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General themes

VET in Ireland comprises the following main features:

  • most VET is offered by the State, although private providers also play a role;
  • there are four sectors within the education system: (primary, secondary, further education and training (FET) and higher education. VET occurs mostly within the FET sector, meaning that it is offered mostly at post-secondary level;
  • in 2016, a reform of the apprenticeship system led to the provision of apprenticeships within higher education. VET at tertiary level was introduced in 2016 in the form of apprenticeships;
  • vocational programmes are also offered for second chance education and training (in the form of vocational training for the unemployed).

Distinctive features ([1]As there’s no edition of a spotlight on vocational education and training in Ireland for 2017, distinctive features are provided by ReferNet Ireland.):

VET in Ireland is not usually offered within the second level system (neither lower secondary (NFQ 3, EQF 2, ISCED 244) nor upper secondary (NFQ 4/5, EQF3/4 ISCED 343/344). Therefore, most learners are aged at least 16 or over; since the majority of new entrants to VET have already completed upper secondary education, they tend to be at least 18 years of age.

Until the reform in 2016, almost all apprenticeships were in the construction and, to a lesser extent, engineering sectors. The number of occupations now available for apprenticeship training has since grown and includes areas such as ICT, finance and hospitality.

Employer consultation and labour market intelligence played a key role in informing the development of new VET programmes with a view to addressing identified skills needs, including occupations in short supply, in Ireland’s economy.

The attractiveness of VET: traditionally, the number of VET learners in Ireland has been small, which is due in part to the fact that the preference for many learners on leaving compulsory education is for higher education. While major policy documents (e.g. National Skills Strategy 2025 and the Further Education and Training Strategy, both published by the Department of Education and Skills) outline ambitions to address and increase the standing of VET in Ireland, such changes take time to implement as they often involve shifts in culture and values.

Participation in lifelong learning: although improving, the lifelong learning rate in Ireland (at 13%) remains lower than the EU 2020 target of 15%. Particular challenges, which are not unique to Ireland, include encouraging participation among older workers and those with low education attainment. Those with lower secondary education attainment or below, had a lifelong learning participation rate of 4%, compared to 26% for those with postgraduate qualifications (i.e. ISCED level 6/EQF 7-8). Similarly, those aged 55-64 had a participation rate of 9% compared to 19% for those aged 25-34.

New programmes in the FET system (not including apprenticeship) aim to attract learners into employment in low skill occupations/sectors and to engage in learning activities aimed at upskilling/reskilling (e.g. Skills to Advance programme), although the full impact of these new programmes has yet to be reflected in the data.

Data from VET in Ireland Spotlight (2017) ([2]As there’s no edition of a spotlight on vocational education and training in Ireland for 2017, information on main challenges and policy responses is provided by ReferNet Ireland.)

Population in 2018: 4 830 392 ([3]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].)

It increased by 4.8% since 2013 ([4]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].). This is due to an increase in inward migration, as well as a growth in the number of births in recent years (which was greater than the number of deaths).

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

The old-age-dependency ratio is expected to increase from 20 in 2015 to 45 in 2060 ([5]Old-age-dependency ratio is defined as the ratio between the number of persons aged 65 and more over the number of working-age persons (15-64 ). The value is expressed per 100 persons of working age (15-64).).

 

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

Source: Eurostat, proj_15ndbims [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

The cohort of those aged 5 to 19 increased from 2012 to 2017 due mainly to an increase in the number of births in recent years. As many learners enter the VET system from the age of 18 onwards, it is likely that the increase in this cohort will impact on the number of upper secondary school completers entering the VET system, and increase the demand for places across all sectors of the education and training system, including VET.

Not applicable

In Ireland, 99% of enterprises are micro enterprises (fewer than 10 employees). However, in terms of the number of persons engaged, 27% are in micro enterprises, 22% are in small enterprises, 20% are in medium enterprises, and 32% are in large enterprises ([6]Central Statistics Office: business demography (latest data: 2016):
https://cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/bd/businessdemography2016/
).

The main economic sectors in terms of employment are:

  • wholesale and retail;
  • human health;
  • industry;
  • education;
  • accommodation and food;
  • professional activities, etc.;
  • construction;
  • agriculture;
  • public administration and defence;
  • transportation;
  • ICT;
  • administrative activities.

 

Employment by sector (000s), quarter 4 2017

Source: SLMRU (SOLAS) analysis of CSO data.

 

These sectors are not linked to VET qualifications.

The main sectors associated with VET qualifications are construction, industry, and more recently and to a lesser extent, ICT, transportation, accommodation and food (i.e. hospitality), and finance.

In terms of labour market regulation ([7]In terms of the FET sector as a whole (general and VET), 84% of employers have indicated that they are happy with the quality of FET graduates. Source: HEA; SOLAS; QQI (2019). Irish national employer survey: final report, January 2019.
https://hea.ie/assets/uploads/2019/01/21-01-19-J8961-Irish-National-Employer-Survey-Final-Report.pdf
), Ireland’s regulatory framework has more in common with other flexible labour markets such as those of the United Kingdom or Denmark than with labour markets such as France and Germany. There are comparatively few occupations for which a VET qualification is a prerequisite for employment (notable exceptions include electrician, gas installer). Based on a set of labour regulation indicators (e.g. hiring, working hours, redundancy rules and costs), Ireland was ranked in 2018 by the Lithuanian Free Market Institute (LFMI) ([8]Lithuanian Free Market Institute (2017). Employment flexibility index 2018: EU and OECD countries.
https://en.llri.lt/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Employment-Flexibility-Index-2018_-LFMI.pdf
) employment flexibility index as one of the most flexible labour markets in the EU. This is illustrated in a number of indicators, including, among others, the fact that in Ireland:

  • there are no restrictions on the duration of fixed-term contracts, except for minimum wage contracts;
  • there is no restriction on overtime, night work and work on a weekly holiday;
  • there are no restrictions on redundancy rules; although redundancy dismissals are allowed by law, there is a requirement to notify and consult a third party before dismissing a group of nine redundant employees.

Ireland however has a minimum statutory minimum wage.

Total unemployment ([9]Percentage of active population, 25 to 74 years old.) (2018): 4.7% (6% in EU-28); it decreased by 0.6 percentage points since 2008 ([10]Eurostat table une_rt_a [extracted 20.5.2019].).

 

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

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

 

At 14%, those with post-secondary non-tertiary education attainment (where most VET graduates are classified) are one of the smallest groups in Ireland’s labour force, as the figure below demonstrates ([11]Source: CSO (QNHS) supplementary tables. In Ireland, there are two types of bachelor degree: an honours bachelor degree (NFQ 8) or an ordinary bachelor degree (NFQ 7). Both honours and ordinary bachelor degrees have been referenced to the European qualifications framework at EQF level 6.). Almost half (47%) of the labour force holds a tertiary (or third) level qualification (NFQ 6-10/EQF5-8, ISCED 544-864).

