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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 Poland comprises the following main features:

  • high decrease in participation in VET programmes at upper secondary and post-secondary levels (35.6% during 2005-2017 period) mainly due to demographic challenges and reduced interest in VET among young learners. However, during last several years a small increase in the share of students in vocational education can be observed;
  • participation in VET programmes at the upper secondary level remains slightly higher than in general education;
  • the share of the population with an upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary level of education, for both men and women, is much higher than the EU average;
  • early leaving from education and training is significantly below the EU-28 average and has remained stable over the last decade;
  • participation in lifelong learning remains well below the EU-28 average and has been stable in the past decade;
  • the VET system has been under continuous reform over the last few years aiming to improve its quality and effectiveness.

Distinctive features ([1]Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Poland. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8125_en.pdf.
)([1a]Information on the Polish VET system is also partially based on: Chłoń-Domińczak, A. et al. (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe – Poland. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe reports 2018.
):

Over the past three decades, Poland’s education system has undergone several profound changes in its structure, forms of organisation and management, as well as of the core curriculum. As a result of these changes, distinctive VET features were developed:

  • a flexible VET system allows changing pathways at any point;
  • the classification of occupations for vocational education includes a list of occupations for which VET programmes can provide education. Each occupation comprises one to two qualifications that can be acquired in IVET and CVET. A VET qualification diploma can be issued only when all qualifications required for an occupation have been acquired (via State vocational examinations), together with a school leaving certificate;
  • core curricula for all VET occupations included in the classification of occupations. Separate VET qualifications within specific occupations are described in the core curricula as a set of expected learning outcomes: knowledge, occupational skills, and personal and social competences allowing learners to handle their occupational tasks independently. Learning outcomes are linked to detailed assessment criteria;
  • autonomy of VET schools in developing their teaching programmes, based on VET core curricula, and in choosing either subject-centred or modular programmes, which can be easily modified, depending on labour market needs;
  • uniform external vocational examinations, centrally organised;
  • vocational qualification courses allowing adults to acquire qualifications faster than IVET learners;
  • validation of competences acquired in different learning contexts, including professional experience, by taking external examinations.

The main challenges for VET are:

  • raising attractiveness of VET in society;
  • continuous adaptation of core curricula to the challenges and current needs of the labour market;
  • increasing employer engagement in organising practical training, identifying and forecasting skills and qualification needs in the labour market, and in reviewing VET curricula;
  • adjusting VET teachers’ qualifications and competences by easing access to traineeships in enterprises;
  • assuring a suitable number of VET teachers and trainers with adequate competences through the professional development of teachers and attracting young people to the profession;
  • encouraging adult learners to LLL;
  • encouraging sustainable cooperation between VET schools and higher education institutions (HEI) aimed at transferring HEI good practices in teaching, training and developing teachers’ competences;
  • assuring high quality guidance and counselling for all age groups;
  • providing high quality infrastructure for VET schools to ensure teaching and training in line with labour market needs.

Several recent initiatives undertaken by the education ministry address these challenges:

  • new measures in the VET system were introduced by the education ministry in November 2018 ([2]The Act of 22 November 2018 amending the Act on the Education Law, the School Education Act and other acts:
    http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/DocDetails.xsp?id=WDU20180002245.
    ) focusing on strengthening the mechanisms of including employers in the development of VET in all its stages and the systematic adaptation of vocational education to the needs of the labour market, in particular:

    •  strengthening cooperation between employers and schools mainly in relation to practical training and teacher professional development in enterprises;
    •  expanding the implementation of work-based learning in VET, introducing a new form of apprenticeship;
    •  introducing an annual forecast of the demand for employees in VET occupations and directing more funds to occupations of special demand on the labour market;
    •  strengthening different quality assurance mechanisms e.g. introducing a requirement for all VET learners to take a State vocational examination or a journeyman's examination, enhancing the accreditation system for institutions providing CVET;
    •  allowing VET schools to organise shorter forms of vocational courses of special importance for adult learners.
  • the Act on the Integrated Qualifications System (2016) has brought together the qualifications framework, register of qualifications that can be attained, quality assurance and validation principles. General and higher education level qualifications are included in the register;
  • non-statutory qualifications linked to CVET have been registered based on the initiative of VET providers or other stakeholders;
  • new regulations strengthening guidance and counselling in schools were developed and are being implemented; 
  • new core curricula for vocational education were developed by the education ministry together with the Centre for Education Development (ORE), employers and other stakeholders;
  • new sectoral skills councils have been established under the umbrella of the Polish Enterprise Development Agency, giving voice to sectoral stakeholders regarding the demand for competences at sectoral level to improve education and labour market matching; 
  • numerous initiatives addressing the above-mentioned challenges in VET were developed with ESF co-funding, including projects supporting: cooperation among VET schools and HEI, development of counselling and guidance in schools, development of programmes for vocational courses for adults, enhancing employers’ involvement in different stages of VET development and in organising practical training.

Based on VET in Poland Spotlight 2017 ([3]Cedefop (2018). Spotlight on vocational education and training in Poland. Luxembourg: Publication Office.
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/8125_en.pdf .
)

Population in 2018: 37 976 687 ([4]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].)

It decreased since 2013 by 0.2% due to negative natural growth ([5]NB: Data for population as of 1 January. Eurostat table tps00001 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

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

An old-age dependency ratio is expected to increase from 22 in 2015 to 65 in 2060 ([6]Old-age-dependency ratio is defined as the ratio between the number of persons aged 65 and more over the number of working-age persons (15-64). The value is expressed per 100 persons of working age (15-64).).

 

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

Source: Eurostat, proj_15ndbims [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Demographic trends have a direct impact on educational enrolment.

Since 2005, the overall number of enrolments in VET programmes at upper secondary and post-secondary levels decreased by 35.6%, which represents over half a million learners. The decrease was highest (40% or more than 350 000) in vocational upper secondary programmes.

 

Population aged 16-21 and number of vocational education students

Source: ReferNet Poland calculations based on data from the Local Data Bank, Statistics Poland: https://bdl.stat.gov.pl/BDL/start and Statistics Poland (2018b) [accessed 20.9.2018].

 

However, this phenomenon is also related to the reduced interest in VET among young people. Over the last three decades, the share of students in VET has decreased from 78% to almost 60%. During the last several years the proportion of learners in general upper secondary vs. vocational upper secondary and vocational post-secondary education has remained at approximately 40:60. Since the mid-2010s, a small increase in the share of students in vocational education is observed.

Poland is rather homogeneous country in terms of nationality and language. According to the 2011 National Population and Housing Census ([7]Statistics Poland (2015). Struktura narodowo-etniczna, językowa i wyznaniowa ludności Polski [The national-ethnic, linguistic and religious structure of the Polish population]. Warsaw: Statistics Poland.
https://stat.gov.pl/files/gfx/portalinformacyjny/pl/defaultaktualnosci/5670/22/1/1/struktura_narodowo-etniczna.pdf .
) 97,09% of people declared Polish nationality and 98,2% declared  that they use the Polish language at home. However, due to the increased migration to Poland in recent years, changes in these percentages in the next census may be expected.

The Act on national and ethnic minorities distinguishes 9 official national minorities and 4 national ethnic minorities in the country. The constitution guarantees these groups the freedom to preserve their own language, customs and traditions, and develop their own culture. There are special forms of support provided to learners from national and ethnic minorities:

  • inclusion of the minority language and the regional language into the educational activities required of the student, the course of one’s own history and culture to additional educational activities for the student (at the request of the student’s parent) ([8]Ministry of the Interior and Administration: Polish legislation and solutions regarding the protection of languages of minorities [Ustawodawstwo i rozwiązania polskie w zakresie ochrony języków mniejszości].
    http://mniejszosci.narodowe.mswia.gov.pl/mne/oswiata/informacje-dotyczace-o/8302,Ustawodawstwo-i-rozwiazania-polskie-w-zakresie-ochrony-jezykow-mniejszosci.html [accessed 30.4.2019].
    );
  • learning of a minority language and a regional language can be conducted in schools in various ways; the number of teaching hours depends on the way it is taught;
  • external examination regulations are adjusted for learners of the language of the national minority, ethnic minority and the regional language.

According to SIO data, 809 learners in 29 VET schools (first stage sectoral schools and vocational upper secondary schools) were learning national/ethnic minority or regional languages in line with above-mentioned regulations in the 2018/2019 school year.

As far as foreign learners in Poland are concerned, the following forms of support are available to foreigners subject to compulsory education:

  • education and care in all types of public schools and kindergartens provided up to the age of 18 or age of graduating from school at the secondary and post-secondary level on the same terms applicable to Polish citizens ([9]Ministry of National Education: information on the education of foreigners in the Polish education system [Informacja o kształceniu cudzoziemców w polskim systemie oświaty]. https://www.gov.pl/web/edukacja/informacja-o-ksztalceniu-cudzoziemcow-w-... [accessed 30.4.2019].);
  • admission to schools on the basis of diplomas which does not have to be formally recognised;
  • free-of-charge Polish language classes, additional compensatory classes in a given subject, preparatory classes (oddziały przygotowawcze) set up at schools,
  • additional classes of the language and culture of the country of origin, organised at school by the diplomatic/consular mission or a cultural/ educational association;
  • assistance to the learner provided by a person who speaks the language of the country of origin, employed as a teacher's assistant;
  • different ways of facilitating external examinations taken by foreign students.

Also, certain groups of foreign adult learners (e.g. EU nationals, persons with different types of permits granted in Poland, selected scholarship holders, etc.) can benefit from education in public schools for adults, public post-secondary schools, public art schools, public colleges of social work and different forms of lifelong learning in the form of vocational courses, under the same conditions as Polish citizens.

In the 2018/2019 school year, there were approximately 44,000 foreigners in Polish schools and pre-schools ([10]Ministry of National Education: education of children coming from abroad in the Polish education system [Nauka dzieci przybywających z zagranicy w polskim systemie edukacji].
https://www.gov.pl/web/edukacja/nauka-dzieci-przybywajacych-z-zagranicy-w-polskim-systemie-edukacji [accessed 30.4.2019].
).

The enterprise sector in Poland is dominated by microenterprises. In Poland, 96.2% of enterprises are microenterprises ([11]PARP (2018). Małe i średnie przedsiębiorstwa w Polsce 2018 [Small and medium enterprises in Poland]. Warsaw: PARP.
https://www.parp.gov.pl/storage/publications/pdf/male%20i%20srednie%20przedsiebiorstwa%20w%20polsce%20w%202018%20r.pdf .
). They produce 31% of GDP and significantly affect the labor market - they generate 40% of the jobs in the enterprise sector. The number of micro-enterprises has increased in recent years.

Small-sized companies account for 2.8% of the Polish enterprise sector, produce 8% GDP and generate 12% of the jobs in the enterprise sector.

