Reference year 2019

    1Target group

    Q6. Does the legal basis define the minimum and maximum age limits for enrolment of the target group of this scheme?
    Minimum and maximum age limits defined
    Minimum age limits defined only

    Minimum and maximum age are set by law. They vary by apprenticeship scheme. For “Type 1: Apprenticeship for Vocational Qualification and Diploma, Upper Secondary Education Diploma and High Technical Specialisation Certificate” the minimum access age is 15 and the maximum age is 25. For Type 2 “Professional apprenticeship” the entry age is set at 18 and the maximum is 29. It is anyway possible to activate the contract at the age of 17 for those who already have a vocational three-year qualification. For “Type 3 Higher Training/Education and Research apprenticeship”, the minimum age is 18 and maximum age is 29.

    Q7. What is the average age of learners in practice?
    Between 15 and 18
    Between 18 and 24
    Above 24

    The three schemes cover 15-29 years old potential beneficiaries. Nevertheless, Type 1 and Type 3, despite a growing trend in the last three years, are still a few. On the other hand, professional apprenticeships is still the most used apprenticeship scheme in the country. As a result, learners are generally older than 18 and the average age is between 19-25 years.

    2Overview of the scheme

    Q8. Is the scheme included in the ISCED 2011 mapping?

    Italy is part of the ISCED 2011 mapping and apprenticeship Type 1 can lead to qualifications at ISCED-11 levels 3 and 4:

    • Vocational Training Certificate – ISCED level 3
    • Professional diploma – ISCED level 3
    • Upper Secondary Diploma  – ISCED level 4
    • High Technical Specialisation Certificate – ISCED level  4
    Q9. Is there any organization at the national level with roles in co-ordinating the scheme?

    Currently there is not a national level co-ordinating organization but the process of a unique body in charge of implementation and coordination of apprenticeship policies is underway.

    Q10. When was the scheme introduced?
    Long history (before 2000)
    Recently introduced (between 2000-2012)
    New pathway (after 2012)

    Legislative Decree 276/2003 explicitly established the 3 schemes of apprenticeships for the first time. Legislative Decree 167/2011, ‘Testo Unico sull'Apprendistato’ (Consolidated Text on Apprenticeships) reformed the legislative framework. The Type 1 apprenticeship legislative framework was substantially reformed again in 2015 by Legislative Decree 81/2015.

    Q11. How did the apprenticeship scheme originate?
    Traditional craftsmanship (master-apprentice relation) to prepare apprentices for the occupation
    School-based VET track by including more work-based learning to supply skilled workforce to match labour market needs

    Type 1 apprenticeship is part of the more general framework of education-work alternance, together with other schemes that aim at supporting the integration between education/VET systems and the labour market by limiting two problems:

    • early school/training leaving, to reduce the percentage of the 18-24 population with a lower secondary qualification as the highest educational level and not in further education or training);
    • the drop-out rate.
    Q12. What are the sources of financing of the direct costs for the in-company training part of the apprenticeship scheme?
    Single employers hosting apprentices
    Sectoral funds

    In type 1, the employer does not pay anything for the training hours spent outside of the company and pays the apprentice’s in-company training hours at 10% (net of other indications defined through collective labour agreements).

    The legislative framework envisages the possibility to pay in-company training through Bilateral Interprofessional Funds (jointly established and managed by Social Partners). Some limited experiences exist at the national level.

    Until 2019, employers offering Type 1 and 3 apprenticeships could benefit from additional financial incentives to support in-company trainers’ career development and to partially recoup training costs.