 

Ireland’s labour force (000s) by highest level of education

Source: CSO (QNHS) supplementary tables.

 

Employment rate of 20 to 34 year-old VET graduates increased from 69.0% in 2014 to 78.1% in 2018.

 

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 (+9.1 pp) in employment of 20-34 year-old upper secondary/post-secondary graduates in 2014-18 was higher compared to the increase in employment of all 20-34 year-old graduates (+5.3 pp) in the same period in Ireland ([12]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].).

Education is highly valued in Ireland. The share of population aged up to 64 with higher education (45.6%) is higher than in most EU member stated and above the EU-28 average. The share of those with a low qualification, or without a qualification, is 16.3%, placing Ireland almost in the middle of EU Member States in this category.

 

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 16.5.2019].

 

Share of learners in VET by level in 2017

lower secondary

upper secondary

post-secondary

not applicable

10.3%

100%

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011.

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

 

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

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

 

Information not available

The share of early leavers from education and training has decreased from 11.8% in 2009 to 5% in 2018. This places Ireland below the EU-28 average of 10.6% and marks a success as this percentage is also below the national objective for 2020 (no more than 8%).

 

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].

 

Dropout rate from VET (%)

Information not available

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 16.5.2019].

 

Participation in lifelong learning has increased since 2014 (7.0%). In 2018, it is above the EU-28 average by 1.4 percentage points (12.5% Ireland, 11.1% EU-28).

Information on VET learners, as distinct from other further education and training learners, is not available. However, the share of post-secondary non-tertiary learners in the population is slightly larger in the younger age cohorts.

 

Population (15+) by age group and education attainment level, quarter 3 2018.

Source: SLMRU analysis of labour force survey data.

 

The education and training system comprises:

  • primary education;
  • secondary education, divided into lower secondary education (EQF2) and upper secondary (EQF 3-4);
  • further education and training (FET) non-tertiary education;
  • tertiary education.

Primary education is compulsory from the age of 6 years, although the vast majority of pupils enrol between the ages of 4 and 5 years. It consists of an eight year cycle: junior infants, senior infants, and first to sixth classes. Most learners have completed primary education by the age of 12.

Secondary education usually lasts five to six years and is divided into lower secondary education (3 years) and upper secondary (2 years). Some pupils may also undertake the Transition Year Programme: a one-year programme that acts as a bridge between lower and upper secondary education.

Lower secondary education: the junior cycle is a generally oriented programme of approximately three years’ duration and leads to the Junior Certificate examination, which students usually take at the age of 15 or 16.

Upper secondary: the senior cycle (i.e. upper secondary education) takes two years and leads to the leaving certificate examination which students usually sit at the age of 17 or 18.

Further education and training in Ireland comprises post-secondary non-tertiary education, as well as second chance education/training. The sector is characterised by a high degree of diversity in terms of the type of programme, level and learner:

  • further education and training programmes can be general, vocational or mixed;
  • they lead to awards across several levels on the EQF (levels 1-5 on the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), or levels 1-6 on Ireland’s National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ));
  • target groups include young people who have recently completed upper secondary education, adult learners, early school leavers, the employed, the unemployed, asylum seekers, learners with special needs;
  • post leaving certificate (PLC) programmes are aimed primarily at those completing upper secondary education, but are also open to older learners; programmes are often general in nature, but also include VET programmes such as motor technology;
  • second chance learning opportunities within the further education and training sector.

Over a half of those who complete upper secondary school transfer directly to third level education on completing upper secondary education ([13]Department of Education and Skills: annual statistical reports 2016.
https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Statistics/Statistical-Reports/
). Students can opt for higher education in a university, institute of technology or college of education (EQF levels 5-6, ISCED levels 544-554, 665). There are also a small number of private, independent providers of tertiary (or third) level education (mostly business and related disciplines).

Undergraduate higher education courses are of various durations, ranging from two years for a higher certificate (NFQ 6; EQF 5, ISCED 665) to three/four years for an honours bachelor degree (NFQ 8; EQF 6; ISCED 666). Some programmes, such as medicine or architecture, require up to five years. Postgraduate programmes range from one year (e.g. taught masters (NFQ 9; EQF 7; ISCED 667)) to three years or more for doctoral programmes (NFQ 10; EQF 8; ISCED 864).

VET is provided primarily within the further education and training sector (comprising post-secondary non-tertiary and second chance education). However, since 2016, the apprenticeship system has been expanded and includes new programmes which are delivered not only within the further education and training sector, but also in tertiary level institutions. Graduates, however, have yet to emerge from these programmes.

Like the apprenticeship system, the traineeship system has undergone substantial change in recent years in Ireland. Traineeships, unlike apprenticeships, are not regulated by law (there is no occupation profile); they tend to be developed in response to local employers’ needs, and curriculum content may vary according to local demand. Traineeships must have a work-based learning component of at least 30%.

Most of the development of the traineeship system has been the result of recognising the need to develop the skills of the employed, as outlined in the national skills strategy. Consequently, while most traineeships programmes had previously been available only to the unemployed, they have, since 2017, also been open to school leavers and the employed. There are no age restrictions for trainees, and they are free of charge to participants. Some unemployed trainees may also receive a training allowance.

Specific skills training courses allow people who have lost their job to learn new job-related skills. The courses on offer vary from year to year with different levels of certification. The training content and occupational standards are based on the consultation process involving employers. Certification achieved on course completion ranges from levels 3-5 on the national framework of qualifications (or levels 2-4 on the EQF). The courses differ from traineeships in that they tend to be shorter (four to five months), with a shorter on-the-job phase; in addition, the employer does not play a role in recruitment.

Post leaving certificate courses are aimed at learners who have completed the leaving certificate examination at the end of upper secondary education. They are full-time courses which last between one and two years. These courses provide integrated general education, vocational training and work experience for young people; however, post leaving certificate courses are also an option for mature learners (in 2015, 47% of those enrolled on post leaving certificate programmes in 2015 were aged 21 or over). They provide, therefore, important lifelong learning opportunities for adult learners.

While some post leaving certificate courses are vocational in nature (e.g. training in beauty therapy, healthcare, security studies), others are general (e.g. general studies, art, design, etc.). Most post leaving certificate courses have a work experience component, although there is no prescribed minimum duration for most courses.

Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) courses consist of a range of full-time courses (EQF 2-5, ISCED 353) designed to meet the education and training needs of unemployed people aged 21 or over. It is offered by the 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs) throughout the country. Participation in vocational training opportunities scheme courses is in two modes as follows:

  • as a ‘core’ vocational training opportunities scheme; students participate in a group of up to twenty other vocational training opportunities scheme students in a vocational training opportunities scheme centre or adult education centre;
  • as a ‘dispersed’ vocational training opportunities scheme; students participate in a group of students, some of whom may be vocational training opportunities scheme students and some of whom will be studying through other schemes/programmes (e.g. post leaving certificate course).

