Q19. 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
Q20. 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
Upper secondary schools are responsible for finding apprenticeship placements in companies and deciding on how to organise, plan and follow up on the implementation of the apprenticeship. That said, learning may be organised flexibly in a variety of ways according to the needs of the various parties.
One school may have so called ‘apprenticeship classes’ where learners are enrolled in different vocational programmes and meet at school for common lessons in the foundations of subjects.
Another school may have just a few learners within a vocational programme pursuing the apprenticeship pathway.
Whereas many will start their workplace-based learning during the first year at upper secondary school, others will start in their second or third year.
This is due to that Sweden has a very decentralized school system where the national agency of education determines (together with the social partners) what should be taught, and all how and where is up to the school to decide.The schools decide if a vocational programme should be provided as apprenticeship education and when the apprenticeship starts. The learner chooses between the pathways offered.
Q21. What is the basis for the training offered?
The scheme is implemented via a specific apprenticeship programme
The scheme is implemented on the basis of the school-based VET programme
The scheme is implemented based on the VET standards (valid generally for all VET schemes)
Apprenticeship within the formal education system is an alternative pathway to study a vocational programme at upper secondary school (the other being the school-based pathway).
The two pathways share the same subjects and result in the same qualifications.
Governance and regulations are, with a few exceptions, the same irrespective of whether the vocational programme is school-based or an apprenticeship. Regulations steering apprenticeships were introduced in the Education Act and in the Upper Secondary School Ordinance following the reform in 2011 (Regulations and general guidelines on study and vocational guidance (SKOLFS 2013:180). Steering documents in the form of curricula, diploma goals and syllabuses are drawn up by the Swedish government and by the National Agency for Education.
The main difference between these two pathways is the proportion of workplace-based learning. For the school-based pathway, at least 15 weeks of the entire programme should be provided as workplace-based learning. For the apprenticeship education, more than half of the programme should be provided at the workplace, from the moment a learner choses this pathway (possible to do in the first, second or third year of the programme). In other words, if more than half the learning takes place at a workplace, it is referred to as upper secondary apprenticeship education (lärlingsutbildning).
Q22. Is the company hosting apprentices required by regulation to follow a training plan at the workplace?
Yes, the training plan is based on the national/sectoral requirements for the in-company training
Yes, the training plan is agreed at the level of school and company
No, is not required formally
Q23. 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
Companies have to sign training contracts with each apprentice. The training contract should specify the content and scope of the workplace-based learning (See Q28).
The apprentice must also be appointed a supervisor/trainer, who must have ‘the necessary skills and experience’ for the task and who is considered ‘generally suitable’.
Q24. What are the formal requirements regarding workplace trainers/mentors/tutors? What is their profile?
The apprentice must be appointed a supervisor/trainer, who must have ‘the necessary skills and experience’ for the task and who is considered ‘generally suitable’.
There is an increased focus on the supervisor’s important role in delivering high quality workplace-based learning.
The National Agency for Education for Education has therefore developed a web-based course for the supervisors of apprentices at workplace.
The course consists of four introductory general modules and a supplementary module.
The introductory modules review e.g. receiving and introducing the apprentice, responsibilities of different parties, upper secondary VET in general, pedagogical methods, and monitoring and feedback practices.
The supplementary module delves deeper into supporting and stimulating the apprentice and planning the work.
The introductory modules are estimated to require two days and the supplementary module one day to complete.
The course is not compulsory, but in order for the employer to receive the extra state subsidy, the supervisor must have completed this course or an equivalent training.