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.

At the strategic level the social partners, i.e. the Economic Chamber (representation of employers´ interests), the Chamber of Labour and the Austrian Trade Union Federation (representation of employees´ interests), strongly influence the formation of the Austrian apprenticeship training system through the Regional and Federal Advisory Boards. These Boards mainly draw up expert opinion reports on key aspects related to, as an example, the formation and introduction of apprenticeships including the final assessment. Any recommendations taken from these reports are valid throughout Austria.

At the operational level, the social partners prepare training regulations, outline training standards, define assessment standards, and are represented in examination boards. The chambers also offer career guidance and vocational counselling.