Vocational education and training in Austria

VET is highly valued in Austria. Around 70% of upper secondary students follow vocational studies, compared to the EU average of just under 50%. In 2017 Austria introduced a training
obligation until the age of 18. The broad range of Austrian VET contributes to its attractiveness: School-based VET and apprenticeships
cover various training types and qualifications in nearly all economic sectors. Graduates also have access to higher education
and higher level careers. More than a third of those managing a business have an apprenticeship background. The most popular five-year school-based
programmes lead to level 5 with double qualifications for senior positions in business and access to higher education. More than half go on to higher education within three years. Multi-stakeholder cooperation helps respond to regional economic and skill needs, so VET trains people to meet existing job specifications. The education ministry oversees most school-based VET; apprenticeship is shared
by the ministries of economy and education, the social partners and the federal states. School-based VET and apprenticeships
for around 200 occupations last 3-5 years, start from age 15 and include general education,
theory and practice. At least one foreign language must be included. Key competences – such as the ability to work in teams, digital and entrepreneurial skills – are central. Apprenticeships and school-based VET include learning in work contexts
and placements in companies. Links to the labour market are strong many teachers have experience in business and industry. Also project assignments are often carried out in collaboration with companies. Adults can acquire the same qualifications
as those open to the young, placing Austria second regarding lifelong learning in the EU. For more details about VET in Austria visit www.cedefop.europa.eu

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