Vocational training opportunities scheme programmes offer a wide choice of subjects and learning activities. Certification is available at a range of levels.

Traditionally, programmes at tertiary level are not officially designated as being VET or General, although many programmes at higher education level are designed to qualify learners for work in specific occupations (e.g. teacher, architect, doctor, engineer). In this regard, tertiary education in Ireland does lead to VET related qualifications. However, in 2016, for the first time in Ireland, an apprenticeship programme became available at higher education level (insurance studies). Learners must hold an upper secondary education qualification and be in employment. Nonetheless, apprenticeship training at tertiary level is currently not a typical feature of the sector.

Until 2016, formal apprenticeship training was restricted to 27 trades, mostly concentrated in the construction and engineering sectors. However, following a review of the apprenticeship system by the education ministry in 2013, a decision was made to expand the apprenticeship system to other sectors of the economy. The qualifications, duration and economic sectors of the new apprenticeships differ somewhat to the earlier apprenticeships, and, as a result, formal apprenticeship training falls into two programme types: (a) pre-2016 craft apprenticeship and (b) post-2016 apprenticeship.

In both apprenticeship programme types, apprentices are considered to be part of the employed population and pay the appropriate level of employment insurance. They sign an employment contract with the employer and, therefore, have the legal status (and associated rights and responsibilities) of employees.

A national apprenticeship council oversees apprenticeship in Ireland. SOLAS (Ireland’s further education and training (FET) authority) is the lead agency responsible for apprenticeship on behalf of the government. It collaborates with the Higher Education Authority (responsible for tertiary education), Quality and Qualifications Ireland (industry and education) and training providers across both the FET and third level education system. It is the responsibility of SOLAS to maintain a national register of employers approved to take on apprentices and a national register of apprentices.

The national apprenticeship system is funded through the national training fund and from the exchequer.

In 2016, Ireland’s national skills strategy 2025 set a target to significantly expand the apprenticeship system, both in terms of the numbers of learners and the occupations and sectors in which apprenticeships would be available. The action plan to expand apprenticeship outlines the plan to increase the number of apprenticeship places over the period 2016-20 to 31 000 (up from approximately 12 000), and to increase the number of apprenticeship programmes to more than 70 (up from 27). These increases are expected to be rolled out incrementally to 2020.

Pre-2016 craft apprenticeship

The apprenticeship system in Ireland is governed by the 1967 Industrial Training Act and is organised by SOLAS (FET funding and planning authority) in cooperation with the education ministry, employers and unions. The pre-2016 craft-based apprenticeship programmes normally consist of seven phases: three off-the-job and four on-the-job. Phases 1, 3, 5 and 7 take place with the employer, while Phases 2, 4 and 6 take place at an education and training board (phase 2) or an institute of technology (phases 4 and 6). The total duration of off-the-job phases is approximately 40 weeks. The employer pays the apprentice for the on-the-job phases, while the State pays a training allowance to apprentices during the off-the-job phases. On completion of apprenticeship training, a qualified apprentice receives a craft certificate (NFQ 6 or EQF 5, ISCED 544, 554).

For pre-2016 craft apprenticeship training, the formal minimum entry requirement in Ireland is the junior certificate or equivalent (NFQ 3 or EQF 2) qualification. In practice, however, the vast majority (three-quarters) of new apprentices hold higher levels of education, typically a leaving certificate (NFQ level 4/5 or EQF level 3/4). Learners who do not meet the minimum education entry requirements may be registered as apprentices by an employer if they have either successfully completed an approved pre-apprenticeship course or if they are over 16 years old and have at least three years’ approved work experience. Some apprenticeships also require applicants to pass a SOLAS-approved colour vision test (e.g. electrical apprenticeship, painter and decorator apprenticeship).

In order to register as an apprentice, a learner must first secure employment in the trade s/he wishes to undertake.

Post-2016 apprenticeship

Since the expansion of the apprenticeship system in 2016, several new apprenticeship programmes have become available. As of August 2018, there were 23 additional formal apprenticeship programmes being run, many of which are delivered at tertiary level institutions; they span a range of sectors, including hospitality (e.g. chef de partie), finance (e.g. insurance practice) and engineering (e.g. polymer processing technology). These new apprenticeships must be a minimum of two years in duration; they lead to awards spanning levels 5-8 on the national framework for qualifications (EQF levels 4-6).

In addition, there are a number of apprenticeships at various stages of development; the proposed national framework for qualifications levels for these apprenticeships range from national framework for qualifications levels 5-10 (EQF levels 4-8), and have proposed durations of two to four years. They include retail practice, arboriculture and HGV driver.

The employer pays the apprentice for the duration of the apprenticeship.

For post-2016 apprenticeships, the entry requirements vary, depending on the specific apprenticeship programme, although a leaving certificate is generally the minimum requirement. For entry to apprenticeship programmes at third level, learners often need to meet certain academic requirements (e.g. for the insurance practice apprenticeship, learners must hold minimum grades in at least six subjects (including mathematics and English or Irish)).

Generally an apprentice does not pay fees. However, a student contribution is levied on all students (including apprentices) attending institutes of technology (i.e. phases 4 and 6 of apprenticeship training). The maximum rate of the student contribution for the academic year 2016/17 was EUR 3 000, although in practice the amount was typically lower than this. (Student contributions only apply to learners on apprenticeship programmes delivered at an institute of technology; some apprenticeships, such as accounting technician or commis chef are not delivered at an institute of technology, and so are not subject to the student contribution.)

In order to register as an apprentice, a learner must first secure employment in the trade s/he wishes to undertake. Apprentices are not eligible for a student grant.

The number of apprentices was extremely low during the economic recession but has now increased to 15 500 (in 2018) compared to the 3 273 observed earlier in the decade, (Q 16 on the website).

Additionally, apprenticeship is not considered a second chance route (Q 10 on the website), although it is not a typical education route for most of those graduating from upper secondary education.

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

Responsibility for taking decisions and implementing further education and training, which includes most VET provision in Ireland, lies with SOLAS, a government agency, in conjunction with 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs), who are the VET providers. Both SOLAS and the education and training boards are agencies of the education ministry. This remit was established under the Further Education and Training Act 2013, which was signed into law in July 2013 ([14]http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2013/act/25/enacted/en/print.html). The Act required SOLAS to submit a five-year strategy for further education and training provision in Ireland. The further education and training strategy ([15]Department for Education and Skills; SOLAS (2014). Further education and training strategy, 2014-19. https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/Further-Educatio...) guides the provision of further education and training in Ireland (including VET, such as apprenticeship and upskilling initiatives for the employed,).