Medium-sized companies account for 0.8% of the Polish enterprise sector, produce 11% GDP and generate 17 % of the jobs in the enterprise sector.

Large-sized enterprises in Poland account only for 0.2% of the enterprise sector produce 24% GDP and generate 31% of the jobs in the enterprise sector.

The main economic sectors in Poland are wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food service activities, industry (except construction) and manufacturing.

Share of economic sectors in gross value added and income in 2017 (%)

Sector

2017

Wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food service activities

25.7

Industry (except construction)

25.4

Manufacturing

19.3

Public administration, defense, education, human health and social work activities

14.6

Professional, scientific and technical activities; administrative and support service activities

8.5

Construction

7.0

Real estate activities

4.9

Financial and insurance activities

4.4

Information and communication

4.1

Agriculture, forestry and fishing

3.1

Arts, entertainment and recreation; other service activities; activities of household and extra-territorial organisations and bodies

2.2

NB: NACE_R2/TIME.

Source: Eurostat nama_10_a10 [extracted 4.5.2019].

The following sectors have the largest share of Polish exports ([12]SITC nomenclature: sections.):

  • machinery and transport equipment (34.8%);
  • manufactured goods (17.7%); and
  • chemicals and related products (14.5%) ([13]Statistics Poland, Yearbook Trade of Foreign Statistics of Poland 2018; Table 7 and 24.).

The employment structure in Poland has not undergone any significant changes over the last few years. The share of services in total employment increased slightly and in 2017 reached around 58%, which is still far below the EU28 average of around 74%. The employment share in industry is rather stable in Poland at around 30-32% and the share in agriculture decreased from 13.1% in 2010 to 10.2% in 2017.

Employment share by economic sector in Poland (%)

 

2017

Industry

31.7

Females

17.2

Males

43.4

Agriculture

10.2

Females

8.9

Males

11.3

Services

58.1

Females

73.9

Males

45.3

Source: The Local Data Bank of Statistics Poland: https://bdl.stat.gov.pl/BDL/start [accessed 23.12.2018].

Most employed women are in services (73.9%), while the share of employment in services and industry of men is very similar, 45.3% and 43.4% respectively.

The labour market tends to be deregulated in Poland. However, in some cases access to and practice of some occupations/professions are subject to the possession of a specific professional qualification. The EC Regulated professions database ([14]European Commission - Regulated professions database [accessed 4.5.2019]:
https://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/regprof/
) lists 360 regulated professions in Poland.

The rules of access to professions are determined by the ministers responsible for specific fields.

The regulated occupations in Poland are divided into two groups:

  • sectoral system occupations, which are automatically recognised in all EU member states (e.g. attorney, doctor, pharmacist, nurse, architect); and
  • general system occupations – more numerous – in the case of which additional requirements for a given profession in given country must be met (e.g. teacher, sworn translator, tourist guide, customs agent, etc.).

Total unemployment ([15]Percentage of active population, 25 to 74 years old.) (2018): 3.2% (6.0% in EU28); it decreased by 2.6 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.
ISCED 0-2 = less than primary, primary and lower secondary education.
ISCED 3-4 = upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education.
ISCED 5-8 = tertiary education.
Source: Eurostat, lfsa_urgaed [extracted 16.5.2019].

 

Unemployment is distributed unevenly between those with low- and high-level qualifications. The gap has increased during the crisis as unskilled workers are more vulnerable to unemployment. In 2018, the unemployment rate of people with medium-level qualifications, including most VET graduates (ISCED levels 3 and 4) was lower than in the pre-crisis years. In the past five years, there was an overall decrease of unemployment in all age groups and by all types of education levels.

Employment rate of 20 to 34-year-old recent VET graduates increased from 72.7% in 2014 to 79.1% in 2018 and still remains below the EU-28 level.

 

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

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

 

The increase (+6.4 pp) in employment of 20-34 year-old VET graduates in 2014-18 was higher compared to the increase in employment from 75.2% to 80.0% (+4.8pp) of all 20-34 year-old graduates in the same period ([17]Eurostat table edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].).

For more information about the external drivers influencing VET developments in Poland 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 Poland. Cedefop research paper; No 67. https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/poland_cedefop_changing_nature_of_vet_-_case_study.pdf

Participation in tertiary education in Poland has significantly increased over the last three decades, which is connected to an increase in the perceived value of education and higher educational aspirations. From 2009 to 2018, the share of the population with tertiary education increased from 21.2% to 30.9% but remains slightly below the EU average (32.2%).

For the last several years, the share of the population with an upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary level of education, for both men and women has been slowly decreasing, from 66.8% in 2009 to 61.5% in 2018, but is still much higher than the EU average (45.7%).

Poland has the third lowest share (far below the EU average) of people with no or low education level attained (7.6% in 2018). This indicator has been gradually decreasing in the last few years (12% in 2009).

 

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

NB: Data based on ISCED 2011; low reliability for ‘No response’ in Czechia, Iceland, Latvia and Poland.
ISCED 0-2 = less than primary, primary and lower secondary education.
ISCED 3-4 = upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education.
ISCED 5-8 = tertiary education.
Source: Eurostat, lfsa_pgaed [extracted 16.5.2019].

Share of learners in VET by level in 2017

lower secondary

upper secondary

post-secondary

Not applicable

51.7%

100%

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

 

Share of initial VET students over all upper-secondary students (ISCED level 3), 2017

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

 

In 2017/2018 school year females constituted 46% of all learners in VET programmes, however the share differs depending on the type of programme - in post-secondary programmes, females are the majority (71,1%), in programmes at the upper secondary level, there are many more males than females, with the lowest share of females in the first stage sectoral programmes (31,5%).

Share of female learners in VET programmes in the 2017/2018 school year (%)

Type of programme

Female learners

Vocational upper secondary programmes

39.6

First stage sectoral programmes

31.5

Post-secondary programmes

71.1

Special job-training programmes

41.6

Total

46.4

Source: Statistics Poland - Education in the 2017/18 school year.

Female learners prefer the following fields of study:

  • in post-secondary programmes: hygiene and work safety, personal services, business and administration, medical study;
  • in first stage sectoral programmes: personal services, business and administration and manufacturing and processing;
  • in vocational upper secondary programmes: personal services, business and administration, social and behavioural science.

The share of early leavers from education and training in 2018 was 4.8%, which is much lower than the EU-28 average of 10.6%. The share is slightly lower than in 2009 (5.3%). Despite high attainment rates, it is still slightly above the national target for 2020 of not more than 4.5%.

 

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].

 

 

Participation in lifelong learning in 2014-18

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

 

Participation in lifelong learning in Poland has remained at a very low level (4.0%) till 2017, while in 2018 reached 5.7%. However, it remains 5.4 percentage points below the EU-28 average.

Education level, age and labour market activity are the factors differentiating the rate of participation in training; persons who are unemployed and have a low level of education often do not participate in educational activities. Age is also a strong determinant of participation in education; people in older age groups not only participate in training less often, but also study less on their own (informal learning).

 

Learners in VET schools by age group

NB: Participants of vocational qualification courses not included.
Includes basic vocational/first stage sectoral programmes, upper secondary vocational programmes, special job-training and post-secondary programmes.
Source: own calculations based on data from the School Information System (SIO).

 

Young learners constitute the majority in VET schools – with only post-secondary schools intended for adult learners. This is connected with the establishment of vocational qualifications courses for adult learners which replaced VET schools for adults at the upper secondary level. Vocational qualifications courses were introduced in 2012 as a quicker way of obtaining vocational qualification. Data on the age of participants of vocational qualifications courses is not available and was not included in the chart.

The education and training system comprises:

  • preschool education (ISCED level 0);
  • eight-year primary education (szkoła podstawowa); a programme divided into two four-year parts (basic and lower secondary level) (ISCED levels 1 and 2)
  • upper secondary education (ISCED level 3);
  • post-secondary non-tertiary education (ISCED level 4);
  • tertiary education including colleges of social work (ISCED levels 5 to 8).

The education system in Poland is currently undergoing structural transformation. In December 2016, the education ministry introduced reforms aimed to prolong the time children spend within one educational programme and to develop a vocational education system that is responsive to the needs of a modern economy. Key elements of the reform included:

  • phasing out lower secondary school (gimnazjum);
  • restructuring six-year primary education (szkoła podstawowa) into an eight-year programme divided into two four-year parts (basic and lower secondary level);
  • extending the general upper secondary programme (liceum ogólnokształcące) to four years instead of three, and the vocational upper secondary programme (technika) to five years instead of four;
  • introducing two-stage sectoral programmes (dwustopniowa szkoła branżowa); the first stage sectoral school has replaced the basic vocational school (zasadnicza szkoła zawodowa) as of 2017/18, while the second stage sectoral schools will begin to operate in 2020/21.

Changes in the school structure are accompanied by the gradual development of new core curricula. The school system will be transitioning until 2022/23. During this period, some previous programmes will be functioning alongside the new ones until they are completely phased out.

Education is compulsory up to 18 years of age, while full-time school education is compulsory up to age 15. Full-time compulsory education lasts 9 years (the last year of pre-school education and 8 years of primary school education). Compulsory education for 15-18 year olds can take place as part-time education, both in and out of school, e.g. in the form of short qualifications courses or vocational training for juvenile workers.

Pre-school education is provided in pre-schools (przedszkole) for two-and-a-half to six-year-old learners.

Primary and lower secondary education is provided in primary schools (szkoła policealna) and lasts typically eight years from age 7 to 15. Work preparation classes for SEN learners are available in the last two years of primary school. A three-year special job-training programme for SEN learners is available for primary school graduates.

Upper secondary education can be provided by different types of schools and take the form of a general upper secondary four-year programme (licea ogólnokształcące), a vocational upper secondary five-year programme (technika) or a three-year first stage sectoral programme (branżowa szkoła pierwszego stopnia), which can be followed by a two-year second stage sectoral programme. Upper secondary education is typically available to primary school graduates (usually 15 year-olds), apart from the second stage sectoral programme, which will be available to graduates of the first stage programmes (18 year-olds).

Post-secondary non-tertiary programmes are provided by post-secondary schools (szkoły policealne) and can be attained in one- to two-and-a-half years. They are available to graduates of general and vocational upper secondary programmes, as well as in the future – of second stage sectoral programmes (usually 19-20 year-olds).

A special form of education is provided by colleges of social work (kolegium pracowników służb społecznych), offering programmes at the ISCED 5 level. These colleges provide three-year programmes for the occupation of social worker.

Completing any type of VET programme and obtaining a school leaving certificate is not the same as attaining a vocational qualification. Learners in the formal VET system can be awarded two types of documents confirming attained learning outcomes:

  • vocational certificates (certificate of a vocational qualification in an occupation); and
  • vocational diplomas (vocational qualifications diploma).

