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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.

General themes

VET in Finland comprises the following main features:

  • competence-based approach;
  • personal competence development plan for each learner charting and recognising previously acquired skills;
  • VET teacher profession is attractive;
  • early leaving from education and training is low and decreasing; leaving VET early is still more common than in general education;
  • participation in lifelong learning is high, also due to VET participation.

Distinctive features ([1]Cedefop (2016). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Finland. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8100_en.pdf
):

National qualification requirements have been based on a competence-based approach since the early 1990s. Flexibility of vocational qualifications has increased, for example by diversifying opportunities to include modules from other vocational qualifications (including further and specialist vocational qualifications) or university of applied sciences degrees. More flexibility will allow students to create individual learning paths and increase their motivation for completing their studies. It is also meant to give education providers an opportunity to meet regional and local labour market demands more effectively. Studies in upper secondary VET are based on individual study plans, comprising both compulsory and optional study modules. Modularisation allows for a degree of individualisation of qualifications:

  • a clearer range of qualifications that better meets the needs of working life;
  • a single competence-based method of completing qualifications;
  • competence-based and individual study paths for all.

The Finnish National Agency for Education reformed all 43 initial, 65 further and 56 specialist vocational qualifications in 2017-18. The fundamental goal of this reform was to reduce the number of qualification titles from 360 to 164 and offer broader programmes, strengthen the competence-based approach of vocational qualification requirements and the modular structure of qualifications. This supports building flexible and individual learning paths and promotes validation of prior learning.

A career as a VET teacher is generally considered attractive, reflected in the high number of applications to enrol in vocational teacher training programmes that invariably exceed intake. While up to a third of the applicants are admitted annually, there are major variations between different fields.

There is growing concern over the risk of social exclusion of young people. In 2018, among 20 to 24 year-olds, 11.8% were neither in employment nor in education and training. Youth unemployment is on the increase; the rate for 15 to 24 year-olds was 20% in 2014, 21.4% in 2016 and 20.4% in 2019. Both rates have improved in recent years ([2]Source: Statistics Finland.).

The government introduced the youth guarantee programme from the beginning of 2013. This offers everyone under 25, as well as recent graduates under 30, a job, on-the-job training, a study place or rehabilitation within three months of becoming unemployed.

Dropout from vocational education and training is far more common than from general upper secondary education, although it is not high in European terms (7.4% in the 2016/17 school year). Prevention of both dropout from education and exclusion from society is a policy priority: every individual who drops out of education and the labour market is seen as being both a personal tragedy and a significant cost to society. A programme was set up in 2012 to develop anticipatory and individualised procedures in guidance and counselling and create pedagogical solutions and practices supporting completion of studies, as well as work-centred learning environments and opportunities. There is also emphasis on creating practices to recognise prior learning more effectively. An additional EUR 4 million has been allocated to this programme. The results of these projects will be seen in 2020 at the earliest.

A new Act on VET was adopted in June 2017 and entered into force on 1 January 2018. Its objective has been to renew VET legislation, the financing system and create a more competence-based and customer-oriented system.

Data from VET in Finland Spotlight 2016 ([3]Cedefop (2016). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Finland. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8100_en.pdf
), updated in May 2019.

 

 

Population in 2018: 5 513 130 ([4]NB: Data for population as of 1 January; break in series. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].)

It increased by 1.6% since 2013 mainly due to immigration ([5]NB: Data for population as of 1 January; break in series. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

As in many other EU countries, the population is ageing, but the share of young people remains slightly above the EU-28 due to immigration. Since 2000, annual immigration to the country has more than doubled, reaching 249 500 or 4.5% of the population in 2017. This is also due to the increased number of asylum seekers in 2015-16 ([6]Statistics Finland:
www.tilastokeskus.fi/tup/maahanmuutto/maahanmuuttajat-vaestossa/ulkomaan-kansalaiset_en.html#tab1483972171375_1
).

The old-age dependency ratio is expected to increase from 31 in 2015 to 50 in 2060 ([7]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 years). The value is expressed per 100 persons of working age (15-64).). This will also force the retirement age to increase, reaching 62.4 years in 2025 ([8]In 2017 it was 61.2 years. Source: Finnish Centre for Pensions:
www.etk.fi/en/statistics-2/statistics/effective-retirement-age/
).

 

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

Source: Eurostat, proj_15ndbims [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

According to population forecasts, the proportion of those aged over 65 is increasing faster than the EU average. This is mostly due to the ‘baby-boomer’ generations, born after World War II, reaching pensionable age.

Demographic challenges will impact the availability of the labour force, growth of the economy and, thus, provision of welfare services. The changing population structure will also require improving attainment, preventing early leaving from education and training, facilitating young people’s transition to further education and making flexible learning paths for completing qualifications.

Because of the demographic challenges, e.g. ageing population, the demand for labour in social and welfare services will grow in the future. According to the National Agency for Education ([9]https://www.oph.fi/julkaisut/2011/koulutus_ja_tyovoiman_kysynta_2025), demand for new employees in health care and social services will be nearly 120 000 in the period from 2008 to 2025. This has an impact on VET as, for example, practical nurses and dental assistants receive VET qualifications.

The country has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish.

Education and training institutions teach in Finnish and Swedish, but bilingual providers also exist, providing education in some foreign languages, mostly in English. In the Sámi language regions VET is also provided in a Sámi language.

The language of instruction for initial and continuing VET is decided in the licence for VET provision, granted by the education ministry.

Most companies are small- and medium-sized.

The highest share of the labour force is in human health and social work, manufacturing and in wholesale and retail trade.

 

Employees (age 15 to 74) by economic sector in 2018

Source: Statistics Finland. https://www.tilastokeskus.fi/tup/suoluk/suoluk_tyoelama_en.html

 

The main export sectors are ([10]Source:
https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/fin/ [accessed 2.4.2019].
):

  • machines (23%) ([11]E.g. broadcasting equipment, electrical transformers.);
  • paper goods (16%) ([12]E.g. coated paper, wood pulp.);
  • metals (14%) ([13]E.g. stainless steel, raw zinc.);
  • transportation goods (11%) ([14]E.g. cars, ships.).

Relatively few professions require a specific type of education. Education requirements mainly exist in health care, teaching, rescue and security jobs. Also the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church requires its employees to have education in the field. Such professions usually require a higher education degree.

A few regulated professions require a vocational qualification. Examples are nurses, prison and security guards, construction divers and chimney sweeps.

The labour market is, therefore, considered flexible.

Total unemployment ([15]Percentage of active population, 25 to 74 years old.) (2018): 6.1% (6.0% in EU-28); it increased by 1.2 percentage points since 2008 ([16]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; low reliability for ISCED 5-8, age 15-24.
ISCED 0-2 = less than primary, primary and lower secondary education.
ISCED 3-4 = upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education.
ISCED 5-8 = tertiary education.
Source: Eurostat, lfsa_urgaed [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Unemployment is distributed unevenly between those with low- and high-level qualifications. In Finland, the financial crisis had less impact on unemployment than in other European countries.

During the crisis there was only a slight increase in unemployment, and the difference between the unemployment rates of the three categories above remained quite stable.

Young people (15-24) with low qualifications (ISCED 0-2) are much more exposed to unemployment than older people who have more working experience. Higher level qualifications also mean less unemployment for young people.

The employment rate of VET graduates (age 20-34, ISCED levels 3 and 4) has increased since 2014 by 2.2 percentage points and reached 79.8% 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].

 

This increase was slower compared with the increase in employment for the same age group graduates of all education types (+2.5pp) in the same period ([17]NB: Breaks in time series. Eurostat table edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

For more information about the external drivers influencing VET developments in Finland please see the case study from Cedefop's changing nature and role of VET in Europe project [17a]Cedefop (2018). The changing nature and role of vocational education and training in Europe. Volume 3: the responsiveness of European VET systems to external change (1995-2015). Case study focusing in Finland. Cedefop research paper; No 67. https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/finland_cedefop_changing_nature_of_vet_-_case_study.pdf

Completion of both upper secondary and tertiary studies is one of the objectives of national education policy. Finland has one of the highest shares of 25-64 year old people with higher education qualifications (43.7%) and one of the lowest shares with low qualifications (11.7%) in the EU.

 

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].

 

Attainment of Finns aged 25 to 64 has increased significantly since 2000 and slightly more rapidly than in the EU-28 on average ([18]https://findikaattori.fi/en/). Since the 1990s the expansion of adult education and training, as well as the creation of the competence-based qualifications system, offered many ‘baby-boomers’ born after World War II an opportunity to complete a VET qualification.

