The social partners have the key role in defining standards for VET qualifications to ensure the relevance to the labour market and the certification of the training. A VET qualification in apprenticeship systems is typically broad in nature embedding key competences and laying the foundation for lifelong learning.
The apprenticeship period usually ends with the final exam or a journeyman’s test. The final exam will cover both the school part of the education as well as the practical in-company training. The social partners and/or the chambers of commerce are responsible for the practical part of the exam. The apprenticeship certificate is nationally recognised in the labour market, which is one of the key success features of apprenticeship.
Apprenticeship is a demand driven system. This is the reason why skills assessment and skills forecasting play a central role in all apprenticeship system to ensure system dynamism and that students who have completed apprenticeship are attractive in the labour market. The social partners play the key role at all system level in monitoring developments in the labour market to ensure a match between supply and demand. This effort may be supplemented by specific studies to analyse supply and demand in more depths undertaken by the social partners or by research organisations and consultants. The monitoring of the developments in supply and demand is also supported by data collection on such issues as the number of apprenticeship openings across regions and sectors, transition pathways to the labour market for different occupations and regions.