The European database on apprenticeship schemes collects and presents structured, comparable information on apprenticeship schemes in EU Member States plus Iceland, Norway and the UK.  The first version of the database is based on information collected in the first half of 2016 as part of Cedefop’s study on Apprenticeship schemes in European countries: A Cross-Nation Overview. In 2019, the database is being revised and updated by Cedefop and its community of apprenticeship experts, resulting in a second version (2019). 


The database collects and organises information on apprenticeship at country level and at scheme level, allowing for comparison by country as well as by scheme. Information can be also retrieved through the map of Europe, or by an advanced search tool.


The database contains only apprenticeship schemes considered as such in the national official definitions, i.e. what governments define as such by means of norms and minimum legal requirements, that  have a stable/valid legal basis and which are system-level or mainstream schemes and lead to formal qualifications. Pilot schemes, even when underpinned by a legal basis, are out of the scope of the database.

The term apprenticeship scheme refers to a systematic arrangement about how apprenticeship provision should be designed, delivered, assessed, certified as well as governed within the overall VET system. More than one scheme may exist in a VET system.


The first version (2016) is a pilot version and presents 31 country fiches for all EU Member States (including UK as a Member State at that time) plus Iceland and Norway, and 29 apprenticeship scheme fiches, based on information collected in the first half of 2016 as part of Cedefop’s study on Apprenticeship schemes in European countries: A Cross-National Overview. While the study aimed at being as comprehensive as possible in identifying the apprenticeship schemes existing across the countries of the study, it was not possible to identify all mainstream apprenticeship schemes, signaling, once more, that even at country level there are difficulties in identifying what falls under apprenticeship training.

The second version (2019) is being developed based on information provided by the members of Cedefop community of apprenticeship experts.  In the second version, the information will be quality checked, updated and complemented by the experts.

This may result in a different pool of schemes than the one of 2016: schemes that were being piloted in 2016 might have become mainstream schemes by 2019 and therefore be reported in the 2019 database version; while some other schemes were reconsidered and dropped from the 2019 update. Still, most scheme fiches are expected to be present in both versions.

Differences in the structure of scheme fiches between 2016 and 2019 reflect Cedefop’s consolidated knowledge in mapping and reviewing apprenticeship schemes, which derives from the work on the cross-national overview of apprenticeships and on the thematic country reviews on apprenticeships.

Cedefop’s database on financing apprenticeships in the EU provides information on how apprenticeship schemes are financed in the EU Member States and the UK, at the level of overall financing arrangements and particular financing instruments.