Learners can obtain a vocational diploma only by obtaining both all the qualifications distinguished in an occupation (vocational certificate/s) and a school leaving certificate. Vocational qualifications can only be attained by passing an external State vocational examination.

Each qualification includes specific sets of learning outcomes defined in the core curricula for vocational education. Learning outcomes are grouped in units, which typically contain from several to over a dozen learning outcomes and reflect specific professional tasks. The core curriculum for general education determines the learning outcomes related to the general education component and key competences provided by VET programmes ([18]For vocational upper secondary programmes, it also defines the learning outcomes that must be achieved by a person in the process of attaining the qualification of the matura certificate.).

Adults aged 18 and older can be awarded a vocational certificate after passing the State vocational examination extramurally. By taking extramural exams, adults may also acquire certificates of completion of general education schools.

Formal VET leads to four qualification levels (2 to 5) that are the same as in the European qualifications framework (EQF).

The VET system comprises initial and continuing education. It can be offered as:

  • school-based programmes with obligatory work-based learning (WBL differing in scope and form, also including dual training/alternate training);
  • juvenile employment (apprenticeship scheme – with practical training with employer and theoretical training in school or in out-of-school forms, based on a contract between the learner and the employer)([19]An additional new form – the student apprenticeship – will be available for learners of vocational upper secondary programmes and first stage sectoral programmes as of September 2019.);
  • out-of-school forms – different types of courses based on the core curricula.

Apprenticeship schemes on secondary and post-secondary level:

  • juvenile employment for the purpose of vocational training (przygotowanie zawodowe młodocianych pracowników) dedicated to young people (15-18 years old) with a lower secondary education or 8-year primary education. It is based on a work contract between the learner and employer. In case of theoretical education taking place in school, arrangements between the school and employer regarding scope and organisation of training provided by both parties constitute an annex to the contract. Juvenile worker has a status of an employee and in case of theoretical training taking place in school – also of a student. During the training period, a juvenile worker is entitled to a salary (from 4 to 6 percent of the national average salary, depending on the subsequent year of training), social security benefits and holiday leave. Juvenile workers carry out their apprenticeship usually in SMEs, mainly in the craft sector.

Juvenile employment can take the following forms:

  • training for a profession (nauka zawodu) - apprenticeship with the theoretical education taking place at school (first stage sectoral programme) or in an out-of-school form (e.g. courses) and the practical training organised by the employer. Training for a profession lasts up to 36 months and is finalised with a State vocational examination or Journeyman’s examination (egzamin czeladniczy). In the 2017/2018 school year, juvenile workers constituted about half of all the learners in the first stage sectoral schools.
  • training for a specific job (przyuczenie do wykonywania określonej pracy) - a rare form limited to a small group of youth, prepares a learner to perform specific tasks in a profession. It lasts from 3 to 6 months and is finalised with a verifying examination. 

 

  • student apprenticeship (staż uczniowski). New form of apprenticeship which will be available as of September 2019. It will be open to learners in vocational upper secondary programmes and first-stage sectoral programmes, who are not juvenile workers. Student apprenticeship is based on the work contract between the learner and employer, with arrangements between the school and employer in the annex to this contract. Student apprenticeship covers all elements of the teaching programme and chosen elements or elements connected with a given occupation but not included in the programme. Students are entitled to a salary unless the contract says otherwise. 
  • dual training as a form of practical training. Apart from above-mentioned schemes apprenticeship might be arranged by school in cooperation with employers as one of the ways of organisation of practical training. In general, practical training (obligatory for all VET programmes) can be organised in different forms and venues - including also apprenticeship – alternate training/dual training with structured alternation of learning in an education and training setting with learning and working at a workplace. This form of organisation of practical training could be considered an apprenticeship however it is based on the contract between the school and employer not between employer and learner.

Apprenticeships for adult learners are also available. It is a form of support provided by Labour Offices and financed from the Labour Fund dedicated to unemployed and job seekers.

Apprenticeships for adults are carried out on the basis of a contract between a Labour Office, an employer and an institution responsible for conducting exams. Apprenticeships are provided in a form of occupational training and a training aimed at preparation for performing a specific job. In 2017, apprenticeships for adult learners attracted over 140 000 participants.

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

VET has three governance levels: national (ministries), regional (school superintendents, mainly in pedagogical supervision) and county (powiat – managing schools). The education ministry is in charge of VET policies at secondary level, supported by other ministries responsible for particular occupations. The Ministry of Science and Higher Education is responsible for higher VET. Social partners advise policy makers on necessary changes in VET.

The majority of public education institutions in Poland are managed by local government units. Counties (powiaty) are responsible for upper secondary schools, including vocational schools, and schools for children with special needs; the regions (województwa) are responsible for schools of regional and trans-regional significance (e.g. groups of schools or vocational schools important for the regional economy).

Central government units (usually ministries) often manage vocational and fine arts schools. All types of schools can also be established and managed by non-public institutions, such as religious and social associations. Generally, in Poland, the higher the education level, the higher the share of non-public institutions. The chart below presents the structure of vocational schools by type and management institution in 2016.

 

The structure of VET schools by type and managing institution in 2016

Source: ReferNet Poland calculation based on Local Data Bank, Statistics Poland: https://bdl.stat.gov.pl/BDL/start [accessed 24.9.2018].

 

In the 2017/18 school year, there were 6 071 VET schools in Poland. The majority (36%) of them were post-secondary vocational schools, followed by vocational upper secondary schools (31%), 25% constituted the first stage sectoral schools and 8% special job-training schools ([20]Statistics Poland (2018). Concise Statistical Yearbook of Poland 2018. Warsaw: Statistics Poland.).The decision to provide education for a particular occupation listed in the classification of occupations for vocational education is made at local level by the school principal in agreement with local authorities (county level) and after asking the regional labour market councils (advisory bodies) for their opinion concerning compliance with labour market needs. Teaching programmes can be developed individually by schools. The school principal is responsible for incorporating the learning outcomes in the teaching programme and providing the organisational requirements as defined in the core curricula.

The main resources for educational expenditure are:

  • the education part of the State budget’s general subsidy for local government units;
  • central government targeted grants;
  • the local government unit’s own income;
  • foreign funds (mainly EU funds).

The education part of the general subsidy from the State budget is the major source of funding of the education system in Poland. The amount of this part of the general subsidy for local government is defined annually in the Budgetary Act, and then the education ministry prepares an algorithm to distribute the educational funds among the local government units, based on the responsibilities ascribed to the different levels of local government (basically the number of students in each type of school) ([21]Number of adjustment weights are ascribed to different groups of students (e.g. SEN students, ethnic minorities, students in small schools, in rural regions, in sport classes); teacher qualifications are also included in the algorithm.). Since January 2018, the weights for vocational secondary schools have been different for four sets of categories of occupations; the distinction is based on the cost of the vocational part of the education. Additional weights were added for students of post-secondary programmes who obtained a vocational qualifications diploma and for participants of vocational qualification courses who passed the State vocational examination ([22]Regulation of the Minister of National Education of 15 December 2017 on the distribution of the school education part of the general subsidy for local government units in 2018. Journal of Laws 2017, item 2395.).

Further modifications of VET financing (increased state subsidies for learners of special demand occupations in VET schools indicated by the forecast of the demand for employees in vocational education occupations; increased subsidies for employers involved in training juvenile employees in those occupations) will be introduced as of 2020.

Local governments have the power to decide how to use the subsidy; they can decide not only how to allocate the funds to respective schools, but also to use them for other things than educational expenditures. As the chart below illustrates, municipalities and regions spend more on education than they receive as subsidy, but counties, which are mainly responsible for vocational schools, do not use the entire amount on education expenditures. The visible increase in expenditures in 2017 on all local government levels may be due to the structural reforms of the education system.

 

The ratio between educational expenditures and the State general subsidy for education by type of local government in the period of 2006-2017

The higher the ratio the greater the share of local spending. Value over 100 means that local government spends more than it receives from the central government.
Source: ReferNet Poland calculation based on Local Data Bank, Statistics Poland: https://bdl.stat.gov.pl/BDL/start [accessed 20.9.2018].

 

 

The structure of the educational expenditures of counties in 2017 by school type

Source: ReferNet Poland calculation based on Local Data Bank, Statistics Poland: https://bdl.stat.gov.pl/BDL/start [accessed 24.9.2018].

 

In addition to the subsidy, local government units can apply for targeted grants to implement specific public tasks, which usually require co-funding by the unit.

Non-public schools with a public school status are entitled to public funding equal to public schools.

In 2017, public (local and central government) expenditures for the education system reached PLN 71.9 billion (around EUR 16.8 billion), of which 10.4% was spent on vocational schools. Public spending on education as a share of GDP was 3.6%, which is slightly lower than in previous years ([23]Statistics Poland (2018). Oświata i wychowanie w roku szkolnym 2017/2018 [Education in the 2017/18 school year]. Warsaw: Statistics Poland. See also earlier editions.).

In VET there are:

  • general subject teachers;
  • theoretical vocational subject teachers;
  • practical vocational training teachers;
  • teachers/pedagogues providing educational support to learners;
  • teachers/psychologists providing psychological support to learners, teachers and parents;
  • teachers/methodological advisers providing support to teachers;
  • teachers/consultants who develop teaching materials, design and deliver in-service training courses for teachers and education managers, etc.;
  • in-company trainers (nationally referred to as practical vocational training instructors);
  • specialist in-company trainers (various groups of practitioners providing training as their primary or additional activity).

Teachers in public schools and pre-schools comprise 87% of all teachers and are employed on the basis of the Teacher’s Charter ([24]Act of 26 January 1982 - Teacher's Charter. Journal of Laws 1982, No 3, item 19 with further amendments.), which specifies working conditions, duties, rights, professional development requirements, and teachers’ salaries. In non-public schools, teachers are employed only on the basis of labour and civil law regulations.

General subject teachers should have at least a master’s degree.

Theoretical vocational subject teachers are required to have at least a master’s or bachelor’s degree, including pedagogical training.

Practical vocational training teachers are required to:

  • have the same qualifications as required for teachers of vocational theoretical subjects or the title of master in a craft or a pedagogical technical college (currently non-existing) diploma or a matura examination together with a vocational qualifications certificate and two years of work experience;
  • have a pedagogical qualification.

In-company trainers (practical vocational training instructors) can be employers or employees who are not teachers; they are required to have both the defined by the regulation combination of formal qualifications and years of work experience in a given occupation and the adequate pedagogical qualification ([25]Regulation of the Minister of National Education of 22 February 2019 on practical vocational training. Journal of Laws 2019, item 391.).

As regulated by the Teachers’ Charter, teachers have the right to participate in all forms of continuing professional development (CPD) and are obliged to follow CPD in line with the school’s needs. CPD is required from teachers on the path to higher advancement levels.

