Apprenticeship systems are characterized by a high degree of involvement of social partners at all system levels in the management and development of the system. Social partners are typically involved in such as definition of standards, curriculum development, quality assurance and funding. Their role is central to ensuring that the training content and learning outcomes correspond to the requirements of the labour market and this enables a smooth transition to the labour market.
The social partners (employers´ and employees´ representatives) are important players in the Austrian apprenticeship training system. They are involved in the entire lifecycle of a qualification – from the need analysis to the review of the training programme. As such they are engaged in both strategic and operative tasks. The social partners are the main party responsibility for the creation of apprenticeships in Austria.
The social partners play a key role in the management and development of the VET system in Denmark. They are involved in overall governance at the national level in the Advisory Council on the Vocational Education and Training and are organized into trade committees, which play a key role in defining the learning objectives in the VET programs. They are also responsible for the on-going updating of VET qualifications and the development of new, nationally organized qualifications. The trade committees also approve the companies that wish to offer apprenticeship training.
Business and trade organisations, social partners and the State in Germany cooperate on the basis of the consensus principle. The Vocational Training Act regulates that the social partners are involved in decision-making processes at all levels.
In Luxembourg the social partners are represented by five professional chambers representing the employer’s and the employee’s side. The partnership between the State and the professional chambers is a legally fixed requirement. Accordingly, the professional chambers are consulted on all major decisions regarding VET and their advice is sought prior to the elaboration of all legislative and regulative proposals concerning VET.
In Switzerland, social partners represent the interest of employees or the ones of employers. Since both form part of the non-public professional organisations in the public-private partnership (PPP) of vocational and professional education and training (VPET), they participate systematically at all VPET policy-making processes concerning legislative issues and the development of vocational standards. Social partners are invited to all VPET conferences and represented in all relevant commissions and working groups.