Vocational education and training (VET) - Apprenticeships

In 2021 the vocational education and training statistics recorded some 211 583 apprenticeships. The majority of these (around 95%) were vocational training with the federal VET Diploma. Vocational training with the federal VET Certificate accounted for a little more than 5%.

Apprenticeships in vocational education and training by training type, change in numbers since 2000
Training type 2000 2010 2015 2020 2021
Total 203 491 225 541 221 453 212 146 211 583
  Male 117 203 131 086 128 929 125 790 125 295
  Female 86 288 94 455 92 524 86 356 86 288
172 311 200 162 208 176 197 520 197 176
  Male 107 269 117 278 121 485 116 483 116 194
  Female 65 042 82 884 86 691 81 037 80 982
9 881 12 622 . . .
  Male 4 361 6 692 . . .
  Female 5 520 5 930 . . .
. 8 457 12 947 14 625 14 407
  Male . 4 651 7 213 9 306 9 101
  Female . 3 806 5 734 5 319 5 306
4 130 2 020  234 . .
  Male 2 843 1 557  217 . .
  Female 1 287  463  17 . .
17 169 2 280  96  1  0
  Male 2 730  908  14  1  0
  Female 14 439 1 372  82 . .
1 VPETA: vocational and professional education and training act Source: FSO – Vocational education and training statistics (SBG-SFPI)
Data as of: April 2022

Vocational education and training (VET) mainly occurs according to the dual system which combines in-company training (practical part) and a vocational school (theoretical part and general education). It can also take place in full-time school in a small number of cases. VET is completed with the federal VET Certificate after two years or the federal VET Diploma after three to four years.

As recently as 2000, the share of federal VET Diplomas was only 85%; the federal VET Certificate had not yet been introduced. Between 2000 and 2021, the other categories decreased considerably. This trend can be explained by the fact that the Vocational and Professional Education and Training Act (VPETA) has been extended to include the fields of agriculture and healthcare. Furthermore, following the 2010 revision, education at the upper-secondary level trade schools is now completely integrated into the vocational education and training. Since 2014, these students also graduate with a federal VET Diploma. The decline in basic vocational education is due to the fact that this has gradually been replaced by the vocational training with federal VET Certificate. In 2021 the percentage of women in vocational education and training is 41%, a figure that overall has not changed since 2000.

The fields of education in which most new apprentices undertake their vocational training are Business and Administration, Wholesale and retail sales as well as Building and Civil engineering. The new training type "Vocational education and training with VET Certificate” introduced in 2001 accounted for approximately 10% of all admissions to vocational education and training in 2021. The federal VET Certificate training type is not evenly distributed across the different fields of education. The highest percentage is found in the field of Domestic services (nearly 20% of all apprentices).

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