Only part of our content is available in the language you selected. See what content is available in Slovenčina.

You are here

Scheme fiche

Apprenticeship training

Ammatillinen perustutkinto
Finland

Country fiche

Horizontal tabs

Reference Year 2019

Target 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
Other

Apprenticeship is a fixed term employment relationship or public service relationship between a student aged 15 at least and an employer.

Q7. What is the average age of learners in practice?

Between 15 and 18
Between 18 and 24
Above 24

Apprenticeship is offered as an opportunity for all, but in practice the majority, which means 94 % of all apprenticeship students, were over 20 years of age in 2018.

Table: Apprentices in 2018, split by age group

Age Share of apprenticeship learners
15 – 19 6 %
20 – 24 11 %
25 – 29 14%
30 – 34 15%
35 – 39 15%
40 – 44 13%
45 – 49 11%
50 – 54 9%
55 – 59 5%
60 – 1%

Statistics source: Education Statistics Finland www.vipunen.fi

Overview of the scheme

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

Yes
No

Apprenticeship is included in the mapping of initial vocational qualifications (ISCED 354), further vocational qualifications (ISCED 354) and specialist vocational qualifications (ISCED 454).

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

Yes
No

Stakeholder roles are based on legislation. The legislation is prepared by The Ministry of Education and Culture.

The Finnish National Agency for Education guides and co-ordinates the implementation of the scheme on national level (EDUFI, oph.fi/en). Its role is to guide, advise and co-ordinate development and implementation of vocational education and training on national level and cooperate with VET providers who implement VET in practice. EDUFI cooperate also with other key stakeholders, including from the world of work. These tasks cover all vocational education and training, including apprenticeship. The overall and common aim is the high quality of VET.

EDUFI prepares the national qualifications and preparatory education and training for VET. It also develops education and training through funding projects, increases the productivity of education and supports internationalisation.

Within the limits of their respective VET providers licences, legislation and other regulation, VET providers can decide independently on the allocation of education they offer, in which educational institutions and learning environments, and how education is organised.  

The experts on apprenticeship training in EDUFI are working in the Learning and internationalisation, Vocational education and training unit.

Q10. When was the scheme introduced?

Long history (before 2000)
Recently introduced (between 2000-2012)
New pathway (after 2012)

The first act concerning apprenticeship was enacted in 1923. Legislation was reformed in 1967 and after that in 1983, 1988 and 1992. The latest reform of VET was enacted from 1.1.2018 (finlex.fi > 531/2017).

The 2018 reform brought the Acts of vocational upper secondary education and training and vocational adult education and training together in a single act, which form a consistent whole, including apprenticeship.

The scheme has been continuously developed over the years.

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
Ex-novo
Other

The first legislation was set in 1923 and apprenticeships started in the field of craftsmanship. At that time, due the industrialization there was a growing need for skilled employees in factories with no training capacity.

In 1993, a new law eliminated the age limit in apprenticeships. At the same time Finland developed a new degree system, competence-based qualifications for adults. The law of apprenticeship training made it possible to complete the competence-based qualifications through apprenticeship training.

During the last years, adults have been using apprenticeship training more and more to upskill and reskill to respond the needs of working life in the Finnish information- and service-based society. The 2018 reform and the new act aim at increasing youth participation in apprenticeship training as a way to enter the labour market. 

Apprenticeship training has always used to promote employment. It is one important tool to facilitate integration on the labor market also for unemployed persons.

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
State
Other

Employers pay at the least minimum wage to the apprentice.

Remuneration depends on the sector and tasks and must be in compliance with the relevant collective agreement (if existing). The progress of wage in time is also defined in collective agreement. The bases for remuneration are defined in an apprentice contract.

Employers may be eligible for training compensation, the amount of which is agreed between the employer and the education provider (See Q13).

The Public employment and business services (TE Office) may grant a subsidy to an employer to cover pay costs of the apprenticeship wage of an unemployed jobseeker (see Q13).

Q13. Are there any financial incentives for companies that offer apprenticeship places?

Yes, subsidies
Yes, tax deductions
Yes, other incentives
No financial incentives

The employer may be eligible for training compensation. The amount of the compensation is negotiable and agreed between the employer and the education provider, taking into account the student´s skills and experience and the guidance and support measures that the student may need. An entrepreneur´s apprenticeship can be implemented for a self-employed person. In this case, the other entrepreneur who is tutoring the self-employed person may be eligible for training compensation.