For more information about VET in higher education in Finland please see the case study from Cedefop's changing nature and role of VET in Europe projectt [18a]Cedefop (2019). The changing nature and role of vocational education and training in Europe. Volume 6: vocationally oriented education and training at higher education level. Expansion and diversification in European countries. Case study focusing on Finland. Cedefop research paper; No 70. https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/finland_cedefop_changing_nature_of_vet_-_case_study_0.pdf

Share of learners in VET by level in 2017

lower- secondary

upper -secondary

post-secondary

not applicable

71.6%

100%

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].

 

The male/female share in vocational upper secondary programmes is equal. In further qualification programmes, there are more females.

In 2017, 43% of all male VET students studied in one particular field, i.e. engineering, manufacturing and construction. Business and administration and services both accounted for 17% of all male VET students. Around one-third (31%) of women were enrolled in health and welfare, 20% in services and 25% in business, administration and law.

The share of early leavers from education and training was 8.3% in 2018. The share has decreased since 2009 by 1.6 percentage points (-3.6 percentage points in the EU) and it is very close to the national 2020 target of not 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.
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].

 

The overall duration of education and training is influenced by delays at transition points ([19]For example, young graduates from upper secondary education at age of 19 cannot always enter higher education due to limited places available; they often apply several years in a row in order to enrol.) and the overall time spent in each programme. The latter is now being addressed by the new financing mechanism that gives more weight to the effectiveness of studies and is pushing towards timely acquisition of qualifications.

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

 

Participation in lifelong learning in 2014-18

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

 

Participation in lifelong learning is traditionally high in Finland. It has increased by 3.4 percentage points since 2014, reaching 28.5% in 2018. It is almost three times higher than the EU-28 average (11.1% in 2018).

VET is an important form of adult education. In 2016 almost 70% of those completing vocational upper secondary qualifications in Finland were under 25. Almost half of those taking further vocational qualifications completed their studies under the age of 35, and over half of those taking specialist vocational qualifications were over 40.

 

VET learners by age group in 2010-17

Source: Statistics Finland (Vipunen). https://vipunen.fi/

 

The share of adults (aged 25 and above) in initial and continuing VET has been increasing both in absolute numbers and proportionally. In the programme aiming for upper secondary vocational qualification the share of adults has been increasing and was 36% in 2017. In further qualification the share has varied between 81-86% and in specialist qualification it has remained roughly the same at 95%.

The education and training system comprises:

  • early childhood education and care (ISCED level 0);
  • pre-primary education (ISCED level 0);
  • primary education and lower secondary education; (ISCED levels 1 and 2), also called basic education;
  • optional additional year (ISCED level 2) (age 16);
  • Upper secondary education (ISCED level 3 and 4);
  • Tertiary education (ISCED levels 6, 7, and 8).

Early childhood education and care (varhaiskasvatus, småbarnsfostran) is not compulsory and participation requires the payment of a small fee. It is provided to children up to age six.

Pre-primary education (esiopetus, förskoleundervisning) is compulsory and it is provided to learners aged 6 years old.

Basic education (perusopetus, grundläggande utbildning) is compulsory. It is divided into primary education, provided in grades 1 to 6, to learners aged 7 to 12, and into lower secondary education, provided in grades 7 to 9, to students aged 13 to 16 years old.

The optional additional year is provided to students at age 16. Its purpose is to improve grades and to prepare for vocational education or familiarisation with the working life.

After basic education students can complete training preparing them for VET (ammatilliseen koulutukseen valmentava koulutus, utbildning som handleder för yrkesutbildning). This preparatory education and training provides students with capabilities for applying to VET, leading to qualifications, and fosters their preconditions for

completing qualifications. Preparatory education and

training for work and independent living (työhön ja itsenäiseen elämään valmentava koulutus, utbildning som handleder för arbete och ett självständigt liv) is available for those who need special support due to illness or injury. It provides students with instruction and guidance according to their personal goals and capabilities.

Upper secondary education (toisen asteen koulutus, utbildning på andra stadiet) is provided in grades 10 to 12, to students aged 17 to 19 years old. It is divided into general (lukiokoulutus, gymnasieutbildning), and vocational (ammatillinen koulutus, yrkesutbildning).

Tertiary education (korkeakoulutus, högskola) is provided by universities (yliopisto, universitet) and by universities of applied sciences (ammattikorkeakoulu, yrkeshögskola).

Promoting employment and self-employment are key elements of VET. Guided and goal-oriented studying at the

workplace is an essential part of VET. Studying at the workplace is either based on apprenticeship or on training agreement. Both can be flexibly combined. Learning at the workplace can be used to acquire competence in all vocational qualifications as well as promoting further training or supplementing vocational skills. Studying at the workplace can cover an entire degree, a module or a smaller part of the studies.

Initial VET (for young people) and continuing VET (for adults) are organised under the same legislation and principles ([20]https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/2017/20170531).

Initial VET (vocational upper secondary programmes) provides learners with vocational skills they need for entry- level jobs. It also supports learners’ growth into good and balanced individuals and members of society, and it provides them with the knowledge and skills needed for further studies and for the development of their personalities. A holder of a vocational upper secondary qualification has broad-based, basic vocational skills to work in different tasks in the chosen field, as well as more specialised competence and the vocational skills required for work in at least one section of the chosen field.

Continuing VET (further and specialist programmes) provides more comprehensive and specialised competences and requires labour market experience. They are mainly acquired by adults in employment with an IVET qualification; however, this is not a precondition for the taking of the qualification. A holder of a further vocational qualification has the vocational skills that meet work needs and that are more advanced or more specialised than what is required in the vocational upper secondary qualification. A holder of a specialist vocational qualification has vocational skills that meet work needs and that are highly advanced or multidisciplinary.

All programmes are competence-based. This means that completing a qualification does not depend on where and how competences have been acquired. All learners who have completed basic education may enrol in VET, but each provider decides the selection criteria. In some regions there is a competition for potential learners between general upper secondary and VET schools. VET often attracts more applicants than there are places available, especially in programmes in social services, health and sports, vehicle and transport technology, business and administration, electrical and automation engineering, and beauty care.

Study units (also known as modules)

All programmes leading to a qualification include vocational units:

• compulsory;

• optional.

In addition to the above, all initial vocational qualification programmes include units that consist of common, rather than specific, vocational competence:

• communication and interaction competence;

• mathematics and science competence;

• citizenship and working life competence.

The common units may be included in further and specialist qualifications but only if this is seen as necessary when making the personal competence development plan.

Key competences

Key competences help students to keep up with the changes in society and working life. In the wake of the 2018 VET reform (Vocational Education and Training Act 531, adopted in 2017 and in force since 2018), key competences are no longer addressed as a separate part of vocational competences. They have been modified so that key competences are included in all vocational skills requirements and assessment criteria. The key competences for lifelong learning are: digital and technological competence; mathematics and science competence; competence development; communication and interaction competence; competence for sustainable development; cultural competence; social and citizenship competence; and entrepreneurial competence.

Personal competence development plan

At the beginning of VET studies objectives for competence development are recorded in a personal competence development plan for each learner. A teacher draws up the plan together with a learner. An employer or another representative of a workplace or other cooperation partner may also participate in the preparation of the personal competence development plan, when required. The plan includes information on, for example, identification and recognition of prior learning, acquisition of missing skills, demonstrations of competence and of other skills, and the guidance and support needed. Prior learning acquired in training, working life or other learning environments has to be recognised as part of the qualification. The learner can also include units from general upper secondary curriculum, other vocational qualifications (incl. further vocational qualifications and specialist vocational qualifications) or degrees of universities of applied sciences in his personal competence development plan. The plan can be up-dated during the studies whenever necessary.

Work-based learning

Work-based learning (WBL) is provided mainly in real work environments (companies). If this is not possible, it can also be organised in school facilities.

The 2018 reform aimed to increase the share of work-based learning in VET by offering more flexibility in its organisation. All learners take part in WBL and any form of WBL (training agreement or apprenticeship training) may be taken by learners in any qualification programme. WBL may be provided during the whole programme duration and cover the whole qualification, a module/unit, or a smaller part of the programme. The most suitable method for a learner is agreed in the personal competence development plan.

The legislation does not stipulate a maximum or minimum amount of work-based learning but it strongly recommends that VET providers organise at least part of the learning at the workplace. The form of WBL may vary during the studies. A learner may transfer flexibly from a training agreement to apprenticeship training when the prerequisites for concluding an apprenticeship agreement are met (see Section 2.5.2). Work-based learning is guided and goal-oriented training at a workplace, allowing learners to acquire parts of the practical vocational skills included in the desired qualification.

Training agreement

This type of WBL can be offered in all initial and continuing VET programmes. At the very beginning of the training, the personal competence development plan shall be designed by the teacher/guidance counsellor, working life representative and the learner. The WBL periods are defined in this plan.

Learners are not in an employment relationship with the training company. They do not receive salary and employers do not receive any training compensation. But companies gladly recruit people with work experience. Within this system, the learners acquire some experience during their studies and the learner and the company get to know each other. It is possible to change from a training agreement to an apprenticeship training contract, if prerequisites for concluding an apprenticeship agreement are met.

A training agreement period can also be conducted abroad, as an exchange period, e.g. within the Erasmus+ programme or through other programmes or individual arrangements.

Apprenticeship training contract

Any qualification can be acquired through apprenticeship training – a work-based form of VET that is based on a written fixed-term employment contract (apprenticeship contract) between an employer and an apprentice, who must be at least 15 years old. Working hours are at least 25 hours per week. Apprenticeships have been used mainly in further and specialist vocational education. Since the 2018 reform, there is no indication in the legislation where the theoretical part should be acquired. In fact, the word ‘theory’ is no longer in use. Instead, ‘learning in the working place’ and ‘learning in other environments’ terminology applies. If the company is able to cover all the training needs, there is no need for the learner to attend a school venue at all. Learners themselves find work places for the training. The employer has no obligation to keep the apprentice employed after the training period is completed.

VET providers are responsible for initiating the contract. The demand and supply of contracts/work places are not always in balance. There are regional and field-specific differences but usually there are not enough apprenticeship places in companies.

Apprenticeship training is based on the requirements of the relevant qualification, according to which the learner’s personal competence development plan is drawn up. It considers the needs and requirements of the workplace and the learner. Approximately 70-80% of the time used for learning takes place in the workplace where the apprenticeship contract is concluded. Periods of theory and in-company training alternate but a common pattern does not exist; it is agreed in the personal competence development plan.

The employer pays the apprentice’s wages according to the relevant collective agreement for the period of workplace training. For the period of theoretical studies, learners receive social benefits, such as a daily allowance and allowances for accommodation and travel expenses. The education provider pays compensation to cover the costs of training provided in the workplace. The employer and VET institution agree on the amount of compensation before the training takes place; a separate contract is prepared for each learner.

At national level, the general goals for VET and the qualifications structure ([21]Qualification structure is a system of qualifications. It defines how many there are initial, further and specialist VET qualifications: their share, titles and competence points (total and for common units; their division within the qualification is decided by the Finnish National Agency for Education).) are determined by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The ministry also grants the licences for education provision. The Finnish National Agency for Education decides the national requirements of qualifications, detailing the goals and core content of each vocational qualification.

 

Main VET stakeholders

Source: Finnish National Agency for Education.

 

Vocational qualification requirements are developed in broad-based cooperation with stakeholders. The national qualification requirements have been based on a learning-outcomes approach since the early 1990s. Consequently, close cooperation with the world of work has been essential.

Cooperation with the world of work and other key stakeholders is carried out in order to ensure that qualifications support is flexible and promotes efficient transition to the labour market, as well as occupational development and career change. In addition to the needs of the world of work, development of VET and qualifications takes into account consolidation of lifelong learning skills, as well as the individuals’ needs and opportunities to complete qualifications flexibly to suit their own circumstances.

The Ministry of Education and Culture grants authorisations to VET providers, determining the fields of education in which they are allowed to provide education and training and their total learner numbers. VET providers determine which vocational qualifications and which study programmes within the specified fields of education will be organised at their vocational institutions.

To enhance the service capacity of VET providers, they have been encouraged to merge into regional or other strong entities. Across Finland, education providers cover all VET services and development activities. Thus, vocational institutions offer initial and continuing training both for young people and adult learners. Vocational institutions work in close cooperation with the labour market. Their role is to develop their own provision in cooperation with the labour market on the one hand, and to support competence development within small and medium-sized enterprises on the other. This strategy for vocational institutions has been a necessary means of ensuring and increasing the flexibility of education and training. Consequently, larger vocational institutions can offer enough vocational modules to ensure that learners can customise their programmes and choose studies that match changing needs for competences.

Vocational institutions can organise their activities freely, according to the requirements of their fields or their regions, and decide on their institutional networks and other services.

VET providers

Around 70% of VET providers are privately owned and 24% are owned by joint municipal authorities (Figure 10). There are 145 VET providers in total (Figure 10); this is considerably fewer than in 2006 as they have been strongly encouraged to merge. This cost-efficiency trend in education has been apparent since the mid-1990s. The ministry encourages VET providers towards voluntary mergers to ensure that all education providers have sufficient professional and financial resources to provide education.

 

VET providers by ownership

NB: Data as of 30 April 2019. In addition, there were 16 private VET providers who did not receive the licence, but can continue providing VET for a transitional period.
Source: Education Statistics Finland (Vipunen): https://vipunen.fi/

 

The most common types of VET provider are vocational institutions (owned by municipalities, industry and the service sector) ([22]Some VET providers are foundations or limited companies; they are categorised as ‘private’ but municipalities usually have shares in such companies/foundations.). They provide education and training to more than 75% of initial VET learners. Specialised (usually owned by one private company or association, e.g. car manufacturers) and special needs (usually owned by municipalities and associations, e.g. Organisation for Respiratory Health) vocational institutions, fire, police and security service institutions (national) and folk high schools, sports institutions, music schools and colleges (local) account for less than 10% of learners in initial VET. Vocational adult education centres (public and regional) mostly provide further and specialist VET.

Private vocational institutions operating under the 2018 VET Act are supervised by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Similar to public VET providers, they receive government subsidies and have the right to award official qualification certificates.

Out of 145 VET providers in total, there are 26 specialised vocational institutions, which are generally maintained by manufacturing and service sector enterprises. They are national private institutions, also referred to as ‘government dependent private institutions’, which provide training for their own needs outside the national qualifications structure described above, and which mainly focus on continuing training for their own staff. The specialised vocational institutions (also national private institutions) have been authorised by the Ministry of Education and Culture to provide education and training. Although these institutions receive state funding, most of the costs are covered by the owners of these enterprises (or by the enterprises responsible for them).

Current financing system

Education is publicly funded through public tax revenue at all levels. This has been perceived in Finland as being a means of guaranteeing equal education opportunities for the entire population irrespective of social or ethnic background, gender and place of residence. Funding criteria for receiving state funding are uniform for public and private VET providers.

Private funding only accounts for 2.6% of all education expenditure. Its share is slightly higher in upper secondary VET and higher education, but still remains below 5%.

Public funding is mainly provided by the State (30%) and local authorities (municipalities) (70%). VET providers decide on the use of all funds granted. In upper secondary VET, operating costs per learner vary between EUR 6 488 for all apprenticeships (companies cover most of the costs) to EUR 27 956 in special needs VET ([23]The most recent available data of 2017.).

In VET (excluding apprenticeships and special needs), funding varies by study field. Total VET funding is 1.5% from government spending and 13% from the spending of the Ministry of Education and Culture (2019).

 

Operating costs per learner in upper secondary VET by study field in 2012, 2014, 2017 (euros)

Source: Education Statistics Finland (Vipunen): https://vipunen.fi/

 

At the beginning of 2018, the unit price of apprenticeship training was increased to the same level as that of institution-based training. This is expected to encourage education providers to increase their offer of apprenticeship training. In addition, if the apprentice is a long-term unemployed jobseeker, lacks professional skills, or is disabled, the employer may also receive a state-funded pay subsidy.

The 2022 financing system for better performance

With the amendment to the Act on the Financing of the Provision of Education and Culture (532/2017) that entered into force at the beginning of 2018, a single coherent funding system was established for all VET programmes. The Act includes one uniform funding system for the provision of VET covering vocational upper secondary education and training, vocational further education and training, apprenticeship training and labour market training leading to a qualification (see Section 2.9.3). Funding criteria are uniform irrespective of the type of education provider.

The new system of funding is moving away from the current model of core funding and a very small element of performance funding (5%), towards one based on funding divided into core, performance and effectiveness and strategy.

 

Share of VET funding elements from 2022

Source: Ministry of Education and Culture; Finnish National Agency for Education (2018). Finnish VET in a nutshell. ISBN: 978-952-263-592-1.

 

  • 50% core funding is based on the number of students; it is important for forward planning and ensuring future provision of VET in all fields and for all students;
  • 35% performance funding is based on the number of completed qualifications and qualification units; it is meant to steer education providers to target education and qualifications in accordance with competence needs and to intensify study processes;
  • 15% effectiveness funding is based on students’ access to employment, pursuit of further education and feedback from both students and the labour market ([24]VET providers must collect these data. The system is not fully operational yet as the new financing system will be ready in 2022.); it aims to encourage education providers to redirect education to fields where labour is needed to ensure that education corresponds to the needs of the working life and that it is of high quality and provides the students with the competence to study further;
  • in addition, a relatively small amount of strategy funding (decided by parliament) will be made available; it is meant to support development and actions that are important from the education policy standpoint. It could be used, for example, for VET national development projects, skills competitions and developing education provider networks (e.g. mergers).

The new funding system will gradually be introduced and will be fully operational in 2022.

 

VET funding elements 2018-22 (%)

Source: Ministry of Education and Culture.

 

In VET, there are:

  • teachers of vocational units, teachers of common units, special needs teachers;
  • trainers.

Teaching is a popular profession in Finland. The popularity of vocational teacher education has been consistent over many years, largely because of the flexible arrangements for completing studies. While up to a third of the applicants are admitted annually, there are major variations between different fields.

Those who apply for a place in vocational teacher education are, on average, older than applicants of other forms of teacher education. This is because applicants are required to have prior work experience in their own field. The average age of applicants and those admitted as learners is approximately 40 years.

The proportion of women among applicants and teacher training learners has increased noticeably in recent years. Unlike in other teacher education programmes, it is more difficult for women than for men to gain a place in vocational teacher education. Regarding salaries and terms and conditions of employment, there are no remarkable differences between teachers in general education and VET.

Although there are no official data for trainers ([25]In-company trainers (nationally referred to as workplace instructors) are responsible for supervising learners during their on-the-job learning periods or apprenticeship training in enterprises.) on the attractiveness of their profession, the general impression is that trainers are generally satisfied with their training tasks. In many cases, they perceive more responsibilities and autonomy as recognition of their professionalism; time spent with young learners away from normal routine is also considered to be a reward. Trainers participate in the competence demonstrations involving trainers in learner assessment at the workplace. This assessment plays a significant role on learners’ final qualification certificates.

 

Teacher and trainer qualifications

Source: https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/ajantasa/1998/19980986#L5

 

First, teachers of vocational units must have an appropriate higher education degree in their own vocational sector. If such a degree does not exist, it can also be supplemented by the highest possible other qualification in the sector. One specific challenge has been to find qualified teachers in some fields. Another challenge is the sometimes limited shop floor experience of teachers with a university degree. In some fields, therefore now possible to acquire teaching qualifications by completing a specialist vocational qualification (ISCED 4) or some other qualification or training that provides solid competence in the field concerned.

Second, they have a pedagogical teacher training qualification with 60 ECTS credit points, and third, they need relevant work experience in their own field. Teachers of vocational units take teacher’s pedagogical studies at five vocational teacher education institutions (universities of applied sciences) while teachers of common units (such as languages and mathematics) generally complete them at universities.

The content of teacher training is updated continuously by vocational teacher education colleges. Teacher education institutions enjoy wide autonomy in deciding on their curricula and training arrangements. Legislation sets the qualification requirements, but only at a very general level.

Requirements for trainers

Trainers are generally experienced foremen and skilled workers. They frequently have a vocational or professional qualification but hold no pedagogical qualifications.

There are no formal qualifications requirements for trainers in Finland. Their participation in continuing professional development is also left completely up to them and their employers.

There are, however, training programmes available for trainers that follow national guidelines (as recommended by the Finnish National Agency for Education). According to the guidelines, training for trainers comprises three modules, providing participants with the capabilities required in order to: plan training at the workplace; provide vocational competence demonstrations; instruct VET learners and assess their learning; and impart vocational skills. The Finnish National Agency for Education recommends that, where possible, people acting as workplace trainers should participate in the training of trainers. VET education providers are responsible for providing the training.

There is also plenty of autonomy for continuing professional development (CPD) for VET teachers. The CPD obligation of teaching staff is defined partly in legislation and partly in the collective agreement negotiated between the Trade Union of Education in Finland and the employers’ organisation.

Most continuing training is provided free of charge and teachers enjoy full salary benefits during their participation. Funding responsibility rests with teachers’ employers, mainly local authorities. Training content is decided by individual employers and the teachers themselves.

The Parasta osaamista project set up a network for improving VET teacher’s CPD. It started in 2016 and is coordinated by Jyväskylä university. The aim of the project is to support education staff during the implementation of the 2017-2018 VET reform. Emphasis is put on developing coherent practices; unifying quality criteria; promoting competence-based and customer-oriented VET in cooperation with the world of work; mapping the competence needs of VET staff; developing tools and operational models for workplace learning; and the induction of workplace instructors.

The 2016 teacher education development programme (Opettajankoulutuksen kehittämisohjelma) also aims to adopt a systematic and coherent structure for teachers’ competence development during their careers. It is recommended that education institutions prepare competence development plans, which will be underpinned by strategic plans and evaluations of competence by education providers. Particular attention is being paid to building up the vocational skills of young teachers and their opportunities for receiving support. CPD, promoting the integration of Finnish language learning into the vocational studies, language awareness focused teaching and collaborative instruction, is being organised.

VET schools offer short courses/events to upskill workplace instructors in relation to various themes, such as how to guide special needs learners at the workplace. The Parasta osaamista project also offers support for workplace instructors.

More information is available in the Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspective on teachers and trainers ([26]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/teachers-and-trainers).

 

 

Skills anticipation activities are well established and linked to policy-making. For more than a decade, socio-economic factors such as the effects of the economic recession, the gradually decreasing labour force, and the ageing population have increased the need to improve the match between supply and demand skills. As a result, significant investment in skills anticipation has been undertaken by the government and its partners. The aim is to steer the education system – both VET and higher education – to meet the needs of the labour market.

At national level, the Finnish National Agency for Education, which operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and Culture, produces long-term (10+ years) national forecasts ([27]https://beta.oph.fi/fi/tilastot-ja-julkaisut/julkaisut/osaaminen-2035) on the demand for labour and education needs in support of decision-making. It is supported by the skills anticipation forum, established in early 2017. The Ministry of Education and Culture decides on study places by field of education (around 10). At regional level, councils anticipate skills needs in the municipalities in the region. The forecasting data is also used for guidance and employment counselling to provide information regarding future employment opportunities. The Finnish National Agency for Education also supports regional forecasting efforts, which are carried out under the supervision of regional councils. The goal is to steer the number of learner places in education and training provision to ensure that it matches developments in the demand for labour as closely as possible.

In general, there is a high degree of stakeholder involvement in skills anticipation activities. Major trade unions, employers, regional councils, and representatives of education institutions are involved in anticipation exercises. The responsibility of education providers for anticipating and responding to labour market changes has increased, as operational targeting and steering powers ([28]It means among other things that VET providers can decide within the limits of the licence received from Ministry of Education and Culture what qualifications and training programmes to offer.) have been devolved to universities, universities of applied sciences, and VET providers. Providers are required to play an active role in addressing the national/regional labour market skills needs.

In addition, a wide range of national and regional EU-funded anticipation and forecast projects are carried out by organisations such as research institutions, labour market and industry organisations, VET providers, universities and universities of applied sciences. In particular, regional anticipation activities have developed rapidly in the past decade. Key players in these activities include regional councils, the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres), VET providers, and higher education institutions.

Governance and funding of the relevant exercises are the remit of three ministries (Education and Culture, Finance, Economic Affairs and Employment). These ministries engage in a variety of skills anticipation exercises, taking advantage of the long-term baseline forecasts of economic development produced by the Institute for Economic Research (Valtion Taloudellinen Tutkimuskeskus), a specialised state institution under the Ministry of Finance. The first regional anticipation projects were launched at the beginning of the 2000s. The ministries mostly finance development prognoses of branches, which also include the demand for labour.

Skills anticipation influences government policies on VET, higher education and adult education. Forecasts of future skills demand have an impact on decisions about education supply. Skills anticipation also has an impact on curriculum planning in VET and higher education institutions.

