, 7 and 8).

Pre-school education is provided in nurseries and children centres (years 0-5) (years 0-4 in N. Ireland).

Primary education is offered in schools:

  • from age 4 for 7 years in N. Ireland; or
  • from age 5 for 6 years in England and Wales; and
  • from age 5 for 7 years in Scotland.

Secondary school starts after completion of primary schooling. Lower secondary programmes last:

  • three years (grades 7-9) (Key Stage 3) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; or
  • two years (grades 8-9) (National 1-4/Intermediate 1) in Scotland.

Upper secondary programmes (grades 10 and 11) are available to learners over 14. (Key Stage 4 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 5/ Intermediate 2 in Scotland).

[….]

Education or training is compulsory from the age of 5 (4 in N. Ireland) up to age 16 (18 in England).

There is a range of education and training providers within the UK VET sector. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, providers include lower secondary schools, school sixth forms, sixth form colleges ([22]Sixth form programmes are offered in years 12 and 13 in secondary general of vocational (college-based) programmes to often acquire an A level (EQF 4), but also vocational qualifications at the same level:
https://www.aoc.co.uk/sixth-form-colleges
), further education (FE) colleges ([23]See
https://www.gov.uk/further-education-courses. Further education colleges are accessible to both young people below 18 and adults; programmes include general academic study, key competences, general vocational programmes, study that may be focused on a specific sector as well as off-the-job apprenticeship training.
) and higher education institutions (HEIs) in addition to private training organisations and work-based learning providers ([24]See also Section VET governance/education providers for a full list of all education providers in the UK and the devolved administrations.).

Most VET programmes can be accessed from age 15/16, although learners can be introduced to VET earlier after dropping out of compulsory schooling or combining vocational subjects with general secondary study. Vocational education and training (VET) is available at secondary and higher education levels in the UK; (EQF levels 2 to 7).

Vocational education and training (VET) is available at secondary and higher education levels in the UK; (EQF levels 2 to 7). Most VET qualifications are taken at EQF level 3 and EQF 4 ([25]See also:
https://www.gov.uk/further-education-courses
) in the further education (FE) sector ([26]FE programmes are accessible to learners over 16 (end of compulsory schooling); a great number of adult learners follow such programmes.).

VET qualifications exist in a wide variety of sectors and prepare learners for work and further study. Programme duration varies by subject area, level of study and type of learning and is between one and four years.

School-based VET is provided in schools and colleges and includes:

  • predominantly school-based programmes that combine general academic study with VET elements;
  • broad VET programmes ([27]Broad vocational programmes cover a field of employment rather than an occupation. For example, students can take BTEC national qualifications in areas such as sport or performing arts.);
  • specialist occupational programmes;
  • work-based learning (technical and occupational learning) may take place both in a VET provider setting and a workplace, in the following forms:
    • (school) workshops;
    • in-company training for VET learners;
    • on-the-job apprenticeship training.

Learning options in formal (school-based) VET:

  • full-time;
  • part-time (evening classes;
  • distance learning;
  • in-company training on a block- or day-release basis;
  • combined with an apprenticeship, where technical and occupational learning takes place:
    • on the job,
    • of the job.

Apprentices are employed and are taught core, transferable skills. A national qualification is awarded upon completion ([28]See Section: Apprenticeships.).

Adult and continuing education is part of the formal education system, but is also offered as non-formal training by employers and training providers:

  • in formal VET, the same learning options apply for adults as for minor learners:
    • full-time;
    • part-time;
    • dual (apprenticeship) learning;
  •  
    • distance learning;
  • non-formal training is delivered:
    • on-the job;
    • off-the job.

Main vocational qualifications offered in the UK ([29]See also table UK national qualifications frameworks in relation to the EQF in Section
8. VET governance; and the
European inventory of NQF 2018
)

In England, Northern Ireland and Wales:

  • GCSEs: General Certificate of Secondary Education (RQF/CQFW levels 1 and 2 corresponding to EQF levels 2 and 3 respectively). GCSEs in vocational subjects are available in all three countries;
  • BTEC: Business and Technology Education Council qualifications RQF level 2 are offered in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (see also; Pearson What is a BTEC?)
    • BTEC Awards;
    • BTEC National Awards;
    • BTEC First Awards. (Pearson. About BTEC Firsts);
    • BTEC certificates;
    • BTEC Diplomas.
  • NVQ: National Vocational Qualifications are competence-based, practically oriented qualifications that are based on National Occupational Standards and often assessed in the work place. NVQs sit within the RQF (Regulated qualifications framework in England and N. Ireland in place since 2015) and CQFW (Credit and qualifications framework of Wales).

In Scotland:

  • SVQ: Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) are competence-based, practically oriented qualifications that are based on National Occupational Standards and often assessed in the work place. SVQs sit within the SCQF(Scottish credit and qualifications framework).
  • National Certificates are offered in both vocational and academic subjects mostly in full-time education
  • NPAs: National Progression Awards are usually short, more flexible programmes for employees or people returning to work, though are also taken as part of a wider curriculum of qualifications within the school or college setting

[National Certificates and National Progression Awards are National Qualifications Group Awards in which students accumulate credits towards distinctive group awards (EQF level 3 programmes). They allow entry to more advanced study and employment.]

  • Professional Development Awards
  • HNCs: Higher National Certificate
  • HNDs: Higher National Diploma

Recent developments ([30]See also Section: VET governance/apprenticeships.)

Apprenticeships in the UK are offered as basic training at secondary level to advanced education and training at higher education level. The table below shows at which levels training is available.

 

NQFs and apprenticeship levels in relation to the EQF

NB: EQF: European qualifications framework.
CQFW: Credit and qualifications framework of Wales.
NQF: National qualifications framework.
RQF: Regulated qualifications framework in England and N. Ireland.
SCQF: Scottish credit and qualifications framework.
Source: ReferNet UK, 2018.

 

Apart from the new apprenticeship standards in England ([31]In England most apprenticeship frameworks are in the process of being replaced by new apprenticeship standards developed by groups of employers from 2015/16. The new standards are currently run in parallel with the frameworks and comprise on-the-job and off-the-job training and learning, linked to specific occupations, and apprentices are assessed by an independent assessor from industry or a separate training provider to the one the student attended at the end of the training.) it is the qualifications within the apprenticeship frameworks that are benchmarked to the NQFs ([32]National qualifications frameworks.), not the frameworks as a whole.

All UK apprentices are employed and off-the-job training is available from colleges and independent training providers and training organisations with which colleges subcontract. Independent training providers must be registered with the Register of Training Organisations to be eligible to deliver education and training services under the adult education budget in England.

-------------

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

Governance of VET in the UK rests with the UK Government and Government departments in the Devolved Administrations ([33]The UK Government has devolved decision-making powers in a number of areas of policy responsibility to the Devolved Administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, such as governance for all levels and types of education, including VET. Whilst there are similarities between the systems in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, reforms are creating greater divergence and the Scottish system has always been significantly different in many ways to those of the rest of the UK.). Devolved Government legislation does not include detailed regulations, such as lists of approved qualifications, but the law provides for the respective

Government Ministers to issue the lists following advice from the relevant advisory body.

VET regulators and inspection/accreditation agencies in formal VET

Different inspection and review bodies exist in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; they are list in the table below:

England

Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) - school, further education and non-degree higher education qualifications

Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) – schools and further education colleges

Scotland

Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) - school, further education and higher education qualifications not awarded by HEIs

Education Scotland - schools and further education colleges

Wales

Qualifications Wales - school, further education and non-degree higher education qualifications

Her Majesty's Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales (Estyn) - schools and further education colleges

Northern Ireland

Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) - school, further education and non-degree higher education qualifications

Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) – schools, further education colleges and other providers delivering publicly-funded training programmes

Source: ReferNet UK.

In England, the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) holds responsibility for inspection of schools and further education colleges. Ofsted considers the overall effectiveness of the outcomes for learners, the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, in addition to the effectiveness of leadership and management. Schools and colleges are inspected by Education Scotland in Scotland, Estyn in Wales and the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) in Northern Ireland. Education Scotland evaluates the outcomes and impact of education provision, the service delivery, as well as the vision and leadership of providers. Estyn reports on the quality of education and training provided, the standards achieved by students, and whether colleges provide value for money. ETI Northern Ireland focuses on the learners’ achievements, the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, and the quality and effectiveness of the leadership and management of the curriculum.

Higher education provided at UK further education (FE) colleges is subject to quality review by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and QAA Scotland through their Higher Education Review that involves peer review, student involvement, as well as analysis of core and thematic elements.

In Scotland, HE in the form of HNCs ([34]Higher national certificate.) and HNDs ([35]Higher national diploma.) in tertiary colleges is subject to inspection and review by Education Scotland, not QAA Scotland. However, for those colleges which are constituent parts of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) or Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), their HNC and HND provision is subject to inspection and review by Education Scotland and review by QAA Scotland.

The Integrated Quality Enhancement Review methodology in Northern Ireland includes peer review, developmental engagement and summative review.

The Hazelkorn report ([36]Welsh Government (2016).
A framework for building a world-class post-compulsory education system for Wales [accessed 15.11.2018].
) recommends creating a new single body for regulation, oversight and co-ordination for the entire post-compulsory education and training sector in Wales. The Welsh Government White Paper Public Good and a Prosperous Wales – Building a reformed PCET system ([37]Welsh Government (2017).
Public good and a prosperous Wales: building a reformed PCET system [accessed 15.11.2018].
) set out how the new body, referred to as the Tertiary Education and Research Commission, would manage allocating resources, assuring and assessing quality, monitoring and managing performance and risk, regulation of the system and accreditation of institutions as well as strategic planning, co-ordinating, steering and providing advice of policy including a responsibility for research and innovation which all is envisaged to form a more coherent and integrated post-compulsory system.

National qualifications frameworks

Formal VET in the UK is organised within several national qualifications frameworks. The Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) was introduced in England and Northern Ireland in 2015 and encompasses academic and vocational qualifications. The RQF gives awarding organisations increased freedom and flexibility to develop qualifications that meet specific labour market needs. Qualifications are now expected to be validated and supported directly by employers to ensure qualifications measure the knowledge and skills necessary for industry, rather than follow prescriptive rules and structures imposed by government agencies. Level descriptors have been revised, but the same eight framework levels (plus entry levels, see table below) remain from the previous Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF), and the existing qualifications continue to be offered until they are withdrawn by the awarding organisation.

The Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales (CQFW) also has the same levels as the QCF/RQF. The CQFW is a meta framework which comprises three pillars. These are regulated qualifications, higher education qualifications and lifelong learning qualifications, which include workplace continuing professional development and bespoke business training, as well as non-formal learning, recognition of prior learning (RPL), and assigned accreditation for learning.

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) comprises 12 levels and includes formal, and an increasing volume of non-formal qualifications.

The CQFW, SCQF and the previous QCF describe levels, qualifications and units in terms of learning outcomes as well as credits and notional learning hours. RQF qualifications have, from 31 December 2017, been described in terms of total qualification time ([38]Ofqual (2015).
Total qualification time criteria [accessed 22.2.2017].
) as credit allocation to units and qualifications is not compulsory within the RQF. National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) are competence-based, practically oriented qualifications that are based on National Occupational Standards and often assessed in the work place. While NVQs sit within the RQF and CQFW, SVQs sit within the SCQF.

The UK qualifications frameworks correspond to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) as described in the table below.

UK national qualifications frameworks in relation to the EQF

EQF

RQF

SCQF

CQFW

8

8

12

8

7

7

11

7

6

6

10/9

6

5

5/4

8/7

5/4

4

3

6

3

3

2

5

2

2

1

4

1

1

Entry 3

3

Entry 3

 

Entry 2

2

Entry 2

 

Entry 1

1

Entry 1

Source: QAA (2014). Qualifications can cross boundaries: a guide to comparing qualifications in the UK and Ireland [accessed 4.6.2019].

There is not always an automatic right to progression from one level to the next within the frameworks as education providers retain the right to set the entry requirements to individual qualifications based on individual awarding organisations’ (see also ‘Shaping qualifications – design’) requirements. However, the unit-based structure of many qualifications opens up the possibilities for validation of prior learning and transfer of credit between qualifications (see section Validation of prior learning).

RQF levels are still to be referenced to EQF levels. An update on developments in England and Northern Ireland was presented in the EQF advisory group in February 2019, and an updated referencing report to reference the RQF and FHEQ to the EQF is planned to be presented in June 2019 ([39]Source: Cedefop (2019). European inventory on NQF 2018: UK - England and Northern Ireland, p. 16.
https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/united_kingdom_england_and_northern_ireland_-_european_inventory_on_nqf_2018.pdf
); an updated referencing report has been prepared by the SCQF Partnership and presented to the EQF advisory group in December 2018 ([40]Source: Cedefop (2019). European inventory on NQF 2018: UK- Scotland, p.14.
https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/united_kingdom_scotland_-_european_inventory_on_nqf_2018.pdf
); Wales is currently in the process of updating the referencing report due to the changes in the level descriptors, the creation of Qualification Wales and the changes to quality assurance in higher education. This report will be presented to the EQF advisory group in June 2019 ([41]Source: Cedefop (2019). European inventory on NQF 2018: UK- Wales, p.15.
https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/united_kingdom_wales_-_european_inventory_on_nqf_2018.pdf
).

