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Austria

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Reference Year 2019

Understanding of apprenticeships in the national context

Q2. Is there an official definition of ‘apprenticeship’ or ‘apprentice’ in your country?

Yes
No

There is no definition of ‘apprenticeships’ but of ‘apprentices’, ‘authorised apprenticeship training entities’ and ‘authorised apprenticeship training entities’ and ‘apprenticeship occupations’:

  1. “Apprentices in the sense of this Act are persons who are professionally trained and – within the framework of this training – employed (§ 9) on the basis of an apprenticeship contract (§ 12) with the purpose of learning an occupation given in the list of apprenticeship occupations (§ 7) at authorised apprenticeship training entities (§ 2).” [1]
  2. “Authorised apprenticeship training entities in the sense of paragraphs 2 to 5 are physical and legal persons as well as open corporations and limited partnerships, in which apprentices (§ 1) are professionally trained and – within the framework of this training – employed (§ 9) on the basis of an apprenticeship contract (§ 12) with the purpose of learning an occupation given in the list of apprenticeship occupations (§ 7)”. [2]
  3. “Apprenticeship occupations are activities
    • which show all or elements of one or several occupations according to the regulations of the Commercial Code of 1994;
    • which are suitable to form the subject of an occupation in the economy; and
    • which require at least two years of learning.” [3]

Federal Act on the Vocational Training of apprentices (Vocational Training Act (Berufsausbildungsgesetz, BAG)) of 26 March 1969 (version of 18.05.2016): § 1

Vocational Training Act (Berufsausbildungsgesetz, BAG): § 2 (1)l

Locational Training Act (Berufsausbildungsgesetz, BAG): § 5 (1)

Q3. At which level do apprenticeship schemes exist in your country?

At upper secondary level
At post-secondary (not tertiary)
At tertiary level
At sectoral level

The dual apprenticeship scheme (upper secondary level) is the regular dual training scheme offered.

Q4. How well-established are apprenticeship schemes in your country?

A long history (before 2000)
A recent history (in 2000s)
Pilot scheme

The current framework was established in 1969. However, it harks back to a tradition of training in the crafts system for centuries.

Q5. Relevant information that is essential to understanding the specificity of apprenticeships in the country and which does not fit under the scheme specific sections below.

In an international perspective, Austria has one of the highest shares of IVET-students at upper secondary level in Europe: about 80% of all students are in IVET, half of them in full-time VET schools and colleges – the second half in apprenticeship training.

Apart from the Dual apprenticeship scheme that is detailed in the relevant fiche, there are two additional schemes that are linked to the apprenticeship scheme:

1) supra-company apprenticeships (ÜBA Überbetriebliche Ausbildung):

If students cannot find a company where to spend their in-company apprenticeship training, work-based learning takes place at a training provider. Apprentices have the option to switch to a “regular” apprenticeship if they can find a training company or finish full training at their provider.[1] Apprentices get an allowance (which is lower than the apprenticeship remuneration in “regular” apprenticeships), finance by PES.

Forerunners of ÜBA have been introduced in 1998 (JASG Jugendausbildungsgesetz). Currently, supra-company apprenticeships are an option to fulfil the Austrian Training Obligation (Ausbildungspflichtgesetz, version of 28.01.2019) which was established in 2016 (and started with school year 2017/18).

In 2018 8,302 apprentices were enrolled in the supra-company apprenticeships that act as a safety net for those apprentices that cannot find a company (Chamber of Commerce: Lehrlinge nach Sparten: 2002-2018 http://wko.at/statistik/jahrbuch/LL_Sp.xlsx [accessed 29.01.2019])

2) Dual studies (higher level):

Dual study programmes at higher education are still in development; comparable to German dual studies, which however are not considered "apprenticeship" in Germany; at universities of applied science and private universities.

[1] Vocational Training Act (Berufsausbildungsgesetz, BAG): § 30 and esp. § 30b.