    Q13. Are there any financial incentives for companies that offer apprenticeship places?
    Yes, subsidies
    Yes, tax deductions
    Yes, other incentives
    No financial incentives

    The Type 1 scheme new regulation strongly encourages companies/employers to hire apprentices with specific incentives:

    • A favourable duty scheme, for all types of apprenticeship: The apprentice pays 5.84% of taxable wage for social insurance and the employer pays between 3% and 10%, or pays no contribution if the company has 9 employees or fewer.
    • Incentives defined in art. 32 Leg. Decr. 150/2015 specific for Type 1:
      - in case of contract termination (by employer) at the end of training period, the employer does not have to pay the so-called “Termination duty for NASpI”;
      - the employer’s tax (duty) rate, equal to 10% to be calculated on social security taxable gross wage, is reduced to 5%;
      - the employer does not have to pay the ASpI[2]/NASpI ordinary funding duty (which is due for the type 2  apprenticeship and it is 1.61% on social security taxable gross wage).

    Upon completion of type 1 apprenticeship i.e. once the apprentice has achieved the final qualification, the contract may be terminated by the employer or the apprentice. Otherwise, the contract may be transformed into a professional apprenticeship (type 2 scheme) for a further year. In this case, the employer receives an incentive to hire the apprentice equal to the payment of a flat rate of 10% of social security duty  (considerably lower than the one required to hire a qualified worker)

    To support the scheme’s implementation, the 2020 financial law introduced a new incentive for micro enterprises (less than 9 employees) offering type 1 apprenticeships from the 1st of January till 31st December 2020, namely the total exemption from social security contributions for a period of three-years.

    [1] New Social Security benefit for employment (NASpl) that will replace, in case of unemployment, beginning on May 1st, 2015, ASpI and mini-ASpl;

    [2] Social Unemployment Benefit (ASpl)

    Q14. How many learners are enrolled in this scheme?

    Data for 2019 will be provided as soon as they are available. INAPP is responsible for the annual monitoring activities on the basis of two main sources: the national social security authority INPS (for employment related aspects) and Regions and Autonomous Provinces (for data about the training activities they carry out).

    The latest available data, although provisionary, refer to 2017: according to the XVIII INAPP monitoring report, there were 10.537 type 1 apprentices in Italy.…


    Q16. Which is the type of qualification obtained through the apprenticeship scheme?
    Formal VET qualification (which does not indicate the pathway)
    Formal VET qualification (which indicates the pathway)
    Formal apprenticeship qualification (journeyman, etc.)

    The scheme applies to all sectors. Through Type 1 Apprenticeship four types of training/education qualifications may be obtained:

    • Vocational Qualification.
    • Vocational Diploma.
    • Upper Secondary (general) Education Diploma.
    • High Technical Specialisation Certificate.

    NB: two more qualifications than in the old Type 1, which covered only VET Qualifications and Diplomas.

    Q17. Is the qualification included in the National Qualification Framework (NQF)?
    There is no NQF

    The Type 1 scheme covers EQF 3, 4.

    Q19. Does the scheme provide direct access to higher education?

    The new legal framework for Type 1 Apprenticeship allows for vertical pathways and further specialisation or education at all levels:

    • The final qualification(s) – when achieved by the apprentice – are official qualifications belonging to regional (but recognised at national level) or State-level regulations. Through such qualifications, the apprentice may enter further training/education levels.
    • Vertical permeability is possible within each of the systems involved: regional for vocational qualification or diploma; national for upper secondary education diploma; mixed national-regional for high technical specialisation certificate.
    • Apprentices who successfully finalise their training can prolong the contract for 12 months to obtain either a High Technical Specialisation certificate or the 5-years vocational upper secondary education diploma.



    Q22. If the scheme is not implemented via specific apprenticeship programme, how is duration of apprenticeships defined in the regulation?
    It Is defined as minimum and maximum share of a VET programme
    Is defined as minimum share of a VET programme
    Is defined as maximum share of a VET programme
    Is not defined by regulation

    The minimum and maximum duration of apprenticeship is defined:

    • the minimum as no less than 6 months (art. 42 c.2 Leg. Decr. 81/2015);
    • the maximum duration as ranging from 1 year to 4 years depending on the final qualification (art. 4 c.1 Inter-ministerial Decree and Inter-Ministerial Decree of 12 October 2015).
    Q23. Is there a distinction between the training time and working time for the period spent at workplace, as per regulation?
    Yes, the legal framework makes this distinction
    No, the legal framework makes no distinction

    The legislative decree Nr. 81/2015 defines the internal training time as the share of hours spent in training activities under the supervision and responsibility of the employer.

