Apprenticeship training procedure (vocational training, apprenticeship diploma)

The apprenticeship period (apprenticeship training) begins on the day agreed in the apprenticeship contract.

In Austria, training is organised as a "dual system", i.e. training takes place both at the company to which the apprentice is attached and in a vocational school. About 80 per cent of training time is spent at the training company, and 20 per cent at the vocational school. In some sectors training may also be given at a third training location (e.g. construction academies for apprenticeships in the construction industry).

In addition to training in the company, the skills required for vocational training are taught in vocational schools. There are a number of subjects that apprenticeships have to complete to pass their apprenticeships. Which subjects these are will depend on the industry. The aim of training at vocational schools is to complement technical training provided in the company, to improve apprentices' general education and - depending on the industry concerned - to build foreign language skills tailored to the trade they are learning.

There are three types of vocational schools:

  • All-year-round, i.e. apprentices attend classes at least once a week for the whole year.
  • Course-based, i.e. apprentices attend a course over a period of at least eight weeks
  • Seasonal, i.e. training is delivered in blocks at certain times of the year. For example, for apprenticeships in tourism, training is often delivered in low season.

Vocational schools for popular apprenticeships (e.g. office administrators or bakers) exist in every province. There are fewer vocational school locations in Austria for less common apprenticeships. The schools that offer these courses usually operate as boarding schools for students from other parts of the country.

Advice

Information on the support available to apprentices can be found under "Support and financial assistance".

The programme "Coaching and advice for apprentices and companies training them" (Lehre statt Leere) offers apprentices and the companies that train them individual guidance on all issues related to training (and advice to apprentices on personal challenges their apprenticeships may bring).

Once they have completed their apprenticeships, apprentices can take their final examination.

Young people with weaker academic grades can obtain an apprenticeship  certificate through vocational training according to Section 8b of the Vocational Training Act ("integrative vocational training").

Even after apprentices complete their training, they still have a full range of continuing education courses open to them. For example, they can take an additional final apprenticeship examination in a directly related field, or build on their apprenticeship by training as a master craftsperson. Another option is to take the Vocational Matura ("Apprenticeship with Matura") exam. A pass entitles the holder to study at a university or specialist technical college.

Further links

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Last update: 18 July 2022

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy