An apprenticeship is a form of vocational training which includes:
- periods of training in schools whose objective is the acquisition of specific knowledge related to trades/professions;
- periods of practical training, in a professional environment under a supervisor (organised under an apprenticeship contract), provided by a training institution, to enable the apprentice to acquire the key skills of a particular trade or profession.
There are 2 forms of apprenticeships:
- initial apprenticeships, for minors aged 15 years and over;
- apprenticeships for adults, to enable adult learners to acquire, complete or complement professional training through the work-study apprenticeship system.
As part of the initial apprenticeship, the apprentice is paid a monthly minimum apprenticeship allowance by the training institution. As part of the apprenticeship for adults, the apprentice is paid the social minimum wage by the host employer.
Apprentices' professional development training is carried out under the guidance of a mentor.
Apprentices enjoy the following benefits:
- the protection of young workers;
- health and safety at work;
- occupational health;
- the protection of employees who are pregnant, breastfeeding or who have recently given birth;
- the protection against dismissal in the event of incapacity for work;
- annual leave.
Who is concerned
Any minor at least 15 years old who wishes to learn a profession and undergo training with a view to obtaining a DT, DAP or CCP.
Any adult who wishes to acquire, complete or complement professional training through the work-study apprenticeship system.
Anyone seeking a training institution should go in person to the Career Guidance Department (Service d’orientation professionnelle) of the National Employment Agency (Agence pour le développement de l’emploi – ADEM) to:
- obtain information and guidance on their future career and on their choice of profession;
- register there before entering into an apprenticeship contract.
Any person entering into an apprenticeship contract secured on their own initiative is required to inform and register with the Career Guidance Department.
Apprenticeship contracts must be entered into between 16 July and 1 November of the same year.
For 2021, the deadline of 1 November has been pushed to 30 November by way of derogation.
However, applications for adult apprenticeships must be submitted between 2 May and 15 September to ADEM's Career Guidance Department.
How to proceed
- Exercise the utmost discretion regarding the host company's business affairs;
- obey their supervisor and treat them with respect;
- adhere to the working hours and the rules that apply in the host company;
- assist their supervisor by means of their work, to the best of their ability.
For initial apprenticeships, the person must:
- be at least 15 years of age;
- satisfy the minimum conditions for entering the school system;
- be able to provide evidence of regular class attendance.
For apprenticeships for adults, the adult must:
- be at least 18 years of age on 1 September of the year of registration;
- have been out of the initial school system for 12 months;
- not have been bound by an apprenticeship contract for initial training for at least 12 months. Exemptions may be granted to holders of:
- a CCP who wish to obtain a DAP in the same field;
- a DAP who wish to obtain a DT in the same field;
- a CCP, DAP or DT who wish to acquire a DAP or a DT in a complementary field;
- have been registered with the Joint Social Security Centre (Centre Commun de la Sécurité Sociale – CCSS) for at least 12 months (consecutive or not) and for at least 16 hours per week.
Required form and content of apprenticeship contracts
Apprenticeship contracts are entered into between a training institution and an apprentice, or their legal representative if the apprentice is a minor. It must be issued:
- in writing;
- at the latest when the apprenticeship begins;
- in 5 copies, including one for the apprentice and one for the training institution.
- at the time of signing the contract, have registered as an apprentice with the Joint Social Security Centre by filling in the 'declaration of start of employment for employees' form and ticking the box labelled 'Apprentice' (Apprenti);
- give their tax card to their employer.
The apprenticeship contract must be registered by the training institution.
The apprenticeship contract template is produced by the professional chambers.
Apprenticeship contracts provide for and specify a trial period lasting no more than 3 months.
The purpose of the trial period is to:
- allow the apprentices to make sure that they have chosen the right trade or profession;
- provide the training institution with an opportunity to evaluate the motivation and abilities required of the apprentice for their apprenticeship.
If the contract is suspended during the trial period (e.g. in the event of sickness), the trial period will be extended for a period of time equivalent to the duration of the suspension, but not exceeding one month.
The contract may be terminated during the trial period by either party, without notice and without reason, provided that both competent professional chambers – the Chamber of Employees and the Employers' Association, or the Minister responsible for vocational training – have given their approval. The party that wishes to terminate the contract must send a written request to the relevant apprenticeship advisor.