    As a result of the national law provisions, the share of internal training should be clearly defined within the Individual Training Plan and must be a separate element from the ordinary working time. This clear distinction is to be considered necessary by law also because the training time spent in the workplace is remunerated only 10% in comparison with the ordinary working time.

    5Alternation of work-based (in-company) training and school-based training

    Q24. Is it compulsory to alternate training between two learning venues (school and company)?

    In practice, this issue is usually defined within the Individual Training Plan: legal norms do not foresee explicitly specific provisions about how compulsory alternation between the two learning venues (school and company) shall be organised.

    Q25. Is the in-company training defined as minimum share of the apprenticeship scheme duration?
    Yes, equivalent or more than 50% of scheme duration
    Yes, between 20% and 50% of the scheme duration
    Yes, less than 20% of the scheme duration
    No, no minimum share is compulsory

    The maximum share (out of the total annual school-time) of education/training hours which can be delivered outside of the company are defined in Article 43 c. 6 Legislative Decree 81/2015, and varies according to the qualification to be achieved.

    Q26. What is the form of alternation of training between workplace (company) and school?
    Every week includes both venues
    One or more weeks (less than 1 month) spent at school followed by one or more weeks at workplace
    One or more months (less than 1 year) spent at school followed by one or more months at workplace
    A longer period (1-2 years) spent at school followed by a longer period spent training at workplace
    Various – depends on agreements between the school and the company
    Not specified

    The alternation between the company and the training institution in apprenticeships does not follow a standard scheme but it is very different region by region mainly depending on:

    • the total amount of out-of-company training apprentices have to participate in;
    • the company’s production needs (which are not linked to a specific apprenticeship type);
    • the out-of-company training supply delivery structure, profile, contents and organisation.

    That being said, the most common schemes in Type 1 apprenticeships are the following:

    • 2 days in training institution and 3 days in company every week (a week-based scheme);
    • 1 week in training institution and 3 weeks in company (a month-based scheme).

    6Formal relationship with the employer

    Q27. Is any contractual arrangement between the learner and company, required as per regulation?

    The apprenticeship contract is a subordinate permanent employment contract. It must be in written form and must include an Individual Training Plan, whose responsibility is shared between the education/training institution and the employer.

    Typical contents are the following are based on collective labour agreement or to inter-sector agreements):

    • the final VET/educational qualification to be achieved;
    • the initial date and total duration;
    • the trial period duration;
    • the contractual placement and wage;
    • the compulsory attachment named “Individual training plan”, containing all training details, methodologies and learning outcomes;
    • the legal and regulatory framework to be applied;
    • the workplace and working time;
    • the name of company tutor;
    • the learning outcomes and the on-going assessment evaluation of expected learning outcomes;
    • other general clauses concerning safety, confidentiality and privacy.
    Q28. What is the nature of the contractual arrangement?
    Apprenticeships are a specific type of contract
    Apprenticeships are an ordinary employment contract
    A formal agreement

    The apprentice has a subordinate permanent employment contract with the company even if he/she is entitled to the “double status of student and worker”. At the end of the apprenticeship period the employer and the apprentice may terminate the contract. If not otherwise explicitly stated, the apprenticeship contract turns into an ordinary open-ended dependent (subordinate) employment contract.

    Q29. Where is the contract or the formal agreement registered?
    At the school
    At the Ministry of employment
    At the chambers
    At the Ministry of education

    Data about activation/termination/variation of typology of apprenticeships contracts are communicated to Ministry of Labour and social policies and National Institute for Social Security (INPS) respectively through the National Informative systems: Labour Compulsory Communications (COB) and UNIEMENS.

