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Reference Year 2019

Understanding of apprenticeships in the national context

Q2. Is there an official definition of ‘apprenticeship’ or ‘apprentice’ in your country?

Yes
No

There is no official definition of apprenticeships in the Czech VET system nor is it a concept defined in legislative acts. The Czech VET system is organised into three broad school-based VET programmes, which are part of the secondary and post-secondary educational system:

  • Three-year secondary education ending in a final exam resulting into what is called an ‘apprenticeship’ (vocational) certificate (ISCED 353, EQF 3). While this programme is commonly called ‘apprenticeship’ education, it is essentially a school-based VET programme (28% of all upper secondary education students in academic year 2017/18[1])[1] whose main purpose is to prepare students directly for labour market entry – it does not allow for progression into higher education.
  • Four-year secondary education with a vocational component (ISCED 354 , EQF 4) which results in what is called a ‘maturita’ certificate. This is the broadest VET programme which covered 47% of all upper secondary education students in academic year  [2]. Students can choose whether they wish to directly enter the labour market after this programme or continue into higher education.
  • Three to three and a half year tertiary VET education (ISCED 655, EQF 6), which aims to provide practically oriented professional education as an alternative to traditionally more academic higher education.

However, none of these programmes obliges schools to provide students with practical education at employer’s workplace.[3] For more details on these programmes and why they cannot be considered as apprenticeships, see answer to question 5.   


[1] Apprenticeship-type schemes and structured work-based learning programmes: Czech Republic, Cedefop 2014.

[2] Apprenticeship-type schemes and structured work-based learning programmes: Czech Republic, Cedefop 2014.

[3] Apprenticeship-type schemes and structured work-based learning programmes: Czech Republic, Cedefop 2014; Czech Republic: VET in Europe – Country report, Cedefop 2014.

 


[1] Annual data od the National Institute for Education (2018), www.infoabsolvent.cz

[2] Annual data od the National Institute for Education (2018) www.infoabsolvent.cz

Q3. At which level do apprenticeship schemes exist in your country?

At upper secondary level
At post-secondary (not tertiary)
At tertiary level
At sectoral level

N/A as there are no apprenticeship schemes identified in this country.

Q4. How well-established are apprenticeship schemes in your country?

A long history (before 2000)
A recent history (in 2000s)
Pilot scheme

N/A as there are no apprenticeship schemes identified in this country.

Q5. Relevant information that is essential to understanding the specificity of apprenticeships in the country and which does not fit under the scheme specific sections below.

The closest VET programmes to apprenticeships are the ISCED 353, EQF 3 VET programmes[1], because they are required to provide both practical and theoretical education under the Education Act (561/2004 Coll). More specifically, schools delivering these programmes prepare their own educational curricula (called School Educational Programmes), but are required to follow national regulation on curricula in each vocational field (called Framework Educational Programmes, published by the Ministry of Education). In contrast, tertiary vocational education institutions delivering the ISCED 655, EQF 6 VET Programme prepare and approve their own educational programmes, without the need to conform to any national regulation on curricula.

The VET programmes at ISCED 353, EQF 3  can provide practical education either directly at school (such as school workshop or lab practices) or in a real working environment (i.e. training in companies).[2] They differ in their requirements on how much practical education students need to undertake:

  • The VET programme leading to an ‘apprenticeship certificate’ requires students to spend at least 36% to 46% minimum time on practical training (depending on the field of study)[3], where practical training can take place in school workshops, other model environments and also in real companies. In general, students are likely to experience various types of arrangement of practical training during their education. The whole programme is practically oriented as general subjects represent only about 30% of curricula.
  • The VET programme leading to the ‘maturita’ exam requires students to take part in a work placement, with mandatory minimum of at least four weeks.[4] In reality, schools tend to organise 6 to 8 weeks work placements on average. This work placement should take place in a real company environment. The overall balance between general and vocational subjects is slightly in favour of the latter type, which is usually around 55%.[5]

Thus the VET programme leading to an ‘apprenticeship certificate’ is likely to be closer to our definition of apprenticeship, as it has a higher content of practical education, which reflects in focus on preparing students for direct entry to the labour market rather than progression into tertiary education. However, there is no formal requirement for the practical education to take place in a real working environment.

Overall, ISCED 353, EQF 3  VET programmes cannot be considered apprenticeship in that (based on analysis of Education Act 561/2004 Coll):

  • schools are the sole actors responsible for organising practical education, with no responsibility on the side of the employer; and
  • even where schools cooperate with employers to provide real working experience for their students, these students are not in formal contract with the employer. Instead, the employer concludes a contract directly with the school.

On the other hand, the Education Act (561/2004 Coll) requires students to receive remuneration if they carry out work which brings income to organisations where they are being trained. The minimum monthly remuneration is 30% of the minimum wage. 

Overall, it must be noted that the specific mode of cooperation between schools and employers often varies, on a case by case basis, depending on the dispositions of individual schools and employers.[6] The regulations on school-employer collaboration in the Education Act (561/2004 Coll) provide only very broad guidelines and leave most of its practical aspects to be decided by involved schools and employers. 


[1] Apprenticeship-type schemes and structured work-based learning programmes: Czech Republic, Cedefop 2014; Czech Republic: VET in Europe – Country report, Cedefop 2014.

[2] According to Education Act (561/2004 Coll).

[3] Apprenticeship-type schemes and structured work-based learning programmes: Czech Republic, Cedefop 2014.

[4] Apprenticeship-type schemes and structured work-based learning programmes: Czech Republic, Cedefop 2014.

[5] Apprenticeship-type schemes and structured work-based learning programmes: Czech Republic, Cedefop 2014.

[6] Dual Education: A Bridge Over Troubled Waters, European Parliament 2014.