The further education and training strategy complements other government strategies such as the National Skill Strategy ([16]Department for Education and Skills (2016). Ireland’s skills strategy 2025: Ireland’s future. https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/pub_national_ski...) and the Action Plan for Jobs ([17]Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (2017). Action plans for jobs. https://dbei.gov.ie/en/Publications/Publication-files/Action-Plan-for-Jo...).

Since 2016, and the reform of apprenticeship, Ireland’s higher education authority also plays a role in the oversight of VET programmes that are delivered in higher education institutions (namely institutes of technology).

In 2018, the further education and training services plan provided for a total budget allocation of EUR 647.6 million to the further education and training authority (SOLAS) for the provision of further education and training programmes. Included within the funding allocated for further education and training is the funding for VET programmes. The funding is received from two main sources, the Exchequer and the national training fund. Most of the funding is allocated through SOLAS to the education and training boards. Of the EUR 647.6 million allocated to SOLAS, EUR 366.8 million comes from Exchequer funding and EUR 277.5 million comes from the national training fund; the remaining EUR 3.3 million comes from SOLAS-generated income.

  • EUR per student per year
  • % from GDP
  • % from government spending
  • historical trends

Information not available

Given the diverse nature of further education and training and VET programmes offered to learners in Ireland, there are several categories of teaching and training professionals working in VET.

In general, VET teacher/trainer categories are distinguished by the programmes they deliver, their technical and pedagogical qualifications required, and the funding mechanisms.

  • Teachers work in education and training boards in schools or colleges of further education that deliver post leaving certificate courses and/or vocational training opportunities scheme programmes. Although further education and training teachers deliver their programmes (including VET) at ISCED level 4 (leading to awards at national framework of qualifications levels 5-6 and European qualifications framework levels 4-5), they are registered with the teaching council as second level teachers. To register, teachers must hold an honours bachelor degree (at national framework of qualifications level 8; European qualifications framework level 6; ISCED 665, 666) and an approved initial teacher education qualification (postgraduate diploma at national framework of qualifications levels 8 or 9 (European qualifications framework levels 6 or 7); alternatively, a teacher may hold a concurrent degree qualification in post-primary initial teacher education (national framework of qualifications level 8; European qualifications framework level 6), which combines the study of one or more curricular subjects with teacher education studies.
  • Apprenticeship instructors work in education and training boards in training centres which deliver the first off-the-job phase of apprenticeship (phase 2). At present, there is no requirement for instructors on classroom based apprenticeship programmes to hold a pedagogical qualification, but they must hold a craft certificate (national framework of qualifications level 6; European qualifications framework level 5), plus 5 years experience.
  • Apprenticeship lecturers work in institutes of technology, which are third level institutions, delivering training on the remaining two phases (4 and 7) of the apprenticeship programme. Apprenticeship lecturers must hold a degree (national framework of qualifications levels 7-8; European qualifications framework level 6) or equivalent in the subject area, or hold a craft certificate (European qualifications framework level 5) and have three years’ postgraduate experience.
  • Work based tutors are employed, in both private and public sectors, in craft occupations. They are responsible for overseeing the work and training of apprentices during the on-the-job phases of the apprenticeship programme (phases 1, 3, 5 and 7).

Employers must employ a suitably qualified and relevant craftsperson who has been approved by the further education and training authority (SOLAS) to act as:

  • workplace assessor. The assessor must have completed the SOLAS assessor and verifier programme provided by the education and training boards. This course lasts approximately one day and is not aligned with the national framework of qualifications;
  • workplace tutor. The tutor must be competent and qualified (a holder of a national craft certificate (European qualifications framework level 5) to train apprentices.

The tutor and assessor can be the same person provided they hold the relevant qualification.

Tutors/trainers work on VET programmes or on general learning programmes in education and training boards. They deliver training (other than apprenticeship) or education (e.g. adult literacy), often on programmes aimed at the unemployed (e.g. specific skills training or other VET programmes), or early school leavers (general education).

For other types of VET training in the further education and training sector the qualifications and professional standards of trainers vary. In general, programmes leading to a Quality and Qualifications Ireland award require a subject matter qualification (usually one level higher than that of the course being taught), a pedagogical qualification (usually at third level) and 5 years’ industry experience. For all other training, such as computing or accounting, trainer profiles tend to vary depending on the awarding body, the subject matter being taught and the provider. However pedagogical qualifications are increasingly in demand for these types of courses.

Trainers in other types of training programmes are generally required to hold a technical qualification at a level that is one step above the programme being delivered. In addition, they must also hold a minimum amount of relevant work experience. Increasingly, however, there is a demand for these trainers to hold a pedagogical qualification.

Other trainers work in a variety of further education and training settings, including education and training boards, Skillnets ([18]Skillnet Ireland is a national agency dedicated to the promotion and facilitation of workforce learning in Ireland. The organisation was established in 1999 and works with businesses and their employees to address their current and future skills needs by providing high quality, subsidised training through a series of enterprise-led training networks which operate across a range of sectors and regions. Skillnet Ireland receives public funding through the National Training Fund (NTF) (a dedicated fund to support the training of those in employment, and those seeking employment). In addition to NTF funding, Skillnet Ireland channels funding into its training programmes via matching funding provided by its network member enterprises. Skillnets training interventions comprise mostly short courses (days rather than weeks or months). More information available at:
https://www.skillnetireland.ie/
) (mostly providing training, although not exclusively, to the employed) and private sector providers.

With the exception of apprenticeships, continuing professional development (CPD) for further education and training professionals in Ireland has, until recently, been taking place mostly on an ad-hoc basis and has lacked a strategic focus at national level.

This situation is expected to change in the future as the further education and training strategy ([19]Department for Education and Skills; SOLAS (2014). Further education and training strategy, 2014-19. https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/Further-Educatio...) has emphasised the importance of a ‘clear and consistent professional and competency skill roadmap for those entering into and those (already) involved in the further education and training sector in its broadest sense’. The strategy also recognises the need for a continuing professional development requirement for those employed in the further education and training sector in addition to the professional qualifications. The Skills Profile ([20]The Skills Profile is an IT-based tool designed to capture information that will facilitate the on-going review of skills and qualification profile of personnel in the sector. It is anticipated that the outputs from the skills profile project will assist SOLAS and its education and training boards’ (ETBs) partners in developing an overall Continuous professional development strategy and appropriate responses to identified priority needs to assist with future workforce and personnel development planning.) will also help address the information deficit on continuing professional development participation in further education and training.

The continuing professional development strategy will be developed by SOLAS in an evidence-based manner.

