The Gorenjska Region Applies Increasingly the Practice of Apprenticeship
Secondary vocational schools in the Gorenjska Region continue applying the practice of apprenticeship. Such practice is not related to a permanent form of learning, but it is implemented on an experimental basis.
In this academic year, the practice of apprenticeship is applied in the Škofja Loka Educational Centre on the programme for Metalworking Engineers and Toolmakers (25 students). In the next academic year, apprenticeship will be applied to three other study programmes: Carpenter, Machine-building Process Engineer (Škofja Loka Educational Centre), and Artist (Kranj Educational Centre). These professions, according to employers of the Gorenjska Region, are scarce and are in high demand in the labour market.
The law on apprenticeship enables employers to train future employees while they are studying. Thus, this is a good help to reduce the deficit of personnel related to certain professions. Apprenticeship is traditionally applied in some European countries, such as Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, Austria and Great Britain.
What advantages does it offer? Apprenticeship determines an early professional socialization, facilitating the transition from study to work and raising the level of professional training, taking into account the needs of the economy. During the study, students and schoolchildren spend some time at enterprises, in which a qualified tutor supervises them.
Within the apprenticeship format, at least half of the curriculum is being implemented on a practical basis. The vocational training of students at enterprises lasts approximately 56 weeks during 3 years of studies. Similar training of schoolchildren lasts 24 weeks (22% of the curriculum time is engaged). Apprenticeship attracts young people with the prospects of receiving additional scholarships. In the first year, it amounts to 250 EUR, in the second year – 300 EUR, and in the last year of studies – 400 EUR.
Employers who provide vacant work places for schoolchildren and students can be found on the website of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports. The list of employers is being constantly updated. Educational institutions practicing apprenticeship will also implement a standard form of training, in which practical training at employers’ enterprises is conducted under a collective or individual contract.
The Ministry notes that both forms of training, standard studies and apprenticeship, are equivalent and guarantee students the same standard of education, the same professional qualifications and equal opportunities for continuing studies.
During an academic year, students can change their minds and choose the apprenticeship form of training instead of the standard one. Upon completion of studies, students are not required to remain at the enterprise where the apprenticeship was conducted. Therefore, employers who want to retain students, offer them a scholarship.