Access to apprenticeship is based upon completion of compulsory schooling, but there may be additional requirements in practice which apply to particular occupational profiles or countries such as requests for particular school leaving certificates, a minimum grade point average or that students have found an apprenticeship company prior to start. Guidance of students already takes place in compulsory education to inform them about the range of opportunities and career pathways offered through the VET system and it continues throughout the VET programme to ensure a good match between students and apprenticeship companies.
The apprenticeship system is open for all who have completed their compulsory schooling of nine years. The main goal of accessing the apprenticeship system is to find a suitable apprenticeship occupation and a training company. Various forms of guidance and support are offered in order to make the choice easier and successful: from face-to-face guidance to online-tools. From the year 2017, all young people until the age of 18 will have to either be in school or in an apprenticeship (Ausbildungspflicht - compulsory education or training).
Students must have minimum grades in mathematics and Danish to enter VET. Alternatively they must have a signed apprentice contract or pass an initial test. There are 51 municipal youth guidance centres. Their main task is to provide guidance to students from compulsory school until the age of 25 years.
Access to apprenticeship follows the market principle. Young people have to find a training company. There is no formal entrance restriction, but companies decide upon the recruitment procedures and requirements they apply. There are also two options to recognize prior learning – one giving direct admission to the examinations and one to reduce the duration of the training. Vocational guidance has become a priority on the political agenda in the last years.
Learners usually access VET after completion of the lower cycle of technical secondary education. The level and type of programme they get access to are based on their performances in class 9 of the lower cycle and are decided by the class council. Since 2012, all major guidance services in Luxembourg have been regrouped in one single structure called the Guidance house in order to increase their effectiveness for citizens. Access to adult apprenticeship is decided by a commission under the authority of the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth (MENJE).
While young people compete for an apprenticeship position at a host company depending on their interests, host companies offer apprenticeship positions reflecting their actual and future demand of human capital in their branch. This leads to a self-regulating apprenticeship market corresponding highly with the needs of the economy and the labour market.