Evidence will be drawn from both primary and secondary sources, nationally and internationally, and will be both qualitative and quantitative in nature. In addition to the data from the skills profile reports, it is expected that other sources of data will be analysed as part of the continuing professional development strategy development process, including sector activity information, as well as reports on labour market and future skills needs. A key element of the development process is extensive consultation with key further education and training sector stakeholders to develop a comprehensive view of further education and training professional development issues from a wide perspective.

The continuing professional development strategy will be the first agreed articulation of national policy for the professional development of staff in the newly integrated further education and training sector.

More information is available in the Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspective on teachers and trainers ([21]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/teachers-and-trainers).

 

 

Following publication of the national skills strategy 2025 (in 2016), the system for the identification of skills needs in Ireland was reconfigured. Skills needs identification is now overseen by a National Skills Council, which was established in 2017. The National Skills Council is chaired by Ireland’s Minister for Education and Skills and is made up of representatives (usually senior civil servants or chief executive officers) from a number of government departments (ministries), their agencies and employers.

More specifically the National Skills Council includes representatives from the following:

  • Department of education and skills;
  • Department of business, enterprise and innovation;
  • Department of public expenditure and reform;
  • Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection;
  • employers.

The figure below depicts the composition of the National Skills Council ([22]Source: SOLAS.).

 

 

 

The National Skills Council oversees the process of skills needs identification in Ireland. It is informed by the work of:

  • an expert group on future skills needs, which provides advice on sectoral developments in terms of employment;
  • regional skills fora: a network of nine fora that forms a direct link between education and training providers and employers at local level;
  • The Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU), which monitors the supply and demand for skills and occupational labour. Every year, the skills and labour market research unit publishes the national skills bulletin, a summary of the various supply and demand indicators for skills and labour in Ireland ([23]http://www.solas.ie/SkillsToAdvance/Documents/National%20Skills%20Bulletin%202018.pdf). The national skills bulletin also provides a list of the occupations for which a shortage has been identified, distinguishing between a skills shortage, a labour shortage, or a possible future (within the next five years) shortage. Every five years (or when the data permits), the skills and labour market research unit carries out a medium-term forecasting project, which looks at the demand for skills at occupational level ([24]http://www.solas.ie/SolasPdfLibrary/OccupationalEmploymentForecasts2013.pdf).

See also Cedefop’s skills forecast ([25]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/skills-forecast) and European skills index ([26]https://skillspanorama.cedefop.europa.eu/en/indicators/european-skills-index).

Under the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 ([27]Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2012/act/28/enacted/en/print.html), the government established Quality and Qualifications Ireland ([28]https://www.qqi.ie/). Quality and Qualifications Ireland operates under the Department of Education and Skills. It is both an awarding and a quality assurance body. While the remit of Quality and Qualifications Ireland extends to both general and vocational education and training awards, it plays a key role in setting standards and qualifications in VET (a significant share of VET-related awards are made by Quality and Qualifications Ireland).

 

The specific statutory functions of Quality and Qualifications Ireland include, for example:

  • establishing the standards of knowledge, skills or competences to be acquired by learners before an award can be made by Quality and Qualifications Ireland, or by an education and training provider to which authority to make an award has been delegated;
  • making awards or delegating authority to make an award where it considers it appropriate; reviewing and monitoring the operation of the authority so delegated.

Quality and Qualifications Ireland sets standards for further education and training awards (including VET) and tertiary education awards made outside the university sector ([29]The awards at tertiary level are made to learners at a variety of tertiary institutions including private independent colleges. Third level institutions such as most institutes of technology have received delegated authority from Quality and Qualifications Ireland make their own awards. Universities and Dublin Institute of Technology act as their own awarding bodies.).

Quality and Qualifications Ireland awards’ standards are determined within the National Framework of Qualifications, which comprises a grid of indicators, award-type descriptors and other policies, criteria, standards and guidelines that may be issued to support it. Quality and Qualifications Ireland determines awards’ standards for the education and training awards that it makes itself and that are made by providers to whom it has delegated authority to make an award. Such standards are determined to be consistent with the national framework of qualifications award types.

Under the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012, Quality and Qualifications Ireland is required to develop and publish guidelines for providers for the quality assurance of their programmes and services. Providers are required by legislation to have regard to Quality and Qualifications Ireland guidelines in developing their own procedures for quality assurance. In some instances, such as programme validation, providers’ quality assurance procedures must be approved by Quality and Qualifications Ireland as fit for purpose.

Therefore, providers are responsible for assuring the quality of their own programmes with reference to the guidelines and criteria issued by Quality and Qualifications Ireland. Given the variety of providers in Ireland, Quality and Qualifications Ireland has developed guidelines for a number of sectors, including the further education and training sector. Quality and Qualifications Ireland guidelines for further education and training providers are directed to the EQAVET Framework, the European initiative for quality assurance in VET, designed to provide tools for the management of quality in vocational education and training. Quality and Qualifications Ireland is an active contributor to EQAVET’s work on a European level and these guidelines are designed to complement EQAVET guidelines.

Programme validation is a key quality assurance process that Quality and Qualifications Ireland uses to approve new programmes proposed by providers of education and training. Validation in this context means that a programme meets minimum standards in terms of learning outcomes and national framework of qualifications levels. Programme validation, therefore, can assure providers and learners that successful completion of a programme validated by Quality and Qualifications Ireland will lead to a specific national framework of qualifications awards.

Programme validation is a two-stage process:

  • approval of the provider’s ability to quality assure its programmes;
  • validation by Quality and Qualifications Ireland of a specific programme(s). Quality and Qualifications Ireland does this by appointing independent expert(s) to compare provider proposals against the requirements of the particular national framework of qualifications award(s).

If the proposed programme meets Quality and Qualifications Ireland criteria, it can be validated for up to five years. If the criteria are not met then the programme cannot be offered as proposed.

Under an EU Council recommendation ([30]Council of the European Union (2012). Council recommendation of 20 December 2012 on the validation of non-formal and informal learning. Official Journal of the European Union, C 398, 22.12.2012, p.1-5.
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2012:398:0001:0005:EN:PDF
), Member States should have arrangements in place for the validation of non-formal and informal learning no later than 2018. Under the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012, Quality and Qualifications Ireland is required to establish policies on recognition of prior learning within the policies and criteria for Access, Transfer and Progression (ATP).

While the legal basis for the development of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policies was established in the Qualifications Act 1999, the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI) published principles and operational guidelines in 2005 ([31]https://www.qqi.ie/Downloads/Principles%20and%20Operational%20Guidelines...). Recognition of prior learning policy is currently being revised by Quality and Qualifications Ireland. Quality and Qualifications Ireland has consulted widely with relevant stakeholders to achieve a more cohesive approach to delivering recognition of prior learning nationally. Quality and Qualifications Ireland aims to develop comprehensive policy and operational procedures in line with legislation on the basis of national collaboration, consideration of the current arrangements and identification of best practice nationally and internationally.