Teacher CPD is funded by local/regional budgets. School heads are responsible for assessing teacher CPD needs and preparing school professional development plans.

There are different public teacher training institutions at the national, regional and local levels, as well as numerous non-public teacher training institutions. The Centre for Education Development teacher training institution operates at the national level and covers both general and VET teacher CPD. In general, the main tasks of these institutions consist of developing teacher CPD programmes and educational materials, indicating CPD priorities, and implementing CPD programmes. Teacher training is also provided by higher education institutions.

Another form of CPD is offered by teachers/methodological advisers, who provide direct subject-oriented and methods assistance; support teachers in their professional development; organise conferences, seminars and workshops; and identify teachers' needs for counselling and vocational training. CPD is also provided at the school level via internal systems of professional development, including e.g. self-development teachers’ councils meetings, lessons, observations, study visits and others. Other forms of CPD include internships in enterprises for VET teachers. From September 2019 all VET teachers are obliged to participate in professional training in companies relating to the occupation they teach. Numerous educational resources (open bases) and CPD opportunities are available through ESF co-funded initiatives.

The Teacher’s Charter specifies four categories of job positions in the profession of teaching:

  • trainee teacher – first stage in a teacher’s career,
  • contractual teacher – awarded after one year and nine months of internship and passing an examination given by an examination commission;
  • appointed teacher – awarded after two years and nine months of internship and after passing an examination given by an examination commission;
  • chartered teacher – awarded after two years and nine months of internship, after having their professional achievement accepted by a qualification commission, and an interview.

These categories have direct impact on a teacher’s basic salary level. Teachers with outstanding performance may also be awarded the title of honorary school education professor.

In 2017/18, 55% of teachers were chartered teachers. In VET schools on upper secondary level, the share of chartered teachers was higher than 60%, however in post-secondary schools, it was only 23% ([26]Statistics Poland (2018). Oświata i wychowanie w roku szkolnym 2017/2018 [Education in the 2017/18 school year]. Warsaw: Statistics Poland. See also earlier editions.).

Practical training institutions are involved in improving the competence of in-company trainers by offering a broad range of thematic training. The most common training refers to methodology of vocational education and the use of standards for examination requirements.

System of sector skills councils

The system of sector skills councils, launched in 2016, consists of three components:

  • The programme Council on competences (Rada Programowa ds. Kompetencji – RPK) consists of representatives of ministries, training institutions, social partners, universities, non-governmental agencies, as well as labour market stakeholders. The RPK mainly focuses on building cooperation between the education community and entrepreneurs; it also encourages the development of sector councils and implements recommendations in the areas of science and education.
  • The sector skills councils are the central part of the system. Currently, there are seven active councils in the following sectors: health and social care; construction; finances; tourism; motorisation and electromobility; fashion and innovative textiles; ICT. Their main aims are:
    • to collect information from various labour market stakeholders and recommend systemic solutions and changes in the area of education;
    • to stimulate cooperation between education providers and employers;
    • to provide support in identifying and anticipating competency needs in a given sector.
  • The human capital study aims to increase knowledge about current needs in various sectors and enable the demand for competences and qualifications to be anticipated. The information collected in the study provides, among others, deeper insight about the skills gaps in the economy.

Integrated skills strategy

In 2017, the education ministry initiated the development of a national skills strategy. The strategy covers the whole area of education and training, i.e. general education, vocational education, higher education and adult learning. It takes into account both the demand side (demand for specific competences and qualifications) and supply (availability of qualifications and competences in society). The general part of the strategy was developed ([27]Ministry of National Education (2018). Zintegrowana Strategia Umiejętności – część ogólna [Integrated skills strategy: general part].
https://bip.men.gov.pl/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2018/08/zintegrowana-strategia-umiejetnosci-do-uzgodnien-i-konsultacji.pdf.
) and adopted by the government in January 2019. This will be followed by the development of the more detailed part of the strategy and strategy implementation.

Deficit and Surplus Occupation Monitoring

Since 2005, the Deficit and Surplus Occupation Monitoring survey (MZDiN) has been conducted by county and regional labour offices as well as the labour ministry. In 2015, a new methodology was applied – the survey is based mainly on the IT systems’ data of employment offices (on unemployed persons, reported vacancies, providers offering professional activation services), studies of online job offers, information obtained from employers in a questionnaire study, data from the Statistics Poland and the School Information System. Since 2015, the ‘Occupational barometer’, previously implemented in the Małopolska region, also started to be implemented in the whole country, conducted by the regional labour offices. It is a qualitative short-term (annual) forecast providing information on deficit and surplus occupations ([28]Regional Labour Office in Cracow (2017). Occupational barometer 2018: summary survey report for Poland.
https://wupkrakow.praca.gov.pl/documents/67976/5945701/Occupational%20barometer%202018.%20Summary%20Survey%20Report%20for%20Poland/ab63839e-e605-44eb-a904-92af5974d996?t=1531291708000 [accessed 30.4.2019].
).

New forecast of the demand for employees

The forecast of the demand for employees in vocational education occupations was introduced in 2018 as a new tool to help shape the vocational education and training offer. Starting with 2019, this forecast will be developed annually and published in the form of an announcement by the Ministry of National Education. The forecast will be based on analyses conducted by the Educational Research Institute using various data sources. The forecast will impact VET financing.

See also Cedefop’s skills forecast ([29]http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/skills-forecast)

The VET programmes available at the national level are developed on the basis of three regulations of the education ministry:

  • the classification of occupations for vocational education ([30]Regulation of the Minister of National Education of 15 February 2019 on the goals and tasks of education in vocational education occupations and classification of occupations for vocational education. Journal of Laws 2019, item 316.);
  • the core curricula for vocational education ([31]Regulation of the Minister of National Education on the core curricula for training in VET occupations and additional vocational skills in chosen VET occupations – regulation signed on 16 May 2019, awaiting for publication in Journal of Laws.);
  • the core curriculum for general education ([32]Regulation of the Minister of National Education of 14 February 2017 on the core curriculum for pre-school education and the core curriculum for general education in primary schools, including pupils with moderate and severe intellectual disabilities, and for general education in stage I sectoral vocational schools, general education in special schools preparing for employment, and general education in post-secondary schools. Journal of Laws 2017, item 356.).

The classification includes the list of occupations for which VET programmes can provide education. Qualifications ([33]The term ‘qualification’ is defined in the School Education Act, as in the European qualifications framework Recommendation 2008.) are distinguished within occupations; each occupation can be made up of either one or two qualifications. Currently, there are 215 vocational education occupations, including so-called ancillary occupations for people with minor intellectual disabilities.

Developing occupations within the classification of occupations

The introduction of new occupations to the classification is regulated by the Education Law. The classification of occupations is determined by the education minister in cooperation with the relevant ministers responsible for a given sector of the economy, who can submit their requests to include particular occupations in the classification. To anticipate labour market needs, representatives of employers and employees are consulted during the development stage of the classification.

Professional associations, organisations of employers, sector skills councils, social partners and other stakeholders’ organisations can submit their proposals to the relevant minister to establish a new occupation; in this way they shape the educational offer of the formal VET system. After the proposal has been approved, the education minister includes the occupation into the classification and appoints a working group to design the core curriculum for vocational education for that occupation.

Designing the core curriculum for vocational education

After the proposal has been approved, the education minister appoints a working group to design the core curriculum for vocational education for that occupation.

The working group contacts the institution which submitted the proposal for the new occupation to determine the learning outcomes, and then undertakes consultations with other experts in the field. At this stage, occupational standards, which are developed by the labour ministry, are considered.

The decision on the occupations offered by a given VET school is made by the school principal in agreement with local authorities (at the county level of government) and after asking the regional labour market councils (advisory bodies) for their opinion concerning compliance with labour market needs. Regional labour market councils shall take into the account the forecast of the demand for employees in vocational education occupations.

Modernising VET curricula

In order to improve the labour market relevance of VET education, the education ministry together with the Education Development Centre, has implemented an ESF co-funded project ‘Partnership for VET’ focusing on developing partnerships in vocational education and training in cooperation with employers and other social partners.

In the first phase of the project, a social partner forum was established - 25 sectoral teams of social partners were set up to better adjust VET to labour market needs, and particularly to recommend changes in the vocational core curricula and classification of occupations. In the following years, stakeholders prepared changes in numerous VET curricula and developed new curricula. Numerous teaching plans and programmes, career development paths together with diplomas and qualification supplements in Polish and English were also designed. By February 2018, 1048 employers actively participated in the project.

All VET schools are included in external and internal quality assurance systems. External quality assurance is provided through pedagogical supervision; it is conducted by the Regional Education Authorities (kurator oświaty) overseen by the education ministry. Pedagogical supervision covers four aspects: evaluation, an audit of legal compliance ([34]Legal compliance auditing aims to check whether the activities of schools comply with legislation.), monitoring and support.

The external evaluation of schools is conducted according to certain uniform procedures and requirements set in the legislation concerning:

  • the organisation of educational processes;
  • acquiring by students' skills and knowledge defined in the national core curriculum;
  • active participation of students;
  • shaping social attitudes, and respect for social norms;
  • support to students' development taking into account their individual circumstances;
  • cooperation with parents;
  • cooperation with local community;
  • including of findings from analyses of external exams’ results as well as external and internal evaluations;
  • school management.

It includes various research techniques (e.g. interviews, surveys, observation, document analysis) and takes into account the opinions of different stakeholders.

Reports from the external evaluations performed in schools are publicly available on a dedicated internet website ([35]System Ewaluacji Oświaty. Nadzór Pedagogiczny [Education evaluation system: pedagogical supervision]:
www.npseo.pl
).

The Head of the Regional Education Authority prepares an annual report on the results of the educational supervision conducted and presents it to the Minister for Education.

School principals are obliged by law to design and implement an internal quality assurance system. They should do this in cooperation with their teachers. School principals are relatively free in how they design and implement these systems, but are obliged to include the four aspects of pedagogical supervision mentioned above. Internal evaluation is conducted annually and needs to include issues important for each particular school. Its results are taken into consideration in the external evaluation. In order to help school principals in developing and implementing internal quality assurance procedures, the National Centre for Supporting Vocational and Continuing Education (KOWEZiU) prepared ‘Quality Standards for VET’ (2013), a document covering ten thematic areas ([36]The ten thematic areas of the quality standards are: (1) teaching programmes; (2) school staff; (3) school material resources; (4) organisation of teaching; (5) students with special needs; (6) cooperation with employers: (7) cooperation with domestic and international partners; (8) assessment and validation of learning outcomes; (9) counselling; (10) strategic management of the school.) related to quality assurance in VET, which are in line with the 2009 EQARF/EQAVET recommendation.