Education providers are granted funds from the state budget. Funding is based on completed units and qualifications, employment or placement in further studies after the end of apprenticeships, as well as the feedback collected from students and employers. The amount of time spent on education is not relevant from the point of view of the funding structure. The education providers decide on the use and allocation of the financing. 

The Public employment and business services (TE Office) may grant a pay subsidy to an employer to cover pay costs of an unemployed jobseeker. A pay subsidy may be granted for the entire duration of apprenticeship training. If the amount of subsidy is based on the length of unemployment, it covers a maximum of 30%, 40% or 50% of the payroll costs for a period not exceeding 12 months. The subsidy for the rest of the course of the training is a maximum of 30% of payroll costs. If the subsidy is granted based on a disability or an illness of the jobseeker, it will cover 50% of payroll costs throughout the entire training period.

Q14. How many learners are enrolled in this scheme?

In 2018, 222 855 students enrolled in vocational education and training to acquire full qualification or a qualification module (i.e. not to cover more specific, partial learning needs). From those, 25 575 apprentices enrolled in that year, raising the total number of enrolled apprentices to 57 354.

About 26 % of VET students were in apprenticeship training in 2018 (see Q15).  

Statistics source: Education Statistics Finland www.vipunen.fi

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.)
Others

Apprenticeship training can be used in all vocational qualifications that are also offered by school-based VET: initial, further and specialist vocational qualifications. It can cover the full qualification or a module or part of that to meet specific skill needs.  

The Finnish National Agency for Education draws up the national qualification requirements, which are the same for young and adult students. The number of qualifications for which apprenticeship can be offered is 164 (2019).

Q17. Is the qualification included in the National Qualification Framework (NQF)?

Yes
No
There is no NQF

Initial vocational qualifications and further vocational qualifications are on level 4 and specialist vocational qualifications are on level 5 (EQF levels similarly).

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

Yes
No

Vocational education graduates, including apprenticeship graduates, have general eligibility for further studies at polytechnics and universities. The polytechnics and the universities have their own admissions criteria and the eligibility requirements may vary from one programme to another.

Vocational education and training have been developed as an integral part of the education system, with the aim to lead to both employment on the labour market and further studies in either tertiary education or further vocational qualifications. Individual study pathways are open from basic education to higher education with no dead ends. Cooperation between secondary and tertiary VET is increasingly becoming a commonplace.

Programme

Duration

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

 

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
Other

The duration of apprenticeship is based on each student’s individual learning pathway and personal competence development plan.

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

No distinction has been set per regulation between what is to be learned at the workplace and what is to be learned in other environments (at the institution, by online learning etc.). The forms and time of training are based on the personal competence development plan.

In apprenticeship training students gain most of the skills by completing practical job-specific tasks at the workplace. If everything can be learned at the workplace, there is no need to complement studies elsewhere.
In practice, it is common that learners complement their studies in other learning environments offered by the education provider. Students who learn skills at work during weekends, evenings or summer holidays may have them recognized as part of their studies.

Alternation of work-based (in-company) training and school-based training

Q24. Is it compulsory to alternate training between two learning venues (school and company)?

Yes
No

Since the 2018 reform, there is no indication in the legislation where the theoretical part should be acquired. In fact, the word ‘theory’ is no longer in use. Instead, the terminology applied refers to ‘learning in the working place’ and ‘learning in other environments’.

Skills suitable for a vocational qualification can be acquired in multiple learning environments, for example the theoretical part of the learning can be integrated in learning at work or it can undergo at virtual environments or leisure activities, in addition to the facilities at the educational institution. If the student has prior learning and competences, they can be identified and recognized.

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

If everything can be learned at the workplace, there is no need to complement studies elsewhere.
In practice, it is common that learners complement their studies in other learning environments offered by the education provider.

The average weekly working hours must be at least 25 hours.

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
Other
Not specified

It depends on agreements between the school and the company based on individual needs of student. The training is planned together with the education provider, the employer and the student and it is defined in the personal competence development plan.  

Formal relationship with the employer

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

Yes
No

The apprenticeship contract and the annexed student's personal competence development plan (PDCP) concerning training through apprenticeship, are approved and signed between the student, the employer and the education provider.