If prior approval is not obtained, the termination will be deemed arbitrary and the aggrieved party will be entitled to compensatory damages.
Apprenticeship remuneration, subsidies and bonuses
Apprentices who are minors are paid a monthly minimum apprenticeship allowance by the training institution. The amount of the allowance depends on the chosen trade/profession, the year in which the apprenticeship takes place or in which the integrated intermediate project is successfully completed, and the cost-of-living index.
Upon successful completion of their apprenticeship year, apprentices are entitled to an apprenticeship bonus in the amount of:
- EUR 130 per month of apprenticeship for a CCP qualification;
- EUR 150 per month of apprenticeship for a DAP or DT qualification and cross-border apprenticeships.
Applications for the bonus must be sent to ADEM's Career Guidance Department before 1 July of the following year, together with supporting documents attesting successful completion. After that date, the apprentice will lose their entitlement to the bonus.
Example: for the apprenticeship year 2020-2021, applications must be sent before 1 July 2022.
Adult apprentices are paid the legal or contractual apprenticeship allowance by their training employer, plus a supplementary allowance such that the total amount received does not exceed the social minimum wage for unskilled workers. Reimbursements of the supplementary allowance are subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the reimbursement form issued to the training employer by ADEM's Career Guidance Department.
Apprentices are considered to be employees and young workers with respect to health and safety at work. As such, they must undergo a pre-employment medical examination:
- to determine whether they are fit or unfit for the intended occupation;
- within 2 months of being hired.
Periodical medical examinations must be arranged for apprentices under the age of 21.
Before signing their apprenticeship contract, or at the latest before commencing employment, apprentices who are minors and their legal representatives must be informed in writing of the following:
- any risks to which they may be exposed;
- all measures that have been taken in connection with their health and safety.
Before commencing employment, apprentices under the age of 21 must also receive appropriate instructions in the presence of:
- the safety representative;
- the safety officer in charge of supervising actions to prevent and protect against occupational risks.
The working hours:
- include the training time spent in the host company and in school;
- must comply with the rules applicable to:
Expiry and renewal of the apprenticeship contract
End of the apprenticeship contract
The apprenticeship contract ends:
- when the apprentice successfully completes the training;
- in case of force majeure;
- upon termination by either one of the parties;
- upon mutual agreement of the parties;
- upon a decision by the employers' association, when:
- the apprentice or training institution has breached the contract, or;
- the apprentice is deemed unfit for the chosen profession;
- with the cessation of the training institution's activities or if they lose their accreditation as a training institution;
- if the apprentice fails to report for the apprenticeship for 24 consecutive working days without a valid reason;
- the apprentice's right to sickness benefits has expired;
- the maximum duration of the training period has been reached.
Extension of the apprenticeship contract
The apprenticeship contract will be automatically extended if an extension is needed for the apprentice to complete their training. Apprenticeship contracts may not be extended by more than one year. A second extension is possible on request.
Cross-border apprenticeships are training programmes in which:
- the practical component, in a professional environment, is carried out in a training institution located in Luxembourg;
- the school-based training is provided by an establishment in a neighbouring country.
Cross-border apprenticeships are possible subject to the prior approval of the Minister of Education, Children and Youth (Ministre de l’Éducation nationale, de l’Enfance et de la Jeunesse – MENEJ).
The apprentice must send a written, substantiated request to the MENEJ's Department of Vocational Training (Service de la formation professionnelle), providing the following mandatory information:
- their surname, first name and home address;
- the surname, first name, profession and address of the training company, if the training company is a natural person, or the company name and the address of the company's head office, if the training company is a legal person (company or non-profit organisation);
- the name and address of the educational establishment where the school-based training will take place;
- the name of the trade/profession in which they would like to undertake an apprenticeship;
- the training programme;
- a copy of the academic transcripts for the last class they attended prior to taking up the apprenticeship.
Cross-border apprenticeships are registered with the relevant Employers' Professional Chamber (chambre professionnelle patronale)/Ministry in Luxembourg.
The apprentice must provide a copy of the cross-border apprenticeship contract to the institution providing their theoretical training and to the competent authority for training in the foreign country.
For the practical component, the minimum apprenticeship allowances that apply are those provided for in Luxembourg.
Concluding an employment contract
Forms / Online services
Formulaire en vue de l’introduction d’une demande "apprentissage pour adultes"