To offer training a company has to fulfil legal requirements which are examined by the competent bodies. The apprentices spend three to four days a week in the company in average. It is also possible to alternate blocks of several weeks duration. The company is responsible for the way the in-company training is designed and implemented.

Legal requirements

To offer training a company has to prove its suitability as a training facility and that it employs in-company trainers with the required personal and professional qualifications. The verification of this “training competence” is the responsibility of the competent bodies. The company is suitable as a training facility when it can enable the apprentice to learn all the skills, knowledge and abilities listed in the training regulation for the in-company training part. The suitability also covers the technical equipment of the training company required to comply with the specification of the training regulation. In-company trainers have to prove their qualification to train by passing the trainer aptitude test conducted by a competent body. Before the beginning of the apprenticeship the training employer and the future apprentice sign a training contract under private law.

In-company training plan

The training company has to draw up an in-company training plan based on the syllabus and timetable stated in the training regulation (framework training plan). The in-company training plan is based on the company’s infrastructure and work processes and gives an indicative timeframe of topics that have to be covered over the duration of the apprenticeship. With the in-company training plan the apprentices and company staff agree on the allocation of learning objectives in time sequences.

Implementation of training

The implementation and design of initial vocational education and training in companies is the responsibility of the employers. Each company might include additional topics in its training and offer the apprentices additional qualifications. There is a great variety in employers’ involvement. In large industrial companies training departments with full-time in-company trainers run the apprenticeship offers. The training is very structured and there are training workshops with state-of-the-art equipment. Often the apprentices pass through different departments of the company. In small and medium sized companies the training depends usually more on the commitment of key staff such as the in-company trainers or the operations managers. The trainers there often train the apprentices in addition to their regular tasks in the company. In the crafts sector apprenticeship often occurs in very small enterprises where the apprentice is from the beginning directly involved in customer orders.

Inter-company vocational training centres and training alliances

If a company is not able to offer all the training content required in the training regulation, it has the opportunity to cover the missing parts at inter-company vocational training centres. These centres are a third learning venue in the dual system. They are subsidised by the State and they are usually governed by the chambers. During the last years the training centres developed into competence centres, which also offer further education and training and other services. Another option for companies that cannot cover all contents is the formation of training alliances with other companies. 

Record book

The apprentice has to keep a written record of its training by regularly documenting the fulfilled tasks. Usually the apprentices fill out the record book every week noting the contents of the training and the topics at the vocational school. The entries have to be checked by the instructor and signed by both sides. A complete record book is a prerequisite for the admission to the final exams.