Apprenticeships in England ([42]See also section ‘ apprenticeships’)

The latest reform of apprenticeships in England is based on the Richard Review (2012). New apprenticeship standards are being developed by employer-led consortia (Trailblazer groups) ([43]See also: Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education: Trailblazer apprenticeship groups:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-develop-an-apprenticeship-standard-guide-for-trailblazers [accessed 26.8.2019].
) and the quality of the standards are being regulated by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education ([44]Changed name as of 31 January 2019:
https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/about/news-events/name-change-ushers-in-exciting-new-dawn-for-t-levels-preparations/
) (see section Quality assurance). New apprenticeships must include a work contract and at least 20% off-the-job training in addition to English and mathematics, but there is no longer a requirement to include an occupational qualification within the programme. Standards are linked to single professions and the unit-based structure of the previous apprenticeship frameworks has been replaced with holistic end-point assessment. The new apprenticeship standards are currently being phased in and run in parallel with the previous frameworks.

Policy making authorities

There is a complex institutional framework in the UK VET sector with the Department for Education (DfE) having policy-making responsibilities in England; the policy-making authorities for VET in Northern Ireland are the Department of Education (DE) and the Department for the Economy, in Wales the body is the Welsh Government’s Department for Education and Public Services and Department for Economy, Skills and Infrastructure, and, in Scotland, the Department of Learning and the Department of Lifelong Learning of the Scottish Government are responsible. The table below presents an overview of policy making authorities in the UK VET sector.

England

Department for Education (DfE) – all levels of education

Scotland

Scottish Government – all levels of education

Wales

Welsh Government – all levels of education

Northern Ireland

Department of Education (DE) – schools and teacher training

Department for the Economy – further education colleges and higher education

Source: ReferNet UK.

Education (and training) providers

There is a range of education and training providers within the UK VET sector. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, providers include lower secondary schools, school sixth forms, sixth form colleges ([45]Sixth form programmes are offered in years 12 and 13 in secondary general of vocational (college-based) programmes to often acquire an A level (EQF 4), but also vocational qualifications at the same level (
https://www.aoc.co.uk/sixth-form-colleges).
), further education (FE) colleges ([46]See
https://www.gov.uk/further-education-courses. Further education colleges are accessible to both young people below 18 and adults; programmes include general academic study, key competences, general vocational programmes, study that may be focused on a specific sector as well as off-the-job apprenticeship training.
) and higher education institutions (HEIs) in addition to private training organisations and work-based learning providers. An overview of education providers is presented in the table below.

England

Schools/academies – general academic and vocational secondary education

Further education colleges – secondary and tertiary VET

Independent training providers – secondary and tertiary VET

Higher education institutions – higher vocational education

Scotland

Schools – general academic and vocational secondary education

Tertiary colleges – secondary and tertiary VET

Private training providers – secondary and tertiary VET

Higher education institutions – higher vocational education

Wales

Schools – general academic and vocational secondary education

Further education institutions – secondary and tertiary VET

Colleges – secondary and tertiary VET

Higher education institutions – higher vocational education

Northern Ireland

Schools – general academic and vocational secondary education

Further education colleges – secondary and tertiary VET

Private, community and voluntary sector providers – secondary and post-secondary VET

Training organisations - – secondary and tertiary VET

Higher education institutions – higher vocational education

Source: ReferNet UK.

In England, Northern Ireland and Wales, FE colleges represent the largest group of VET providers, offering education to learners that are predominantly 16 years old and upwards, including a large number of adult learners. FE colleges offer vocational learning at entry level (EQF 2) through to higher VET (EQF level 7). Students may attend FE colleges on a full-time or part-time basis and combine the study with an apprenticeship.

In Scotland, VET is mostly offered in colleges providing vocational secondary from EQF level 2 and higher education and by private training providers, but also in secondary schools (EQF 2 – 4) and higher education institutions (HEIs). The recent introduction of graduate apprenticeships ([47]Degree apprenticeships (in Scotland: Higher and Graduate apprenticeships) create a different pathway to obtaining university degrees. Whilst academic ability, including grades and numerical and reasoning skills are considered by the university or college, candidates are also interviewed for a job with a company (unless they are already employed with the company). Both employers and universities must be satisfied the applicant meets their respective requirements. There may therefore be a joint recruitment process.) means that VET is now increasingly being provided by HEIs in Scotland.

A large number of colleges exist in the UK, but many have in recent years merged to form larger regional units, a process that is still on-going in England.

University Technical Colleges (UTCs) (EQF 2-4) are VET institutions for 14-19 year olds in England. UTCs are formed through partnerships between universities, colleges and businesses to match national curriculum requirements to local needs and include work placements. UTCs combine core skills with early subject specialisation and links to higher education. Similarly, Studio Schools have been introduced in 2010([48]UK NARIC (2014).
Innovation in VET and the concept of Studio Schools A report prepared within Cedefop ReferNet network.
) for the same age range in England. These are small institutions offering vocational qualifications (at EQF levels 2-4), general qualifications (such as GCSEs) ([49]General Certificate of Secondary Education (RQF/CQFW levels 1 and 2 corresponding to EQF levels 2 and 3 respectively). See also:
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/united_kingdom_england_and_northern_ireland_-_european_inventory_on_nqf_2016.pdf
) as well as teaching through enterprise projects and work placements ([50]UK NARIC (2014).
Innovation in VET and the concept of Studio Schools A report prepared within Cedefop ReferNet network.
).

To meet labour market demand for higher technical skills, a network of Institutes of Technology is being created in England focussed on skills development at qualifications framework levels 3-5 (EQF 4-5). These institutes will be sponsored by employers, registered with professional bodies and aligned with apprenticeship standards, and be both empowered and expected to design clear routes to employment in cooperation with employers and professional organisations. Moreover, funding from the government and employers was confirmed for five National Colleges in 2016. These National Colleges will focus on delivering technical skills at levels 4 to 6 (EQF levels 5-6) in the areas of digital skills, high speed rail, nuclear, creative and cultural, and onshore oil and gas.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is an executive agency sponsored by the DfE in England. Aside from funding learners aged between 3 and 19 and adult further education and skills training, the ESFA supports the building and maintenance programmes for schools, academies ([51]See also
https://www.gov.uk/types-of-school/academies
), free schools ([52]See also
https://www.gov.uk/types-of-school/free-schools
) and sixth-form colleges. A simplified, learner-led funding system is in place since 2013/14. Much of school-based VET is Government funded, but employers fund an increasing part of workplace training, such as in-company training and learning through specialist consultants and agencies.

An apprenticeship levy was introduced in 2017 to create long-term, sustainable investment in apprenticeships ([53]The levy is paid across the whole UK and a proportion of funding is distributed to all four nations according to population; however, the portions allocated to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland do not need to be used exclusively to fund apprenticeships and can be allocated to other VET training needs.). The levy is paid by all large employers in the UK with a paybill of over £3m a year. Levy payers and non-levy paying employers are able to access funding to support their apprenticeship training. In England a growing number of education providers now receive funding directly from the Government rather than through local authorities. These are academies, free schools, university technical colleges and studio schools (see section Apprenticeships). Privately funded training providers also operate within the UK VET sector.

The Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council, commonly known as the Scottish Funding Council, is the strategic body for the funding of teaching, learning, research and other activities across all levels of tertiary education in Scotland. Public (VET) schools are funded through and accountable to local authorities, with one exception being directly funded by the Scottish Government. Skills Development Scotland funds Modern apprenticeship programmes and other government funded programmes of learning.

Funding of VET in the Northern Ireland further education sector and for providers of specific Government-funded programmes is the responsibility of the Department for the Economy.

VET funding in Wales is traditionally the responsibility of the Welsh Government and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (also sponsored by the Welsh Government). In January 2014 the Welsh Government published its Policy statement on skills which set out its long term vision for employment and skills policy in Wales. This work was supplemented by the development of the Framework for co-investment in skills, also introduced in 2014, which sets out the principles for government and employer investment in skills ([54]Welsh Government (2014).
Framework for co-investment in skills [accessed 15.11.2018].
). The framework aims to provide a foundation for shifting the emphasis from a government-led approach to skills investment to a system influenced and led by employers. The investment made by employers, supported by the co-investment framework, will place them in a stronger position to challenge the skills system in Wales.

Learning opportunities for vulnerable groups (targeted measures)

Formal VET targeted at vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, such as people with disabilities and learning difficulties are mostly offered in the same providers as other students; however, additional funding is available.

Lifelong Learning Partnerships (LLPs) consist of a variety of education providers ranging from voluntary sector providers to further and higher education institutions as well as employers and trade unions. LLPs often reach out to disadvantaged communities and assist disadvantaged learners to engage with education and training again.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) updated its Equalities Action Plan for Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland and the Equality Challenge Fund in 2017 ([55]SDS (2017).
Equalities action plan for modern apprenticeships in Scotland [accessed 19.2.2019].
) for projects aimed at widening access to Modern apprenticeships. Organisations including charities, colleges and training providers have received funding to help boost Modern apprenticeship numbers among under-represented groups such as individuals from minority ethnic backgrounds, disabled people and care leavers as well as tackling gender imbalance in certain sectors. The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) outcome agreements require colleges and universities to produce access and inclusion strategies that define their inclusive practices and the impact this has on learners. The SFC expects colleges to evidence how they use funds to support students with educational support needs, including disabled students, to ensure they have an equal chance of successfully completing their programme of study ([56]Scottish Government (2016).
A fairer Scotland for disabled people See also: Scottish Funding Council (2016).
Guidance for the development of College Outcome Agreements: 2017-18 to 2019-20 [accessed 15.11.2018].
).

Incentives for providers

VET providers across England continue to have the freedom and flexibility to determine how they use their adult education budget (AEB), working with Local Enterprise Partnerships and local commissioners to determine what the appropriate distribution of funding should be to best meet local needs. From 2019/20 academic year, approximately 50% of the AEB will be devolved to six Mayoral Combined Authorities and delegated to the Greater London Authority who will be responsible for commissioning and funding AEB provision for learners resident in their areas.

The Scottish Funding Council bases funding of VET providers on Outcome Agreements with colleges and universities. These Agreements include learner retention, articulation and progression into further and higher education and other positive destinations, such as employment. More emphasis within the Outcome Agreements is now being put on areas including widening access, gender, skills, innovation and apprenticeships.

In VET, categories of teachers and trainers are:

  • FE teaching staff ([57]Those teaching in FE colleges are usually referred to as lecturers (VET teachers) and those teaching work-based learning are normally called VET trainers.) in England are called teachers, trainers, lecturers, tutors, assessors, advisors and instructors;
  • teaching staff in the VET sector in Northern Ireland use the professional titles of lecturer, teacher, trainer, tutor and assessor;
  • teaching staff in the Scottish VET sector use the professional titles of teacher, lecturer, tutor, assessor and trainer;
  • VET teaching staff in Wales use the professional titles of lecturers, teachers, tutors, assessors and trainers.

Different training and registration requirements exist at secondary education level to further and higher education level across the UK:

In England VET teachers working in maintained secondary schools must meet the requirements of the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA), which includes a degree level qualification, GCSE ([58]General Certificate of Secondary Education (RQF/CQFW levels 1 and 2 corresponding to EQF levels 2 and 3 respectively); see also:
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/united_kingdom_england_and_northern_ireland_-_european_inventory_on_nqf_2016.pdf
) level subjects in English, mathematics and science in addition to obtaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and completing an induction year. The same statutory requirement to hold QTS is not in place for VET teachers employed by publicly-funded free schools and some academies.

In Wales, those training to teach in local authority funded secondary schools are required to gain QTS and complete an induction period by meeting professional standards set by the Welsh Government. There is also a requirement in Wales to complete an undergraduate or postgraduate programme of Initial Teacher Education, which includes assessment against the QTS (Qualified Teacher Status). In addition there are minimum requirements for GCSE attainment including a standard equivalent to a grade B in the GCSE examination in English and/or Welsh and in mathematics.

Those teaching in FE colleges ([59]See
https://www.gov.uk/further-education-courses. Further education colleges are accessible to both young people below 18 and adults; programmes include general academic study, key competences, general vocational programmes, study that may be focused on a specific sector as well as off-the-job apprenticeship training.
) in the UK are usually referred to as lecturers (VET teachers) and those teaching work-based learning are normally called VET trainers. In England the criteria to teach at FE level are flexible in line with the criteria for teaching at higher education level, where the education provider decides upon the suitability of the teaching staff. Only voluntary professional registration exists (with the Society for Education and Training) ([60]Professional membership organisation for teachers and trainers in the UK. See:
https://set.et-foundation.co.uk/
). Advice about professional standards for teachers and trainers in education and training in England is provided by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) ([61]European training foundation (2014).
Professional standards for teachers and trainers in education and training – England [accessed 15.11.2018].
). In England it is not mandatory to obtain Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status to teach in FE colleges, but it can be beneficial for teachers that also wish to teach at secondary level in maintained schools.

Teaching qualifications for the FE sector in England are available from higher education institutions and Ofqual-recognised awarding organisations ([62]Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation:
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofqual
). Teacher training also takes place in-house, and in both colleges for further and higher education. Associate Teachers work with less responsibility than Full Teachers/Lecturers in terms of curriculum development and delivery. In the FE sector, Associate Teachers are often known as instructors or trainers and should work under the supervision of a Full Teacher. FE lecturers in Northern Ireland must possess a degree level qualification or a qualification at QCF level 5 ([63]QCF qualifications (N. Ireland, see also Section
8. VET governance) continue to be offered until they are withdrawn by the awarding organisation.
) in a subject area relevant to the subject taught, plus three years relevant industrial experience. Lecturers must also possess or be enrolled in a teaching qualification, such as the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) (FE). In Wales, lecturers are required to hold a Certificate of Education, PGCE (FE) qualifications or Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and those employed as teachers in institutions in the FE sector in Wales are required to have, or to be working toward, these relevant teaching qualifications.

In Scotland, teachers must be registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), which sets the standards and qualifications required by teachers for professional practice. Scottish secondary VET teachers must hold a first degree, a teaching qualification such as the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE), or an undergraduate equivalent, such as the Bachelor of Education (BEd) or a concurrent degree, where a teaching qualification is studied alongside another specialism, e.g. a science or English. Additionally, English or English as a second or other language at Higher (SCQF ([64]Scottish credit and qualifications framework.) level 6/EQF level 4) and mathematics or applications of mathematics at National 5 (SCQF level 5) level is a mandatory requirement. The Scottish College for Educational Leadership provides programmes of learning for teachers after they have qualified; most notably the new Into Headship programme at SCQF level 11 (EQF 7) will be mandatory for all new head teachers from 2019. VET Trainers and VET teachers/lecturers in tertiary colleges do not need to register with the GTCS, although it is desirable and strongly suggested by the Inspectorate of Education – Education Scotland. It is moreover considered preferential to hold a GTCS recognised further education teaching qualification or be working towards one.

The Education Workforce Council (EWC) is the independent regulator in Wales for VET teachers in local authority funded schools, further education (FE) VET teachers and learning support staff in both school and FE settings. From April 2015, the requirement for professional registration was extended to FE teachers, and from April 2016 registration is also compulsory for school/FE learning support workers. Secondary VET teachers must possess a university degree, GCSE ([65]General Certificate of Secondary Education (RQF/CQFW levels 1 and 2 corresponding to EQF levels 2 and 3 respectively). See also:
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/united_kingdom_england_and_northern_ireland_-_european_inventory_on_nqf_2016.pdf
) subjects and a teaching qualification.

FE VET teacher qualifications available in England, N Ireland and Wales include the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE for FE), which is a postgraduate programme leading to Full Teacher status, and in England the Level 3 Award in Education and Training, which is a short introduction to FE teaching, the Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training, and the Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training, which is the minimum qualification needed to obtain Full Teacher status.

There is no legal requirement for teachers in FE in England and N Ireland to complete CPD. On average, teachers completed 15 hours of CPD per year ([66]https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/national-policies/eurydice/content/continuing-professional-development-teachers-and-trainers-working-adult-education-and-78_en)

The Education and Training Foundation operates in England to improve professionalism and standards in the FE and skills sector and provides opportunities for CPD. Ofsted is the inspection agency for the quality of teacher education in England.

The Scottish College for Educational Leadership provides programmes of learning for teachers after they have qualified; most notably the new Into Headship programme at SCQF level 11 (EQF 7) will be mandatory for all new head teachers from 2019. In Scotland, it is recommended that VET teachers undertake six days of CPD annually ([67]https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/national-policies/eurydice/content/continuing-professional-development-teachers-and-trainers-working-adult-education-and-80_en)

In Wales, FE teachers should undertake 30 hours of CPD annually.

More information is available in the Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspective on teachers and trainers ([68]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/teachers-and-trainers).

Various methods are in place to anticipate skill needs:

  • the Labour Force Survey (LFS) results, published regularly by the Office for National Statistics, contain labour market statistics;
  • other national, regional and sectoral surveys and audits, such as the Employer Skills Survey ([69]Department for Education (2018).
    Employer Skills Survey 2017: UK [accessed 12.10.2018].
    ) and Working Futures ([70]UKCES (2016).
    Working Futures 2014 to 2024 [accessed 22.2.2017].
    ), used along with the LFS to determine labour market needs and gaps;
  • skills audits and surveys of employers’ opinions.

Other stakeholders involved in providing information and recommendations for skills provision include:

  • the Confederation of British Industry, whose research anticipates a growing skills gap with a particular need for higher level skills ([71]CBI/Pearson (2016).
    The right combination [accessed 22.2.2017].
    );
  • the Department for Education (DfE) launched a model to anticipate future demand for, and cost of, apprenticeships in initial and continuing VET in a system driven by employer demand in 2017 ([72]Department for Education (2017).
    Long-term apprenticeship model appraisal [accessed 15.11.2018]
    );
  • the Long-term Apprenticeship Model forecasts apprenticeship starts and costs for both levy and non-levy paying employers.

Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) are independent, employer-led organisations working towards defining skills needs and skills standards in their industries. National Occupational Standards (NOS) ([73]See Section
12. Shaping VET qualifications - design.
) have been developed by SSCs and Standards Setting Organisations working with employers and national and regional organisations to specify competences required in the workplace.

In England, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) work towards improving local needs and bring together local and regional stakeholders in business and local authorities. LEPs and the new powers to English cities in the Localism Act are designed to give more freedom and a greater voice to local enterprises, in order to create a more demand-led qualification and skills system with a local focus.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) has developed Skills Investment Plans for key sectors in collaboration with Industry Leadership Groups and other key industry players by analysing labour market and skills supply research. Regional Skills Assessment Plans take into consideration regional challenges and opportunities. The Employability, Skills and Lifelong Learning Analytical Services Unit is part of the Scottish Government and conducts research that supports policy developments in VET, higher education and lifelong learning. Topics for research include skills shortages and gaps and training opportunities. In Wales these functions are carried out by Knowledge and Analytical Services and the Labour Market Information Unit within the Welsh Government.

The Department for the Economy requires further education colleges in Northern Ireland to submit annual development plans in line with the Government’s priorities and adhere to Public Service Agreements and Funded Learning Unit models regarding finances in relation to strategic priorities. The skills barometer project built a model to estimate future skill needs and gaps by level, sector and subject area across a range of economic outcomes ([74]The project was undertaken as part of a three-year sponsorship arrangement between the Department for the Economy and the Ulster University Economic Policy Centre.).

VET qualifications - designers and concepts

The Regulated Qualifications Framework (England and N. Ireland) removed the requirements to structure qualifications in terms of units and learning outcomes ([75]The RQF gives awarding organisations increased freedom and flexibility to develop qualifications that meet specific labour market needs. Qualifications are now expected to be validated and supported directly by employers to ensure qualifications measure the knowledge and skills necessary for industry, rather than follow prescriptive rules and structures imposed by government agencies. Level descriptors have been revised, but the same eight framework levels (plus entry levels, see Table UK national qualifications frameworks in relation to the EQF in section
8) remain from the previous qualifications and credit framework (QCF), and the existing qualifications continue to be offered until they are withdrawn by the awarding organisation.
); however, qualifications currently available are largely unit- and outcomes-based and allow for flexibility in delivery of training, except for new apprenticeships in England ([76]In England most apprenticeship frameworks are in the process of being replaced by new apprenticeship standards developed by groups of employers from 2015/16. The new standards are currently run in parallel with the frameworks and comprise on-the-job and off-the-job training and learning, linked to specific occupations, and apprentices are assessed by an independent assessor from industry or a separate training provider to the one the student attended at the end of the training.).

The qualification frameworks in Scotland and Wales continue to be learning outcomes and unit based. Adult learning in particular is often centred on individual learners’ needs both in terms of content and delivery method. Training programmes aimed at young people usually follow a more standardised structure. Qualifications and their broad content, unit and credit structure, learning outcomes and assessment standards are developed by independent awarding organisations in line with regulators’ regulatory requirements and industry experts’ and other stakeholders’ input.

Assessment of VET qualifications

Study programmes leading to formal qualifications at secondary and tertiary, non-university level are internally assessed within education providers and workplaces if appropriate, but are not awarded until assessments have been externally verified by awarding organisations (also called examination boards) in the UK. Education providers that are registered as examination centres by one or more awarding organisations can conduct examinations for qualifications awarded by these awarding organisations.

Assessment of practical training

Work-based learning is also assessed in workplaces by qualified assessors. Assessors are usually trained staff with industry experience and knowledge of assessment approaches. In order to assess some qualifications, the assessors are required to possess relevant assessor qualifications as well.

Apprentices completing the new apprenticeship standards in England ([77]See Section
7. Apprenticeships
) are assessed at the end of the programme of training by an Independent End Point Assessor who is required to have up-to-date and thorough knowledge and experience of the specific occupation and ideally possess a Level 3 (EQF 4) assessor qualification.

Validation of prior learning is also possible, see Section 14. Validation of prior learning

Awarding bodies

Awarding organisations are also responsible for awarding the final qualifications and organising external moderation of student achievement. These organisations are recognised to operate in England and Northern Ireland by Ofqual and CCEA ([78]Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment.) Regulation respectively. Recognised Awarding Organisations are entitled to award accredited qualifications which are listed in the Register of Regulated Qualifications and part of the RQF.

Awarding organisations with approved qualifications registered on the CQFW ([79]Credit and qualifications framework of Wales.) must be recognised by Qualifications Wales and are listed on the Qualifications in Wales database.

The main awarding organisation in Scotland is the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), which is a quasi-autonomous non-departmental public body and fulfils the roles of both an awarding body and an accreditation body. There are mechanisms in place to manage the potential conflict of interest between both parts of SQA; the Awarding Body is directly accountable to Scottish Government Ministers and the Accreditation function (SQA Accreditation) is accountable to a statutory Accreditation Committee and thence the Scottish Government. There are also a considerable number of other awarding organisations (including all higher education institutions with degree awarding powers) offering qualifications within the SCQF and also other organisations awarding qualifications often subject to accreditation by SQA Accreditation.

Occupational standards design - the role of employers

Most education and training programmes for young people that are publicly funded lead to a formally recognised qualification. This is part of the quality control process of VET. Education providers create curricula and deliver qualifications created by awarding organisations.

Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) ([80]Independent, employer-led organisations working towards defining skills needs and skills standards in their industries.) and other standard setting organisations, in association with employers, develop, maintain and update National Occupational Standards (NOS) to specify competences required to perform occupations and professions. NOS consist of units describing what individuals must be able to do, know and understand to perform specific jobs. NVQs/SVQs ([81]National vocational qualifications / Scottish vocational qualifications.) and many other vocationally related qualifications are entirely or largely based on NOS or, if relevant, learning outcomes that need to be met for certification. NOS are reviewed to ensure programmes and qualifications include new technologies, innovations and working methods used in the labour market. The Government in England have no longer been mandating the use of NOS within their vocational qualifications system after the end of 2016; however, qualifications designers in England can continue to use NOS if they wish. The development and review of NOS are still continued by the three Devolved Administrations, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Following the change from state funding of the SSCs to self-funded organisations, only the most effective SSCs that are valued by industry have remained operational.

National Skills Academies (NSAs) are employer-led organisations developing the infrastructure and learning resources needed to deliver specialist skills to industry sectors in England. NSAs also strive for training programmes resources to be up-to-date and relevant in the current job market.

VET reform in England - more direct employer engagement in VET design ([82]Department for Education (2018).
Introduction of T levels: policy paper [accessed 15.11.2018]. See also: Institute for Apprenticeships (2019).
What is an apprenticeship standard? [accessed 15.11.2018].
). The design process of VET is changing in England by moving away from a system in which a large number of awarding organisations develop qualifications based on National Occupational Standards (NOS) to a system where the outline content of new vocational qualifications (T levels) based on the knowledge, skills and behaviours related to occupations will be developed by employer-led consortia within 15 main technical routes. New apprenticeship standards (Trailblazers) are already being developed within the same 15 pathways. T level qualifications will be developed by a single awarding organisation for each of the occupational pathways. T levels, designed to be delivered in classroom-based settings, will be phased in from 2020 whilst apprenticeship trailblazers are currently run in parallel with the traditional apprenticeship frameworks.

The Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board (SAAB) is led by employers to strengthen their engagement in apprenticeships and aims to ensure that apprenticeships will be closely linked to areas of economic growth and job opportunities. SAAB oversees the development of apprenticeship frameworks and standards. The Wales Apprenticeship Advisory Board, have taken up a key role in developing policy objectives to ensure that apprenticeships are aligned to changing needs of the industry in Wales.

The Strategic Partnership strategy provides the background for UK Government financed projects in which enterprises, employer federations, trade unions, trade associations, public bodies and other stakeholders collaborate to solve sectoral and regional issues including learning and skills.