For more information about arrangements for the validation of non-formal and informal learning please visit Cedefop’s European database ([32]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/european-database-on-validation-of-non-formal-and-informal-learning).

Funding

In common with other sections of the Irish education sector, the provision of public vocational and education training is largely funded by the Exchequer and consequently VET programmes are provided free or at a minimal charge. As an example, the post leaving certificate programme is an important element of VET provision to young people who have completed their leaving certificate and to adults returning to education.

Since the 2011/12 academic year, students on post leaving certificate courses have paid a participant contribution of EUR 200 (prior to this, students did not have to pay any fees). There may be other minimal costs, i.e. registration and exam fees, which may vary according to the different colleges. Certain categories of post leaving certificate students are exempted from this participant contribution: for example, learners who qualify for a student grant do not have to pay the participant contribution. Colleges offering post leaving certificate courses may, however, levy a 'course charge' to cover such expenses as books, uniforms, student services, professional registration fees and examination fees.

The cost of taking up further education and training courses is much less expensive than attending higher education courses in Ireland.

Grants, allowances, support

There are numerous grants and incentives available to support individuals intending to take up courses in the further education and training sector:

  • the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) is available to carers, people with disabilities, unemployed people and lone parents. This allowance provides these individuals with the opportunity to study at second level (both lower secondary (NFQ 3/EQF 2, ISCED 244) and upper secondary (NFQ 4/5, EQF 3/4, ISCED 343, 344) or further (NFQ 1-6/EQF 1-5) and tertiary (third level) (NFQ 6-10, EQF 5-8, ISCED 544-864) education, while keeping their existing social welfare payments;
  • the Back to Education Initiative (BTEI) is targeted at people over the age of 16 who have not completed their leaving certificate and allows participants to combine family and work with a part-time further education programme;
  • the CETS (Childcare Employment and Training Support) scheme provides subsidised childcare places for some applicants to further education and training courses including VET (specific skills training, vocational training opportunities scheme, and traineeships).

 

Other initiatives available to trainees include:

  • a training allowance which may be paid for the duration of the course;
  • an accommodation allowance should the individual live away from home in order to attend the course;
  • a travel allowance should the trainee live more than three miles from the education and training board ([33]The allowances paid depend on a number of factors including the programme type. Depending on the programme, the allowances paid to trainees can be the equivalent of the payment made to the unemployed. Travel and accommodation allowances depend on the programme and the distance the learner lives from the training centre (e.g. EUR 32.60 per week for somebody living at a distance of 64 kilometres or more. An accommodation allowance is typically EUR 69.90 per week.).

Positive employability outcomes

The first goal in the corporate plan 2017-19 of the further education and training authority (SOLAS) is for further education and training provision to align with labour market and learners’ employability and lifelong learning needs. By striving to ensure positive employability outcomes for those undertaking further education and training (including VET) programmes, SOLAS aims to increase the attractiveness of further education and training among school leavers and other learners in Ireland. To this end, monitoring learner outcomes from further education and training courses is a key function of SOLAS. This data, along with local labour market intelligence (also provided by SOLAS), informs the further education and training planning agreements SOLAS makes with education and training boards as the basis for receipt of funding. These activities help to ensure that courses provided by education and training boards are up-to-date and in conjunction with employers’ needs and that learners from VET-oriented courses will be job ready. Currently, most monitoring is carried out through regular surveys. However, administrative data sets will be increasingly used to monitor learner outcomes. Initial steps were taken in pilot programmes in 2016, with further work currently ongoing.

Further education and training development framework for employees

In October 2018, the further education and training authority (SOLAS) published its further education and training employee development framework, which aims to upskill and reskill vulnerable workers. Further education and training provision for these workers includes digital skills training, technical, socio-emotional and cognitive training. The target cohorts are older workers, those with low education attainment (less than national framework of qualifications level 5/European qualifications framework level 4), those working in vulnerable occupations/sectors (e.g. elementary and operatives working in some low tech manufacturing). Currently, briefing sessions are being held at education and training board level, with efforts concentrating on developing education and training board capacity, rolling out a promotional campaign and monitoring metrics. This is a dedicated initiative, with dedicated funding allocated to it, and builds on existing programmes by embedding the policy in this area ([34]Enterprises don’t receive any direct funding. The funding goes to the provider.).

The policy also supports small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in investing in their workforces. While responsibility for skills development of employees will continue to remain with employers, this policy aims to complement existing employer-based and State initiatives through targeted support and investment by government. It is planned that, by 2021, over 40 000 workers will be engaging in State-supported upskilling; 4 500 SMEs (small and medium enterprises) will be supported through this initiative.

Guidance and counselling takes different forms throughout the VET sector. Learners generally access courses and services through self‐referral or having been referred to courses and services through the department of social protection. For example, with regard to post leaving certificate courses, school leavers or adults generally choose the course and apply directly by letter or online to the school or college offering that course. In some instances they will be called for an interview before final selection. Post leaving certificate courses’ participants may receive in-house education and career guidance on the issue of vocational area choice, on progression to work and progression through a special links programme to an institute of technology.

For young learners who join the youthreach programme on leaving school at the age of 16 (or younger), counselling and psychological services are available as well as a guidance service, in recognition of the social and personal challenges experienced by many youthreach participants. The National Centre for Guidance in Education (NCGE) has a role in the support and development of guidance in youthreach and similar programmes. The remit of the national centre for guidance in education, which is an agency of the education ministry, is to develop and support quality guidance provision in the education sector as part of lifelong learning in accordance with national and international best practice. The national centre for guidance in education has collaborated with the youthreach programme in the development of the web wheel model ([35]More information on the WebWheel model can be found at the Youthreach website:
http://www.youthreach.ie/web-wheel/
), a core element of which includes the use of mentoring techniques to develop and guide one-to-one relationships between students and staff. This process uses a specific profiling tool, the wheel, to assess student needs, to structure and guide the mentoring conversations and to review and monitor progress.

SOLAS is working with the national centre for guidance in education to coordinate the adult education guidance initiative within the education and training boards, which provides nationwide guidance for learners before and after they participate in vocational training opportunities schemes programmes.

The institutes of technology provide higher education and some VET and further education and training programmes. The majority of the institutes of technology offer a careers service to students. The main provision is targeted at final year students and recent graduates, though some careers services have started to provide careers education in the curriculum of undergraduate courses. The careers advisory/appointments office provides information on education and employment opportunities. Universities and the institutes of technology are not statutorily required to offer careers services and the provision can differ across the sector. At present many of the careers services are involved in programmes promoting student retention in higher education and training.

With regard to apprenticeship, each person must first obtain employment as an apprentice in their chosen trade. The employer must be approved to train apprentices and must register the person with SOLAS as an apprentice within two weeks of recruitment. The registered apprentice is then called for training by SOLAS.

