Apprenticeships in Work-Based Learning across Europe

Apprenticeships in Work-Based Learning across Europe

The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) is an agency of the European Union that supports the development of vocational education and training (VET) policies across Europe. Cedefop’s mission is to promote and improve VET through research, analysis, and the provision of data, helping to align education with labour market needs.

Importance of the Apprenticeships in Work-Based Learning Reports

Cedefop’s comprehensive reports on apprenticeships and work-based learning (WBL) across various European countries are invaluable resources. These reports offer detailed insights into apprenticeship schemes’ structure, implementation, and effectiveness in different national contexts. They are essential for policymakers, educators, and employers seeking to understand and improve vocational training systems.

Country-Specific Overviews

Here is a summary of the apprenticeship and work-based learning schemes in selected European countries based on Cedefop’s reports:


Austria has a dual VET system that is highly integrated with the labour market. Apprenticeships are a cornerstone, combining theoretical education in vocational schools with practical training in companies​ (CEDEFOP)​.


Belgium offers diverse apprenticeship schemes tailored to regional requirements, emphasising combining work experience with classroom instruction to enhance employability​ (CEDEFOP)​.


Bulgaria’s apprenticeship programmes align vocational training with industry needs, emphasising the importance of employer engagement in the education process​ (CEDEFOP)​.


In Croatia, apprenticeships are integrated into the national education system, focusing on providing students with practical skills and work experience alongside academic knowledge​ (CEDEFOP)​.


Cyprus has developed structured apprenticeship programmes to address skills shortages and improve youth employment by offering practical, hands-on experience in various industries​ (CEDEFOP)​.


The Czech Republic emphasises the importance of practical training in its VET system, with apprenticeships designed to meet the needs of the modern labour market​ (CEDEFOP)​.


Denmark’s well-established apprenticeship system, featuring strong collaboration between schools and businesses, ensures students gain relevant and up-to-date skills​ (CEDEFOP)​.


Estonia has been enhancing its apprenticeship programmes to ensure they are flexible and responsive to student needs and labour market demands, focusing on modern, competency-based education​ (CEDEFOP)​.


Finland’s apprenticeship approach includes extensive cooperation between educational institutions and employers, aiming to provide students with practical skills that complement their theoretical studies​ (CEDEFOP)​.


France’s apprenticeship schemes are designed to support youth employment and lifelong learning, focusing on providing pathways to skilled employment through hands-on experience​ (CEDEFOP)​.


Germany is renowned for its dual VET system, where apprentices split their time between school and the workplace, receiving extensive practical and theoretical training highly valued by employers​ (CEDEFOP)​.


Iceland offers apprenticeship programmes integrated with its educational system to provide students with practical skills and real-world experience to enhance their employability​ (CEDEFOP)​.


Ireland’s apprenticeship programmes have been expanding to cover a wide range of sectors, focusing on providing students with the skills and experience needed for a successful career​ (CEDEFOP)​.


Latvia is modernising its apprenticeship systems to ensure they are aligned with labour market needs, emphasising the importance of practical training and employer involvement​ (CEDEFOP)​.


Lithuania has been developing its apprenticeship frameworks to provide more structured and high-quality training opportunities, aiming to enhance the employability of its VET graduates​ (CEDEFOP)​.


Luxembourg’s apprenticeship programmes are well-structured and focus on providing students with a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical skills closely integrated with the labour market​ (CEDEFOP)​.


Malta offers a range of apprenticeship schemes to provide practical training and work experience, helping students transition smoothly into the workforce​ (CEDEFOP)​.


The Netherlands has a robust apprenticeship system integrating vocational education with practical training, ensuring students are well-prepared for the labour market​ (CEDEFOP)​.


Norway’s apprenticeship programmes are designed to offer high-quality training in collaboration with industries, ensuring that the skills taught are relevant and up-to-date​ (CEDEFOP)​.


Poland has been enhancing its apprenticeship programmes to meet the needs of the economy better, focusing on providing students with practical skills that are directly applicable in the workplace​ (CEDEFOP)​.


Slovakia is developing its apprenticeship schemes to ensure they provide high-quality training that meets the demands of both students and employers, focusing on practical and theoretical education​ (CEDEFOP)​.


Slovenia’s apprenticeship programmes are structured to provide students with comprehensive training that includes both classroom education and hands-on work experience​ (CEDEFOP)​.


Sweden offers apprenticeship programmes that combine academic studies with practical training to provide students with the skills needed for a successful career​ (CEDEFOP)​.

United Kingdom

The UK has diverse apprenticeship schemes across various sectors, focusing on providing students with the skills and experience required by employers helping bridge the gap between education and employment​ (CEDEFOP)​.


Cedefop’s reports on apprenticeships in work-based learning provide essential insights into the vocational training systems across Europe. These detailed overviews help understand how countries integrate practical training with theoretical education to prepare students for the labour market, ultimately contributing to a more skilled and adaptable workforce.


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