Strategic development of VET in England

Strategic development of skills and lifelong learning in England is the remit of the Department for Education (DfE). Design of future VET in England is influenced by reviews such as the Wolf Review of pre-19 vocational education, the Whitehead Review of Adult Vocational Qualifications ([83]Whitehead, N, UKCES (2013).
Review of adult vocational qualifications in England [accessed 15.11.2018].
) and the Richard Review of Apprenticeships ([84]Richard, D. (2012).
The Richard review of apprenticeships [accessed 22.2.2017].
). The former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) published the Skills for Sustainable Growth strategy ([85]BIS (2010).
Skills for sustainable growth [accessed 15.11.2018].
) in response to the Wolf Review with details of a planned skills reform. The Plan for Growth ([86]HM Treasury and BIS (2011).
The Plan for growth [accessed 22.2.2017].
) strategy mentions that ‘the creation of a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe’ is one of the key skills actions and measures to be achieved. Rigour and Responsiveness in Skills sets out how Apprenticeship reforms, and funding only good quality VET in England, will be accelerated ([87]BIS/DfE (2013).
Rigour and responsiveness in skills [accessed 15.11.2018].
) (see VET learning options about Tech Levels and the Technical Baccalaureate under 4. EQF 4, ISCED 351, 354 [college-based VET]). Fixing the foundations – the UK Government’s productivity plan from 2015 – puts focus on the need to develop a highly skilled workforce to increase productivity ([88]BIS (2015).
Fixing the foundations[accessed 22.2.2017].
). Most recently the Post-16 Skills Plan sets out to streamline VET in England into 15 clear routes leading to skilled employment, either through two-year college courses or apprenticeships ([89]DfE/BIS (2016).
Post-16 skills plan [accessed 15.11.2018].
) as recommended in the Report of the Independent Panel on Technical Education ([90]Sainsbury, D. (2016).
Report of the Independent panel on technical education [accessed 15.11.2018].
).

Strategic development of VET in Scotland

The Scottish Government provides details of skills support in the Skills for Scotland: Accelerating the Recovery and Increasing Sustainable Economic Growth ([91]Scottish Government (2010).
Skills for Scotland: accelerating the recovery and increasing sustainable economic growth [accessed 15.11.2018].
), the Review of Post-16 Education and Vocational Training in Scotland ([92]Scottish Government (2011).
Review of post-16 education and vocational training in Scotland [accessed 15.11.2018].
), the National Youth Work Strategy ([93]Scottish Government (2014b).
National youth work strategy 2014-19 [accessed 22.2.2017].
) and Adult Learning in Scotland: Statement of Ambition ([94]Scottish Government (2014c).
Adult learning in Scotland, statement of ambition[accessed 22.2.2017].
). The Government started a reform of the post-16 education which aims to increase efficiency and flexibility in learner provision and value for money as well as better meet regional needs. A further aim is to simplify the skills system so it is easier to understand for both individuals and employers. The Curriculum for Excellence includes more skills-for-work options for young people in addition to a greater emphasis on entrepreneurship ([95]Scottish Government (2009).
Innovation for Scotland [accessed 15.11.2018].
). The group responsible for the review of the curriculum comprised representatives from national and local Government, Education Scotland, higher and further education institutions, schools and the Scottish Qualifications Authority in addition to business interest groups, teacher unions and parent organisations. The Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce’s final report ([96]Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce (2014).
Education working for all! Final report [accessed 15.11.2018].
) from June 2014 includes recommendations on preparing school leavers for work, college education focused on employment and progression in learning, Apprenticeships focused on higher level skills and industry needs, and engaging employers with education and recruiting young people.

Strategic development of VET in Wales

The Welsh Government’s Programme for Government emphasises the importance of skills development in relation to economic growth and sustainable jobs. Qualifications are developed according to the CQFW high level principles. Future VET will be shaped by the Review of Qualifications for 14 to 19-year-olds in Wales ([97]Welsh Government (2012).
Review of qualifications for 14 to 19-year-olds in Wales [accessed 22.2.2017].
) (see Section 2.2.3 regarding the Welsh Baccalaureate), the policy statement on skills ([98]Welsh Government (2014).
Policy statement on skills [accessed 22.2.2017].
) and the Welsh Government’s Skills implementation plan ([99]Welsh Government (2014).
Skills implementation plan [accessed 15.11.2018].
). The latter emphasises the importance of aligning skills provision with the current and future jobs market, local needs and employer engagement. Welsh Government published Towards 2030: a Framework for Building a World-Class Post-Compulsory Education System for Wales in March 2016 ([100]Welsh Government (2016).
A framework for building a world-class post-compulsory education system for Wales [accessed 15.11.2018].
). The report’s recommendations include the aim to develop clear and flexible learner-centred learning and career pathways and to introduce more state regulation into the current market-demand driven education system.

Strategic development of VET in Northern Ireland

The Department for Employment and Learning’s (now: Department for the Economy) vision for skills development is articulated within the Skills Strategy for Northern Ireland, Success through Skills – Transforming Futures ([101]DEL (2011).
Success through skills: transforming futures [accessed 4.6.2019].
), which sets the overarching strategy for the development of skills (including vocational education and training) in Northern Ireland. This strategy will be realised by focusing on those entering the labour force for the first time; up-skilling the existing workforce; and ensuring that those currently excluded from the labour force are provided with the skills to compete for jobs, retain jobs and progress up the skills ladder. To help achieve these ambitions, the Department works closely with the Department of Education to ensure there is a strong collaboration between schools, further education colleges, universities and employers.

Other reviews in Northern Ireland aiming to enhance and shape future VET policy include the new Northern Ireland Strategy for Apprenticeships ([102]DELNI (2014).
Securing our success: the Northern Ireland strategy on apprenticeships [accessed 4.6.2019].
) which recommends that Apprenticeships should be at least two years long and start from level 3 (EQF level 4) (see 3. EQF 4, ISCED 354 [Apprenticeship]). The Strategy for youth training from 2015 describes plans to create a baccalaureate-style curriculum that includes work-based learning that also replaces apprenticeship provision at level 2 ([103]Department for the Economy (2015).
Generating our success [accessed 15.11.2018].
). The 2016 Further Education (FE) Strategy gives colleges in Northern Ireland a major role in delivering apprenticeships and youth training as well as featuring prominently in strategic advisory forums and sectoral partnerships tasked with matching skills demand and delivery ([104]Department for the Economy (2016).
Further education means success [accessed 15.11.2018].
).

Strategies to support learning opportunities for vulnerable groups

In Wales, the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales (CQFW) recognises lifelong learning such as vendor/industry/professional qualifications and smaller ‘bite size’ units of accredited learning. Such achievements can be highly positive and help to raise the aspirations of disadvantaged learners. The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) also recognises lifelong learning and bite size pieces of learning from all sectors and all types of organisations, including many aimed at disadvantaged and vulnerable learners. The SCQF includes two levels which are below level 1 of the EQF. At these levels the emphasis is placed on the learning which takes place as a result of learners’ participation in, and the experience of, situations as well as the carrying out of basic tasks. The inclusion of these lower levels allows the SCQF to be an inclusive NQF for all learners including those who may not have been successful in mainstream education.

The Northern Ireland Strategy for Further Education, Further Education Means Success published in January 2016, recommends that colleges, in partnership with organisations in the voluntary, community, public and private sectors, support diversity and social inclusion through widening access to provision for those with low or no skills or who experience other barriers to learning. The strategy commits the colleges to adopting international best practice in the use of technology enhanced learning to support and improve teaching and learning, and adopt flexible approaches to learning to meet the needs of learners and employers.

Additional funding for learning opportunities of vulnerable people is also available in England and Scotland in section: 9. VET financing mechanisms

Most education and training programmes for young people that are publicly funded lead to a formally recognised qualification. This is part of the quality control process of VET.

VET regulators and inspection/accreditation agencies in formal VET

Different inspection and review bodies exist in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; they are list in the table below (see also section 8 VET governance):

England

Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) - school, further education and non-degree higher education qualifications

Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) – schools and further education colleges

Scotland

Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) - school, further education and higher education qualifications not awarded by HEIs

Education Scotland - schools and further education colleges

Wales

Qualifications Wales - school, further education and non-degree higher education qualifications

Her Majesty's Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales (Estyn) - schools and further education colleges

Northern Ireland

Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) - school, further education and non-degree higher education qualifications

Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) – schools, further education colleges and other providers delivering publicly-funded training programmes

Source: ReferNet UK.

QA arrangements for VET qualifications

Qualifications are designed and issued by independent awarding organisations. Those organisations set question papers or other assessments for their qualifications and examine candidates as well as reviewing examination centres’ assessment of candidates and reviewing and verifying the work and standards of the centres. The processes of external review of assessment in examination centres are often referred to as verification. Verification is conducted by qualified individuals with quality assurance of assessment qualifications at level 4 (EQF level 5).

During the review leading to the withdrawal of the regulatory arrangements for the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF), for England, Ofqual ([105]The regulator of all vocational qualifications within the RQF (Regulated qualifications framework in England and N. Ireland).) removed the requirement for awarding organisations to submit new vocational qualifications for accreditation before they are registered within the qualifications framework. Secondary school qualifications such as GCSEs ([106]General Certificate of Secondary Education (RQF/CQFW levels 1 and 2 corresponding to EQF levels 2 and 3 respectively). See also:
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/united_kingdom_england_and_northern_ireland_-_european_inventory_on_nqf_2016.pdf
) and technical qualifications with detailed design rules are still subject to a spot check of the qualifications’ specification and a set of specimen assessment papers and mark schemes ([107]Ofqual.
Accreditation requirement [accessed 20.2.2019].
). The responsibility for quality assurance and relevance of other qualifications rests with the awarding organisations, although periodic Ofqual audits take place.

In 2016, CCEA ([108]Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment.) Regulation took over the regulation responsibility of vocational qualifications, within the RQF, that are exclusively provided in Northern Ireland. The work includes the recognition and monitoring of awarding organisations that operate in Northern Ireland and the accreditation of the qualifications they offer in Northern Ireland against published criteria and conditions.

Organisations which provide non-university qualifications can elect to be accredited by the Scottish Qualifications Authority Accreditation in accordance with the Scottish Qualifications Authority’s (SQA) regulatory principles, but this is not mandatory. All programmes accredited by SQA will be credit rated and included on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). However, organisations can also get programmes credit rated and included on the SCQF through a range of organisations which carry out this function. SQA’s Accreditation function has a mandatory remit to accredit certain vocational qualifications, including all Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs). In addition, if an alternative competence based qualification is to be used as the mandatory qualification in a Modern apprenticeship framework then it must also be accredited by SQA. Certain other “licence to practice” qualifications must be accredited by SQA including the security sector and the licenced trade sector ([109]SQA Accreditation (2014).
Regulatory principles [accessed 15.11.2018].
).

Qualifications Wales was established in 2015 to take over the responsibility of approving and reviewing qualifications, in addition to developing the design of new qualification requirements and commissioning awarding organisations to develop new qualifications, in Wales. Qualifications Wales is undertaking a long term programme of review and reform of vocational qualifications in each major sector of employment. Four out of eight sector reviews have been or are close to be completed ([110]Qualifications Wales.
Sector reviews [accessed 20.2.2019].
). The reviews aim to find out whether current qualifications are effective in meeting the needs of learners as well as addressing the needs of employers, learning providers and professional bodies.

QA arrangements in apprenticeship

The Institute for Apprenticeships started operations in England in 2017 as an independent statutory body with a remit to develop and maintain quality criteria for apprenticeships and assessment plans, support employer-led development of new apprenticeship standards and regulate the quality of apprenticeships, including both approval functions for apprenticeship standards and quality assurance of assessment ([111]Institute for Apprenticeships.
What we do [accessed 15.11.2018].
). The institute is due to also take over responsibility for implementing the T level reform and change its name to the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education in 2019.

Employer-led sectoral partnerships are being set up in Northern Ireland as part of the apprenticeship reform to inform the approach for ongoing assessment and testing at the end of apprenticeships.

Non-formal training

Training organisations offering non-formal qualifications may register with the British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education. Investors in People (IiP) is a nationally recognised business standard encouraging enterprises to invest in training. IiP certification gives an indication that an employer is committed to the development of workers.

There are generally less transfer opportunities to further and higher education for qualifications obtained outside a formal qualifications framework in the UK. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is granted at institutional discretion based on the RPL policy of individual awarding organisations in England.

Guidelines for the Recognition of Prior Informal Learning form part of the SCQF ([112]Scottish credit and qualifications framework.) in Scotland. There was previously a RPL network connected to the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership which published a RPL toolkit ([113]SCQF (2010).
Facilitating the recognition of prior learning: toolkit. https://www.sqa.org.uk/files_ccc/RPLToolkitUpdatedDecember2010.pdf [accessed 15.11.2018].
) and an online guide that aims to increase and improve recognition of non-formal and informal learning as well as formal learning. While the RPL Network is no longer in operation, the tools and supporting workshops continue to be available.

In England, RARPA (Recognising and Recording Progress and Achievement in non-accredited learning) was furthermore devised by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (now: the Learning and Work Institute) and the former Learning and Skills Development Agency to aid recognition and validation of learning that does not lead to a formal award. RARPA includes a staged process in assessing individual learners’ achievement by taking into consideration their starting point, identification of learning objectives, recording of progress and end of programme assessment.

Lifelong Learning mechanisms have been developed to allow non-formal education and training, such as community learning, in-company training and continuing professional development, to be recognised in accordance with the high level principles of the Credit and Qualifications Framework of Wales ([114]CQFW (2015). Quality assured lifelong learning (QALL) - Formal and non-formal learning. Department for Education and Skills, Welsh Government.
https://gweddill.gov.wales/docs/dcells/publications/151013-qall-e-brochure-en.pdf
).

The Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland aims to encourage more people, who may have less in the way of formal qualifications, to consider applying for places in higher education on the basis of accredited prior experiential learning (APEL). The Northern Ireland University and College Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) Guidelines ([115]Belfast Metropolitan College [s.d].
Higher education accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL) process [accessed 15.11.2018].
) were developed to facilitate entry to higher education – particularly Foundation degrees – for those who lack the required formal academic qualifications for higher education entry by accepting vocational qualifications and experiential learning partly or in full. The guidelines were endorsed by the universities and college sector and draw upon good practice within the sector and across the UK.

