Apprenticeship is a form of professional training that involves:
- periods of school-based training to acquire specific knowledge related to trades/professions;
- periods of practical on-the-job training under the supervision of an employer (organised by a training institution under an apprenticeship contract), to acquire the key skills for a particular trade/profession.
There are 2 types of apprenticeships:
- initial apprenticeships for minors (available to minors aged 15 or over);
- adult apprenticeships to enable adult learners to acquire, complete or supplement professional training through the work-study apprenticeship system.
As part of the initial apprenticeship, the apprentice is paid a monthly minimum allowance by the training institution. As part of an adult apprenticeship, the apprentice is paid the social minimum wage by the host employer.
Who is concerned
Any establishment located in Luxembourg, such as a legally established business, a government administration department, a public-sector establishment, a foundation, or a non-profit organisation.
The business's activity must be relevant to the profession for which the apprenticeship is being undertaken.
The training institution will appoint a mentor, who will be in charge of the apprentices' practical training and supervision in the host company. The person in charge of the training institution may, themselves, mentor an apprentice.
Anyone who wishes to learn a skilled trade and undergo training with a view to obtaining a DT, DAP or CCP. Applicants 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;
- exercise the utmost discretion regarding the host company's business affairs.
Apprenticeships for adults
- be at least 18 years of age on 1 September of the year of registration;
- have been out of the initial school system for at least 12 months;
- not have been bound by an apprenticeship contract for initial training for at least 12 months. Exemptions may be granted by the Commission governing access to adult apprenticeships for holders of:
- a CCP who wish to obtain a DAP in the same field of speciality;
- a DAP who wish to obtain a DT in the same field of speciality;
- 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 otherwise) and for at least 16 hours per week;
- have filed an application for an "adult apprenticeship" with the Career Guidance Department (Service d’orientation professionnelle) of the National Employment Administration (Agence pour le développement de l’emploi – ADEM), between 2 May and 15 September.
The establishment must have been accredited as an apprenticeship training provider, and officially recognised as a training institution.
Any training institution that wishes to engage an apprentice must file a declaration of apprenticeship vacancy with ADEM's Career Guidance Department. This department will then put forward a list of potential suitable candidates.
The training institution may engage an apprentice who is not on the Career Guidance Department's list, provided they notify the department before signing the contract.
Even if the training institution has already found an apprentice without the ADEM's assistance, they will still be required to file the declaration of vacancy.
Once the candidate has been approved by the ADEM, they can sign the apprenticeship contract.
The various deadlines that must be met are as follows:
- starting in March: employers must send their apprenticeship vacancies to the ADEM's Career Guidance Department;
- from 16 July to 1 November, all apprenticeship contracts have to be concluded.
Apprenticeship contracts must be signed in 5 copies by the apprentice's first day of work at the latest.
How to proceed
Features of apprenticeship contracts
Any training institution that wishes to engage an apprentice must enter into an apprenticeship contract.
The date on which the apprentice's service commences must match:
- the date on which the apprenticeship contract was signed. Otherwise, the training institution runs the risk of having to employ an unqualified worker under a permanent employment contract, without a trial period; and
- the date on which the apprentice was registered as such with the CCSS.
Some provisions of the Labour Code apply to apprenticeship contracts – in particular, those regarding:
- the protection of young workers;
- health and safety at work;
- occupational health;
- the protection of workers who are pregnant, breastfeeding or who have recently given birth;
- protection against dismissal in the event of incapacity for work;
- annual leave.
Legal form of the apprenticeship contract
Only the apprenticeship contract template produced by the professional chambers is deemed valid. It is issued by the relevant professional chamber. The contract must be entered into in writing no later than the start of the apprenticeship, and signed by both the training institution and the apprentice, or the apprentice's legal representative if the apprentice is a minor.
It must be drawn up in 5 copies:
- one of which must be kept by the host company;
- one of which is to be given to the apprentice;
- one of which is to be given to the relevant Employers' Professional Chamber (Chambre professionnelle patronale) or to the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth (Ministère de l’Éducation nationale, de l’Enfance et de la Jeunesse – MENEJ), in the case of host companies that are not affiliated with an Employers' Professional Chamber;
- one of which is to be given to the Chamber of Employees (Chambre des salariés);
- and one of which is intended for ADEM's Career Guidance Department.