Dissemination of the data generated by skills anticipation exercises is an important element of the anticipation activity. The aim is to make the output from anticipation exercises accessible to a wide audience (policy-makers, employers, jobseekers and young people, etc.) through a range of channels including reports, workshops and online publications. Despite the focus on dissemination of skills anticipation data, there is a need to improve the user friendliness of the existing database to improve information for learners, job seekers and employers ([29]This section is based on Cedefop’s Skills Panorama (2017). Skills anticipation in Finland. Analytical highlights series.
http://skillspanorama.cedefop.europa.eu/en/analytical_highlights/skills-anticipation-finland
).

Quantitative anticipation

The Finnish National Agency for Education is responsible for quantitative anticipation. It has developed the Mitenna model for anticipating long-term demand for labour and educational needs. The model provides long-term data on changes in the demand for labour, natural wastage of labour ([30]A reduction in the number of employees, which is achieved by not replacing those who leave.), demand for skilled labour and educational needs. Quantitative anticipation is used to provide information on quantitative needs for vocationally and professionally oriented education and training in upper secondary vocational education and training, university of applied sciences education and university education. The focus is on anticipating the demand for labour over a period of circa 15 years ([31]Growth in competencies for Finland: proposed objectives for degrees and qualifications for the 2020s (Suomi osaamisen kasvu-uralle. Ehdotus tutkintotavoitteista 2020-luvulle).
http://julkaisut.valtioneuvosto.fi/handle/10024/75163
).

Qualitative anticipation

The Finnish National Agency for Education coordinated a project on future competences and skills, known as the VOSE project, between 2008 and 2012. The aim of this project was to create a process model for anticipating vocational competence and skills needs for the future (looking 10 to 15 years ahead).

The knowledge produced through the model serves different levels of education, including vocational, university of applied sciences and university education. Anticipatory knowledge may be utilised, for example, in the national core curriculum, in curriculum planning and the development of the content of education.

The development of the anticipation model has involved social partners representing the piloted sectors (the real estate and building sectors, the social, welfare and health care sectors and the tourism and catering sectors), representatives of research institutions and of various fields of education, as well as other experts in the sectors in question.

The anticipation model created in the VOSE project is now used in the qualitative anticipation of education and training. The model is used to anticipate the skills needs in 2 to 3 fields every year ([32]https://www.oph.fi/english/education_development/anticipation).

National forum for skills anticipation

The National Forum for Skills Anticipation (Osaamisen ennakointifoorumi) serves as a joint expert body in educational anticipation for the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish National Agency for Education. The system consists of a steering group, anticipation groups and a network of experts. The task is to analyse changing competence and skills needs; their impact on the development of education on the basis of the anticipation data; and to promote the interaction of education and training with working life in cooperation with the Ministry and Finnish National Agency for Education. Anticipation groups consist of representatives of employers, employees, education providers, educational administrators, teaching staff and researchers in each field. Anticipation groups are involved in both qualitative and quantitative anticipation work. There are nine anticipation groups representing the following fields:

• natural resources, food production and the environment;

• business and administration;

• education, culture and communications;

• transport and logistics;

• hospitality services;

• built environment;

• social, health and welfare services;

• technology industry and services;

• process industry and production.

See also Cedefop’s skills forecast ([33]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/skills-forecast) and European Skills Index ([34]https://skillspanorama.cedefop.europa.eu/en/indicators/european-skills-index)

The VET curriculum system consists of the:

  • national qualification requirements;
  • education provider´s competence assessment plan;
  • learner`s personal competence development plan.

 

Designing VET qualifications

Source: Finnish National Agency for Education.

 

National qualification requirements

Before the 2018 reform, the national qualification requirements for different qualifications were often updated every five to 10 years on average or whenever necessary, either partially or completely. Since 2018, updating the qualifications became a continuous process based on the changing needs in the world of work and the results of anticipation of skill needs.

The starting point for updating a qualification may be changes in the skills needs in the labour market. These changes can lead to a change of the qualification requirements, or even the qualification structure, of initial, further and specialist vocational qualifications. Changes to the qualification structure also require qualification requirements to be renewed. The process of preparing a qualification requirements document usually takes one to two years.

Within the national qualifications framework (NQF), the Finnish National Agency for Education has placed upper secondary vocational qualifications and further vocational qualifications at level 4 (referenced to level 4 of the EQF) and specialist vocational qualifications at level 5. The ECVET system ([35]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/events-and-projects/projects/european-credit-system-vocational-education-and-training-ecvet) was put into practice in Finland in 2014 and from the beginning of August 2018, in accordance with ECVET recommendations, vocational upper secondary qualifications have covered 180 credit points; further vocational qualifications 120, 150 or 180 credit points; and specialist vocational qualifications 160, 180 or 210 credit points. One year of full-time study corresponds to 60 credit points.

The qualification requirements are drawn up under the leadership of the Finnish National Agency for Education in tripartite cooperation with employers, employees and the education sector. Self-employed people are also represented in the preparation of qualification requirements in fields where self-employment is prevalent. The qualification requirements determine: the units included in the qualification; any possible specialisations made up of different units; selection of optional units in addition to compulsory ones; the vocational skills required for each qualification unit; the guidelines for assessment (targets and criteria of assessment); and the ways of demonstrating vocational skills.

The qualification requirements and the vocational competences form the basis for identifying the types of occupational work processes in which vocational skills for a specific qualification can be demonstrated and assessed.

When an update is initiated, the Finnish National Agency for Education sets up a qualification project, inviting experts representing employees, employers and teachers in the field to participate. In the course of its work, the expert group must also consult other experts in the world of work. Once the expert group has completed a draft version of the new qualification requirements, the document will be sent to representatives of unions, organisations, the world of work and VET providers for a broad consultation process. Following this process, the Finnish National Agency for Education adopts the qualification requirements as a nationally binding regulation.

The Finnish National Agency for Education determines the working life committee under which the specific qualification will fall, or establishes a new working life committee for the new qualification. Working life committees are tripartite bodies consisting of employers and employees’ representatives, teachers and self-employed people. They play a key role in the quality assurance of VET. They ensure the quality of the implementation of competence demonstrations and competence assessment and develop the VET qualifications structure and qualification requirements.

Vocational qualifications are structured in a modular way. These modules comprise units of work or activities found in the world of work. Each vocational qualification unit is a specific occupational area, which can be separated into an independent and assessable component. The vocational skills requirements determined for each qualification unit focus on the core functions of the occupation, mastery of operating processes and the occupational practices of the field in question. These also include skills generally required in working life, such as social skills and key competences for lifelong learning. All qualification requirements share a common structure.

The targets of assessment defined in the qualification requirements indicate those areas of competence on which special attention is focused during assessment. The criteria for assessment have been derived from the vocational skills requirements. The assessment criteria determine the grades awarded for units in upper secondary vocational qualifications and the standard of an acceptable performance in further and specialist qualifications. The section entitled ‘Ways of demonstrating vocational skills’ describes how candidates are to demonstrate their vocational skills in vocational demonstrations.

The qualifications requirements adopted by the Finnish National Agency for Education are published in electronic form on the Finnish National Agency for Education website.

Competence assessment plans

Competence assessment plans are prepared by the respective education provider for each training programme or qualification. The plan details the guidelines and procedures adopted by the education provider regarding the implementation of competence assessment. The plan includes how the following aspects are to be carried out (who does what, how, where it is registered and how the student, staff and stakeholders ([36]Teachers, guidance and counselling staff and assessors of competence.) are informed): recognition of prior learning; demonstration of competence; skills assurance before the demonstration of competence; assessment; certification; preparatory programme planning; and monitoring the implementation of the plan itself.

The competence assessment plan is used by teachers, guidance personnel and assessors of competence. The feasibility of the plan is self-monitored and self-assessed by VET providers as part of their quality assurance system. The plan is attached to the application for a licence to provide VET.

Learner personal competence development plan

At the beginning of VET studies objectives for competence development are recorded in a personal competence development plan for each learner. A teacher draws up the plan together with a learner. An employer or another representative of a workplace or other cooperation partner may also participate in the preparation of the personal competence development plan, when required. The plan includes information on, for example, identification and recognition of prior learning, acquisition of missing skills, competence demonstrations and other demonstration of skills, and the guidance and support needed. Prior learning acquired in training, working life or other learning environments has to be recognised as part of the qualification. The learner can also include units from general upper secondary curriculum, other vocational qualifications (incl. further vocational qualifications and specialist vocational qualifications) or degrees of universities of applied sciences in their personal competence development plan. The plan can be up-dated during the studies whenever necessary.