For more information about arrangements for the validation of non-formal and informal learning please visit Cedefop’s European database ([116]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/european-database-on-validation-of-non-formal-and-informal-learning).

Across the UK, austerity measures have seen many cuts in state funding in recent years. Whilst the pre-16 schools budget has remained largely protected, reductions have occurred in the 16 to 19 and 19+ further education and skills budgets. However, various initiatives to raise numbers and the status of VET are in place in the UK ([117]The UK Government and the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland set individual budgets regarding education and skills funding.).

Training leave (England)

The Right to Request Time to Train initiative is a legal right in England to allow workers in businesses with more than 250 employees to request time to take up work-related training that will benefit the business. Training can be both formal and non-formal and take place in-house, at an external training organisation or be delivered through e-learning. Whether the business will pay for the training or pay the employee’s salary during the training is left up to the discretion of the employer.

Trade Union Learning Funds (all four countries)

The Trade Union Learning Fund in England is administered by Unionlearn and provides funding to develop the capacity of trade unions and Union Learning Representatives to work with employees, employers and learning providers, to encourage workplace learning. The Scottish Union Learning Fund, the Wales Union Learning Fund and the Union Learning Fund for Northern Ireland fulfil similar roles.

The Youth Engagement and Employment Action Plan (Wales)

The action plan goal is to help young people move back into education, training and employment. Measures taken to achieve this include the Jobs Growth Wales initiative that supports training and work experience. An evaluation of the action plan based on 2015 data found indications of a reduction in the rates of young people who are NEET, but that it was too early to determine the overall success of the plan ([118]Welsh Government (2016b).
Youth engagement and progression framework: formative evaluation follow-up study [accessed 15.11.2018].
).

Financial support measures for specific target groups

Individual Learning Accounts (ILA) were replaced with Individual Training Accounts (ITA) ([119]https://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/what-we-do/employability-skills/sds-individual-training-accounts/) in October 2017. ITAs are payments for the unemployed and not currently in education or those in low paid work in Scotland who wish to learn a new skill or develop their skills further within recognised training programmes. ITAs focus on vocational courses and qualifications in a curriculum area aligned with the Scottish Government’s Labour Market Strategy.

An Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is available to Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish students between the ages of 16 and 18 depending on the students’ and their families’ financial situation. Bursary Funds are available via schools and colleges for 16-18 year olds who struggle to afford the cost of participating in their studies in England. Bursary Funds are specifically targeted towards vulnerable young people, such as those in care, on income support or those with disabilities, but also to other students struggling to afford transport, food or equipment costs. FE providers also receive learner support funding to support eligible adult learners with a specific financial hardship which is preventing them from taking part and/or continuing in learning.

Free lunches for disadvantaged students were extended to 16-18 year old learners at further education colleges (that offer predominantly vocational courses) in England from the autumn of 2014. These free meals were previously only available for disadvantaged students in secondary schools with sixth form provision.

The Entitlement Framework (Northern Ireland)

The Entitlement Framework (EF) came into force in Northern Ireland in 2015, building on the Vocational Enhancement Programme which encouraged collaboration between post-14 school provision and vocational FE college provision. The EF guarantees in law that all learners in Northern Ireland have access to a broad and balanced curriculum with a minimum of 21 courses at lower and upper secondary level, a third of which must be applied and a third, general. Qualifications under the EF contain a range of courses that can be individually tailored to enhance students’ employment chances and meet Government priority skills areas. Post-primary schools work together in local Area Learning Communities alongside further education colleges to plan and provide the full range of general and applied course choices for the young people in an area.

Use of EU tools to support mobility actions

The UK has the main building blocks in place to support the European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET). ECVET aims to give people greater control over their individual learning experiences and promote mobility between different countries and different learning environments. ECVET activities are included in the UK Erasmus+ National Agency (the British Council and Ecorys (UK)) yearly work programme. UK ECVET Experts, appointed by Ecorys UK, raise awareness of ECVET to key stakeholders and promote and encourage organisations involved in mobility to use ECVET in geographical mobility linking ECVET to Erasmus+.

The Apprenticeship Delivery Board (England)

The board consists of representatives from Barclays Banks, Fujitsu UK, the TV company Channel 4 and the City of London amongst others, that will meet and advise the government on how best to expand apprenticeships ([120]UK Government (2018).
Apprenticeship delivery board [accessed 15.10.2018].
). The board furthermore works with the National Apprenticeship Service and the Apprenticeship Ambassador Network ([121]Department for Education [s.d.].
Apprenticeship Ambassador Network [accessed 15.11.2018].
) to stimulate interest in and take up of apprenticeships in England.

The Flexible Workforce Development Fund (Scotland)

The fund is delivered by the Scottish Funding Council and is available to Scottish businesses that contributed towards the UK Government’s apprenticeship levy. Funding can support up-skilling and re-training of individual employees in partnership with Scottish colleges. Employers in Scotland are eligible for a payment of up to £4 000 when employing an unemployed young person as an apprentice through Scotland’s Employer Recruitment Incentive. This initiative is targeting young people facing barriers to employment, such as care leavers, carers, ex-offenders and disabled people.

Financial support for apprenticeships

Access is a Welsh Government programme that provides financial support of up to £3 000 to employers to take on unemployed adults (age 18+) as apprentices. The financial support may be used as a contribution towards wages and up to £1 000 in addition may be used for job-related skills training.

An Employer Incentive Payment of between £250 and £1 500 is available to employers whose apprentices successfully completes a full apprenticeship framework in Northern Ireland.

Careers advisors

Careers advice is offered by a range of professionals, including teachers and careers advisers employed in the education, social work and youth work sectors as well as job centre personnel. Their training varies from in-service training to formal and professional careers guidance qualifications. The Careers Profession Task Force’s report Towards a strong careers profession ([122]Careers Profession Task Force (2012).
Towards a strong careers profession [accessed 15.11.2018].
) made detailed recommendations on raising the professional nature of the workforce. One area of concern identified was that careers advisers were too often under-qualified. Following on from this, the Institute of Employability Professionals has introduced qualifications in employability services along with Education Development International. A unified professional body for the careers profession, the Careers Development Institute, maintains a register of Career Development Professionals and a framework for professional development of careers advisors in the UK.

Qualifications in Career Development, such as those developed by the former sector skills council Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK), are available at RQF levels 4, 5 and 6, but the Careers Profession Alliance’s current voluntary registration requires a level 6 qualification for full registration. Qualifications at postgraduate level are also being developed.

Scottish Careers Advisors are required to hold a postgraduate qualification in career guidance and development in addition to an SDS training plan. Advisers in the Northern Ireland Careers Service similarly should possess a relevant postgraduate level qualification as well as a work-based qualification.

Careers advice services

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) provides a Careers Information, Advice and Guidance (CIAG) service across Scotland. SDS works in partnership with education providers and job centres. Targets specified in the More Choices, More Chances strategy include young people at risk of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment and Training). SDS has also set up the My World of Work website containing CIAG resources. The Commission on Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce recommends incorporating careers advice before subject specialisation in secondary schools, to involve employers more closely with schools, educate teachers to provide comprehensive advice, and include career management skills in the curriculum.

In December 2017 the Careers Strategy for England was published. It sets out a long term plan to build a world class careers system that will help young people and adults choose the career that’s right for them. The strategy has been developed in partnership with the Gatsby Charitable Foundation which has developed a set of benchmarks, based on rigorous national and international research, which define excellence in careers guidance ([123]Gatsby Charitable Foundation (2013).
Good career guidance [accessed 15.11.2018].
). The strategy is co-ordinated through an expanded role for the Careers & Enterprise Company, working across all the Gatsby Benchmarks to help schools and colleges deliver the ambitions in the strategy.

The National Careers Service (NCS) provides advice on learning, training and employment for young people and adults in England. The service is delivered by local area based contractors who provide access to face-to-face and telephone advice to adults 19 years (or 18 if unemployed or in custody) and over. The NCS also comprise the National Careers Service Helpline (NCH), which offers web chat, text and telephone support to adults and young people, and National Careers Service website gives customers access to information and advice. The National Apprenticeship Service in England runs an Apprenticeship and a Traineeship Vacancy Service, which includes an online search function and mobile app.

Careers Wales offers an all age careers guidance service. The Welsh strategy for further development of careers services is outlined in Future ambitions: Developing careers services in Wales ([124]Welsh Government (2010).
Future ambitions: developing careers services in Wales [accessed 15.11.2018].
). Careers Wales also maintains an Apprenticeship Matching Service available for employers and individual applicants.

The Northern Ireland Careers Service provides an all age, impartial careers education and guidance service to promote employment, education and training opportunities. Careers advisers operate throughout Northern Ireland from Job Centres, Jobs and Benefits Offices and stand-alone careers offices. The Careers Service also offers careers guidance via other channels such as telephone, email and webchat. Careers advisers use evidence outlined in the Department for the Economy’s Skills Barometer to highlight the skills and qualifications most valued by employers and the sectors expected to experience employment growth, thus helping to balance skills supply and demand. Advisers also work with careers teachers in schools and further education colleges to provide impartial advice and guidance to pupils from 14-19. In Northern Ireland, careers education is a statutory area of learning in the common curriculum for all grant-aided post-primary schools. In addition, further education colleges and higher education institutions offer careers guidance to their students. The strategy for careers education and guidance in Northern Ireland, Preparing for Success 2015-2020 which was published in March 2016 sets out a coherent and forward thinking strategic vision for the careers system in Northern Ireland ([125]DfE (2018)
Preparing for success 2015-20 [accessed 15.11.2018].
).

Careers Information, Advice and Guidance (CIAG) is also offered in schools, colleges, higher education institutions and third sector bodies across the UK. Careers advice is available from trade unions as well and Unionlearn has developed their Strategy for Supporting Learners through their Union Learning Representatives, specifically targeting those who are disadvantaged in the workplace. Schools and colleges in England have a duty to provide access to independent careers guidance for pupils in school years 8 to 13 (ages 12-18) and for 19 to 25 year-olds with an Education, Health and Care Plan. Government funding for careers provision forms part of overall school and college budgets and it is left up to the discretion of the education provider how much is spent. Local authorities no longer have an obligation to provide careers guidance, but still have a duty to encourage, enable and assist young people to take part in education and training. Careers education and guidance is also provided by schools and colleges in Wales for students aged 14-19. The Careers and the World of Work Framework also forms part of the curriculum for 11-16 year-olds in maintained schools in Wales.

Jobcentre+ advisers work within schools in England to deliver impartial career advice intended to support schools in engaging young people (aged 12 to 18) identified as being at risk of becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) or who face potential disadvantage in the labour market. The initiative, known as the Pathfinder programme, will provide students with information on traineeships and apprenticeships, accessing work experience, the local labour market and soft skills that employers expect.

Ofsted’s Learner View website allows FE college students in England to rate their college. The results are available for users to search and view to gather an indication of the performance of a college.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) has added information about vocational courses and general careers advice to their website under the name UCAS Progress.

Please see also:

Vocational education and training system chart

Tertiary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 5, 6

Higher apprenticeships

ISCED 551, 554, 665

Higher apprenticeships leading to EQF level 5 and 6, ISCED 551, 554, 665
EQF level
5, 6
ISCED-P 2011 level

551, 554, 665

Usual entry grade

13

Usual completion grade

18 (16 in Scotland)

Usual entry age

18

Usual completion age

24 (22 in Scotland)

Length of a programme (years)

1 – 6 (1-4 in Scotland) ([186]Apprenticeships at this level usually last one to six years (one to four years in Scotland), with the duration varying depending on the programme, employment contract and the needs of the apprentice. In Northern Ireland, Higher level apprenticeships must be a minimum of two years duration.)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Education is compulsory up to 16 (18 in England).

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

Information not available

Is it available for adults?

Y

Programmes are accessible to learners over 18.

ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

Apprenticeship programmes in the UK require apprentices to be trained both:

  • on-the-job; and
  • off-the-job.

Off-the-job learning may be organised:

  • as one or two days per week at an education and training provider; or
  • through longer, less frequent blocks of learning;
  • evening classes are also offered.

Learning options

Higher Apprenticeships in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are offered in the shape of apprenticeship frameworks ([188]Which include a work contract, a technical/occupational qualification within the RQF/CQFW and other general subjects relevant to the occupational profile.).

In England, new apprenticeship standards developed by groups of employers from 2017/18 are currently run in parallel with the frameworks and comprise on-the-job and off-the-job training and learning, linked to specific occupations.

Scottish Modern apprenticeships include:

  • a work contract;
  • SVQs (as mandatory components) or alternative competence based qualifications; and
  • Work Place Core Skills that comprise ICT, problem solving, numeracy, communication and working with others;
  • Sectors may decide to include other qualifications, such as HNCs/HNDs or other vocational qualifications either as a mandatory or optional enhancement.

Scottish Technical and Professional apprenticeships do not include Work Place Core Skills; rather they include a range of SVQ units designated as career skills. Technical and Professional apprenticeships may include work-based qualifications other than SVQs (or alternative competence based qualifications) such as SQA HNDs or professional qualifications as the mandatory qualification.

