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Vocational Training and Skills

At the onset of the 21st century, the world is changing dynamically, having a great impact on the working world and thus making new demands on the occupational skills of qualified employees. Increasing skills requirements and ever-changing job profiles at all qualification levels call on VET systems to be responsive to rapid changes linked to our complex knowledge-based economy, while maintaining their necessary stability and predictability.

What we are facing today is a challenging environment for skills development. Increasing demand for qualified workers on the one hand and rapidly evolving and changing competences due to digitization, industry 4.0, climate change but also globalization on the other hand are challenges that we have to tackle. In this context it would appear that transversal skills, particularly digitalization and entrepreneurship, are essential.

Apprenticeship system in Austria

The dual system with the principle "learning in practice for practice" has a long tradition in Austria. The theoretical input is taught in the part-time vocational schools, the main part - the practical knowledge - is trained in companies. To run this successful dual system all responsible bodies on federal, regional as well as local levels (which represent the educational system) but also the economy have to work closely together. The task of the ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs (BMDW) is to modernise the landscape of the occupational profiles to meet the needs of the economy at the best. To be targeted and timely in the implementation of new or modernised occupational profiles the responsible ministries but also social partners and companies have to cooperate vital and un-bureaucratic.

In cooperation with stakeholders the BMDW has already gone a long way towards improving apprenticeship training: ongoing modernisation of apprenticed trades, modularisation (more flexible design of the dual system of education and training, improved options to combine training modules, facilitated recognition of previously obtained qualifications, better response to the needs of specific industries), integrated vocational training programmes (tailor-made vocational training for disadvantaged youth), policy measures to strengthen the apprenticeship market (targeted support of training companies through a new incentive scheme called "Lehrlingsförderung NEU"), internships abroad (assistance to apprentices, pupils, skilled workers and instructors), apprenticeship and matriculation (permeability of education pathways).

At the end of 2018

  • 107.915 apprentices are trained in 
  • 28.970 companies in more than
  • 200 different apprenticeship occupations.

News and further information


Vocational Training: