Tools: Social inclusion

Integrative apprenticeships for learners with special needs, Austria

In Austria, integrative apprenticeships (IBA) are designed for learners with special needs, those with disabilities and those without a basic school-leaving certificate. Characteristics of integrative apprenticeships include the following:

  • Longer completion period or partial qualification option: Participants can take longer to complete the programme (by one or two years) or obtain a partial qualification in one to three years.
  • Training assistance: The IBA programme supports apprentices throughout their training, both during placement with the training company and at school. Training assistance has both a coordinating and a support function. Most training assistants have a special education background and come from organizations for disadvantaged youth. When IBA takes place at a training company, training assistants are in charge of administrative tasks, define the content of the training agreement between the apprentice and the training company, prepare/sensitize the company employees in advance of the arrival of the apprentice and find a person to offer initial support, and register the apprentice at the vocational school. Subsequently, training assistants act as mediators, provide tutorial support and design the final exam for the partial qualification pathway. When IBA takes place at a supra-company training centre, training assistance is provided by the centre’s social worker.

Guidance on how to make apprenticeships and workplace learning inclusive for those with disabilities, ILO

This ILO tool gives an overview of the concept and role of disability-inclusive apprenticeships and workplace learning and focuses on practical approaches to implementing these schemes. It also details policy recommendations for governments, skills development institutions, employers and other stakeholders – including workers’ organizations and those for persons with disabilities – for creating a more enabling environment. The publication includes examples from around the world which demonstrate how disability-inclusive apprenticeships and workplace learning can be put into practice.


A special, shorter apprenticeship programme for vulnerable youth, Switzerland

In Switzerland, special two-year apprenticeship programmes can be offered to young people aged at least 15 years old who have completed lower secondary education, who are at risk of dropping out of education and training and/or who are struggling to obtain a “regular” three- or four-year apprenticeship.

The programme is provided in around 60 occupations. Programmes are organized like regular apprenticeships and include on-the-job training and time spent in a vocational school. Typically, one day per week is spent in school, with the optimal class size considered to be 12 students. Apprentices in this special programme are offered individual support, including one-to-one tutoring, remedial courses and support from in-CTs. On completion of the special programme, progression to three- or four-year apprenticeships is possible (based on national or canton level regulations).

Cost–benefit analysis of the two-year apprenticeships shows that, on average, participating enterprises manage to break even financially by the end of the programme, so these schemes can appeal to employers, as well as meeting the requirements of social inclusion.


Tools for the identification of apprentices who are at risk of dropping out and guidance for trainers, VET teachers and parents on dealing with this situation

The project QuABB (Capacity building for apprentices, companies and vocational schools involved in apprenticeship training) provides a set of tools for the identification of apprentices who are at risk of dropping out and offers guidance to trainers, VET teachers and parents on handling this situation. The early warning toolkit contains a collection of 30 tools for apprentices, in-CTs and VET teachers. The mood barometer is an indicator used to capture a snapshot of the emotional status of the class and enable teachers to enter into conversation with those apprentices experiencing negative moods.

Source: (in German).