Main providers

Colleges, independent training providers, universities

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

<=80%

The programme is delivered as apprenticeship (minimum 20% - one day a week for a full-time apprentice- is ‘off the job’ training).

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • on-the-job apprenticeship training;
Main target groups

Higher apprenticeships are for adult (18+) learners, many of whom may already be employed prior to starting the apprenticeship programme.

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

Entry to these non-degree higher education qualifications are usually based on possession of an EQF level 4 qualification from school or college in either vocational or academic subject areas. Entry is allowed at the discretion of the college guided by the awarding body.

Specific entrance requirements to apprenticeships vary depending on the occupational area and the level of the apprenticeship framework/standard.

Degree apprenticeships (in Scotland: Higher and Graduate apprenticeships) create a different pathway to obtaining university degrees. Whilst academic ability, including grades and numerical and reasoning skills are considered by the university or college, candidates are also interviewed for a job with a company (unless they are already employed with the company). Both employers and universities must be satisfied the applicant meets their respective requirements. There may therefore be a joint recruitment process.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Assessment of framework Higher apprenticeships (see Section 18. LEARNING FORM): In England, new apprenticeship standards currently run in parallel with the frameworks and comprise on-the-job and off-the-job training and learning and are linked to specific occupations. Apprentices are continually assessed by an independent assessor from industry or a separate training provider to the one the student attended at the end of the training. Apprentices also undergo end-point assessment via a government-approved end point assessment organisation.

Assessment of Scottish Modern apprenticeships (see Section 18. LEARNING FORM): In Scotland, end-point assessment is not mandatory for Scottish Modern Apprenticeships. As Scottish Modern Apprenticeships are offered across a broad range of sectors, the format of the training and assessment varies considerably across the apprenticeships available.

Assessment of Technical and Professional apprenticeships (see Section 18. LEARNING FORM): As with the Scottish Modern Apprenticeships, for the Technical and Professional apprenticeships end-point assessment is not mandatory for Scottish Modern Apprenticeships. The format of the training and assessment varies considerably across the apprenticeships available.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Apprenticeships at this level are called:

  • higher apprenticeships,
  • higher level apprenticeships,
  • degree apprenticeships,
  • graduate apprenticeships,
  • professional apprenticeship,
  • technical apprenticeships and modern apprenticeships.

A certificate may be awarded along with a vocational qualification, such as:

  • Foundation degree;
  • BTEC Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, along with NVQs and SVQs.

Degree and professional apprenticeships result in the award of a Bachelor degree (EQF 6).

Examples of qualifications

Economist, project manager, quantity surveyor ([189]UCAS: Find a Job (Apprenticeships: Degree/Higher):
https://careerfinder.ucas.com/jobs/degree/#browsing [accessed 11.6.19].
).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

There are good articulation options for progression from higher VET programmes at RQF levels 4 and 5/SCQF levels 7 and 8 (EQF level 5), such as HNC and HNDs, to the second or third year of a Bachelor degree in a related field in the UK.

However, admission and transfer arrangements are made at the discretion of the admitting institution. See VET programme box ‘College-based higher VET for information about progression opportunities in Scotland.

In Northern Ireland all Higher level apprenticeship opportunities must offer a linear progression pathway from EQF Level 4 to 5 to 6 to 7, either to further vocational learning, or to part-time provision.

Possession of a Bachelor degree allows entry to postgraduate programmes at universities and other qualifications at EQF level 7.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

information not available

General education subjects

Y

Apprenticeships in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are offered in the shape of apprenticeship frameworks ([190]A work contract, a formal technical/occupational qualification.) and include

  • general subjects relevant to the occupational profile
Key competences

Scottish Modern apprenticeship include (see also learning options in section 18)

  • Work Place Core Skills comprise ICT, problem solving, numeracy, communication and working with others.
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 5

College-based

higher VET

ISCED 551, 554

College-based higher VET leading to EQF level 5, ISCED 551, 554
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

551, 554

Usual entry grade

13

Usual completion grade

15

Usual entry age

18

Usual completion age

20

Length of a programme (years)

2 (up to) ([191]Although short courses and individual units of study can be completed, most full-time VET programmes at this level take between one and two years to complete. BTEC/SQA higher national programmes are vocational short-cycle higher education programmes under the framework for qualifications in the European higher education area (FQ-EHEA) and are either certificates (approximately one year) or diplomas (two years). Programmes can take longer when studied part-time.)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Education is compulsory up to 16 (18 in England).

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

The programme is also available in adult education/continuing training.

Is it offered free of charge?

Information not available

Is it available for adults?

Y

Learners entering these programmes are over 18.

ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

VET learning options include:

  • full-time school-based learning;
  • part-time in adult/continuing education;
  • classroom-based programme in conjunction with an apprenticeship.

VET learning options per qualification type:

  • BTEC/SQA ([193]Scottish Qualifications Authority.) Higher Nationals are often studied part-time;
  • SVQs/NVQs are often taken by employed people or in conjunction with an apprenticeship, but are also available in college settings.
Main providers

Colleges

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Information not available

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • workshops;
  • in-company training;
  • on-the-job apprenticeship training ([194]All the options listed may all be included in programmes of this type, but the inclusion and amount depends on the programme.).
Main target groups

Vocational study at this level encompasses stand-alone qualifications for applicants aged 18+.

These study programmes may also be completed by employees looking for career progression.

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

Entry to these non-degree higher education qualifications are usually based on possession of an EQF level 4 qualification from school or college in either vocational or academic subject areas.

Entry is allowed at the discretion of the college guided by the awarding body.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Information not available

Diplomas/certificates provided

A wide variety of qualifications exist at this level ([195]See also Main vocational qualifications offered in the UK under Section 6. VET within education and training system)

In England, Northern Ireland and Wales:

  • BTEC Higher Certificates and Diplomas;
  • NVQs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In Scotland:

  • National Progression Awards;
  • National Certificates;
  • Professional Development Awards;
  • SVQs in Scotland.
Examples of qualifications

Quantity surveyor, education administrator, paramedic.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

There are good articulation options for progression from higher VET programmes at RQF levels 4 and 5/SCQF levels 7 and 8 (EQF level 5), such as Higher National Certificates (HNC) and Higher National Diplomas (HND), to the second or third year of a Bachelor degree in a related field in the UK.

However, admission and transfer arrangements are made at the discretion of the admitting institution, though in Scotland the Government and Scottish Funding Council (SFC) have provided strategic funding to help build more substantive and sustained articulation arrangements through the use of regional ‘articulation hubs’. This funding and the hubs are no longer in place, but universities and tertiary colleges have built into their Outcome Agreements with the SFC ([196]http://www.sfc.ac.uk/funding/outcome-agreements/outcome-agreements.aspx) the requirement to sustain and ideally increase such articulation activity. This is also supported by recommendations from the Commission on Widening Access set up by the Scottish Government, with a Commissioner on Fair Access in place to help drive such activity.

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

Y

Qualifications frameworks in England and the devolved administrations ([197]Credit and qualifications framework in Wales (CQFW), Scottish credit and qualifications framework (SCQF) and the previous qualifications and credit framework in Northern Ireland (QCF).) describe levels, qualifications and units in terms of learning outcomes as well as credits and notional learning hours.

Qualifications included in the RQF (Regulated qualifications framework in England and N. Ireland in place since 2015) have, from 31 December 2017, been described in terms of total qualification time ([198]Ofqual (2015).
Total qualification time criteria [accessed 22.2.2017].
) as credit allocation to units and qualifications is not compulsory within the RQF.

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) are competence-based, practically oriented qualifications that are based on National Occupational Standards and often assessed in the work place. While NVQs sit within the RQF and CQFW, SVQs sit within the SCQF.

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

Information not available

EQF 7

Higher apprenticeships

ISCED 767

Higher apprenticeships leading to EQF level 7, ISCED 767. Higher apprenticeships at Doctoral level have not yet been developed.
EQF level
7
ISCED-P 2011 level

767

Usual entry grade

Information not available

Usual completion grade

Information not available

Usual entry age

Information not available

Usual completion age

Information not available

Length of a programme (years)

1 (up to) ([199]Programmes at this level usually take between six months to a year to complete.)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Education is compulsory up to 16 (18 in England).

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

Information not available

Is it available for adults?

Y

Learners in these programmes are over 18.

ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

Apprenticeship programmes in the UK require apprentices to be trained both

  • on-the-job; and
  • off-the-job.

Off-the-job learning may be organised

  • as one or two days per week at an education and training provider; or
  • through longer, less frequent blocks of learning;
  • evening classes are also offered.

Learning options

Higher Apprenticeships in England, and Wales are offered in the shape of apprenticeship frameworks ([201]Which include a work contract, a technical/occupational qualification within the RQF/CQFW and other general subjects relevant to the occupational profile.).

Higher level apprenticeships frameworks in Northern Ireland consist of an academic element, which contains a strong work-based element, combined with on-the-job training, and may include technical work-based qualifications as appropriate.

In England, new apprenticeship standards developed by groups of employers from 2017/18 are currently run in parallel with the frameworks and comprise on-the-job and off-the-job training and learning, linked to specific occupations.

Scottish apprenticeships include a work contract. Technical and Professional apprenticeships include career skills and may include work-based or alternative competence based qualifications or professional qualifications as the mandatory qualification.

Main providers

Colleges and higher education institutions

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Work-based learning and in-company training are included in programmes of this type, but the amount depends on the programme.

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • on-the-job apprenticeship training;
Main target groups

Higher apprenticeships are for adult learners, who may already be employed prior to starting the apprenticeship programme.

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

Degree apprenticeships were introduced to create a different pathway to obtaining university degrees. Whilst academic ability, including grades and numerical and reasoning skills are considered by the university or college, candidates are also interviewed for a job with a company (unless they are already employed with the company). Both employers and universities must be satisfied the applicant meets their respective requirements. There may therefore be a joint recruitment process.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Assessment of Higher apprenticeships (see Section 18. LEARNING FORM): Higher Apprenticeships have end-point assessment, where apprenticeships are assessment on both their academic learning and occupational competences.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Apprenticeships at this level are called:

  • higher apprenticeships;
  • higher level apprenticeships;
  • graduate apprenticeships;
  • degree apprenticeships; and
  • professional apprenticeships.

An apprenticeship certificate may be awarded along with a Master’s degree.

Examples of qualifications

Information not available

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Higher apprenticeships at Doctoral level have not yet been developed.

Possession of a Master’s degree awarded from a university with degree awarding powers in the UK allows progression to Doctoral study in the UK at institutional discretion.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Information not available

Key competences

Y

Technical and professional apprenticeships include career skills.

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

Higher VET

ISCED 767

Higher VET leading to EQF 7, ISCED 767
EQF level
7
ISCED-P 2011 level

767

Usual entry grade

Information not available

Usual completion grade

Information not available

Usual entry age

Information not available

Usual completion age

Information not available

Length of a programme (years)

1 (up to) ([202]Programmes at this level usually take between six months to a year to complete.)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Education is compulsory up to 16 (18 in England).

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

The programme is also available in adult education/continuing training.

Is it available for adults?

Y

Learners in these programmes are over 18.

  
ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • Programmes are often studied part-time by employed people, but are also available in college settings that include work experience.
  • Courses are often also offered through distance learning.
Main providers

Colleges and higher education institutions

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Work-based learning and in-company training are included in programmes of this type, but the amount depends on the programme.

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

Many students will be in employment whilst studying.

Main target groups

These study programmes are, in the main, completed by employees looking for career progression and to improve professional practice.

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

Entry to these non-degree higher education qualifications are usually based on possession of a university degree or other non-degree higher qualifications. Work experience in a related subject is often also taken into consideration.

Entry is allowed at the discretion of the college guided by the awarding body.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Information not available

Diplomas/certificates provided

A wide variety of qualifications exist at this level, including BTEC Professional qualifications, such as Extended Level 7 Diplomas along with NVQs (National vocational qualifications) and SVQs (Scottish vocational qualifications).

Examples of qualifications

Information not available

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

These study programmes are, in the main, completed by employees looking for career progression and to improve professional practice.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

General education subjects

General subjects are not usually included as the programmes are narrowly specialised to meet the skills demands of a specific profession.

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

Qualifications frameworks in England and the devolved administrations ([204]Credit and qualifications framework in Wales (CQFW), Scottish credit and qualifications framework (SCQF) and the previous qualifications and credit framework in Northern Ireland (QCF).) describe levels, qualifications and units in terms of learning outcomes as well as credits and notional learning hours.

Qualifications included in the RQF (Regulated qualifications framework in England and N. Ireland in place since 2015) have, from 31 December 2017, been described in terms of total qualification time ([205]Ofqual (2015).
Total qualification time criteria [accessed 22.2.2017].
) as credit allocation to units and qualifications is not compulsory within the RQF.

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) are competence-based, practically oriented qualifications that are based on National Occupational Standards and often assessed in the work place. While NVQs sit within the RQF and CQFW, SVQs sit within the SCQF.

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

1 605 000 students in England in the 16-18 age group participated in education and training at various levels in 2017, which accounts for 86% of all young people in this age group.

 

Participation of 16-18 year olds in education and training in England in 2017 (%)

Source: Department for Education (2018). Participation in education, training and employment: 2017 [accessed 15.11.2018].

50 500 students in Scotland in the 16-19 age group participated in education at various levels in 2018, which accounts for 71% of all young people in this age group. Apprenticeship and non-formal and informal training are not included in this number.

