Austria: First Austrian Apprenticeship Monitor published

Austrian apprentices have a  pragmatic-optimistic outlook on their future, as shown by the first Austrian Apprenticeship Monitor.

The Austrian Apprenticeship Monitor (Lehrlingsmonitor (in German, 1.1 MB PDF)) is a representative national survey among 6,500 apprentices in Austria across all sectors. It was commissioned by the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB) and the Chamber of Labour (AK). The objective of the survey was to find out how apprentices assess their training situation and apprenticeship course at the end of their vocational training. Between November 2014 and April 2015, some 6,459 young persons (net sample) in their last year of apprenticeship filled in an online questionnaire. The survey was conducted by the Austrian Institute for Research on Vocational Training (ÖIBF).

The apprentices were asked to assess their vocational training along three dimensions: quality of the apprenticeship training, adherence to labour law and training atmosphere.

The following apprenticeship trades were assessed best: production technician; metal technology; bricklayer; bank clerk; carpentry; installation and building technology; administrative assistant; and agriculture machine technology. The following apprenticeship trades received poor assessment: retail; painter and coating technology; catering and hotel, gastronomy; restaurant specialist; cook; hair stylist; and car body construction technology.

Further points of concern for the young apprentices include:

  • performance of tasks not related to the training;
  • insufficient cooperation between the training company and vocational school;
  • boarding school costs;
  • insufficient company support for apprenticeship graduation exam;
  • insufficient presence of trainers;
  • (involuntary) overtime work (which is prohibited by law for apprentices up to 16 years of age and allowed only in exceptional cases for those up to 18);
  • lack of feedback on apprenticeship course;
  • future outlook pragmatic-optimistic;
  • learning in vocational schools assessed as positive.

Based on the results of the first apprenticeship monitor, the ÖGB, AK and ÖGJ (Young Austrian Unionists) published several demands: 

  • the legal implementation of quality management for apprentice training in companies;
  • funding based on quality issues;
  • increased (further) education and training for apprenticeship trainers;
  • not having to carry out tasks which do not come under the job (that is, apprenticeship) description;
  • increased networking between companies and vocational schools;
  • the payment of boarding school costs by the companies.
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