    Q30. What is the status of the learner?
    Apprentice is a specific status

    Apprentices have double status of “student” and “employee”.


    Q31. Do apprentices receive a wage or allowance?
    Yes, all apprentices receive a wage (taxable income)
    Yes, all apprentices receive an allowance (not a form of taxable income)
    Apprentices receive a reimbursement of expenses
    No form of compensation is foreseen by law

    Companies pay apprentices’ wages which may be (Leg. Decr. 81/2015, art. 42 c.4) “up to two levels lower than a (correspondent) qualified employee” or a “proportionate percentage in relation to working seniority”. The wage is determined in the contract.

    According to Article 43 c.7 of the Legislative Decree 81/2015, the employer must pay the apprentice 10% of his/her wage for in-company training hours. This percentage may be modified by National Collective Labour Agreements. No wage has to be paid to apprentice for the external (school-based) formal training.

    In addition to wage, also some apprentice’s social security costs must be paid by companies (art. 42 c.6 of Leg. Decr. 81/2015: insurance against job-related injuries and illnesses, ordinary illnesses, invalidity and old age; maternity, family allowance; employment social insurance).

    Q32. How is the apprentice wage (taxable income) set?
    By law (applying for all)
    By cross-sectoral collective agreements at national or local level
    By sectoral collective agreements at national or local level
    By firm-level collective agreements or individual agreements between apprentice and company

    The regulation of apprenticeship contract, except the general principles affirmed in art. 42, c.1 to c.4, is delegated to the specific intersectoral agreements or national collective job agreements.

    The general regulation of apprenticeship contract is thus outlined through intersectoral collective agreements, either in terms of how the wage is set up or in terms of the amount of the salary that apprentices should be paid for training and working.  Collective agreements normally offer the possibility to opt for hiring apprentices up to two levels lower than qualified workers, or to define their remuneration as a percentage of the average wage of qualified workers.

    Within this general framework, sectoral collective agreements at national, local or sectoral level or and firm-level agreements might offer better conditions or adapt to the specific context the wage of apprentices.

    Q33. Who covers the cost of the wage or allowance of the apprentice?

    Employers cover the costs of the wage of the apprentices. They can benefit from tax reliefs  and incentives devoted to hire young apprentices enrolled in dual apprenticeship by the State, the Regions and Autonomous Provinces.

    Q34. Does the wage or allowance of the apprentice cover both the time spent at school and in the company?
    No, it covers only the time spent in the company

    The employer does not remunerate external training, that means training outside the company, as per art.43, c. 7 of legislative decree Nr. 81/2015.

    8Responsibility of employers

    Q35. Is the company hosting apprentices required by regulation to follow a training plan at the workplace?
    Yes, the training plan is agreed at the level of school and company
    Yes, the training plan is based on the national/sectoral requirements for the in-company training
    No, is not required formally

    All types of apprenticeship contracts must be in written form and must include an Individual Training Plan, whose responsibility, for Types 1 and 3, is shared with the training/education institution and the employer (art. 42 c.1 Leg. Decr. 81/2015 and art. 5 c. 3 Inter-ministerial Decr. 12/10/2015).

    Companies hosting apprentices are required to provide and to follow the Individual Training Plan which is an essential part of the contract, signed also by the apprentice and by parents if the latter is underage. This tool is not only a formal way of scheduling the training activities of the apprentice but it’s also a legal means for monitoring the right progress of the combined training activities, within and outside the learning venue. The Inter-ministerial Decree 12/10/2015 also envisages other tools to put in transparency and to assess the acquisition of learning outcomes like the “Individual Dossier”.

    Q36. What are the requirements on companies to provide placements, as per regulation?
    Have to provide a suitable learning environment
    Have to provide a mentor / tutor / trainer

    Art. 3 of the Inter-ministerial Decree 12/10/2015 defines the requirements for an employer that is engaged in an apprenticeship contract. In order to enter such a contract, the employer must meet the following requirements:

    • “structural capacities” (suitable spaces for company-based training and, in case of apprentices with disability, the absence of architectonic barriers);
    • “technical capacities” (availability of instruments and supports allowing the implementation of internal training; instruments and supports must obviously comply with the in-force regulations);
    • “training capacities” (availability of one or more company tutor(s) whose responsibilities and tasks are defined in art. 7 of the same Inter-min. Decree).

    Following art. 42 lett. C of Leg. Decr. 81/2015, the “presence of a tutor or company representative”[1] is one of the apprenticeship principle which cannot be derogated by Collective or Cross-sectors Labour Agreements.

    [1] Each apprentice has one company tutor and one training institution tutor but one tutor may follow more than one apprentice. Among the tutor’s tasks there is the coordination of the teachers/trainers involved in delivering training to the apprentice (the tutor is not the trainer).

    Q37. Are there any sanctions on companies that do not provide training to apprentices at the workplace?

    Art. 47 c. 1 and 2 Leg. Decr. 81/2015 describes employer’s responsibilities and consequences (sanctions) in case the in-company training is not delivered:

    • If the employer fails to deliver in-company training, the employer has to deposit the difference between contribution already deposited and the contribution (owed to the employee) taking as reference the level of contractual placement that would have been reached by the employee at the end of the period of apprenticeship, increased by 100%.
    • For violation of the provision of Article 42, paragraph 1 (regarding the general principles of an apprenticeship contract), as well as for the violation of the principles of collective labour agreements laid down in Article 42, paragraph 5, letters a), b) and c), the employer is punished with an administrative fine from 100 to 600 Euros. In the case of relapse administrative fine is increased from 300 to 1500 Euros.
    Q38. What is the role of chambers, employers’ and employees’ representatives, sectoral councils (if existent), in shaping apprenticeship content, as per regulation?
    Role in designing qualification
    Role in designing curricula
    No role

    Employers’ organisations and trade unions are responsible for:

    • national and local level regulation of Apprenticeship contracts (through National Collective Labour Agreements and/or Cross-sectors agreements) except for art. 42 cc. 1-4 Leg. Decr. 81/2015 limits and respecting art. 42 cc. 5 requisites (Individual Training Plan, tutor, pay/wage, in-company training,);
    • formal opinion about qualifications, diplomas and certifications to be achieved.

    The new legislative framework stipulates that:

    • training qualifications gained through first Type 1 apprenticeship are no longer put under the exclusive regulatory power of the regions;
    • the training standards of apprenticeship are no longer defined by regions and/or through a negotiation between the social partners but are decreed by the Ministry of Employment in consultation with Ministry of Education and the Minister for Economy and Finance, in agreement with regions and autonomous provinces on the basis of Article 46 of Legislative Decree 81/2015.

    If a region results in default on some aspects of the regulation of Type 1 apprenticeship, its implementation is left to the Ministry of Employment.

    Q39. What is the role of chambers, employers’ and employees’ representatives in implementing the apprenticeship scheme, as per regulation?
    Role in final assessment of apprentices
    Role in accreditation of companies
    Role in monitoring of the in-company training
    No role

    Currently, the Chambers of Commerce are playing an important role of dissemination and promotion of apprenticeships either at local or national level. They provide, in fact, information and assistance to companies in activating and implementing apprenticeship contracts.

     The Union of Chambers of Commerce has been appointed as the national subject to implement a national Register of companies available for work-based learning experience. This tool is not a proper accreditation but is considered a means of dialogue between employers and training representatives (Schools, Vet providers, Universities). In the view of renewed regulatory framework, the Register may be implemented with the aim of becoming a tool for accreditation for companies that have training and technical capacity of initiating dual paths of training via apprenticeship or work-based learning.

    Nevertheless, they haven’t got any involvement in monitoring the in-company training of apprentices yet, nor any possibility of defining or hosting final assessments for this target group.