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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Netherlands

Netherlands

3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.5 Traineeships and apprenticeships

On this page
  1. Official guidelines on traineeships and apprenticeships
  2. Promoting traineeships and apprenticeships
  3. Recognition of learning outcomes
  4. Funding
  5. Quality assurance

Official guidelines on traineeships and apprenticeships

Official guidelines on traineeships

According to a policy officer, coordinator Traineeship programme national government of the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, there is no information on how traineeship programmes are developed in the public sector. This means that this coordinator does not have information on how municipalities and provinces fill in their traineeship programmes. In the Traineeprogramma (Traineeship programme of the national government) trainees have the same rights as public servants.

 

Official guidelines on apprenticeships

Apprenticeships in the Netherlands are combined with training at institutes for secondary vocational education (middelbaar beroepsonderwijs - MBO) or universities of applied sciences (hogescholen - HBO). Secondary vocational education students following the work-based pathway (beroeps begeleidende leerweg – BBL) of their course do not study fulltime. Instead they work three or four days a week at a work placement company and receive theoretical education at school one day a week. For students at universities of applied sciences similar work-study programs (duale studies) exist.

The Act on Adult and Vocational Education (Wet educatie en beroepsonderwijs) and the Act on Higher Education and Academic Research (Wet op het hoger onderwijs en wetenschappelijk onderzoek) contain the legal conditions for apprenticeships in secondary vocational education (MBO) and universities of applied sciences (HBO). For example, secondary vocational education students may only apprentice at accredited work placement companies that meet the requirements of the Foundation for Cooperation on Vocational Education, Training and Labour Market (Samenwerkingsorganisatie Beroepsonderwijs Bedrijfsleven): The workplace is safe, the tasks match the student’s educational training and a competent supervisor mentors the student.

The Foundation for Cooperation on Vocational Education, Training and Labour Market develops and maintains the qualification structure for apprenticeships in secondary vocational education (MBO) and accredits work placement companies. Educational institutes are responsible for the whole educational process including apprenticeships. A student’s college for secondary vocational education concludes a binding apprenticeship agreement with the student and the work placement company. The aforementioned educational acts do not regulate apprenticeship allowances and salaries, however collective labor agreements may apply.

 

Guidelines on cooperation among social partners No information has been found concerning guidelines on cooperation between social partners.

Participation in traineeships by specific target groups

The national government does identify specific target groups. For example, according to the policy officer of the Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations, a project class has been established at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management existing of highly educated refugees. Local traineeships for specific target groups also exist, for example the Incluusion traineeship of Utrecht University (Universiteit Utrecht) for refugees. However, no information could be found on the website link with the Youth Guarantee scheme.  

Promoting traineeships and apprenticeships

According to the policy officer at the Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations the Traineeship programme national government is well known among young people. Every year a large number of students or graduates apply for this traineeship. Therefore they do not need to actively promote this traineeship programme.

Recognition of learning outcomes

The recognition of outcomes varies considerably. For example, the Traineeprogramma (Traineeship programme of the national government) lasts for two years. After 1,5 year trainees get a final review. If the trainee functioned very well, they may be offered the possibility of paid employment. Apprenticeships are part of formal education (secondary vocational education (MBO) and universities of applied sciences (HBO)), which means that students have to meet their educational institutes’ criteria to complete their apprenticeships and to obtain their diplomas. Another formal way to recognize learning outcomes is the Recognition of prior learning (Erkennen van Verworven Competenties - EVC). The  Foundation Labor market and Education Fund (Stichting Arbeidsmarkt en Opleidingsfonds, please see below for more information) makes it possible for organizations, e.g. municipalities, to start an EVC course for their employees. See paragraph 6.4 for more information about recognition or prior learning (the experience certificate).

 

Funding

Public funding is available for municipalities to support their traineeship and apprenticeship programmes. The Stichting Arbeidsmarkt en Opleidingsfonds (A&O fonds Gemeenten) (Foundation Labor market and Education Fund) supports the sector in the fields of labor market and Human Resource Management policy. The activities of this foundation contribute to more dynamic and creative municipalities. There is no further information found on the source of public funding at the top-level and the use of EU funding.

The strong growth of the ageing population makes the intake of young people in the public sector very important. The Foundation Labor market and Education Fund stimulate this movement for municipalities by commissioning research and offering a podcast about how to keep young people on board of the municipal organization as well as by organizing the 3-2-1-Co! contest to put innovative ideas into practice. The foundation also distributes different general subsidies for innovation, which municipalities can apply for and that can be used for a project made-to-measure to make the municipal organization more appealing to young officers.

 

Quality assurance

Unfortunately no information has been found on quality assurance. As mentioned earlier in this paragraph, the traineeship programmes in public organizations vary. This makes it difficult to discover which quality assurance is applied to schemes of traineeship.

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap) has provided an assessment framework (toetsingskader) that among other things describes the requirements that students must meet to earn their diplomas. In the Foundation for Cooperation on Vocational Education, Training and Labour Market (Samenwerkingsorganisatie Beroepsonderwijs Bedrijfsleven) employers and educational institutes together develop and maintain the qualification structure for apprenticeships in secondary vocational education (MBO). The requirements for one or more vocational education courses are outlined in so-called qualification files that are part of the qualification structure. Educational institutes for vocational education formulate their curricula on the basis of these qualification files.