In Latvia there are two schemes that are considered as apprenticeships in the national context: - work-based learning as an apprenticeship type scheme (part of the vocational education and training (VET) system and traditional craftsmanship (regulated by a specific Law on Crafts, implemented separately from the formal VET system that is supervised by the Ministry of Education and Science).
a. the recently introduced ‘Work-based learning’ scheme (WBL, part of formal VET):
- In the “Education development guidelines for 2014-2020” (adopted in 2014), the development of modular approach in vocational education programmes and work-based learning is interpreted as an important development to increase the attractiveness of vocational education.
- The Vocational Education Act, amended in 2015, introduced work-based learning as one of the forms of implementing formal VET. In Latvia the term ‘work-based learning’ is being used to describe the new apprenticeship-type scheme complying to the main principles of apprenticeships. The new scheme is an alternative way to obtain qualifications already offered through school-based VET at NQF/EQF levels 2-4. VET institutions are free to choose whether they will implement a VET programme in apprenticeship mode or not.
- The legal basis for WBL as an apprenticeship scheme is in place since 2016 when the regulation on the “Procedures for Organisation and Implementation of Work-based Learning was adopted - Cabinet of Ministers’ Regulation of No. 484 of 15 July 2016), http://likumi.lv/ta/id/283680-kartiba-kada-organize-un-isteno-darba-vide... (Regulation No 484)
- On the same date the 8.5.1 specific objective “To increase the number of qualified VET students through their participation in work-based learning or training practices at an enterprise” was adopted under the “Regulation on the implementation of the Operational Programme “Growth and Employment”, Cabinet of Ministers Regulation No 483. of 15 July 2016, http://likumi.lv/ta/id/283736-darbibas-programmas-izaugsme-un-nodarbinat...... (Regulation No 483)The Regulation No. 484 serves as an ‘umbrella’ regulation, whereas Regulation No 483 has been adopted to support the activities under 8.5.1 specific objective during its lifetime (determining certain incentives for the involved parties).
- In June 2017, the “Guidelines on the Organisation and Implementation of WBL” were adopted by the Ministry of Education and Science to provide common principles and methodological support for the involved partners in the WBL implementation.
b. the traditional ‘Craftmenship’ scheme (not part of formal VET):
Craft apprenticeships (craftsmenship) are implemented separately from formal VET and are not included in the educational programme classification (no relevant ISCED level). The Law on Craftsmenship (1993) stipulates the organisational basis for craftsmanship, its basic regulations and the procedure for stating craftsman qualifications. The content of craftsmenship is determined by the corresponding craft professional association and approved by the Council of the Chamber of Crafts. The normative regulation on craftsmenship and its detachment from the formal national education system has arisen from a long-term tradition in the crafts sector.
Craft enterprises certified by the Latvian Chamber of Crafts or a territorial or branch craft association authorized by it have the right to accept crafts apprentices for training. The right to train crafts apprentices belongs to craftsmen or persons equivalent to them, who have a permit from the Latvian Chamber of Crafts. The Latvian Chamber of Crafts supervises training in craft enterprises.
As the scheme directly does not lead to formally recognised vocational qualifications (but a journeyman or Masters certificate instead), it does not meet Cedefop’s definition of apprenticeship and is not studied further through a dedicated scheme fiche on this database.