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).

Guidance starts at the end of primary school where learners are oriented either to the lower cycle of general secondary education or the lower cycle of technical secondary education, the latter leading to the VET programmes.

The lower cycle of technical secondary education (ISCED 244 – EQF 1) consists of three classes, 7, 8, and 9. Upon successful completion learners can continue in technical, technician’s or vocational programmes. The decision on the level and the type of programmes the learner is admitted to in class 10 of the medium cycle is taken by the class council, depending on the student’s achievements and performance in class 9 in key subjects such as languages or mathematics.

Inside technical secondary school, the Psychology and school guidance service  (Service de psychologie et d’orientation scolaires, SPOS) is responsible for the guidance of the learners for their future education choices and may also provide psychological support.

Information and guidance about trades and professions as well as the placement in apprenticeship contracts is assured by the Vocational guidance department of the Public Agency for the Development of Employment (ADEM).

An initiative launched in 2012 was aimed at the coordination and enhancement of the effectiveness of the different existing counselling and guidance services by regrouping them into one single structure called the Guidance house (Maison de l’Orientation). It aimed at offering a coherent and centralised service for citizens seeking guidance in their education and working life and includes:

  • The vocational guidance service of the Public Agency for the Development of Employment (ADEM) that gives information and guidance about the different trades and professions and is responsible for the placement of young people and adults into apprenticeship contracts;
  • The Psychology and School Guidance Centre (CPOS) that is responsible for giving guidance to learners for their future education choices and may also provide psychological support through their Psychology and School Guidance Services (Service de psychologie et d’orientation scolaires, SPOS) located inside technical secondary schools;
  • The National Youth Service (Service national de la jeunesse) that supports the acquisition of practical skills and competences through the participation in voluntary programmes;
  • The Local Action for Youth (Action locale pour jeunes), a regionally organised service offering individual coaching for young people to achieve their professional prospects and also assures a systematic follow up of early school leavers;
  • The National Agency for the European Education and Lifelong Training Programme (Agence nationale pour le programme européen d’éducation et de formation tout au long de la vie) that manages the European education and training programmes and can offer opportunities for training periods in other European countries.

The web-portal “Anelo”  aims at giving young people comprehensive information about the different professions and trades and career possibilities as well as the different counselling services available. It also includes a digital portfolio where young people can gather important documents and certificates supporting their skills and competences.

Adults who have not been attending school or who have not been under an IVET apprenticeship contract for at least 12 months as well as those who want to upgrade their existing qualification to a higher level diploma can access adult apprenticeship programmes. A specific commission under the authority of the Minister of Education, Children and Youth decides on the access to adult apprenticeship programmes. The conditions of access and the contents of the programmes are identical to those in IVET. Adult apprenticeship programmes were introduced in the context of the “PAN Law ” from 1999 which created a national action plan for the promotion of employment.

The VET law of the 19th of December 2008 (SCL, 2008b) stipulates that every person has the right to validate his or her prior learning and occupational experiences with the aim to obtain an officially recognized VET qualification. The validation of formal, non-formal and informal learning (Validation des acquis de l’expérience) is a procedure that recognises the value of school and work experience in the certifying process. Individuals who have at least three years (equivalent of 5000 hours) of practical experience in a particular working field may apply to the recognition procedure at the MENJE. The experience must be directly related to the requested certification. An ad hoc evaluation commission decides on the recognition of prior learning for a specific qualification for each applicant. If the conditions are met, the candidate may receive a partial or complete validation of the certificate or diploma he granted for. All vocational diplomas or certificates as well as the technical programmes and the master craftsperson studies are concerned by this validation procedure.

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