The apprenticeship contract includes the responsibilities of parties: the employer, the assigned workplace instructor, the education provider and the student. The contract includes the title of the qualification or module, the period of validity, working hours, trial period, basis for pay for the student (in accordance with the applicable collective agreement, a student must be paid at least the minimum wage), wages paid for skills acquired in an education provider (yes/no) and the training compensation to be paid to the employer.

The PDCP specifies e.g. key learning tasks at work, studies and their timing in other learning environments, the responsible workplace instructor and required support and guidance.

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

Apprenticeship is a fixed term employment relationship or public service relationship, having its legal basis on the Act on Vocational Education and Training and on the labour code (e.g. employment contract and employment relationship, working hours and annual holiday).

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
Other

The education provider does the registration and transfers the defined data of the contract and of the personal competence development plan (PCDP) to the national databases for Study Rights and Completed Studies (Koski) and the database of PCDP (eHOKS). The Finnish National Agency for Education maintains these national databases. 

National services sharing student data enable better planning and personalization of studies, recognition of skills qualifications acquired from previous studies and tracking progress and attendance, compiling statistics, evaluation of education.

Q30. What is the status of the learner?

Apprentice is a specific status
Student
Employee
Other

Apprenticeship has its legal basis on the Act on Vocational Education and Training and on the labour code.

Compensation

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

Employers pay wages. Apprenticeship pay depends on the sector and tasks stated in the contract.
It must be in compliance with the relevant collective agreement, which also defines the progress of wage in time. If there is no collective agreement in the field of work in question, the student must be paid a reasonable wage. The bases for pay are described in an apprentice contract.

During periods of learning in other environments (such as in a VET provider), students are eligible for allowances daily allowance, reimbursement of travel and accommodation costs), if they are not paid by the employer for these periods. Education providers pays these allowances. The Ministry of Education and Culture decides the amount of these allowances by legislation (. State budget can be source of the allowances.

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
Other
 

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

Employers
State
Other

Employers cover the wage.

Education providers pay apprentices an allowance if needed, and if the wage does not cover training at the education provider.

Q34. Does the wage or allowance of the apprentice cover both the time spent at school and in the company?

Yes
No, it covers only the time spent in the company

Employers can decide if the wage they pay can also cover skills acquisition in education provider's learning environments (if they are based on the personal competence development plan).

If employers don't pay for the time spent at the VET institution, education providers can pay allowances to student if needed (daily allowance, reimbursement of travel and accommodation costs).

Responsibility 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

Workplace training is based on Act on Vocational Education and Training and Government Decree on Vocational Education and Training.
On this basis, the education provider and workplace agree the content of the apprenticeship training. An individualised personal competence development plan (PDCP) is agreed and annexed to the contract. It specifies key learning tasks at work, studies and their timing in other learning environments, the responsible workplace instructor and required support and guidance (see also in Q27).  

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
Other

The workplace, as per regulation and as per national qualification requirements for VET, must offer:

  • sufficient production and service activities
  • necessary tools
  • staff, which have professional, educational competence and by work experience; one of those is assigned as the responsible workplace instructor.

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

Yes
No

The education providers’ duty is to monitor and support the workplace training and oversee that the apprenticeship is implemented as agreed. If there are problems that cannot be solved, the agreement may be terminated.

The apprenticeship is an employment contract, and for this reason, labour code regulations apply also in its sanctions if needed (e.g. work safety, work time).

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
Other
No role

The employers and employee´s representatives:

  • are involved in developing the vocational education and training system at national level and at education providers level; this work is done through different collaborative networks (advisory/consultative role),
  • design qualification requirements so that they respond to the changing competence needs of working life; this work is done together with The Finnish National Agency for Education (advisory/consultative role),
  • ensure the quality of the implementation of competence demonstrations and competence assessment; this work is done by committees representing the world of work (advisory/consultative role); these are 39 committees set by the Finnish National Agency for Education operating in different fields during 3-years term.

Trade unions negotiate the collective agreements that apply in apprenticeships too. They also have a major role in marketing apprenticeships as an option for learners. 

The student unions are an important partner as well.

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
Other
No role

The employers´ and employees´ representatives role is to

  • monitor that the apprenticeship training is implemented as agreed,
  • act as workplace instructor; teach and guide the student,
  • arrange for the student the competence demonstration opportunity at work place together with education provider (if this can be done in the work place in question), (see more in Q38)
  • act as competence assessor,
  • give feedback to contribute the quality improvement.