Involvement of the world of work in developing qualification requirements and quality in VET

The representatives of the world of work participate in the anticipation of skills and education needs both nationally and regionally, for example through anticipation groups, advisory committees and through consultation processes. They participate in drawing up the qualification requirements at national level and they are represented in working life committees.

At regional level the representatives from enterprises participate in the organisation and planning of training and skills demonstrations, regional committees as well as assessment of skills demonstrations. This allows continuous feedback from the world of work.

In 2017, the former 30 national education and training committees were replaced by nine anticipating groups representing different vocational fields (see Section 3.1.3). Members of these groups are representatives of employers, employees and self-employed entrepreneurs, as well as VET providers, higher education institutions, teaching staff, researchers and educational administration. The anticipating groups are appointed until 2020. Their tasks include:

• analysing changing and new competence and skills needs of working life and their implications for different levels of education;

• offering recommendations for the development of VET programmes;

• strengthening cooperation between upper secondary VET and higher education;

  • providing public authorities with recommendations on new development needs and cooperation between the world of work and education.

Continuous improvement of VET quality is a key priority in Finland. The following activities are essential when assuring that vocational education and training meets the requirements of the world of work.

 

Stakeholder roles in assuring VET quality

Source: Finnish National Agency for Education.

 

The quality assurance of VET consists of VET provider´s own quality management, national VET steering and external evaluation.

VET legislation sets the frame for VET providers’ operations. The law requires that the VET provider is responsible for the quality of qualifications and programmes offered and for their constant improvement. VET providers have to have a functional quality assurance system in place. According to the law, they must evaluate the quality, effectiveness (employability, pursuit of further education and feedback from learners and working life) and ‘profitability’ (i.e. how well the operations have met the needs of the learner and the world of work, and have the resources been used in an optimal way) of the qualifications, programmes and other operations. The purpose of VET provider self-evaluation is to recognise strengths and targets to be developed. The ministry offers non-compulsory criteria for self-evaluation to support the process.

The national VET steering includes legislation and regulations related to financing and qualification requirements. It also includes quality strategy, quality award competition, government subsidies for quality improvement, supporting materials produced by the ministry and the agency and criteria for self- and peer evaluation.

According to the VET legislation, VET providers also have to participate regularly in external evaluations of their operations and quality management systems and publish the main results of those evaluations. External evaluation includes the quality assurance of competence demonstrations and competence assessment made by the working life committees and evaluations made by the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre.

Supervision of qualifications

Working life committees are responsible for the supervision of qualifications. Their aim is to ensure the quality and working life orientation of VET. They are statutory bodies of elected officials, appointed by the Finnish National Agency for Education to manage a public duty.

The committees’ duties are:

• ensuring the quality of the implementation of competence demonstrations and assessment;

• participating in the development of qualification structure and vocational qualifications;

• processing learners’ rectification requests concerning competence assessments.

Working life committee members handle these tasks for three years, in addition to their regular duties. A maximum of nine members may be appointed to each working life committee. They must represent employers, employees, teachers and, if self-employment is common within the sector in question, self-employed professionals. There are 39 working life committees. Each working life committee is responsible for one or more qualifications. Working life committees participate in developing the qualification structure and in designing the qualification requirements. They also participate in quality assurance of skills demonstrations and assessment through national feedback, follow-up and evaluation data, and may also visit the skills demonstrations events, when necessary. Finally, they handle the requests related to the rectification of assessment.

Quality assurance of VET providers

The legislation on VET gives education providers a great deal of freedom in deciding on the measures concerning their education provision, use of public funding and quality management. The legislation obliges the providers to evaluate their training provision and its effectiveness as well as to participate in external evaluations. This means that the education providers need to have their own operating system that contains relevant and functional quality management measures (selected by VET providers).

Self-evaluation and external evaluation supports VET providers’ continuous improvement and results-oriented performance. Through evaluation, providers obtain information about major strengths and development needs. VET providers monitor, assess and analyse results achieved systematically through means such as surveys, quantitative indicators and self-evaluation. In VET, data and information are most often collected through queries ([37]VET provider collects feedback from learners twice: at the beginning of studies and at the end.) and assessments of learning outcomes. The VET provider collects the feedback from learners and saves the learners´ answers in the online system that has been developed for this purpose. The Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish National Agency for Education have access to the results.

External evaluation of training is frequently ([38]The term used in the legislation.) carried out, for example, by the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre. Internal audits, benchmarking and peer reviews are other methods employed in evaluation.

Learner feedback

Starting from 2020, one sixth of effectiveness-based funding will be granted to VET providers based on the feedback from learners. The feedback is collected via a centrally designed questionnaire which learners answer twice: at the beginning of the studies and at the end, once the learner has demonstrated all the skills and competences needed for the qualification. Learner feedback and its collection are regulated in the legislation.

In the questionnaire, the learners respond to statements rating them on a five-point scale from one (strongly disagree) to five (strongly agree). At the beginning of their studies learners are required to rate statements relating to the following themes: flexibility of starting time of studies and content of the individual programme; accreditation of prior learning; and support and guidance needed. At the end of their studies, learners give feedback concerning the following themes: flexibility in studies; the ways in which teaching facilities and the learning environment supported studies; receiving support and guidance during studies; equity between learners and workers at the workplace; opportunities to study and learn in the workplace; gaining of entrepreneurial competence; and assessment of their individual competence and readiness for the working life and further studies.

New quality assurance guidelines

The new quality assurance guidelines are currently being discussed by stakeholders to be published by the end of 2019. Since 2011, VET quality strategy has been in place, drawn up by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The 2018 reformed system has increased the significance of the quality management, together with the providers’ role in managing VET. The new strategy is supposed to cover all parts of the national quality assurance system:

• VET providers’ quality management;

• national steering of VET;

• external evaluation of VET;

except the method that VET providers may select themselves.

Validation of non-formal and informal learning has relatively long and established roots in Finland and the legislation and policies are well developed and detailed. However, there is no one single law for this; laws and regulations for each field of education define validation separately. These fields include general upper secondary education, vocational education and training (including continuing VET), and higher education. The core message of the legislation is that validation of non-formal and informal learning is a subjective right of the individual and the competences of an individual should be validated regardless of when and where they have been acquired. Validation is based either on:

• documentation presented; or

• competence demonstration.

The Vocational Upper Secondary Education and Training Decree (673/2017) defines the principles for recognising prior learning. Each student´s personal competence development plan must include recognition of prior learning. Prior learning acquired in training, working life or other learning environments has to be recognised as part of the qualification. The recognition of prior learning must be done in all VET qualifications: in vocational, further and specialist qualifications.

Equal opportunities are a long-standing fundamental principle of the Finnish education policy. The background of learners, including their financial circumstances, should not be a barrier to participation in education. Most education provision is publicly funded and free for learners from pre- primary to higher education levels. In addition, financial support for learners of all ages is available.

Financial support for full-time learners

Financial support is available for full-time VET learners. The main forms of support are study grants, housing supplements with transport subsidy and government guarantees for student loans. The first two of these are government-financed monthly benefits, while student loans are granted by banks.

Study grants

A study grant is available as soon as eligibility for child benefit finishes at the age of 17. The monthly amount before tax ([39]Learners pay taxes from their allowances if they receive income from other source(s).) is between EUR 38.50 and 249.01 depending on the age, marital status and type of accommodation.

Housing supplement and transport subsidy

The housing supplement covers 80% of the rent, but may not exceed EUR 201.60 per month. In addition, school transport subsidy is available when the distance between home and school exceeds 10 km and the monthly cost of travel is at least 54 euro.

Government guarantees for student loans

The government guarantees that student loans (with some exceptions) are available to learners who are receiving a study grant. A loan guarantee can, however, also be granted to learners, who are not receiving a study grant, if they live with their parent and they are 18–19 years of age and attend a secondary level education institution, or if they are under 17 and live alone.