In the case of non-statutory qualifications included in the Integrated Qualifications Register (ZRK), quality assurance is provided by external quality assurance entities (Podmioty Zewnętrznego Zapewniania Jakości – PZZJ). The external quality assurance entity for a qualification is assigned by the relevant minister from the list of institutions selected for a given area of qualifications. There are also internal quality assurance mechanisms for institutions awarding qualifications; they are required to perform internal evaluations.

The system of external examinations

The system of external examinations is a key element for ensuring and improving the quality of education and qualifications attained in schools. The central examination board and eight regional examination boards are responsible for organising external examinations. The external examination system is supervised by the education ministry. In the external examination system, all examinees solve the same tasks and assignments to verify whether they have achieved the learning outcomes defined in the core curriculum. Trained examiners registered at the regional examination boards assess examination results. The central examination board analyses aggregate test and examination results and initiates research in the field of assessment. The results of external examinations are taken into consideration in both external and internal quality assurance as part of pedagogical supervision.

Starting in 2019, all students will be obliged to take a State vocational examination or a journeyman's examination as a condition for school graduation; up till now, this has been optional. This change aims to strengthen the role of the exam as a quality assurance mechanism.

School Information System

The collection and dissemination of information on the formal general and vocational education system by the School Information System (SIO) is an important element in ensuring the quality of qualifications. The system is maintained in electronic form and uses internet to provide information collected. Every school and education institution has to submit data regarding students, teachers, facilities, expenses, etc. Schools submit data through a web application. Information is collected regionally and then exported by regional education authorities to the education ministry. Each user group (ministries, Central Statistical Office, local authorities, etc.) has access to its relevant part of the data base, and some of this information is available to the public. The system was set up in 2004 but has functioned in this way since 2012 and has been continuously modernised. In 2017, a new regulation on the SIO was introduced ([37]The Act of 21 April 2017 r. on changes in the Act on the School Information System and some other acts:
http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/DocDetails.xsp?id=WDU20170000949
) relating mainly to changes in the scope of the data gathered within the system.

The VET system allows learners to attain qualifications (vocational certificates) through the validation of non-formal education and informal learning ([38]By taking extramural exams adults might also acquire certificate of completion of the general education schools (primary and secondary).). Persons can take extramural State vocational examinations conducted by regional examination boards if they are over 18 years old, have completed a lower secondary programme or an eight-year primary programme and have at least two years of learning or work in an occupation relating to the targeted qualification ([39]Documents confirming the fulfilment of these requirements are, in particular, school certificates, transcripts, education certificates or employment certificates related to work in a specific occupation, including those obtained abroad.). If they do not have two years of learning or work experience, they can enrol in a vocational qualifications course (KKZ). As of September 2018, the curriculum of the KKZ is based on the new curriculum for VET. Completion of a vocational qualification course entitles students to take the State vocational examination.

After successfully passing the State vocational examination, learners obtain the same vocational certificate as regular VET students. The fee paid by the applicant for the extramural examination is rather low, in 2019 approximately 45 EUR (15 EUR for the written part and 30 EUR for the practical part).

For more information about arrangements for the validation of non-formal and informal learning please visit Cedefop’s European database ([40]European database on validation of non-formal and informal learning:
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/european-database-on-validation-of-non-formal-and-informal-learning
).

In IVET, incentives include:

  • Scholarships for IVET students

In 2018, school scholarships range from PLN 99.20 to PLN 248 (from EUR 23 to EUR 57) per month depending on the decision of local authorities. The period of receiving a scholarship can range from one to ten months per school year. VET students can receive financial support when studying away from their community or when their family income is below the threshold for receiving social assistance benefits combined with social problems that the family is facing. Scholarships for good grades can also be granted to VET learners. Apart from the country level, there are also regional initiatives aiming to promote participation in VET. Some regional scholarships have been financed within EU-funded projects.

  • Salary for juvenile workers

Students who are juvenile workers are entitled to a salary. The amount of their salary cannot be less than 4% (in the 1st year of training) 5% (in the 2nd year of training) and 6% (in the 3rd year of training) of the average monthly salary (ranging from EUR 42 to EUR 68). Employers also pay mandatory social insurance on the basis of the salary paid to the juvenile worker.

Minimum salaries for juvenile workers in 2019

Period

1st year of training

2nd year of training

3rd year of training

1.06.2019. - 31.08.2019

198,04 PLN

247,55 PLN

297,06 PLN

45,93 EUR

57,41 EUR

68,90 EUR

1.03.2019. - 31.05.2019

194,55 PLN

243,19 PLN

291,82 PLN

45,12 EUR

56,40 EUR

67,68 EUR

1.12.2018. - 28.02.2019.

183,21 PLN

229,01 PLN

274,81 PLN

42,49 EUR

53,11 EUR

63,74 EUR

Source: own calculations based on legal acts in Poland.

  • Vocational training and support by the Voluntary Labour Corps

The Voluntary Labour Corps ([41]Voluntary Labour Corps (OHP),
http://www.ohp.pl.
) (Ochotnicze Hufce Pracy − OHP) is an organisation specialised in supporting youth at risk of social exclusion and unemployed under 25 years old, overseen by the labour ministry. The organisation offers young people over 15 years old without lower secondary education, the possibility to attain vocational qualifications and/or to supplement their education. Currently it has over 214 Corps agencies (2019) providing young people with the opportunity to complete their education and acquire professional qualifications before entering adult life. The Voluntary Labour Corps provide training in 64 professions, both in their own workshops or as on-the-job training with an employer. All students with low/no income receive free meals and accommodation during the education period. Students also receive guidance and pedagogical support. Each year, over 800,000 young people receive various forms of help from Corps agencies including individual psychological support, group workshops for active job-seeking, vocational courses, vocational courses offering certified qualifications, language courses, European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) course, driving course, entrepreneurship course, assistance in finding jobs and organising traineeships, as well as traineeships offered by employers.

In the area of continuing VET (CVET), support is organised mainly through the employment services and financed from the Labour Fund ([42]The Labour Fund (Fundusz Pracy) is a State special purpose fund operating under the Act of 20 April 2004 on the promotion of employment and labour market institutions (Journal of Laws 2004, No 99, item 1001 and later amendments).), as well as from the European Social Fund (ESF). This support includes:

  • vocational training;
  • loans for financing of the cost of training;
  • training vouchers;
  • vocational practice vouchers;
  • scholarships for youth from low income families for the period of education;
  • financial support for examination fees and vocational licence fees;
  • statutory training leave for employees.

The Labour Fund plays an important role in delivering state support for VET. It promotes participation by granting resources for vocational training initiatives. The training is mainly offered to unemployed people, but it can also be provided to other job seekers, such as, for example, people with disabilities. The participants of group training have the right to receive a monthly training grant that amounts to 120% of the unemployment benefit. The number of training hours per month should exceed 150. The cost of individual training cannot exceed 300% of the national average monthly salary. In 2017, more than 49 000 unemployed and other eligible individuals participated in various forms of training. The most popular form of training (more than 12 000 participants) was driver’s licence courses. The number of participants has declined mainly due to lower unemployment rate.

 

Participants in various forms of training support offered by the Labour Fund

Source: Warsaw: Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy (2018). Bezrobocie w Polsce w 2017 r. Raport tabelaryczny [Unemployment in Poland in 2017]. See also earlier editions.

 

Labour Offices support the organisation of vocational training for employees, but only at the initiative of employers (only when the employer has a special training fund). Up to 50% of the costs of the training can be refunded from the Labour Fund, but not more than the amount of the average monthly salary per participant. In the case of people over 45 years of age, the limit of the refund is 80% of the training costs, but not more than 300% of the average salary.

Labour Offices also fund apprenticeships organised in companies. Apprenticeships are nowadays available to all unemployed. In 2017, over 140 000 people participated in an apprenticeship scheme, including 46 000 youth under 25 years of age (33%). The number of participants in apprenticeship schemes, as well as the share of youth in all forms of training declined significantly between 2015 and 2017.

Training leave is provided to an employee. The leave (from six to 21 days) can be used to prepare for and take an examination or defend a thesis. Training leave can be paid (to cover lost income) to an employee if an employer requires or agrees to the need for the training before it starts.

Employers who provide VET training to students of vocational programmes can receive the following support:

  • refund of trainers’ salaries;
  • refund of the extra salary paid to instructors;
  • refund of the cost of work clothes and necessary protective measures;
  • training allowance for work placement supervisors;
  • refund of the bonus for work placement supervisors;
  • subsidy for the salary and social security contribution for the juvenile worker for the period of vocational training from the Labour Fund. The financial limits on the refund are set each year. As of 2020, the employers training juvenile employees in the professions indicated by the forecast of the demand for employees in vocational education occupations will receive increased subsidies.

Employers believe that the financial support offered is not fully adequate to the resources devoted to such training. The period of vocational practice is seen as being too short, which means that students are not providing added value to the company’s performance ([43]Fila J.; Rybińska; A.; Trzciński R. (2014). Współpraca szkół zawodowych z przedsiębiorcami na przykładzie Działania 9.2 PO KL [Cooperation of vocational schools and entrepreneurs based on the Action 9.2 of the Human Capital Operational Programme]. Warsaw: Instytut Badań Edukacyjnych.).

Since 2014, employers have been able to use the National Training Fund (Krajowy Fundusz Szkoleniowy), part of the Labour Fund (Fundusz Pracy), to finance their employees’ training. It mainly finances courses and post-graduate studies attended by employees at the request of the employer; examinations enabling the attainment of vocational qualifications; medical and psychological examinations required for a job position; and personal accident insurance. In the case of microenterprises, the funding can cover 100% of the costs of continuing education, whereas in other types of enterprises, the employer covers 20% of the training cost. The training cost per employee cannot exceed 300% of the average salary in a given year. In 2017, 18 715 employers received support from the National Training Fund, resulting in training or other forms of assistance for 105,300 employees, which is an increase by around one-third compared to 2015.

A regulation concerning occupational/career guidance and counselling was introduced in September 2018 ([44]Regulation of the education ministry on vocational/career guidance in Polish schools entered into force on 1 September 2018.). Previously, occupational/career guidance/counselling had been implemented only on the basis of the provisions of the regulation on the principles of providing and organising psychological and pedagogical assistance.

According to the new regulation, occupational guidance is to be implemented in a planned and systematic way, in all types of schools, including VET schools. The regulation defines the goals as well as the terms and manner of implementing and organising guidance/counselling, including possible forms and detailed programme content, which vary depending on the school level.

The basic goal of guidance is to support students in the process of making independent and responsible decisions concerning their educational and professional life, based on learning about their own resources, the education system and the labour market.

Vocational guidance is to be conducted at all school levels, including:

  • Pre-schools [ISCED 0] - vocational pre-orientation
  • Primary school classes 1-6 [ISCED 1] - vocational orientation
  • 7th and 8th grades of primary school [ISCED 2] and secondary schools [ISCED 3] - vocational guidance activities.

Schools are required to develop their own programme to implement the intra-school guidance system for each new school year. This programme should include:

  • activities to implement occupational guidance (including the content of the activities, methods and forms of implementation, timeframe of implementation, persons responsible for implementation);
  • entities with which the school cooperates in this field.

Please see also:

Vocational education and training system chart

Tertiary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 5

College

programmes

ISCED 554

Colleges of social work leading to EQF level 5, ISCED 554 (kolegia pracowników służb społecznych)
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

554

Usual entry grade

13 or 14

Usual completion grade

15 or 16

Usual entry age

19 or 20

Usual completion age

21 or 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?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

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

Colleges conduct a day, evening or extramural form of education.

Learning forms:

  • school-based learning;
  • work-based learning – in-company training;
  • self-learning (allocation of hours is not specified).

The form, place and timetable of in-company training is determined by the director of the college in cooperation with the governing body, after consulting the Programme Council and the learners council.

Every college operates under academic and didactic supervision of selected HEIs.

Main providers

Colleges:

  • public colleges operated by regional authorities;
  • non-public colleges – operated by legal persons ([74]Regulation of the Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy of 15 September 2016 on colleges of social work. Journal of Laws 2016, item 1543.).
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

around 24%

Work-based learning type (workshops at schools, in-company training / apprenticeships)
  • general in-practice training in a social welfare centre;
  • general in-practice training in a 24-hour service;
  • specialist and graduate professional in-practice training.
Main target groups

Programmes intended for adults interested in obtaining the qualification of social worker.

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

Matura certificate is required to enroll. A medical certificate stating that the learner is able to practice as a social worker is also needed.

Assessment of learning outcomes

To complete a college programme, learners must pass a final internal exam carried out by the examination board appointed by the head of the college. The diploma confirms that the learner has attained the qualification of social worker.

In selected colleges, operating under given HEIs didactic care, participation in the programme leads also to BA exam and BA degree. However this option is not compulsory.

Diplomas/certificates provided

The learner receives a diploma confirming the completion of a college of social work, certifying the qualification of social worker.

The graduation diploma is issued on the basis of documentation of the course of study conducted by the college.

BA certificate is also offered to programme graduates of selected colleges.

Examples of qualifications

Social worker.

Colleges can also provide specialised training in the field of social welfare, in a field of specialisation in the profession of social worker and social work supervisors.

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

College learners can enter the labour market or continue their studies in EQF 6 bachelor programmes.

In some colleges graduates who are interested in continuing their studies in EQF 6 bachelor programmes are offered recognition of the college curriculum.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

In some colleges it is possible to acquire validation of prior learning gained within programmes provided by HEIs.

General education subjects

N

Key competences

Y

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

<1% ([75]Own calculations based on Statistics Poland (2018). Oświata i wychowanie w roku szkolnym 2017/2018 [Education in the 2017/18 school year]. Four colleges with 234 students.)

Post-secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

Post-secondary

school-based programmes,

WBL ≥44.6%

1-2.5 years

ISCED 453

Post-secondary school-based programmes leading to ISCED 453 (szkoła policealna)
EQF level
5
ISCED-P 2011 level

453

Usual entry grade

13 or 14

Usual completion grade

13+

Usual entry age

19 or 20

Usual completion age

20+

Length of a programme (years)

1 to 2.5

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

There are public schools offering education free of charge but also numerous non-public schools charging fees for education.

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

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

These programmes are strictly vocational and do not include general education. The vocational parts consist of theoretical and practical aspects. They are mostly school-based. Schools have a relatively high level of independence regarding the organisation of practical training. The school director decides on the share of work-based learning, however it cannot be less than 50% of the hours foreseen for vocational education.

Main providers

Post-secondary schools:

  • public schools operated by local and regional authorities, associations, national companies;
  • non-public schools with public school accreditation operated by different providers (associations, foundations, companies, HEIs);
  • non-public schools without public school accreditation operated by different providers (companies- natural persons, commercial-law companies).
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

≥ 44.6% for programme in a day form

≥ 48.5% for programme in stationary or extramural form ([69]Own calculations of %WBL based on the assumptions provided in the Teaching Plans [Ramowe plany nauczania],
http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20190000639/O/D20190639.pdf .
)

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

The practical part of vocational education can be offered in:

  • school workshops;
  • continuing education centres ([70]Continuing education centres (centrum kształcenia ustawicznego - CKU) - public institutions (usually a school complex) in Polish education, usually with a long tradition, whose task is to provide continuous, free-of charge education for adults and enable them to get a profession. They provide advice to teachers and lecturers employed in adult education. The centres can also employ professional advisers specialised in adult education.) and vocational training centres ([71]Vocational training centres (centrum kształcenia zawodowego – CKZ) - newly set up public institutions created from the transformation of existing centres for practical training (placówka kształcenia praktycznego ) or vocational training and development centres (ośrodek dokształcania i doskonalenia zawodowego) responsible for supporting vocational education of VET learners in schools providing practical or theoretical training of juvenile workers. They will be also providing vocational training in the form of courses (professional skills, qualifying vocational courses or other courses - enabling to obtain and supplement knowledge, skills and professional qualifications).);
  • with an employer (can be organised in different ways, partially or fully at an employers’ premises, including also dual training/alternate training).

On-the-job training, a distinctive form of practical training, is mandatory for learners of post-secondary programmes and lasts from 4 to 12 weeks, depending on the type of occupation.

Main target groups

They are available to graduates of general and vocational upper secondary programmes and (in the future) second stage sectoral programmes.

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

Learners should have a secondary education or secondary sectoral education (graduates of general and vocational upper secondary programmes and second stage sectoral programmes).

Assessment of learning outcomes

The following forms of assessment of learning outcomes are foreseen:

  • school leaving certificate - confirms that a learner completed the programme. It contains a list of subjects covered and the final grades achieved. To obtain school leaving certificate no external exam is required. Final grades are based on internal on-going assessments of learners and certificate consist of annual classification grades determined in the highest-level class and annual classification grades achieved in the completed lower classes;
  • State vocational examination (taking exam is obligatory for school graduation as of September 2019) – confirms obtaining vocational qualification. The examination has two parts: written and practical. The candidate has to pass both in order to receive a vocational certificate/diploma. The exam is centrally organised and based on uniform requirements, the same examination tasks, assessed according to the same criteria and organised in the same way regardless of where the examination is held.
Diplomas/certificates provided

This programme leads to:

  • a school leaving certificate;
  • a vocational qualification (vocational certificate) after passing the State vocational examination;
  • a vocational qualifications diploma (issued when a learner has obtained all qualifications distinguished in an occupation and a school leaving certificate).
Examples of qualifications

Administration technician (technik administracji), cosmetics services technician (technik usług kosmetycznych), optician technician (technik optyk), numerous medical qualifications: e.g. dental hygienist (higienistka stomatologiczna), pharmaceutical technician (technik farmaceutyczny), electrocardiograph technician (technik elektrokardiolog).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Post-secondary programme graduates can enter the labour market. Those who have matura exam are eligible to continue on to tertiary education, however the programme does not provide such direct access.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

A vocational certificate can be awarded after passing the State vocational examination extramurally.

Persons can take extramural State vocational examinations conducted by regional examination boards if they are over 18 years old, have completed a lower secondary programme or an eight-year primary programme and have at least two years of learning or work in an occupation relating to the targeted qualification ([72]Documents confirming the fulfilment of these requirements are, in particular, school certificates, transcripts, education certificates or employment certificates related to work in a specific occupation, including those obtained abroad.). If they do not have two years of learning or work experience, they can enrol in a vocational qualifications course (KKZ).

By taking extramural exams adults can also acquire a certificate of completion of the general education schools.

General education subjects

N

These programmes are strictly vocational and do not include general education.

Key competences

Y

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

<26% ([73]Own calculations based on Statistics Poland (2018). Oświata i wychowanie w roku szkolnym 2017/2018 [Education in the 2017/2018 school year].)

Secondary

Click on a programme type to see more info
Programme Types

EQF 2

Work preparation classes

for SEN learners

Work preparation classes for SEN learners leading to EQF level 2 (oddziały przysposabiające do pracy)
EQF level
2
Usual entry grade

7

Usual completion grade

8

Usual entry age

15 ([47]This is a special programme for students at risk of early school leaving; in current legislation it is for 15-year-olds.)

Length of a programme (years)

2

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Education in Poland is compulsory up to 18 years of age, with full-time school education compulsory up to age 15.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

N

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

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

Classes combine general education and work preparation – both adapted to the individual learner’s needs and capabilities.

Main providers

Primary schools

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Not specified by the regulations.

The programme is developed and adjusted to the specific needs of a learner by a lead teacher.

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

Different forms of practical training available:

  • practical training in school;
  • practical training in VET schools (school workshops), continuing education centres ([48]Continuing education centres (centrum kształcenia ustawicznego - CKU) - public institutions (usually a school complex) in Polish education, usually with a long tradition, whose task is to provide continuous, free-of charge education for adults and enable them to get a profession. They provide advice to teachers and lecturers employed in adult education. The centres can also employ professional advisers specialised in adult education.) and vocational training centres ([49]Vocational training centres (centrum kształcenia zawodowego – CKZ) - newly set up public institutions created from the transformation of existing centres for practical training (placówka kształcenia praktycznego ) or vocational training and development centres (ośrodek dokształcania i doskonalenia zawodowego) responsible for supporting vocational education of VET learners in schools providing practical or theoretical training of juvenile workers. They will be also providing vocational training in the form of courses (professional skills, qualifying vocational courses or other courses - enabling to obtain and supplement knowledge, skills and professional qualifications).);
  • in-company training.
Main target groups

For learners over 15 years old with special education needs (SEN), at risk of early school leaving.

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

For learners over 15 years old at risk of not completing primary school in the usual mode, who:

  • received promotion to grade VII; or
  • did not receive promotion to grade VIII.

Enrolment requires confirmation from a psycho-social support institution on the need for this form of education.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Primary school leaving certificate is issued to those who completed the programme (with a special note with information on completion of work preparation classes).

Diplomas/certificates provided

School leaving certificate

Examples of qualifications

Not applicable

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Those who complete work preparation classes for SEN learners can enter the labour market or continue their education at the next EQF level.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Y

Key competences

Y

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

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

<1% ([50]Work preparation classes are not included in the statistics due to limited number of participants.)

EQF 4

Vocational upper

secondary programmes,

WBL ≥16.4%

5 years

ISCED 354

Vocational upper secondary programme (technikum) leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

9

Usual completion grade

13

Usual entry age

16 ([51a]Usually, the starting age of learners is 15, while the age of graduating first grade is 16.
)

Usual completion age

20

Length of a programme (years)

5

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Education in Poland is compulsory up to 18 years of age, with full-time school education compulsory up to age 15.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

N

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

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

The curriculum for upper secondary vocational programmes combines general and vocational education. The vocational parts consist of theoretical and practical aspects. Vocational schools have a relatively high level of independence regarding the organisation of practical training. The school director decides on the share of work-based learning however it cannot be less than 50% of the hours foreseen for vocational education (which combines both practical and theoretical training).

