Between two thirds and three quarters of a VET program is provided in a company. All companies are approved by the relevant trade committee to ensure that the training environment is appropriate and that there are qualified trainers available. If an apprentice has not signed a contract, they may start their company training in a Centre of Placement.

The majority of students who begin their education at a VET college do not have a training agreement beforehand. The search for a company take place during the first twenty to forty weeks and is supported in different ways by the VET college.

Employers interested in training apprentices can obtain support from the relevant trade committee, the local training committee or the local VET college. In practice, the sector-specific local training committees will be the de-facto decision-makers in the approval process because they typically know the companies and the local area better than the trade committees do. Companies can obtain support from the local training committees and the VET colleges related to the arrangement (the recruitment process, handling the legal aspects, translating occupational standards for the company part of the training related to the placement etc.). It is possible for companies to share an apprentice – either as part of ordinary placement (combination agreements) or as part of an arrangement in which the Centre of Placement organizes and may take care of some of the training while two or more companies undertake the rest of the practice-based training (short agreements and/or residual agreements).

The legal basis for apprenticeship is the contract signed by the apprentice with the employer. The contract contains a description of the actual content of the training (name of qualification), duration, salary and what kind of agreement is being entered into. The apprentices are considered learners; they are paid a salary according to the collective agreement and are entitled to vacations. The apprentices are expected to learn through their contributions to productive work. The apprenticeship contract cannot be cancelled unless one of the two parties breaches it.

Apprenticeships, whether school-based or company-based, must take place in accordance with legislation and follow the apprenticeship rules laid down by the Ministry of Children and Education and specified by the trade committees. Consequently, the competence goals stipulated by the trade committees and the work and functions must be included in the contract or placement programs. The legislation is intended to enable the school-based training and company-based training to complement one another.  Consequently, the legislation includes the framework for cooperation between school, student and enterprise.

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