Steps and tips: Transition to the labour market or into further education and training

  • The lead entity managing apprenticeship programmes should identify organization(s), through social dialogue, to take responsibility for developing and offering post-training employment services to apprenticeship graduates. Public and private employment services usually provide services that can be complemented by the career offices of TVET providers as well as by employers’ organizations and local and sectoral industry associations.
  • Enterprises and TVET providers should provide information to apprentices about employment services providers and job portals that offer job-matching services for apprenticeship graduates and potential employers.
  • The skills needed for job search, CV writing, interview and entrepreneurship should be integrated into apprenticeship curricula, so that apprentices are equipped with the relevant skills for entering the world of work on completion of their programme.
  • Enterprises and TVET providers should link apprenticeship graduates who are seeking to start their own businesses with financial and non-financial business development service providers, as well as public and private entities that support SMEs.
  • TVET providers should advise apprentices on how to access further education and training. At the same time, policy-makers should ensure that the national education system allows easy access to further education and training for apprenticeship graduates (see boxes 6.1 and 6.2).

Box 6.1 Pathways to qualification

UNESCO has established recommendations to improve the pathways for all those pursuing initial vocational qualifications, while a recent UNESCO report describes the potential obstacles, and the many ways in which countries around the world are seeking to overcome them (Field and Guez, 2018). The report offers some examples of how such pathways can work in contexts where TVET students are given options to pursue simultaneous study, so that they are able to access higher education.

  • In Brazil, there are two models – academic and vocational courses may be pursued as one programme in the same upper secondary school. In addition, general upper secondary students may pursue a simultaneous technical programme in a separate school.
  • In Denmark, the EUX programme combines workplace training with academic classwork, so that students end up with both a skilled worker’s certificate and an academic qualification granting access to higher education.
  • In Switzerland, as illustrated in figure 6.1, upper secondary VET students can opt to pursue a general education qualification (the Federal Vocational Baccalaureate (FVB), shown as number 1 in the figure) in parallel with, or following completion of, their TVET programme. The FVB grants them access to universities of applied sciences (blue arrow), which take half of their students from the VET system. Holders of the FVB can also take the University Aptitude Test, which grants them access to a university or federal institute of technology, such as ETHZ or EPFL (orange arrow).

Figure 6.1 Pathways of vocational and professional training in the Swiss system

Source: Adapted from SERI, 2019

Box 6.2 Post-apprenticeship qualification, Germany and Austria

In Germany and Austria, the “Meister” qualification, obtained through an examination, allows apprenticeship graduates to pursue a higher level qualification that includes a combination of occupation-specific technical skills, entrepreneurial skills and skills for mentoring and training apprentices (refer to Tool 6.1.4). In this way, the Meister qualification provides strong support to the apprenticeship system. First, it opens up more options for apprenticeship graduates, clearly signalling that an apprenticeship is not a dead end, and, second, it supports the apprenticeship system more broadly by equipping apprenticeship graduates with the skills needed to guide future apprentices.