Student loans are available from banks operating in Finland. The lending bank will check the loan guarantee details with the social insurance institution of Finland (Kansaneläkelaitos or Kela) when granting a loan. Interest, repayment and other terms and conditions applying to the loan are agreed between the bank and the learner. The amount of the loan is EUR 300 per month (in secondary education for learners under age 18) or EUR 650 per month (in secondary education for learners of age 18 or older )

Learning material supplement

Although upper secondary education is free of charge, learners are required to buy their own learning materials (for instance, books, toolsets and any other materials). A learning material supplement of EUR 46.80 per month (equal to approximately EUR 1 400 for three semesters) is to be granted from August 2019 onwards for VET learners if they are:

  • between age 17 and 19 and living with their parents/guardians;
  • 17 years old and living on their own; or
  • under age 17 and their parents’ annual income is less than EUR 41 100.

Study leave for employees

All employees in a contractual and public service employment relationship are entitled to study leave when the full-time employment relationship with the same employer has lasted for at least one year ([40]In one or multiple periods.). The maximum length of study leave with the same employer is two years over a period of five years. If the employment has lasted for less than a year, but for at least three months, the maximum length of study leave is five days.

The studies must be subject to public supervision. The study leave is unpaid unless otherwise agreed with the employer.

Employment Fund support for adult learners

The Employment Fund administered by social partners of the Finnish labour market supports employees’ professional development leading to a qualification. In 2015, the Employment Fund granted EUR 157 million in adult education allowances and scholarships for qualified employees.

Adult education allowance

An adult education allowance is available to employees and self-employed people who wish to go on a study leave for at least two months. The allowance is a legal right and can be granted to an applicant who has a working history of at least eight years (or at least five years by 31 July 2010), and who has been working for the same employer for at least one year. To qualify for the allowance, the applicant must participate in studies leading to a qualification or in further vocational training organised by a Finnish education institution under public supervision. The duration of the allowance is determined on the basis of the applicant’s working history and ranges from 2 to 15 months. Since 1 August 2010, the amount of the allowance has been equal to the amount of the earnings-related unemployment allowance. For example, in 2019, on the basis of a monthly salary of EUR 2 000, a learner will receive a gross education allowance of EUR 1 185.34 ([41]https://www.tyollisyysrahasto.fi/en/benefits-for-adult-students/full-adult-education-allowance/).

Scholarships for qualified employees

A scholarship is available for those who have completed a vocational, further or specialist qualification. The amount of the one-time scholarship is EUR 390 and it is tax-free. The scholarship must be applied for within a year after completing the qualification.

Depending on the agreement between employer and employee, an employer who takes on an apprentice may receive training compensation to cover the costs of training provided at the workplace. The amount of compensation to be paid to the employer is agreed separately with employer and VET provider as part of each apprenticeship contract. Average training compensation varies between EUR 100-200 per month for initial VET qualification and EUR 10-100 per month for continuing VET. It is funded by the municipal funds and is paid either by the local apprenticeship centre or the education institution providing apprenticeship training.

Guidance and counselling start at the beginning of basic education and continue through all education levels. The guidance and counselling provided within the education system are complemented by guidance services offered by public employment offices.

In upper secondary VET, guidance counsellors play a key role in coordinating, planning and implementing guidance and counselling. VET learners have a right to receive guidance and every VET provider has a guidance counsellor available (providers can share this service).

Teachers also play a big role in giving guidance for learners. But guidance is also an integral part of the work of all teachers. A teacher’s task is to guide and motivate the learners to complete their qualifications, support them in the planning of their further studies, help them to find their strengths and develop their learning skills. Guidance and counselling should enable all pupils to reach the best results possible for them. In the workplace, guidance is coordinated by a qualified trainer.

Teachers working as guidance counsellors in Finnish schools must have a teacher training qualification at Master’s level, supplemented by studies in guidance and counselling.

The topics covered by guidance and counselling include different education and training options and the development of learners’ capabilities to make choices and solutions concerning education, training and future career. Educational support and guidance also covers areas such as support for learning according to the individual capacity of the learners, school attendance and learner welfare.

There have been few major changes in guidance and counselling in recent years but, within the 2018 VET reform, the role of guidance and counselling has been emphasised. VET was made more individual and flexible for learners.

Learners’ individual needs and existing competences are taken into account in all vocational studies. A personal competence development plan is prepared for each learner. The plan is drawn up by the teacher or guidance counsellor together with the learner and, when applicable, a representative from the world of work. The plan identifies and recognises the skills previously acquired by the learner and outlines what kind of competences the learner needs and how they will be acquired in different learning environments.

In addition to guidance and counselling related to learning methods and practices, the personal competence development plan includes information on necessary supportive measures. The support received by a learner may include special teaching and study arrangements due to learning difficulties, injury or illness, or studies supporting learning abilities.

Please also see:

Vocational education and training system chart

Tertiary

Programme Types
Not available

Post-secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 5

Specialist VET,

WBL varies

ISCED 454

Work-based specialist VET, tailored individually, leading to EQF level 5, ISCED 454 (Erikoisammattitutkinto)
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

454

Usual entry grade

12+

Usual completion grade

12+

Usual entry age

19+

Usual completion age

19+

Length of a programme (years)

The duration depends on a person´s prior learning; usually it is less than 2 years ([59]Duration depends on the prior learning of the student, especially in the case of further and specialist vocational programmes, and is defined in the personal competence development plan of each learner.)

  
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?

It is possible to collect moderate student fees; on average 15% of the costs of the training.

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • training agreement;
  • apprenticeship;
  • programmes that comprise work-based learning but are not apprenticeships or fall under a training agreement category.
Main providers

The most common type of VET providers is vocational institutions (owned by municipalities, industry and service sector) ([61]Some VET providers are foundations or limited companies; they are categorised as ‘private’ but municipalities usually have shares in such companies/foundations.). They provide education and training to more than 75% of initial VET learners. Specialised (usually owned by one private company or association, e.g. a car manufacturer) and special needs (usually owned by municipalities and associations, e.g. Organisation for Respiratory Health) vocational institutions, fire, police and security service institutions (national) and folk high schools, sports institutions, music schools and colleges (local) account for less than 10% of learners in initial VET. Vocational adult education centres (public and regional) mostly provide further and specialist VET.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

The share of work-based learning (WBL) is individually planned for each learner in the personal competence development plan.

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • training agreement;
  • apprenticeship training contract.
Main target groups

Specialist vocational qualifications (continuing VET) are for adults who usually have work experience or other prior learning.

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

Admission to further vocational qualifications is decided on a case-by-case basis, taking work experience into consideration. However, work experience or prior qualifications are not a precondition for enrolling.

Assessment of learning outcomes

No final examinations exist in VET. Once learners successfully complete all the studies included in their personal competence development plans, the VET provider grants a certificate for the entire qualification or for one or more units of the qualification. All VET programmes ensure eligibility for higher education studies.

Diplomas/certificates provided

The national qualification requirements define the required vocational competence, principles of assessment and how the competence is demonstrated. They are drawn up by the Finnish National Agency for Education in cooperation with working life partners ([62]Representatives of the employees/self-employed and employers (altogether called ‘working life’ in Finland).).

Each qualification has a number of competence points:

  • 180 for initial/upper secondary vocational qualifications;
  • 120/150/180 for further vocational qualifications;
  • 160/180/210 specialist vocational qualifications.
Examples of qualifications

Specialist vocational qualification in horse care and management ([63]The specialist vocational qualification in horse care and management comprises four competence areas and qualification titles (in parentheses):
- managing horse stables operations (head groom);
- working as a specialist in farriery (farrier (SQ));
- equestrian sports management (equestrian sports manager);
- riding instruction (riding instructor (SQ)).
)

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates can:

  • enter the labour market
    • employed full time
    • employed and in education;
  • continue with further education.
Destination of graduates

NB: 2016 data (most recent).
Source: Education Statistics Finland (Vipunen): https://vipunen.fi/

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

The Vocational Upper Secondary Education and Training Decree (673/2017([64]https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/2017/20170673)) defines the principles for recognising prior learning. Each student´s personal competence development plan must include recognition of prior learning. Prior learning acquired in training, working life or other learning environments has to be recognised as part of the qualification. The recognition of prior learning must be done in all VET qualifications: in vocational, further and specialist qualifications.

General education subjects

N

All programmes leading to a qualification include vocational study units:

  • basic and field-specific study unit(s) (compulsory);
  • specialised study units (compulsory and optional);
  • communication and interaction competence;
  • mathematics and science competence;
  • citizenship and working life competence.

The common units may be included in further and specialist qualifications but only if this is seen as necessary when making the personal competence development plan.

