Excellence in VET takes many forms. It is shaped by the comprehensiveness of quality assurance mechanisms, by horizontal and vertical permeability in VET systems, by national recognition in the labour market and labour market employability, mobility and career prospects and by the rich opportunities to participate in lifelong learning. Furthermore considerable efforts are spent on innovations in the VET system and in VET research to improve the attractiveness of VET for all key stakeholders and in monitoring the attractiveness.
There are no specific excellence programmes for apprenticeship training in Austria, but there are award ceremonies that draw attention to apprenticeship training and training companies. The Ministry of Economy offers prizes for “State-Honoured Training Companies” and “Best Training Companies – Fit for the Future” to companies in different size categories to promote excellence in apprenticeship.
The 2015 VET reform introduced a strong focus on attractiveness and clear objectives to encourage more students to choose and complete VET. Consequently, the reform seeks to challenge all students to reach their fullest potential and emphasizes the excellence of VET.
The high number of young people joining the German apprenticeship system and of enterprises involved demonstrates its attractiveness. Apprenticeship contributes to build up a well-qualified skilled manpower and is traditionally highly viewed in the German civil society.
The VET system has been adapted to the realities of society and economy in numerous ways in the frame of the VET reform of 2008. The study on the transition of VET learners to the labour market confirms the overall good performance of the VET system. However, reducing youth unemployment and early school leaving is still a big challenge that is tackled by many initiatives.
There is a broad range of VET programmes, which also includes apprenticeships that are very demanding. Apprenticeships are attractive for gifted learners due to the uniqueness of the profiles and learning pathways. Especially the integral approach of the practical training and the school-based learning leads to a profound knowledge of the profession. Apprenticeships lead towards being a well-respected and qualified person in the specific profession. Graduates are sought-after employees on the labour market.