Further education and training practitioners require reskilling throughout their careers to meet the changing needs of learners in further education and training. There are a number of organisations and agencies that are already providing development opportunities to further education and training practitioners: the further education and support service in programme development and quality assurance; the national centre for guidance in education for further education and training guidance personnel; the National Learning Network and the Association for Higher Education Access and Disability (AHEAD) for disability awareness, etc.

Please see:

Vocational education and training system chart

Tertiary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 5

Higher certificate

programme,

2 years

ISCED 544, 554

Initial VET programmes leading to EQF level 5,ISCED 544, 554.
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

544, 554

Usual entry grade

Not applicable

Usual completion grade

Not applicable

Usual entry age

18+

Usual completion age

Not applicable

Length of a programme (years)

2

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

In so far as VET is offered at this level (it’s a very small component), it is part of initial VET.

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

All students, unless in receipt of a means tested grant, must pay fees.

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Usually 120 ECTs are earned on completion of the two years ([46]Credits are decided individually by the higher education institutions.).

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • School based learning
Main providers
  • Schools (institutes of technology, universities, colleges of education)
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

The main target group are school leavers, but increasingly older learners are being encouraged to take up opportunities at this level.

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

Upper secondary certificate

For some lifelong learning focussed programmes, however, formal education requirements may differ and work experience may be sufficient.

Assessment of learning outcomes

To complete programmes at this level, learners need to pass a final examination (part of the grade may be earned through continuous assessment). Assessment is typically based on learning outcomes.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Learners receive a higher certificate on completion of their studies.

Examples of qualifications

Higher certificate in business studies,

marketing associate professional ([47]As described in national context.)

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Progression to the next level (EQF 6) of tertiary education. Learners may also enter the labour market.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

Information not available

EQF 6

Undergraduate

Programmes,

3 years

ISCED 665

Initial VET programmes leading to EQF level 6, ISCED 665
EQF level
6
ISCED-P 2011 level

665

Usual entry grade

Not applicable

Usual completion grade

Not applicable

Usual entry age

18+

Usual completion age

Not applicable

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?

Y

Not all programmes at this level are VET, but some engineering/science, can be considered to be VET, and in this instance, they would be IVET.

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

N

All learners in tertiary education, unless in receipt of a means-tested grant, must pay fees.

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Typically 180 credits (ECTS) ([48]Credits are decided individually by the higher education institutions.)

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

Schools (Institutes of technology, universities, colleges of education)

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)

A leaving certificate award is the minimum entry requirement.

Assessment of learning outcomes

To complete programmes at this level, learners need to pass a final examination (part of the grade may be earned through continuous assessment). Assessment is typically based on learning outcomes.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Learners receive a diploma (undergraduate).

Examples of qualifications

Ordinary bachelor degree in business studies ([49]As described in national context.).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Those who complete VET can enter the labour market of continue their studie to EQF level 6 (honours degree).

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Y

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

Information not available

EQF 5-6

Undergraduate

programmes,

3-5 years

ISCED 665, 666

Initial VET programmes leading to EQF levels 5- 6, ISCED 665, 666.
EQF level
5-6
ISCED-P 2011 level

665, 666

Usual entry grade

Not applicable

Usual completion grade

Not applicable

Usual entry age

18+

Usual completion age

Not applicable

Length of a programme (years)

3-5

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

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?

N

Third level fees apply to all learners, with the exception of those in receipt of a means-tested grant

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

180 – 240 ECTS, depending on the programme ([50]Credits are decided individually by the higher education institutions.).

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • mostly school based learning
Main providers
  • universities;
  • institutes of technology
  • colleges of education
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 predominantly targeted at young people, but are available to adults also.

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

A leaving certificate award is the minimum requirement.

Assessment of learning outcomes

To complete VET programmes at this level, learners need pass a final examination (which may also include continuous assessment component as part of the final grade)

Diplomas/certificates provided

Learners receive an honours bachelor degree.

Examples of qualifications

Bachelor of arts (hons) degree), bachelor of science (hons) degree ([51]As described in national context.).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Those who complete education/training at this level can enter the labour market or continue their studies at EQF 7.

Destination of graduates

75% of graduates in 2017 had either started or were about to start a job, although this share varies by field of learning ([52]As reported in: Higher Education Authority (2017). Graduate outcomes survey: class of 2017.
https://hea.ie/assets/uploads/2019/02/HEA-Graduate-Outcomes-Survey.pdf
), 18% were engaged in further study,4% were employed,3% were engaged in other activities.

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Information not available

Key competences

Information not available

Application of learning outcomes approach

Information not available

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

Information not available

EQF 6-7

Post-graduate

programmes,

1-2 years

ISCED 667,767

Initial VET programmes leading to EQF levels 6-7, ISCED 667,767
EQF level
6-7
ISCED-P 2011 level

667,767

Usual entry grade

Not applicable

Usual completion grade

Not applicable

Usual entry age

18+

Usual completion age

Not applicable

Length of a programme (years)

2 (up to)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

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?

N

learners must pay fees in most instances

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

60-120 ECTS credits depending on the programme ([53]Credits are decided individually by the higher education institutions.)

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

Information not available

Main providers
  • Schools (universities, institutes of technology, colleges of education)
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)

The minimum requirement for entry to postgraduate education is an honours bachelor degree (EQF 6) or equivalent.

Assessment of learning outcomes

To complete a VET programme at this level, learners need to pass a final examination (part of the final grade may be composed of continuous assessment). Also, depending on the programme, submission of a thesis may also be required.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Depending on the programme a learner may receive a higher diploma, a postgraduate certificate, a postgraduate diploma or a masters degree.

Examples of qualifications

Master’s in education ([54]As described in national context.)

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Those who complete education and training at this level may enter the labour market or continue their studies at the same or higher level (EQF 7 or EQF 8).

Destination of graduates

86% of graduates in 2017 had either started or were about to start a job, although this share varies by field of learning([55]As reported in: Higher Education Authority (2017). Graduate outcomes survey: class of 2017.
https://hea.ie/assets/uploads/2019/02/HEA-Graduate-Outcomes-Survey.pdf
), 4% were engaged in further study,5% were employed,5% were engaged in other activities.

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Y

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

Information not available

Post-secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 4-5

Post-leaving

certificate courses,

1-2 years

ISCED 443/453

Initial VET programmes leading to EQF levels 4-5, ISCED 443/453
EQF level
4-5
ISCED-P 2011 level

443/453

Usual entry grade

not applicable

Usual completion grade

12+

Usual entry age

18+

Usual completion age

Not applicable

Length of a programme (years)

2 (up to)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

In so far as part of the course content is VET in nature, it is considered initial education.

