What are quality apprenticeships?

The dual vocational education and training system, in which apprentices spend time in both a host company and in vocational school, is a key element of success in the Swiss education system, and the main VET model in Switzerland.

About two-thirds of all young people in Switzerland take up an apprenticeship when they are about 15. Their job prospects are excellent as they are able to learn the skills that businesses require."

Johann N. Schneider-Ammann (former Swiss President), June 2016
The ILO has developed the concept of quality apprenticeships to ensure that apprenticeship programmes are of sufficiently high quality and that they properly address labour market demand. The first volume of the Toolkit outlined a framework for quality apprenticeships with the following key features:
  • a tripartite system of governance
  • remuneration
  • a written agreement
  • social security coverage
  • a legal framework
  • a programme of learning
  • duration
  • both on-the-job and off-the-job learning components
  • a formal assessment process
  • a recognized qualification.
The framework also provides guidance on developing quality apprenticeship systems based on the six building blocks shown in the following figure. These are discussed in greater detail under System and policy level.

Figure 1.1 Quality apprenticeship building blocks