Participation of 16-19 year olds in education and training in Scotland in 2018 (%)

Source: Skills Development Scotland (2018). Annual Participation Measure for 16 – 19 year olds in Scotland 2018 [accessed 15.11.2018].

 

Post-secondary

Programme Types
Not available

Secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 2/3

Apprenticeship,

ISCED 351,352

Apprenticeship programmes leading to EQF level 2 and 3, ISCED 351/352
EQF level
2/3
ISCED-P 2011 level

351, 352

Usual entry grade

10 (also available to adults)

Usual completion grade

11

Usual entry age

14

Usual completion age

16

Length of a programme (years)

2 (up to) ([128]Apprenticeships at this level usually last one year, but the duration can be longer depending on the programme, employment contract and the needs of the apprentice. There is a requirement for apprenticeships to last at least 12 months in England.)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Education is compulsory up to 16 (18 in England).

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

([130]Also available in adult education/continuing training.)

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

([131]Apprentices are employees. For learners up to 18, the programme is 100% government funded. From age 19, 50% is funded, but the remainder is paid by the company, therefore it is free of charge to the learner/apprentice.)

Is it available for adults?

Y

Apprentices may complete this type of study at age 16, but many apprentices are adult learners who may already be employed prior to starting the apprenticeship programme.

ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

Apprenticeship programmes in the UK require apprentices to be trained both

  • on-the-job; and
  • off-the-job.

Off-the-job learning may be organised

  • as one or two days per week at an education and training provider; or
  • through longer, less frequent blocks of learning;
  • evening classes are also offered.

Learning options

Apprenticeships at this level in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are offered in the shape of apprenticeship frameworks ([132]Which include a work contract, a formal technical/occupational qualification and Functional Skills/Essential Skills/Key Skills/GCSEs in English, mathematics and other general subjects relevant to the occupational profile.).

In England ([133]New apprenticeship standards are being developed by employer-led consortia (Trailblazer groups); see Section: VET governance/apprenticeships in England.), new apprenticeship standards are currently run in parallel with the frameworks and comprise on-the-job and off-the-job training and learning, linked to specific occupations, and apprentices are assessed by an independent assessor from industry or a separate training provider to the one the student attended at the end of the training.

Scottish Modern apprenticeships include a work contract and are required to include as mandatory components SVQs ([134]Scottish vocational qualification.) or alternative competence based qualifications and Work Place Core Skills that comprise ICT, problem solving, numeracy, communication and working with others.

Main providers

Colleges, independent training providers.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

<=80%

The programme is delivered as apprenticeship (minimum 20% - one day a week for a full time apprentice- is ‘off the job’ training)

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • on-the-job apprenticeship training
Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults. Apprenticeship programmes at this level have different target groups depending on the programme:

Traineeships in England are designed to provide young, unemployed people who possess little work experience and low qualifications with skills and work experience in preparation for apprenticeships and employment. The core content comprises literacy and numeracy, work preparation training and a work placement. This programme is tailored to individual candidates’ needs and should be completed in less than six months.

Traineeships are being introduced in Northern Ireland at EQF level 3 and will allow progression to RQF level 3 (EQF 4) apprenticeships. A baccalaureate-style curriculum is being created, which will include work-based learning and allow students to continue into an apprenticeship or further education or be skilled enough to find sustained employment.

Scottish learning providers offer additional skills and employability training opportunities, through the Employability Fund that prepare young people for Modern Apprenticeships or employment. Training is targeted towards seven key sectors and programmes include employability skills, basic occupational skills, employer experience and lead to a recognised vocational qualification or certification ([135]Qualifications vary depending on the needs of the person and the local area, more information at:
https://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/what-we-do/employability-skills/employability-fund/
).

Traineeships are available for 16-18 year olds in Wales and provide needs-based training to help learners progress to further learning, apprenticeships and employment through provision at three levels.

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

Apprentices may complete this type of study at age 16, but many apprentices are adult learners who may already be employed prior to starting the apprenticeship programme.

Entrance requirements to apprenticeships vary depending on the occupational area and the level of the apprenticeship framework/standard. Competition for some apprenticeship places is fierce and good secondary qualifications at EQF level 3 in English and mathematics are sometimes necessary.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Qualifications offered within Scottish and Welsh apprenticeship frameworks and in the apprenticeship frameworks that include QCF qualifications in England and Northern Ireland ([136]Level descriptors have been revised, but the same eight framework levels remain from the previous qualifications and credit framework (QCF), and the existing qualifications continue to be offered until they are withdrawn by the awarding organisation.), are unit-based which enables credit transfer.

The new apprenticeship standards in England are; however, not unit-based and are assessed through a final examination, which makes the process of credit transfer more dependent on the discretion of the learning provider.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Apprenticeships at this level are called:

  • intermediate apprenticeships (RQF);
  • foundation apprenticeships (CQFW); and
  • modern apprenticeships (SCQF).

An apprenticeship certificate ([137]Attesting that the qualification was delivered as part of an apprenticeship programme) is awarded along with a vocational qualification, such as BTEC First Awards, Certificates and Diplomas, NVQs and SVQs ([138]National vocational qualifications and Scottish vocational qualifications.).

Examples of qualifications

Bricklayer, motor vehicle technician and legal secretary

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Apprenticeship programmes and VET qualifications at this level usually provide entry to the labour market and whilst apprenticeships are linked to a profession ([139]Such as bricklayer, motor vehicle technician and legal secretary.), not all qualifications are linked to an occupational standard.

Some apprenticeships at this level provide the first step towards a more narrowly defined apprenticeship or training programme at a more advanced level.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Y

Apprenticeships in England ([140]New apprenticeship standards are being developed by employer-led consortia (Trailblazer groups); see Section: VET governance/apprenticeships in England.), Wales and Northern Ireland are offered in the shape of apprenticeship frameworks which include a work contract, a formal technical/occupational qualification and

  • Functional Skills/Essential Skills/Key Skills/GCSEs in English, mathematics; and
  • other general subjects relevant to the occupational profile.

Traineeships in England:

  • the core content comprises literacy and numeracy ([141]The programme is tailored to individual candidates’ needs and should be completed in less than six months.).
Key competences

Scottish learning providers offer additional skills and employability training opportunities, through the Employability Fund that prepare young people for Modern Apprenticeships or employment. Training is targeted towards seven key sectors ([142]Programmes lead to a recognised vocational qualification or certification. Qualifications vary depending on the needs of the person and the local area, more information at:
https://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/what-we-do/employability-skills/employability-fund/
) and programmes include

  • employability skills ([143]As well as basic occupational skills, and employer experience.).

Scottish Modern apprenticeships include ([144]In addition to a work contract and SVQs Scottish vocational qualifications as mandatory components, or alternative competence based qualifications and employability skills.):

  • work place core skills that comprise ICT, problem solving, numeracy, communication and working with others.
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 3

School-based VET,

ISCED 351, 352

School-based VET programmes leading to EQF level 3, ISCED 351, 352
EQF level
3
ISCED-P 2011 level

351, 352

Usual entry grade

10

Usual completion grade

12

Usual entry age

14

Usual completion age

16

Length of a programme (years)

2 (up to) ([145]Although short courses and individual units of study can be completed, most full-time VET programmes at this level take between one and two years to complete. In Scotland National Certificates and National Progression Awards are National Qualifications Group Awards in which students accumulate credits towards distinctive group awards. Programmes can take longer when studied part-time.)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Education is compulsory up to 16 (18 in England).

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

([147]Also available in adult education/continuing training.)

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

For learners up to 18, VET is funded by government agencies.

Is it available for adults?

Y

The programme is also available in adult education/continuing training.

ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

VET learning options include:

  • full-time school-based learning;
  • part-time in adult/continuing education;
  • school-based programme in conjunction with an apprenticeship.

VET learning options per qualification type:

  • BTEC Firsts (RQF level 2 qualifications) ([148]BTEC (Business and Technology Education Council) qualifications are offered in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. For a detailed description of the BTEC Firsts, see: Pearson.
    About BTEC Firsts [accessed 15.2.2018].
    ) are often studied part-time and in conjunction with other qualifications;
  • National vocational qualifications (NVQs) and Scottish vocational qualifications (SVQs) are often taken by employed people or in conjunction with an apprenticeships; also available in college settings;

GCSEs ([149]General certificate of secondary education.) in vocational subjects can normally be studied alongside general academic subjects.

Main providers

Colleges, secondary schools

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Information not available

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • school workshops;
  • in-company training;
  • on-the-job apprenticeship training ([150]All the options listed may all be included in programmes of this type, but the inclusion and amount depends on the programme.).
Main target groups

VET programmes may be taken as:

  • alternatives to compulsory general academic study at secondary schools; or
  • as stand-alone qualifications completed after moving sideways from secondary school to starting VET at a college;
  • adults may also start VET at this level.

In Scotland:

  • National Certificates are primarily aimed at people in full-time education and National Progression Awards are usually shorter, more flexible programmes for employees or people returning to work, though are also taken as part of a wider curriculum of qualifications within the school or college setting.
Entry requirements for learners (qualification/education level, age)

No specific entry requirements apply.

Students may complete this type of VET at age 15/16. Age 16 marks the end of the compulsory schooling age, although the age to which individuals are required to take part in education or training, either part-time or full-time, was raised in England to 18 in 2015 in a bid to improve the skill levels of the work force.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Information not available

Diplomas/certificates provided

A wide variety of qualifications exist at this level (see also Section VET governance):

In England, Northern Ireland and Wales:

  • BTEC (Business and Technology Education Council) Awards, Certificates and Diplomas ([151]See also Pearson:
    What is a BTEC? [accessed 15.2.2019].
    );
  • the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) in vocational subjects.

In Scotland:

  • NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications) ([152]National qualifications are offered in both vocational and academic subjects.);
  • SVQs (Scottish Vocational Qualifications);
  • National Certificates (vocational qualifications);
  • NPAs (National Progression Awards) (vocational qualifications).
Examples of qualifications

Heating and ventilation engineer, motor vehicle technician, care worker ([153]Qualifications not all linked to an occupational standard.)

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Qualifications at this level may provide entry to the labour market in professions such as heating and ventilation engineer, motor vehicle technician or care worker, but are not all linked to an occupational standard and are mostly intended to prepare students for further vocational specialisation at a higher level.

In Scotland, National Progression Awards are National Qualifications Group Awards that allow entry to more advanced study and employment.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Y

GCSEs in vocational subjects can normally be studied alongside general academic subjects.

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

Qualifications frameworks in England and the devolved administrations ([154]Credit and qualifications framework in Wales (CQFW), Scottish credit and qualifications framework (SCQF) and the previous qualifications and credit framework in Northern Ireland (QCF).) describe levels, qualifications and units in terms of learning outcomes as well as credits and notional learning hours.

Qualifications included in the RQF (Regulated qualifications framework in England and N. Ireland in place since 2015) have, from 31 December 2017, been described in terms of total qualification time ([155]Ofqual (2015).
Total qualification time criteria [accessed 22.2.2017].
) as credit allocation to units and qualifications is not compulsory within the RQF.

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) are competence-based, practically oriented qualifications that are based on National Occupational Standards and often assessed in the work place. While NVQs sit within the RQF and CQFW, SVQs sit within the SCQF.

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

Information not available

EQF 4

Apprenticeship

ISCED 354

Apprenticeship programmes leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354.
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

12 (also available to adults)

Usual completion grade

13

Usual entry age

17

Usual completion age

18

Length of a programme (years)

2 (up to) ([156]Apprenticeships at this level usually last one year, but the duration can be longer depending on the programme, employment contract and the needs of the apprentice. There is a requirement for apprenticeships to last at least 12 months in England.)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

(in England)

N

(in N. Ireland, Wales and Scotland)

Education is compulsory up to 16 (18 in England)

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

([158]Apprentices are employees. For learners up to 18, the programme is 100% government funded. From age 19, 50% is funded, but the remainder is paid by the company, therefore it is free of charge to the learner/apprentice.)

Is it available for adults?

Y

Apprentices may complete this type of study at age 18, but many apprentices are adult learners who may already be employed prior to starting the apprenticeship programme.

ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

Apprenticeship programmes in the UK require apprentices to be trained both

  • on-the-job; and
  • off-the-job.

Off-the-job learning may be organised:

  • as one or two days per week at an education and training provider; or
  • through longer, less frequent blocks of learning;
  • evening classes are also offered.

Learning options

Apprenticeships in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are offered in the shape of apprenticeship frameworks ([159]Which include a work contract, a formal technical/occupational qualification and Functional Skills/Essential Skills/Key Skills/GCSEs in English, mathematics and other general subjects relevant to the occupational profile.)

In England ([160]New apprenticeship standards are being developed by employer-led consortia (Trailblazer groups); see Section: VET governance/apprenticeships in England.), new apprenticeship standards are currently run in parallel with the frameworks and comprise on-the-job and off-the-job training and learning, linked to specific occupations, and apprentices are assessed by an independent assessor from industry or a separate training provider to the one the student attended at the end of the training.

Scottish Modern apprenticeships include a work contract and are required to include as mandatory components SVQs- Scottish Vocational Qualification or alternative competence based qualifications and Work Place Core Skills that comprise ICT, problem solving, numeracy, communication and working with others.

