Catherine Schaack (Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce): Apprenticeships: A "Win-Win" Relationship for Successful Professional Integration
Vocational apprenticeships are a combination of school and on-the-job training. This dual training under an apprenticeship contract leads to an official diploma. It's designed for young people, adults, and anyone looking for a career change, and allows access to higher-level diplomas.
Can you give us a brief overview of initial training and the sectors concerned?
At the Chamber of Commerce, over 2,000 apprentices are trained annually in more than 30 professions in the fields of commerce, industry, hotels and catering services. They also offer socio-education via a work-study program shared between schools and companies. And at the start of the 2022-23 academic year, we registered a record number of apprentices choosing the dual apprenticeship option, with 1,103 new assignments. This testifies to the interest shown by our young high-school students, as well as adults undergoing vocational retraining, and to the renewed commitment on the part of training companies. This proves that this type of dual education remains essential for young people, companies, and tomorrow's job market. Apprenticeships are increasingly attracting people who are looking for a training program that alternates theoretical lessons at school with practical experience on the shop floor.
"We registered a record number of apprentices opting for dual apprenticeship, with 1,103 new assignments"
How quickly do your students find work in Luxembourg after completing their training?
Apprenticeships enable us to train young people who are immediately operational and ready to be hired. As confirmed by the latest TEVA* study, 91% of graduates found a job within 12 months of completing their vocational training. Some also decide to go back to school. This is because starting with a Certificate of Professional Competence (CCP) is often just the beginning of a pathway that, through various gateways (DAP, DT), can lead to higher technical studies (BTS). Beginning an apprenticeship at the age of 15 is a good starting point for developing your talents in a field that is full of opportunities. This year, 613 young graduates received their diplomas at a ceremony held at the Philharmonie on 28 February. They were honored in the presence of HRH the Hereditary Grand Duke, Claude Meisch, Minister for Education, Children and Youth, and Georges Engel, Minister for Labor, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy.
What measures are in place to create links between your students and companies in Luxembourg?
The main mission of the Chamber of Commerce's I-VET** Department is to manage contracts and promote apprenticeships to companies, young students, and their parents. Our apprenticeship advisors support apprentices throughout their development, while our customer service department is the first line of information for companies. The winwin.lu website and our eponymous campaigns inform and raise awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships and encourage companies to register more positions. We also offer a skills assessment tool: The Talent Check is aimed at students wishing to do an apprenticeship with a training company. Today, we are working closely with our stakeholders to digitalize our business and facilitate the exchange of information between training employers and future apprentices. In response to growing demand from our nationals, we are also committed to developing cross-border apprenticeships and are supporting the creation of sandwich courses in the Grand Duchy.
*TEVA: The Baromètre Transition Ecole-Vie Active, which analyzes the transition from school to work for young graduates.
** I-VET for Initial Vocational Education and Training.