Monitoring of apprenticeship graduates and dropouts from 2011-20 shows a direct correlation between training success and labour market success 3 years after completing an apprenticeship. Successful completion of an apprenticeship is also clearly impacted by graduates’ age at the start of the apprenticeship and any previous qualifications they may have.

Training success

As is revealed by the 2023 monitoring of apprenticeship graduates carried out by ibw on behalf of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, 383 336 people in Austria completed their apprenticeship in the years 2011-20 and did not take up a new apprenticeship until the end of the following year. Of these, 75% not only completed their apprenticeship period, but also passed the apprenticeship leave exam. Around 4% completed their apprenticeship period but did not pass the apprenticeship leave exam (ALE) and a further 4% did not take the exam despite having completed their apprenticeship period. Some 17% of apprentices terminated their training prematurely and did not take an apprenticeship leave exam, at least according to the records at the end of the following year (see Figure 1).

austria training sucess

Impact on dropouts from apprenticeship

A closer look at the group of apprenticeship dropouts shows the clear influence on their subsequent training success of the age at which they enter training, and any associated prior qualifications they may have. While only 7% of apprentices who start their training immediately after completing compulsory schooling at the age of 15 drop out from training, the proportion is almost twice as high (at 12%) among 16-year-old apprenticeship beginners, and three times as high (at 21%) among 17-year-olds. This proportion continues to rise as their age increases and is as high as 34% among 24-year-old apprenticeship beginners.

Overall, there are no significant differences in training success by gender. However, a detailed analysis shows that the dropout rate is closely linked to the gender ratio in the respective apprenticeship occupation: in male-dominated apprenticeships, women drop out more often, while in female-dominated apprenticeships, men drop out more often.

Influence on labour market success

When analysing their labour market status 3 years after they complete the apprenticeship training, it becomes clear that the greater the apprentices’ training success is, the higher their labour market success will be. While an average of 84% of all people who successfully completed an apprenticeship were employed and 9% were unemployed, only 44% of those who dropped out from an apprenticeship were employed and 24% were unemployed. This considerable difference illustrates the great importance of successfully completed apprenticeship training for sustainable labour market integration.

A differentiated view of training success (Figure 2) shows that completion of even only part of the training leads to better integration in the labour market. For people who have completed their apprenticeship but have not taken the apprenticeship leave exam, employment rate increases to 66%, while the share is 72% for those who did not pass their apprenticeship leave exam successfully. The specific result achieved in the exam has less of an influence on the graduates’ success in the labour market.

labour market

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Please cite this news item as: ReferNet Austria; Cedefop (2023). Monitoring apprenticeship graduates underlines the importance of training success. National news on VET


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