Scottish young people on Foundation apprenticeships

  • are not employed;
  • spend time in school and on work placements (approximately one day per week);
  • Successful students may transfer to a modern apprenticeship on completion.
Main providers

Colleges, independent training providers

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

<=80%

The programme is delivered as apprenticeship (minimum 20% - one day a week for a full time apprentice- is ‘off the job’ training) Information not available.

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • on-the-job apprenticeship training
Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults.

Apprentices may complete this type of study at age 18, but many apprentices are adult learners who may already be employed prior to starting the apprenticeship programme.

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

Most pupils take examinations for the GCSE ([161]General certificate of secondary education.) at age 15/16 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The grades achieved here play an important role in determining the future study opportunities within VET.

In Scotland, National 4 and 5 qualifications (EQF 2/3), normally also taken at age 15/16, are the most common entrance qualifications to VET.

Entrance requirements to apprenticeships vary depending on the occupational area and the level of the apprenticeship framework/standard. Competition for some apprenticeship places is fierce and good secondary qualifications at EQF level 3 in English and mathematics are sometimes necessary.

Aligned with the Scottish Government’s policy agenda of Developing the Young Workforce, Foundation apprenticeships have been created to offer school pupils (at EQF level 4) the chance to undertake some components of a Modern apprenticeship in Scotland whilst still in school studying other subjects like National 5s and Highers. These apprenticeships are linked to key sectors of the Scottish economy, so young people are getting industry experience which will help them kick-start a successful career in their chosen field.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Qualifications offered within Scottish and Welsh apprenticeship frameworks and in the apprenticeship frameworks that include QCF qualifications in England and Northern Ireland ([162]Level descriptors have been revised, but the same eight framework levels remain from the previous qualifications and credit framework (QCF), and the existing qualifications continue to be offered until they are withdrawn by the awarding organisation.), are unit-based which enables credit transfer.

The new apprenticeship standards in England are; however, not unit-based and are assessed through a final examination, which makes the process of credit transfer more dependent on the discretion of the learning provider.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Apprenticeships at this level are called:

  • Level 3 apprenticeships;
  • advanced apprenticeships; and
  • in Scotland: foundation apprenticeships and modern apprenticeships.

An apprenticeship certificate ([163]Attesting that the qualification was delivered as part of an apprenticeship programme.) is awarded along with a vocational qualification, such as BTEC National Awards, Certificates and Diplomas along with NVQs and SVQs ([164]National vocational qualifications and Scottish vocational qualifications.).

Examples of qualifications

Electrician, veterinary nurse and dental technician.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Apprenticeship programmes and VET qualifications at this level are designed to provide entry to the labour market and are linked to a profession.

Progression opportunities to higher apprenticeship or training programmes at a more advanced level also exist.

Entry to first level university degree study is also possible depending on the qualifications achieved.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Y

Apprenticeships in England ([165]New apprenticeship standards are being developed by employer-led consortia (Trailblazer groups); see Section: VET governance/apprenticeships in England), Wales and Northern Ireland are offered in the shape of apprenticeship frameworks which include a work contract, a formal technical/occupational qualification and

  • Functional Skills/Essential Skills/Key Skills/GCSEs in English, mathematics; and
  • other general subjects relevant to the occupational profile.
Key competences

Scottish learning providers offer additional skills and employability training opportunities, through the Employability Fund that prepare young people for Modern Apprenticeships or employment. Training is targeted towards seven key sectors ([166]Programmes lead to a recognised vocational qualification or certification. Qualifications vary depending on the needs of the person and the local area, more information at:
https://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/what-we-do/employability-skills/employability-fund/
) and programmes include

  • employability skills ([167]As well as basic occupational skills, and employer experience.).

Scottish Modern apprenticeships include ([168]In addition to a work contract and SVQs Scottish vocational qualifications as mandatory components, or alternative competence based qualifications and employability skills.)

  • work place core skills that comprise ICT, problem solving, numeracy, communication and working with others.
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 4

College-based VET

ISCED 351, 354

College-based VET programmes leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 351, 354
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

351, 354

Usual entry grade

12

Usual completion grade

13

Usual entry age

17

Usual completion age

18

Length of a programme (years)

2 (up to) ([169]Although short courses and individual units of study can be completed, most full-time VET programmes at this level take between one and two years to complete. Programmes can take longer when studied part-time.)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

(in England)

N

(in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland)

Education is compulsory up to 16 (18 in England).

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

For learners up to 18, VET is funded by government

agencies.

Is it available for adults?

Y

The programme is also available in adult education/continuing training.

ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)

VET learning options include:

  • full-time school-based learning;
  • part-time in adult/continuing education;
  • school-based programme in conjunction with an apprenticeship.

VET learning options per qualification type:

  • BTEC Nationals are often studied part-time and in conjunction with other qualifications;
  • SVQs/NVQs ([171]Scottish vocational qualifications / national vocational qualifications.) are often taken by employed people or in conjunction with an apprenticeship, but are also available in college settings.

VET learning options

In England, 16-19 year olds are expected to follow a 16-19 study programme consisting of a main vocational qualification (or general academic qualification) and including work-related learning as well as English and mathematics, unless the required level has already been achieved in these two subjects.

Qualifications taught in England at RQF level 3 may be categorised as either technical or applied general qualifications. Qualifications receiving sufficient endorsements from employers and trade and professional associations are categorised as Tech levels (Technical level qualifications as a mark of quality and relevance to the labour market. Applied general qualifications provide a broader study of a vocational area, and need the public backing of three universities to achieve the quality mark. Students completing a study programme started in 2014 or later that includes one of the Tech levels, a level 3 core mathematics qualification and an extended project will achieve the Technical Baccalaureate ([172]See also Department for Education (2014).
The Technical Baccalaureate Performance Table Measure
).

The Welsh Baccalaureate contains academic and vocational qualifications alongside a wider programme of learning that includes an individual project and three challenges that enable young people to develop critical skills including problem solving and creativity. This programme comprises literacy, numeracy, digital literacy, critical thinking and problem-solving, planning and organisation, creativity and innovation and personal effectiveness, as well as general academic and/or vocational qualifications in addition to the skills challenges that require learners to demonstrate research skills, entrepreneurship and participate in community activities.

Main providers

Colleges, secondary schools

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Information not available

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • school workshops;
  • in-company training;
  • on-the-job apprenticeship training ([173]All the options listed may all be included in programmes of this type, but the inclusion and amount depends on the programme. BTEC and NVQ/SVQ programmes combine theoretical and practical vocational education and can form part of an apprenticeship programme.).
Main target groups

VET programmes may be taken as:

  • alternatives to compulsory general academic study at secondary schools; or
  • as stand-alone qualifications completed after moving sideways from secondary school to starting VET at a college;
  • adults may also start VET at this level.

Target groups and education strategies in place:

The ‘Opportunities for All’ pledge offers a guaranteed place in education or training for 16-19 year olds in Scotland.

In Northern Ireland, a guarantee of training towards level 1-3 qualifications (EQF levels 2-4) is offered through the Training for Success programme for all unemployed 16-17 year old school leavers with extended eligibility for those with a disability and from an in-care background.

The Northern Ireland Strategy for Youth Training includes a policy commitment for the future system that all 16–24 year olds who require training at level 2 (EQF 3) will have the opportunity to participate.

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

Most pupils take examinations for the GCSE ([174]General certificate of secondary education.) at age 15/16 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The grades achieved here play an important role in determining the future study opportunities within VET.

In Scotland, National 4 and 5 qualifications (EQF levels 2/3), normally also taken at age 15/16, are the most common entrance qualifications to VET.

Students may complete this type of VET at age 18/19. Age 16 marks the end of the compulsory schooling age, although the age to which individuals are required to take part in education or training, either part-time or full-time, was raised in England to 18 in 2015.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Information not available

Diplomas/certificates provided

A wide variety of qualifications exist at this level (see also section VET governance):

In England, Northern Ireland and Wales:

  • BTEC (Business and Technology Education Council) National Awards, Certificates and Diplomas;
  • NVQs (National vocational qualifications);
  • applied subjects at upper secondary level are also available in the General Certificate of Education Advanced level (GCE A level) and Advanced Subsidiary programmes and the Welsh Baccalaureate.

In Scotland:

  • National Progression Awards;
  • National Certificates;
  • Professional Development Awards;
  • SVQs (Scottish vocational qualifications);
  • National Qualifications, such as Higher and Advanced Higher are offered primarily in academic, but also some vocational subjects.
Examples of qualifications

Electrician, veterinary nurse, dental technician.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Candidates holding RQF level 3 ([175]RQF levels are still to be referenced to EQF levels.
- ‘An update on developments in England and Northern Ireland was presented in the EQF advisory group in February 2019, and an updated referencing report to reference the RQF and FHEQ to the EQF is planned to be presented in June 2019’. Source: Cedefop (2019). European inventory on NQF (2018) UK- England and N. Ireland, p.16.
https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/united_kingdom_england_and_northern_ireland_-_european_inventory_on_nqf_2018.pdf
- ‘An updated referencing report has been prepared by the SCQF Partnership and presented to the EQF advisory group in December 2018.’ Source:
https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/united_kingdom_scotland_-_european_inventory_on_nqf_2018.pdf p. 14.
- ‘Wales is currently in the process of updating the referencing report due to the changes in the level descriptors, the creation of Qualification Wales and the changes to quality assurance in higher education. This report will be presented to the EQF advisory group in June 2019.’ Source:
https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/united_kingdom_wales_-_european_inventory_on_nqf_2018.pdf p. 15.
) or SCQF level 6 vocational qualifications (EQF level 4) may be allowed access to selected first cycle university programmes at institutional discretion.

The Curriculum for Excellence ([176]See also:
https://www.gov.scot/policies/schools/school-curriculum/
) in Scotland creates opportunities for students to combine a wider range of qualification types, which means that a larger variety of secondary qualifications are used to apply for tertiary education.

Vocational RQF qualifications at level 3 that are classified as Applied General qualifications are designed to provide a clear route from vocational education to higher education in England.

The majority of young university entrants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland hold general academic A level (RQF/CQFW level 3) ([177]CQFW level 3 are referenced to EQF level 4, RQF levels are still to be referenced to EQF levels.) qualifications ([178]RQF levels are still to be referenced to EQF levels.
- ‘An update on developments in England and Northern Ireland was presented in the EQF advisory group in February 2019, and an updated referencing report to reference the RQF and FHEQ to the EQF is planned to be presented in June 2019’. Source: Cedefop (2019). European inventory on NQF (2018) UK- England and N. Ireland, p.16.
https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/united_kingdom_england_and_northern_ireland_-_european_inventory_on_nqf_2018.pdf
- ‘An updated referencing report has been prepared by the SCQF Partnership and presented to the EQF advisory group in December 2018.’ Source:
https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/united_kingdom_scotland_-_european_inventory_on_nqf_2018.pdf p. 14.
- ‘Wales is currently in the process of updating the referencing report due to the changes in the level descriptors, the creation of Qualification Wales and the changes to quality assurance in higher education. This report will be presented to the EQF advisory group in June 2019.’ Source:
https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/united_kingdom_wales_-_european_inventory_on_nqf_2018.pdf p. 15.
), but recent years have seen a steady rise in applicants being accepted with only vocational qualifications and a mixture of academic and vocational qualifications ([179]UCAS (2015).
End of cycle report 2015 [accessed 10.1.2019].
).

In Scotland, the majority of young university entrants will hold Scottish Higher qualifications (SCQF level 6 / EQF level 4). However, the final report of the Commission on Widening Access in 2016 recommended that the admissions processes of post-16 institutions recognise alternative pathways to higher education and do not unnecessarily disadvantage those who choose them, and that by 2018 a Framework for Fair Access should be published ([180]Scottish Government (2016b).
The final report of the Commission on Widening Access [accessed 15.11.2018].
). This was published in May 2019 ([181]Scottish Government (2019).
Fair access framework. [accessed 4.6.2019].
).

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Y

([182]BTEC and NVQs do not include general subjects.) ([183]See more on the study programmes curriculum under Section: Assessment of learning outcomes, above.)

In England, 16-19 study programmes include English and mathematics, unless the required level has already been achieved in these two subjects.

In England, RQF level 3 Tech level (quality mark) qualifications include level 3 core mathematics.

The Welsh Baccalaureate includes general academic qualifications.

Key competences

The Welsh Baccalaureate comprises:

  • literacy,
  • numeracy,
  • digital literacy,
  • critical thinking and problem-solving,
  • planning and organisation,
  • creativity and innovation,
  • personal effectiveness, and
  • entrepreneurship.
Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

Qualifications frameworks in England and the devolved administrations ([184]Credit and qualifications framework in Wales (CQFW), Scottish credit and qualifications framework (SCQF) and the previous qualifications and credit framework in Northern Ireland (QCF).) describe levels, qualifications and units in terms of learning outcomes as well as credits and notional learning hours.

Qualifications included in the RQF (Regulated qualifications framework in England and N. Ireland in place since 2015) have, from 31 December 2017, been described in terms of total qualification time ([185]Ofqual (2015).
Total qualification time criteria [accessed 22.2.2017].
) as credit allocation to units and qualifications is not compulsory within the RQF.

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) are competence-based, practically oriented qualifications that are based on National Occupational Standards and often assessed in the work place. While NVQs sit within the RQF and CQFW, SVQs sit within the SCQF.

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

Information not available

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.