Main providers

Upper secondary vocational schools:

  • public schools (vast majority of schools) operated by local (county) and regional authorities;
  • non-public schools with public school accreditation operated by different providers (associations, companies - commercial law companies, natural persons).
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

≥16.4% ([51]Own calculations of %WBL based on the assumptions provided in the Teaching Plans [Ramowe plany nauczania],
http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20190000639/O/D20190639.pdf
)

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

The practical part of vocational education can be offered in:

  • school workshops;
  • continuing education centres ([52]Continuing education centres (centrum kształcenia ustawicznego - CKU) - public institutions (usually a school complex) in Polish education, usually with a long tradition, whose task is to provide continuous, free-of charge education for adults and enable them to get a profession. They provide advice to teachers and lecturers employed in adult education. The centres can also employ professional advisers specialised in adult education.) and vocational training centres ([53]Vocational training centres (centrum kształcenia zawodowego – CKZ) - newly set up public institutions created from the transformation of existing centres for practical training (placówka kształcenia praktycznego ) or vocational training and development centres (ośrodek dokształcania i doskonalenia zawodowego) responsible for supporting vocational education of VET learners in schools providing practical or theoretical training of juvenile workers. They will be also providing vocational training in the form of courses (professional skills, qualifying vocational courses or other courses – enabling to obtain and supplement knowledge, skills and professional qualifications).);
  • with an employer (can be organised in different ways, partially or fully at an employers’ premises, including also dual training/alternate training).

A distinctive form of practical training - on-the-job training - is mandatory for learners of vocational upper secondary programmes and lasts from 4 to 12 weeks, depending on the type of occupation.

An additional new form of WBL – the student apprenticeship – will be available for learners of this programme as of September 2019.

Main target groups

This programme is available to primary school graduates.

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

Learners should hold a primary school leaving certificate. Primary school graduates are usually 15 years old.

Assessment of learning outcomes

The following forms of assessment of learning outcomes are foreseen for learners:

  • school leaving certificate - confirms that a learner completed the programme. It contains a list of subjects covered and the final grades achieved. To obtain school leaving certificate no external exam is required. Final grades are based on internal on-going assessments of learners and certificate consist of annual classification grades determined in the highest-level class and annual classification grades achieved in the completed lower classes;
  • State vocational examination (taking exam is obligatory for school graduation as of September 2019) – confirms obtaining vocational qualification. The examination has two parts: written and practical. The candidate has to pass both in order to receive a vocational certificate/diploma. The exam is centrally organised and based on uniform requirements, the same examination tasks, assessed according to the same criteria and organised in the same way regardless of where the examination is held;
  • school leaving examination (matura) – a state, uniform secondary school leaving examination based on the core curriculum for general education and providing access to tertiary education. As of September 2019, the vocational diploma in an occupation taught on technician level will allow learners to skip one additional subject in the matura exam. The matura exam consists of two parts: the oral part (internal and assessed at school) and the written part – external, set by the Central Examination Board (Centralna Komisja Egzaminacyjna) and assessed by examiners included in the registers of the Regional Examination Boards (Okręgowa Komisja Egzaminacyjna).
Diplomas/certificates provided

This programme leads to:

  • a school leaving certificate giving learners a secondary education;
  • vocational qualifications (vocational certificates) after passing the State vocational examination;
  • a vocational qualifications diploma for occupations consisting of two qualifications (issued when a learner obtained both qualifications distinguished in an occupation and a school leaving certificate).
Examples of qualifications

Occupations provided by this programme are two-qualification occupations, for example: electrical technician (technik elektryk), automation technician (technik automatyk), multimedia and photography technician (technik fotografii i multimediów), construction technician (technik budownictwa), accountancy technician (technik rachunkowości), salesman technician (technik handlowiec).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Graduates of these programmes, after passing the secondary school leaving examination (matura), are eligible to continue to tertiary education.

Destination of graduates

According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), in the 1st quarter of 2017 the employment rate of recent vocational upper secondary programme graduates (one year after completing education) was 55.8%.

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

A vocational certificate can be awarded after passing the State vocational examination extramurally. Persons can take extramural State vocational examinations conducted by the regional examination boards if they are over 18 years old, have completed a lower secondary programme or an eight-year primary programme and have at least two years of learning or work in an occupation relating to the targeted qualification ([54]Documents confirming the fulfilment of these requirements are, in particular, school certificates, transcripts, education certificates or employment certificates related to work in a specific occupation, including those obtained abroad.). If they do not have two years of learning or work experience, they can enroll in a vocational qualifications course (KKZ).

By taking extramural exams, adults can also acquire a certificate of completion of the general education schools.

General education subjects

Y

The vocational upper secondary programme combines general and vocational education.

Key competences

Y

The core curriculum for general education determines the learning outcomes related to the general education component and key competences provided by VET programmes.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

Each qualification includes specific sets of learning outcomes defined in the core curriculum for vocational education. Learning outcomes are grouped in units, which typically contain from several to over a dozen learning outcomes and reflect specific professional tasks. The core curriculum for general education determines the learning outcomes related to the general education component and key competences provided by VET programmes.

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

56% ([55]Own calculations based on Statistics Poland (2018). Oświata i wychowanie w roku szkolnym 2017/2018 [Education in the 2017/18 school year].)

EQF 3

First stage

sectoral programmes,

WBL ≥31.8%

3 years

ISCED 353

First stage sectoral programme leading to EQF level 3, ISCED 353 (branżowa szkoła I stopnia)
EQF level
3
ISCED-P 2011 level

353

Usual entry grade

9

Usual completion grade

11

Usual entry age

16 ([56]Usually, the starting age of learners is 15, while the age of graduating first grade is 16.

 
)

Usual completion age

18

Length of a programme (years)

3

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Education in Poland is compulsory up to 18 years of age; full-time school education is compulsory up to age 15.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

N

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

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

The curriculum for first stage sectoral programme combines general and vocational education. The vocational parts consist of theoretical and practical aspects. Schools have a relatively high level of independence regarding the organisation of practical training. The school director decides on the share of work-based learning, however it cannot be less than 60% of the hours foreseen for vocational education (which combines both theoretical and practical training).

Main providers

First stage sectoral schools:

  • public schools (vast majority of schools) operated by local (county) authorities and associations;
  • non-public schools with public school accreditation operated by different providers (associations, companies - commercial law companies, natural persons).
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

≥ 33.7% for programme for graduates of phasing out lower secondary school gimnazjum

≥ 31.8% for programme for graduates of 8-year primary school ([57]Own calculations of %WBL based on the assumptions provided in the Teaching Plans [Ramowe plany nauczania].
http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20190000639/O/D20190639.pdf
)

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

The practical part of vocational education can be offered in:

  • school workshops;
  • continuing education centres ([58]Continuing education centres (centrum kształcenia ustawicznego - CKU) - public institutions (usually a school complex) in Polish education, usually with a long tradition, whose task is to provide continuous, free-of charge education for adults and enable them to get a profession. They provide advice to teachers and lecturers employed in adult education. The centres can also employ professional advisers specialised in adult education.) and vocational training centres ([59]Vocational training centres (centrum kształcenia zawodowego – CKZ) - newly set up public institutions created from the transformation of existing centres for practical training (placówka kształcenia praktycznego ) or vocational training and development centres (ośrodek dokształcania i doskonalenia zawodowego) responsible for supporting vocational education of VET learners in schools providing practical or theoretical training of juvenile workers. They will be also providing vocational training in the form of courses (professional skills, qualifying vocational courses or other courses - enabling to obtain and supplement knowledge, skills and professional qualifications).);
  • with an employer (can be organised in different ways, partially or fully at an employers’ premises, including also dual training/alternate training);
  • juvenile employment.

A special type of work-based learning is provided through juvenile employment for the purpose of vocational training (przygotowanie zawodowe młodocianych pracowników) for young people (15-18 years old) with a lower secondary education or primary education. In the 2017/2018 school year, juvenile workers constituted about half of all the learners in the first stage sectoral schools. Juvenile employment is based on a contract between the learner and employer. Juvenile employment for the purpose of vocational training most often takes the form of training for a profession (nauka zawodu) – this is an apprenticeship with the theoretical education taking place at a first stage sectoral school (or in out-of-school forms) and the practical training organised by the employer on the basis of a work contract. It lasts a maximum 36 months and is finalised with a State vocational examination. Practical training can also be organised by an employer in the craft trades, on the basis of a work contract. It also lasts a maximum 36 months and is finalised with a journeyman’s examination (egzamin czeladniczy).

An additional new form of WBL – the student apprenticeship – will be available for learners of this programme as of September 2019.

Main target groups

This programme is available to primary school graduates.

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

Learners should hold a primary school leaving certificate; primary school graduates are usually 15 years old.

Assessment of learning outcomes

The following forms of assessment of learning outcomes are foreseen for learners:

  • school leaving certificate - confirms that a learner completed the programme. It contains a list of subjects covered and the final grades achieved. It gives a learner a basic sectoral education. To obtain school leaving certificate no external exam is required. Final grades are based on internal on-going assessments of learners and certificate consist of annual classification grades determined in the highest-level class and annual classification grades achieved in the completed lower classes; 
  • State vocational examination – confirms obtaining vocational qualification. The examination has two parts: written and practical. The candidate has to pass both in order to receive a vocational certificate/diploma. The exam is centrally organised and based on uniform requirements, the same examination tasks, assessed according to the same criteria and organised in the same way regardless of where the examination is held; 
  • journeyman’s examination (egzamin czeladniczy) – exam for learners participating in juvenile employment organised by an employer in the craft trades. It has two parts: practical and theoretical. The practical part consists of tasks individually performed by a candidate. The theoretical part is both written and oral. Tasks are based on common examination requirements and the curriculum of the occupation.

As of September 2019, taking the State vocational examination or journeyman’s examination is obligatory for all learners as a condition for school graduation.

Diplomas/certificates provided

This programme leads to:

  • a school leaving certificate giving learners a basic sectoral education;
  • a vocational qualification (vocational certificate) after passing the State vocational examination;
  • a vocational qualifications diploma for a single-qualification occupation (after passing the State vocational examination and obtaining a school leaving certificate).

Learners participating in juvenile employment organised by an employer in the craft trades obtain a Journeyman’s certificate.

