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: 15 years old at the time of the apprenticeship start or by the time of the year. Max: 29 years

Exceptions are possible under certain conditions (people receiving public subsidies, such as unemployment benefit, etc.): in such cases the minimum/maximum age can be 65

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

Between 15 and 18 is the classical target group but the annual analysis of new apprenticeship contracts shows that the average age is slightly above 18 years.


2Overview of the scheme

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

Generally, on level 3-6, but many variations

Q9. Is there any organization at the national level with roles in co-ordinating the scheme?

There are central level bodies, one for each training provider:

  • IAWM for apprenticeship provided by vocational and educational training institutions
  • Social partner organisations for industrial apprenticeship
Q10. When was the scheme introduced?
Long history (before 2000)
Recently introduced (between 2000-2012)
New pathway (after 2012)

Apprenticeships are under the remit of competence of the German Speaking Community since 1991

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

Apprenticeship schemes have a very long tradition. Even before IAWM was created, it was possible to sign apprenticeship contracts. The earliest records date from the early 50ies.

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

The construction sector organisation pays an annual bonus to companies engaged in apprenticeship: 300€ for first year apprentices, 400€ for second year apprentices, 500€ for third year apprentices

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

Initially the federal entity offered a bonus for every successful apprentice and a reduction of social charges. This amounted to 500€ for first- and second-year apprentices, 750€ for third year apprentices, on condition that at the beginning of the apprenticeship, the apprentice is under the age of 18. The bonus system has been taken in charge of the German Speaking Community meanwhile.

Besides, companies engaged in apprenticeships delivery benefit from a reduction of social charges amounting to 1750€ per year for every employee receiving training


Q14. How many learners are enrolled in this scheme?

More or less 500 apprentices currently in academic year 2019-2020. The level of activity was similar in the past years and no major changes have been registered.


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.)

Official qualification “Gesellenzeugnis” which is an apprenticeship qualification, also considered as a formal VET qualification

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

Level 4

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

Access to higher education is possible throughout an additional course, specially arranged for apprentices



Q21. If the scheme is implemented via specific apprenticeship programme, what is its duration?

Apprenticeship programmes can’t take different forms. They always have the same duration (3 years) and the same form of alternation. With just one exception: if apprentices have job-relevant pre-knowledge, as for example years of VET at school in the same job, then contracts might be signed for a shorter time but still will be end with the same certification (Gesellenzeugnis)

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
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

Single companies themselves decide on that

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)?
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 law foresees that at least 24h in average per week (during one year) have to be spent at the workplace, i.e. the weekly average is calculated over one year. Apprentices’ weeks last 38 hours and should include training in both venues

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

Two half days at school, rest of 38 hours/week at work place

6Formal relationship with the employer

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

The school doesn’t enter the contractual arrangement.

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

It is normally a formal agreement, but it can also be an 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
Q30. What is the status of the learner?
Apprentice is a specific status

Apprentices usually have a specific status but It is possible to start apprenticeship with an ordinary employment contract, in which case they are employees. This was the case for 15 apprentices out of 485 apprenticeship contracts in 2019.


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

Fixed by law (Erlass der Regierung der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft zur Festlegung der Ausbildungsbedingungen für mittelständische Lehrlinge und Ausbildungsbetriebe vom 4. Juni 2009) and annually adjusted by the Governement.

1st year: 1.7.-30.06.: 239,42€

2nd year 1.7.-31.12.: 292,66€

2nd year 1.1.-30.06.: 425,85€

3rd year 1.7.-31.12.: 498,85€

3rd year 1.1.-30.06.: 544,08€

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 law sets the minimum, additional remuneration is possible and depending on negotiations

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

No difference between the wage or allowance for the time at school and in the company.

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

Programmes are established by the government of the German Speaking Community with sectors and companies. They define the competences, skills and knowledge needs for each occupation.

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

Regulated by the law: Erlass der Regierung der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft für mittelständische Lehrlinge und Ausbildungsbetriebe vom 4. Juni 2009

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

The institute for vocational and educational training is responsible to control and react. Sanctions are termination of the apprenticeship contract and withdraw of the agreement to sign new contracts, in case of non-respect of all duties forseen by law (Erlass der Regierung der Deutschcsprachigen Gemeinschaft zur Festlegung der Ausbildungsbedingungen für mittelständische Lehrlinge und Ausbildungsbetriebe vom 4. Juni 2009).

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

Advisory-role on establishing apprenticeship (as well as VET) programmes

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

Employers’ representatives take part in the final practical assessment (together with the teacher)