Last update 20.08.2021
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 in a business 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.
Professionals who wish to train apprentices must first obtain approval to do so. They must file an application with either the Employers' Professional Chamber (Chambre professionnelle patronale) to which they belong, or the Ministry of Education, Childhood and Youth (MENEJ).
Each year, the professional chambers publish a list of institutions (hereafter training institutions) that are authorised to train apprentices.
Who is concerned
For the purpose of entering into an apprenticeship contract, the training institution may be:
- a legally established business;
- a government administration department;
- a public-sector establishment;
- a foundation;
- a non-profit association.
How to proceed
Obligations of the business
Businesses wishing to train apprentices must:
- be established in Luxembourg and registered in the commercial, industrial, agricultural or craft sector;
- have at least 3 years of professional experience in the profession concerned;
- be legally registered with the Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts (Chambre des Métiers), in the profession they wish to provide training in;
- appoint a mentor;
- provide professional training in accordance with the practical on-the-job training programme drawn up by the relevant professional chambers and the government;
- fulfil their obligations under the apprenticeship contract, as well as the legal provisions relating to employment and the protection of young workers;
- have on their staff the required number of qualified trainers (holders of a CATP/DAP or a Master Craftsman's Certificate (Brevet de maîtrise) or an equivalent foreign diploma in the trade or a technically similar trade), and not exceed the maximum number of apprentices, as described below:
- 1 qualified trainer: 1 apprentice and 1 mentor;
- 2 to 4 qualified trainers: 2 apprentices and 1 mentor;
- 5 to 7 qualified trainers: 3 apprentices and 1 mentor;
- 8 to 10 qualified trainers: 4 apprentices and 1 mentor;
- 11 to 15 qualified trainers: 5 apprentices and 1 mentor;
- 16 to 20 qualified trainers: 6 apprentices and 1 mentor;
- 21 to 30 qualified trainers: 8 apprentices and 1 mentor;
- 31 to 50 qualified trainers: 10 apprentices and 2 mentors;
- 51 to 75 qualified trainers: 20 apprentices and 2 mentors;
- 76 to 100 qualified trainers: 25 apprentices and 2 mentors;
- for every 25 additional qualified trainers: 5 apprentices and 1 additional mentor.
Note that a branch office is considered to be an autonomous entity when calculating the maximum allowable number of apprentices.
If a mentor leaves the training institution, the institution must:
- report the departure:
- to the relevant professional chamber or the Minister, whichever is applicable;
- within one month;
- appoint a new mentor within 3 months of reporting the departure. Otherwise, the relevant Employers' Professional Chamber, or the Minister, whichever is applicable, with the agreement of the Chamber of Employees (Chambre professionnelle salariale), will rule on what follow-up action should be taken in relation to the current apprenticeship contract.
Appointment of mentors
Mentors are appointed by the training institution at the time of signing the apprenticeship contract.
A mentor may be:
- the person in charge of the training institution (the employer); or
- an employee of the training institution, who is at least 21 years old and can provide sufficient evidence of good repute.
They will be responsible for both the practical on-the-job training and the apprentice.
The employer-trainer or mentor must hold at least a vocational aptitude diploma (diplôme d’aptitude professionnelle - DAP) in the trade/profession for which the right to train was requested, or in a trade/profession deemed equivalent. Otherwise, they will be required to provide supporting documents recognised as equivalent, such as certificates issued by the competent authorities in other EU Member States.
The relevant professional chamber will organise at least a 3-day course for the mentor. The course:
- is designed to provide the mentor with the skills and knowledge required to deliver training in line with the master programme, with appropriate didactic techniques;
- is awarded with a certificate of competence.
The mentor is exempt from the course if they:
- hold a Master Craftsman's Certificate (Brevet de maîtrise) or equivalent qualification;
- extensive experience in the apprenticeship sector; or
- completed a teacher training course.
List of training institutions
The list of accredited training institutions is published every year:
- by the relevant Employers' Professional Chambers or the Minister, whichever is applicable;
- with the approval of the relevant Chamber of Employees.
The list may be updated at any time.
A copy of the list, along with any modifications, is forwarded to the Career Guidance (Service de l’orientation professionnelle) of the National Employment Agency (Agence pour le développement de l’emploi - ADEM), and to the relevant Chamber of Employees.
Financial support to promote apprenticeships
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;
- a one-off COVID-19 bonus.
Revocation of the right to train
The professional chamber that granted a training institution the right to train apprentices may revoke that right if:
- the employer or mentor no longer satisfies the conditions as to their good repute;
- the training institution is no longer in a position to:
- comply with the master programme;
- appoint a new mentor;
- the attitude or general operation of the training institution is such that it would compromise the professional training it undertook to deliver;
- the training institution fails to fulfil its obligations under the apprenticeship contract.
The training institution is notified of the decision to revoke the right to train, and a copy of the decision is forwarded to:
- ADEM's Career Guidance Department;
- the relevant Chamber of Employees.
A negative response to an application for the right to train, or a decision to revoke the right to train, is an administrative decision that can be disputed through the usual channels of appeal (non-contentious appeal, or judicial appeal), provided that such appeals are lodged within the legal time limits.
Claims may also be filed with the Ombudsman.
Good to know
To promote training institutions' efforts in support of young people, the Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts has produced a sticker with the wording "Entreprise Formatrice" (Apprenticeship Training Company). The sticker identifies a training institution as a responsible partner in the professional training and education of young people.