Examples of qualifications

Occupations provided by this programme are single-qualification occupations, for example: electromechanical worker (elektromechanik), locksmith (ślusarz), car tinsmith (blacharz samochodowy), gardener (ogrodnik), tailor (krawiec).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Completion of this programme provides access to further education: at the second year of general upper secondary programmes for adults or in the two-year second stage sectoral programme.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

A vocational certificate can be awarded after passing the State vocational examination extramurally. Persons can take extramural State vocational examinations conducted by regional examination boards if they are over 18 years old, have completed a lower secondary programme or an eight-year primary programme and have at least two years of learning or work in an occupation relating to the targeted qualification ([60]Documents confirming the fulfilment of these requirements are, in particular, school certificates, transcripts, education certificates or employment certificates related to work in a specific occupation, including those obtained abroad.). If they do not have two years of learning or work experience, they can enrol in a vocational qualifications course (KKZ). By taking extramural exams, adults can also acquire a certificate of completion of the general education schools.

General education subjects

Y

The first stage sectoral programme combines general and vocational education.

Key competences

Y

The core curriculum for general education determines the learning outcomes related to the general education component and key competences provided by VET programmes.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

Each qualification includes specific sets of learning outcomes defined in the core curriculum for vocational education. Learning outcomes are grouped in units, which typically contain from several to over a dozen learning outcomes and reflect specific professional tasks. The core curriculum for general education determines the learning outcomes related to the general education component and key competences provided by VET programmes.

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

17% ([61]Own calculation based on
Statistics Poland (2018). Oświata i wychowanie w roku szkolnym 2017/2018 [Education in the 2017/18 school year].
)

EQF 4

Second stage

sectoral programmes,

WBL ≥50%

2 years

ISCED 354

to be introduced in 2020/21

Second stage sectoral programme leading to EQF level 4, ISCED 354 (branżowa szkoła II stopnia)
EQF level
4
ISCED-P 2011 level

354

Usual entry grade

12

Usual completion grade

13

Usual entry age

19 ([62]Usually, the starting age of learners is 18, while the age of graduating first grade is 19.)

Usual completion age

20

Length of a programme (years)

2

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

N

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

Y

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

Y

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

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

This programme will begin operating in the 2020/21 school year. The curriculum of the second stage sectoral programme combines general and vocational education. The vocational parts consist of theoretical and practical aspects.

General education in this programme is planned to be limited, with the main focus placed on the vocational training to be conducted in the form of vocational qualification courses. Schools have a relatively high level of independence regarding the organisation of practical training. The school director decides on the share of work-based learning, however it cannot be less than 50% of the hours foreseen for vocational education (which combines both theoretical and practical training).

Main providers

This programme will begin operating in the 2020/21 school year.

Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

>=50% ([63]Percentage of the hours foreseen for vocational education.)

Calculations of % WBL for second stage sectoral programme vary depending on the following criteria: a) form of teaching, b) type of profession, c) type of learner i.e. phasing out lower secondary school (gimnazjum) graduate or primary school graduate. Number of hours for vocational education (both theoretical and practical) is provided in the Core curriculum for education in the profession of sectoral education (Podstawa programowa kształcenia w zawodzie szkolnictwa branżowego; 215 professions in 32 industries) and according to the Teaching Programme totals not less than 50% of the total number of hours for a given form of teaching.

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

The practical part of vocational education can be offered in:

  • school workshops;
  • continuing education centres ([64]Continuing education centres (centrum kształcenia ustawicznego - CKU) - public institutions (usually a school complex) in Polish education, usually with a long tradition, whose task is to provide continuous, free-of charge education for adults and enable them to get a profession. They provide advice to teachers and lecturers employed in adult education. The centres can also employ professional advisers specialised in adult education.), vocational training centres ([65]Vocational training centres (centrum kształcenia zawodowego – CKZ) - newly set up public institutions created from the transformation of existing centres for practical training (placówka kształcenia praktycznego ) or vocational training and development centres (ośrodek dokształcania i doskonalenia zawodowego) responsible for supporting vocational education of VET learners in schools providing practical or theoretical training of juvenile workers. They will be also providing vocational training in the form of courses (professional skills, qualifying vocational courses or other courses - enabling to obtain and supplement knowledge, skills and professional qualifications).) and with an employer (can be organised in different ways, partially or fully at an employers’ premises, including also dual training/alternate training).

A distinctive form of practical training is on-the-job training, which will be mandatory for learners of second stage sectoral programmes and lasts from 4 to 12 weeks, depending on the type of occupation.

Main target groups

This second stage sectoral programme aims at further developing the vocational qualifications attained in the first stage sectoral programme. The programme will be available to the graduates of the first stage sectoral programmes who obtained a qualification that constitutes part of an occupation taught in the second stage sectoral school. This programme will be open to adult learners who want to expand their qualifications.

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

Learners should have a first stage sectoral school leaving certificate and a vocational certificate of a qualification constituting part of an occupation taught in the second stage sectoral school.

First stage sectoral programme graduates are usually 18 years old.

Assessment of learning outcomes

The following forms of assessment of learning outcomes are foreseen for learners:

  • school leaving certificate - confirms that a learner completed the programme. It contains a list of subjects covered and the final grades achieved. It gives a learner a secondary sectoral education, however, this is not the same as attaining a vocational qualification. To obtain school leaving certificate no external exam is required. Final grades are based on internal on-going assessments of learners and certificate consist of annual classification grades determined in the highest-level class and annual classification grades achieved in the completed lower classes;
  • State vocational examination (taking exam is obligatory for school graduation as of September 2019) – confirms obtaining vocational qualification. The examination has two parts: written and practical. The candidate has to pass both in order to receive a vocational certificate/diploma. The exam is centrally organised and based on uniform requirements, the same examination tasks, assessed according to the same criteria and organised in the same way regardless of where the examination is held;
  • shool leaving examination (matura) – a state, uniformed secondary school leaving examination based on the core curriculum for general education and providing access to tertiary education. As of September 2019, the vocational diploma in an occupation taught on technician level will allow learners to skip one additional subject in the matura exam. The matura exam consists of two parts: the oral part (internal and assessed at school) and the written part – external, set by the Central Examination Board (Centralna Komisja Egzaminacyjna) and assessed by examiners included in the registers of the Regional Examination Boards (Okręgowa Komisja Egzaminacyjna).
Diplomas/certificates provided

This programme leads to:

  • a school leaving certificate giving learners a secondary sectoral education;
  • a vocational qualification (vocational certificate) after passing the State vocational examination;
  • a vocational qualifications diploma for occupations consisting of two qualifications (issued when a learner obtained both qualifications distinguished in an occupation and a school leaving certificate).
Examples of qualifications

Chemical technology technician (technik technologii chemicznej), hospitality technician (technik hotelarstwa), telecomunications technician (technik telekomunikacji).

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Second stage sectoral programme graduates will be eligible to continue to tertiary education after passing the secondary school leaving examination (matura).

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

Y

A vocational certificate can be awarded after passing the State vocational examination extramurally.

Persons can take extramural State vocational examinations conducted by regional examination boards if they are over 18 years old, have completed a lower secondary programme or an eight-year primary programme and have at least two years of learning or work in an occupation relating to the targeted qualification ([66]Documents confirming the fulfilment of these requirements are, in particular, school certificates, transcripts, education certificates or employment certificates related to work in a specific occupation, including those obtained abroad.). If they do not have two years of learning or work experience, they can enroll in a vocational qualifications course (KKZ). By taking extramural exams, adults can also acquire a certificate of completion of the general education schools.

General education subjects

Y

The second stage sectoral programme combines general and vocational education.

Key competences

Y

The core curriculum for general education determines the learning outcomes related to the general education component and key competences provided by VET programmes.

Application of learning outcomes approach

Y

Each qualification includes specific sets of learning outcomes defined in the core curriculum for vocational education. Learning outcomes are grouped in units, which typically contain from several to over a dozen learning outcomes and reflect specific professional tasks. The core curriculum for general education determines the learning outcomes related to the general education component and key competences provided by VET programmes.

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

Not applicable ([67]Second stage sectoral programmes will start operating from 1 September 2020.)

Special job-training

programmes,

(SEN learners)

ISCED 243

Special job-training programme leading to ISCED 243 (szkoła specjalna przysposabiająca do pracy)
EQF level
Not applicable
ISCED-P 2011 level

243

Usual entry grade

9

Usual completion grade

11

Usual entry age

16 ([68a]Usually, the starting age of learners is 15, while the age of graduating first grade is 16.
)

Usual completion age

18

Learners up to the age of 24 can participate in this programme.

Length of a programme (years)

3 (with the possibility of extending to 4 years)

  
Is it part of compulsory education and training?

Y

Education in Poland is compulsory up to 18 years of age, with full-time school education compulsory up to age 15.

Is it part of formal education and training system?

Y

Is it initial VET?

Y

Is it continuing VET?

N

Is it offered free of charge?

Y

Is it available for adults?

N

This is not intended for adults, but learners up to the age of 24 can participate in this programme.

ECVET or other credits

Not applicable

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

It provides educational activities (personal and social functioning classes; communication skills development classes, creativity development classes, physical education and job training classes), revalidation activities, and job training classes.

Main providers

Special job-training schools:

  • public schools (vast majority of schools) operated by local (county) authorities;
  • non-public schools with public school accreditation operated by different providers (associations, foundations).
Share of work-based learning provided by schools and companies

Share of work-based learning is not specified by the regulations. Job training classes constitute over half of the hours foreseen for the educational activities. The programme is developed and adjusted to the specific needs of a learner by a lead teacher.

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

Mainly practical training at school, including school workshops.

Main target groups

This programme is intended for young learners with moderate and severe intellectual disabilities or multiple disabilities.

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

Learners should have a primary school leaving certificate; primary school graduates are usually 15 years old. Additional enrolment requires confirmation from a psycho-social support institution on the need for this form of education (certificate recommending special education or rehabilitation-and-education classes).

Assessment of learning outcomes

Learners do not pass any external exams.

Descriptive assessment is used on a school-leaving certificate.

This programme leads to a job-readiness certificate (based on the teacher’s assessment) to perform specific tasks and not to a vocational qualification.

Diplomas/certificates provided

Learners receive school leaving certificate and a job-readiness certificate.

Examples of qualifications

Not applicable

Progression opportunities for learners after graduation

Those who complete this programme can perform some tasks in certain labour market occupations.

Destination of graduates

Information not available

Awards through validation of prior learning

N

General education subjects

Y

It combines vocational and general education.

Key competences

Y

It provides educational activities such as (personal and social functioning classes, communication skills development classes and physical education).

Application of learning outcomes approach

N

The core curriculum for this programme includes the aims of training, school assignments, forms of classes and detailed teaching content.

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

1% ([68]Own calculations based on data from Statistics Poland (2018). Oświata i wychowanie w roku szkolnym 2017/2018 [Education in the 2017/18 school year].)

VET available to adults (formal and non-formal)

Programme Types
Not available