Conclusion and registration of apprenticeship contracts
The training institution must register the signed apprenticeship contract by sending it to:
- the relevant Employers' Professional Chamber; or
- the MENEJ, in the case of training institutions that are not affiliated with a chamber.
In general, apprenticeship contracts provide for a trial period lasting no more than 3 months. The trial period must be specified in the apprenticeship contract.
The purpose of the trial period is to:
- allow apprentices to make sure they have chosen the right trade or profession;
- give the host company the opportunity to assess the apprentice's motivation and the skills required for their apprenticeship.
During the trial period, either party may terminate the apprenticeship contract without notice and without reason, provided that both competent professional chambers – the Chamber of Employees and the Employers' association – give their approval. The party wishing 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.
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, up to a maximum of one month.
Apprentices are considered employees or young workers, with respect to health and safety at work. As such, they must undergo a preliminary medical examination:
- to determine whether or not they are fit to exercise the chosen trade/profession;
- 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 young salaried workers' representative;
- the safety representative;
- the safety officer appointed to supervise 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:
The training institution must contact the Inspectorate of Labour and Mines (Inspection du travail et des mines – ITM) for details on the practical implementation of working hours.
Registering the apprentice at the beginning of the apprenticeship contract
During the apprenticeship, the employer must:
- register the apprentice with all branches of the social security system (sickness, accidents, pension);
- and, to that end, fill in the "declaration of start of employment for employees" form and tick the box labelled "apprenticeship" (section 3, item A). At the time of registration, it is not necessary to specify that the contract is for a fixed term, nor is it necessary to specify an end date.
Expiry and renewal of the apprentice contract
End of the apprenticeship contract
The apprenticeship contract ends:
- if the apprentice successfully completes the training;
- in case of force majeure;
- upon termination by either of the parties;
- upon mutual agreement between the parties;
- upon a decision by the employers' association, when:
- the apprentice or training institution has breached the terms of the contract; or
- the apprentice is deemed unfit for the chosen profession;
- if the training institution ceases its activity or loses its accreditation as a training institution;
- if the apprentice fails to report for the apprenticeship for 24 consecutive working days;
- if the apprentice's right to sickness benefits has expired;
- if the maximum duration of the training period has been reached.
Extension of the apprenticeship contract
The apprenticeship contract will be extended automatically if an extension is required for the apprentice to complete their training. The extension of the apprenticeship contract is one year. A second extension may be granted on request.
Deregistration of the apprentice at the end of the apprenticeship contract
If the apprentice leaves the host company, the employer must file a declaration of end of employment.
When the apprenticeship contract ends upon successful completion of the training and the apprentice is hired under an employment contract, the employer must file:
- a declaration of end of employment on the apprentice's last day of employment as an apprentice;
- a declaration of start of employment dated on the day following that on which the former apprentice was hired under an employment contract.
The apprentice is paid a minimum monthly 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.
Employers who engage an apprentice under an adult apprenticeship contract may apply to have the supplementary allowance reimbursed.
Financial support to promote apprenticeship (for employers)
Training institutions are entitled to:
- financial support to promote apprenticeship, provided they apply for it within the time limit;
- reimbursement of the employer's share of the social security contributions on the apprenticeship allowance.
Forms / Online services
Who to contact
National Employment Agency (ADEM)Career Guidance - Luxembourg City - Maison de l'orientation (Educational and Vocational Guidance Centre)29, rue Aldringen
Postal address :
B.P. L-2926 Luxembourg
Phone : (+352) 247 - 85387Phone : (+352) 247 - 85480Fax : (+352) 40 61 39Monday to Friday from 8.00 to 12.00 and from 13.00 to 17.00
Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts – Companies Exchange2, Circuit de la Foire Internationale
Postal address :
B.P. 1604 / L-1016
Phone : (+352) 42 67 67 - 1Fax : (+352) 42 67 87
Master Craftsman's Certificate
Phone : (+352) 42 67 67 540Fax : (+352) 43 60 67
'Contact Entreprise' at the Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts - Luxembourg2, Circuit de la foire internationale
Postal address :
B.P. 1604 / L-1016
Enterprise Europe Network2, Circuit de la foire internationale
Postal address :
B.P. 1604 / L-1016
Phone : (+352 ) 42 67 67-366Fax : (+352) 42 67 87
Chamber of Commerce
The Companies Exchange of the Chamber of Commerce7, Alcide de Gasperi
Phone : (+352 ) 42 39 39-362Fax : (+352) 42 39 39-824