Dual apprenticeship training in Austria offers flexible training and ensures professional qualification for the young in about 200 apprenticeship occupations. It also safeguards skilled manpower for business, industry and trade.
High levels of apprenticeship training acceptance and attractiveness in the economy and society are reflected both in significant willingness among the 30 000 training companies to train apprentices and in the education choice of the young: in the long-term comparison (see ‘Figure 1) 40% of 15-year-olds take up an apprenticeship. However, due to the decline in the number of 15-year-olds (for demographic reasons) and competition with school-based training programmes for talented young people, many training companies are facing the challenge of finding apprentices with sufficient basic qualifications (reading, writing and arithmetic).
Figure 1: Number of apprentices, 15-year-olds and those in their first apprenticeship year in Austria
Source: Austrian Federal Economic Chamber: apprenticeship statistics (various years) and
Statistics Austria: 15-year-olds on an annual average (for 2017: projected value); ibw diagram
With its full vocational qualification, apprenticeship training in the initial vocational education and training (IVET) system makes a significant contribution to ensuring that young people enter the labour market in a positive and relatively smooth manner: 54% of apprenticeship graduates are employed within three months of completing their training and 90% within the first year (see Figure 2). This value is above the values for other programmes and underlines the favourable integration of apprenticeship graduates into the world of work after completing training in a company.
Figure 2: Duration until the first dependent employment after completing training (graduations of the training year 2012/13)
NB: Compulsory school/PTS (Pre-Vocational School) / AHS = academic secondary schools
BMS = Schools for Intermediate Vocational Education / BHS = colleges for higher vocational education
Source: Statistics Austria: qualification-related professional career monitoring; ibw calculations + ibw diagram
Dornmayr, Helmut / Nowak, Sabine (2017): Lehrlingsausbildung im Überblick 2017 – Strukturdaten, Trends und Perspektiven (2017 Survey of Apprenticeship Training – Structural Data, Trends and Prospects), ibw research report no. 190, Vienna.
Lehrlingsausbildung im Überblick 2017 – Strukturdaten, Trends und Perspektiven, ibw-Forschungsbericht Nr. 190, Wien.
Update of apprentice data (as of end of Dec. 2017) and 15-year-olds based on the population projection of Statistics Austria