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

N

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable ([38]Credits accumulated, if any, on the basis of certifying bodies, which can vary.)

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • school-based learning;
  • component of work-based learning is small, usually with no minimum duration required; it is usually carried out in the context of work experience with a local employer.
Main providers

Information not available

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

<30% ([39]For post leaving certificate courses with a work-based learning component.)

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

No formal requirements

Work experience, when part of the curriculum, typically occurs with a company.

Main target groups

Young people who have completed the upper secondary cycle, adults.

The main target group for post leaving certificate courses is learners who have completed the leaving certificate, which is the examination held at the end of upper secondary education. The aim is to provide education/training in a range of subject areas (e.g. business, art, healthcare, social care, among others).

However, older learners may also enrol on post leaving certificate courses.

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

The usual requirement is that the applicant holds a leaving certificate qualification or equivalent (i.e. qualifications at levels EQF3/4). Adults without a leaving certificate may access these courses if they have sufficient work experience.

Assessment of learning outcomes

On completion of a post leaving certificate programme, learners undergo a number of assessments (continuous assessment and written examination). For programmes that lead to an awards made by Quality and Qualifications Ireland, the assessments are based on learning outcomes. Not all programmes lead to an award made by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (industry certification or other awarding bodies may be used).

Diplomas/certificates provided

The certification received depends on the course followed. Usually, courses lead to awards that have been placed at level 4 or 5 on the EQF and they are recognised for progression and employment opportunities. Progression can be to other further education and training courses, or indeed to third level colleges either in Ireland or the UK.

Examples of qualifications

Teachers' aides ([40]As described in national context.)

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Those who complete a post leaving certificate course may progress to tertiary education (though a very small number of learners decides to do so). Primarily, the post leaving certificate courses aim to prepare learners to enter the labour market.

Destination of graduates

According to an evaluation of the post leaving certificate sector published in 2018 ([41]http://www.solas.ie/SolasPdfLibrary/PLC/ESRI_PLC_evaluation.pdf)

  • 33% of post leaving certificate course completers progressed to employment (a breakdown of VET versus general learning is not possible);
  • Almost 21% progressed to further studies within the further education and training (FET) system;
  • 27% progressed to higher education;
  • 12% were unemployed.
Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Y

Most of these courses are general or a mix of general and VET.

Key competences

Y

Key competences are part of the assessment procedure.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

Information not available

EQF 3-5

Traineeship

various durations,

WBL min. 30%

ISCED 253, 353, 453

Initial VET programmes leading to EQF levels 3-5, ISCED 253, 353, 453
EQF level
3-5
ISCED-P 2011 level

253, 353, 453

Usual entry grade

not applicable

Usual completion grade

not applicable

Usual entry age

18+

Usual completion age

not applicable

Length of a programme (years)

from 6 months to 2 years

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

N

In the past, traineeships were part of second chance education/training and open only to the employed. Since 2016 they are also open to school leavers, the employed and adult learners.

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • on- the-job training
  • school based learning
Main providers
  • Schools (Education and Training Board’s training centre)
  • enterprises
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>=30%

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

Unemployed, employed, school leavers (either young people or adults).

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

A qualification at EQF level 2 is usually the minimum. In addition for those opting for qualifications at childcare and/or healthcare sectors (especially when they will be dealing with children or adults with disabilities) a police vetting ([42]The police vetting process is about criminal history checks and other relevant information on potential and current employees, volunteers and vocational trainees to approved agencies that provide care to children and vulnerable members of society.) is also required.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Assessment is via exams and continuous assessment methods. They are typically based on learning outcomes.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Learners may receive a full or partial award (with partial awards being recognised as part fulfilment of the requirements for a full award). Awards span levels 3-5 on the EQF.

Examples of qualifications

Healthcare support assistant ([43]As described in national context.)

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Those who complete a traineeship can enter the labour market or progress to further studies within the further education and training system.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Y

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

For traineeships that lead to awards on the national framework of qualifications (made by Quality Qualifications Ireland), a learning outcomes approach is applied.

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

Information not available

EQF 4-5

Apprenticeship

up to 4 years,

WBL ca. 80%

ISCED 453.

Initial VET programmes leading to EQF levels 4-5, ISCED 453.
EQF level
4-5
ISCED-P 2011 level

453

Usual entry grade

Not applicable

Usual completion grade

Not applicable

Usual entry age

18+

Usual completion age

Not applicable

Length of a programme (years)

4 (up to)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

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

In the initial phases. However, any part of the training that takes place in a higher education institution will incur fees.

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Information not available

Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • school-based learning; (contact studies either at an education/training provider or a higher education institution)
  • in-company practice (practical training in a company).
Main providers
  • Enterprises
  • schools (education and training boards’training Centre or an institute of technology)
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>=80%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • practical training at a college of further education and training
  • in-company practice
Main target groups

Programmes are available for young people and also for adults. Since apprentices are part of the employed, they must be at least 16 years of age. There is no formal upper age limit.

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

There are two types of programmes at this level (box):

  • pre-2106 craft apprenticeship training for which the formal minimum entry requirement is the junior certificate or equivalent (EQF 2 qualification). In practice, however, the vast majority (three quarters) of new apprentices hold higher levels of education, typically a Leaving Certificate (EQF level 3/4);
  • post 2016 apprenticeship for which the entry requirements vary, depending on the specific apprenticeship programme, although a leaving certificate (EQF level 3/4) is generally the minimum.
Assessment of learning outcomes

To complete apprenticeship training, apprentices are assessed at various stages of the programme, both on and off the job. They are based on learning outcomes and include a practical component.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Learners who complete the traditional pre-2016 type apprenticeships receive a craft certificate. For the post 2016 apprenticeship, there are different possibilities depending on the apprenticeship. Once learners begin to emerge from these programmes, they may receive: a level 5 certificate, an advanced certificate, a higher certificate, an ordinary degree, an honours bachelor degree or a masters degree.

Examples of qualifications

Pre-2016 apprenticeships: carpentry and joinery, electrical, instrumentation, plastering([44]As described in national context.)

post-2016 apprenticeship: accounting technician, insurance practice, ICT associate network engineer, retail practice, arboriculture, and HGV driver([45]As described in national context.);

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Learners completing programmes in VET typically have a number of options: they may continue their studies in VET, progress to tertiary level education (in an institute of technology) or enter the labour market).

Destination of graduates

All apprentices must hold an employment contract prior to commencing the apprenticeship programme. Therefore destination is by default to employment.

Awards through validation of prior learning

Information not available

General education subjects

Y

General subjects such as mathematics are taught for some apprenticeships, although not all.

Key competences

Y

Competences such as digital skills are taught.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

All apprenticeship awards are on the national framework of qualifications, so a learning outcomes approach is applied.

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

Information not available

Secondary

Programme Types
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.