Key competences

N

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

Secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 4

Initial VET programmes

WBL varies

ISCED 354

Mainly school-based VET programmes (also available as apprenticeship) leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354 (Ammatillinen perustutkinto)
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

10

Usual completion grade

12

Usual entry age

16

Usual completion age

19

Length of a programme (years)

3 ([44]Duration depends on the prior learning of the student, especially in the case of further and specialist vocational programmes, and is defined in the personal competence development plan of each learner.)

  
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

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • training agreement;
  • apprenticeship;
  • programmes that comprise work-based learning but are not apprenticeships or fall under training agreement category.
Main providers

The most common type of VET provider is vocational institutions (owned by municipalities, industry and service sector) ([46]Some VET providers are foundations or limited companies; they are categorised as ‘private’ but municipalities usually have shares in such companies/foundations.). They provide education and training to more than 75% of initial VET learners. Specialised (usually owned by one private company or association, e.g. a car manufacturer) and special needs (usually owned by municipalities and associations, e.g. Organisation for Respiratory Health) vocational institutions, fire, police and security service institutions (national) and folk high schools, sports institutions, music schools and colleges (local) account for less than 10% of learners in initial VET. Vocational adult education centres (public and regional) mostly provide further and specialist VET.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

=70-80% ([47]The share of work-based learning (WBL) is individually planned for each learner in the personal competence development plan.)

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • training agreement;
  • apprenticeship training contract.
Main target groups

A vocational upper secondary qualification (initial VET) is designed for young people who may not have any work experience and for adults who, for example, don´t have any formal qualification or who want to change their profession.

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

Admission to initial VET programmes requires a basic education graduation certificate.

Assessment of learning outcomes

No final examinations exist in VET. Once learners successfully complete all the studies included in their personal competence development plans, the VET provider grants a certificate for the entire qualification or for one or more units of the qualification. All VET programmes ensure eligibility for higher education studies.

Diplomas/certificates provided

The national qualification requirements define the required vocational competence, principles of assessment and how the competence is demonstrated. They are drawn up by the Finnish National Agency for Education in cooperation with working life ([48]Representatives of the employees/self-employed and employers (altogether called ‘working life’ in Finland).).

Each qualification has a number of competence points:

  • 180 for initial/upper secondary vocational qualifications;
  • 120/150/180 for further vocational qualifications;
  • 160/180/210 for specialist vocational qualifications.
Examples of qualifications

Initial vocational qualification in horse care and management ([49]Qualification holders manage daily stable maintenance and horse care tasks and are able to carry out the essential maintenance tasks associated with horse care, such as care of hooves and tack. In addition to basic competence in the field, qualification holders have specialist skills to work either as a groom or a riding instructor in various sectors of the horse industry.The qualification titles produced by the vocational qualification in horse care and management are groom and riding instructor.)

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates can:

  • enter the labour market
    • employed full-time
    • employed and in education;
  • continue with further education.
Destination of graduates

NB: 2016 data (most recent).
Source: Education Statistics Finland (Vipunen): https://vipunen.fi/

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

The Vocational Upper Secondary Education and Training Decree (673/2017([50]https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/2017/20170673)) defines the principles for recognising prior learning. Each student´s personal competence development plan must include recognition of prior learning. Prior learning acquired in training, working life or other learning environments has to be recognised as part of the qualification. The recognition of prior learning must be done in all VET qualifications: in vocational, further and specialist qualifications.

General education subjects

Y

All programmes leading to a qualification include vocational study units:

  • basic and field-specific study unit(s) (compulsory);
  • specialised study units (compulsory and optional).

In addition to the above, all initial vocational qualification programmes include study units that consist of common rather than specific vocational competence:

  • communication and interaction competence;
  • mathematics and science competence;
  • citizenship and working life competence.

The common units may be included in further and specialist qualifications but only if this is seen as necessary when making the personal competence development plan.

Key competences

Y

Key competences help students to keep up with the changes in society and working life. In the wake of the 2018 VET reform, key competences are no longer addressed as a separate part of vocational competence. They have been modified so that key competences are included in all vocational skills requirements and assessment criteria.

The key competences for lifelong learning are: digital and technological competence; mathematics and science competence; competence development; communication and interaction competence; competence for sustainable development; cultural competence; social and citizenship competence; and entrepreneurial competence.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

The share of vocational upper secondary (IVET) learners in 2017 was 73% of all VET learners ([51]https://vipunen.fi/en-gb/_layouts/15/xlviewer.aspx?id=/en-gb/Reports/Ammatillinen%20koulutus%20-%20opiskelijat%20-%20aikasarja_EN.xlsb).

EQF 4

Further VET,

WBL varies

ISCED 354

Work-based further VET, tailored individually, leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354 (ammattitutkinto)
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

12+

Usual completion grade

12+

Usual entry age

19+

Usual completion age

19+

Length of a programme (years)

The duration depends on a person´s prior learning; usually it is less than 2 years ([52]Duration depends on the prior learning of the student, especially in the case of further and specialist vocational programmes, and is defined in the personal competence development plan of each learner.)

  
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?

It is possible to collect moderate student fees; on average 15% of the costs of the training.

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits
Learning forms (e.g. dual, part-time, distance)
  • training agreement;
  • apprenticeship;
  • programmes that comprise work-based learning but are not apprenticeships or fall under a training agreement category.
Main providers

The most common type of VET providers is vocational institutions (owned by municipalities, industry and service sector) ([54]Some VET providers are foundations or limited companies; they are categorised as ‘private’ but municipalities usually have shares in such companies/foundations.). They provide education and training to more than 75% of initial VET learners. Specialised (usually owned by one private company or association, e.g. a car manufacturer) and special needs (usually owned by municipalities and associations, e.g. Organisation for Respiratory Health) vocational institutions, fire, police and security service institutions (national) and folk high schools, sports institutions, music schools and colleges (local) account for less than 10% of learners in initial VET. Vocational adult education centres (public and regional) mostly provide further and specialist VET.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

The share of work-based learning (WBL) is individually planned for each learner in the personal competence development plan.

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • training agreement;
  • apprenticeship training contract.
Main target groups

Further vocational qualifications (continuing VET) are for adults who usually have work experience or other prior learning.

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

Admission to further vocational qualifications is decided on a case-by-case basis, taking work experience into consideration. However, work experience or prior qualifications are not a precondition for enrolling.

Assessment of learning outcomes

No final examinations exist in VET. Once learners successfully complete all the studies included in their personal competence development plans, the VET provider grants a certificate for the entire qualification or for one or more units of the qualification. All VET programmes ensure eligibility for higher education studies.

Diplomas/certificates provided

The national qualification requirements define the required vocational competence, principles of assessment and how the competence is demonstrated. They are drawn up by the Finnish National Agency for Education in cooperation with working life ([55]Representatives of the employees/self-employed and employers (altogether called ‘working life’ in Finland)).

Each qualification has a number of competence points:

  • 180 for initial/upper secondary vocational qualifications;
  • 120/150/180 for further vocational qualifications;
  • 160/ 180/210 specialist vocational qualifications.
Examples of qualifications

Further vocational qualification in horse care and management ([56]The further vocational qualification in horse care and management comprises eight competence areas and seven qualification titles (in parentheses): provision of equine-assisted services (provider of equine services); provision of horse breeding service (same as previous); provision of equine massage services (horse massage therapist); farriery (farrier); tack-making (tack-maker); riding instruction (riding instructor (FQ) ); training and coaching riding horses (trainer of young riding horses); provision of training services in harness racing (trainer of trotters).)

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates can:

  • enter the labour market
    • employed full time
    • employed and in education;
  • continue with further education.
Destination of graduates

NB: 2016 data (most recent).
Source: Education Statistics Finland (Vipunen): https://vipunen.fi/

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

The Vocational Upper Secondary Education and Training Decree (673/2017([57]https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/2017/20170673)) defines the principles for recognising prior learning. Each student´s personal competence development plan must include recognition of prior learning. Prior learning acquired in training, working life or other learning environments has to be recognised as part of the qualification. The recognition of prior learning must be done in all VET qualifications: in vocational, further and specialist qualifications.

General education subjects

N

All programmes leading to a qualification include vocational study units:

  • basic and field-specific study unit(s) (compulsory);
  • specialised study units (compulsory and optional);
  • communication and interaction competence;
  • mathematics and science competence;
  • citizenship and working life competence.

The common units may be included in further and specialist qualifications but only if this is seen as necessary when making the personal competence development plan.

Key competences

N

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

VET available to adults (formal and non-formal)

Programme Types
Not available