Vocational education and training

July 4, 2018 | Career & job search | Christopher Arimont

Development of professional education in Luxembourg

The history of vocational education and training in Luxembourg (formation professionnelle) is closely linked to the history of the professional chambers.

One of the major missions of the chambers is the organisation and administration of vocational education and training in the country. This makes it possible for them to secure the training of the next generation as well as the continuance of the crafts and trades.

“A further main mission is to provide our expert opinions on every statutory project and to actively shape these projects,” says Daniel Schroeder, consultant of the directon of the Chambre des Métiers. “Not only those directly affecting the chambers and their professions but also on general and socio-political issues such as mobility or nationality. This, of course, always comes from the viewpoint of the trade and its operations in the Grand Duchy. This cooperation reviews the impact of such projects on the individual sectors and their stakeholders (enterprises, entrepreneurs, employees, and apprentices), thus guaranteeing them maximum benefit but also a certain degree of security.”

The Act of 2008 has also contributed towards the abolition of the classic final examination.

Up-to-date reforms

“In October 1945, a Vocational Training Act was set up, which remained in force until 2008 – some of it even until 2012. The government of 1974 put vocational training into the hands of the Ministry of Education. In 1990, the Law on Technical Higher Education was introduced, which introduced a number of new elements, including specific “adult education and training” (Amended Act of 1990 on the introduction of adult education - apprentissage adult).

“All the legislative texts in this field have always had a direct impact on vocational training, including the Reorganisation of Vocational Education and Training of 2008 in particular,” according to Schroeder. Among other things, the principle of partnership between the “Chambre des Salariés”, the “Chambre des Métiers”, and the “Ministère de l'Education” was established. These three organisations serve as a vehicle for vocational training in Luxembourg and work very closely together.

“The old subject system was also abolished, the lessons were organised in a modular way, and competence-orientated assessment was introduced. This happened at a time when the European Union's view on vocational training had changed. It was decided to assess training according to acquired, concrete abilities and not just knowledge; always with an eye on the employability of the trainees. We are talking about the 70/90 principle in the craft/trade field in Luxembourg:

“ 90 percent of apprentices find a job after successfully completing training, 70 percent even in the company that trained them.”

Daniel Schroeder- Consultant of the Directon of the Chambre des Métiers

“At European level, we are therefore very strong, which is very positive.”

The Act of 2008 has also contributed towards the abolition of the classic final examination. This was replaced by integrated projects: the integrated intermediate project (PII - Projet Intégré Intermédiaire) and the integrated final project (PIF - Projet Intégré Final). Theory and practice are interwoven in these projects. In this way, the candidates must read through projects, understand, plan, execute, and finally evaluate independently.

“We are behind this principle as a professional chamber, as we feel responsible for the companies and their trainees. We want every candidate to receive the best possible, present-day training. At the same time, we want to offer the various companies the opportunity to hire well-trained staff. And our current figures confirm that our approach is working.

“We look closely at each subject, analyse it even more closely, formulate our opinion, and then adopt a position on it. It may happen that we differ with the Ministry of Education. But this is the way in which things develop. You discuss and find solutions together, but you never lose sight of the well-being of the trades, your factories and employees, as well as your trainees.”

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