Govt adopts apprenticeship bill
The bill was adopted in yesterday correspondence session with the government saying the aim was to bring vocational education closer to employers' needs and to link the education system better with business.
The proposal had been drawn up by the Education Ministry, which says that if the law is passed by parliament, apprenticeship will be introduced as a test project in the 2017/2018 school year.
"The first year we are planning to involve apprentices in four courses of secondary vocational education, i.e. metal sharper-toolmaker, stonemason, carpenter and gastronomy and hotel management."
The ministry says that the apprenticeship will be phased in with the pilot project applied to a limited number of courses, schools, employers and apprentices.
The apprentices will have the status of secondary school students with placement training representing at least 50% of the education course.
Involvement in apprenticeship will not be mandatory for either students or employers. Only those employers who have available apprentice posts and meet the prescribed criteria will be included.
"In the first three years, we expect up to 200 apprentices per generation," said the ministry.
Presenting the bill to reporters, Minister Maja Makovec Brenčič said they wanted to introduce apprenticeship for jobs where such a system had successfully existed in the past.
She also said that the activities chosen were those which were in demand in the labour market, in order to train youths as soon as possible to be able to take up those jobs.
The system would be implemented with the help of chambers of commerce, industry and small business, to create a three-way cooperation between schools, employers and chambers.
The pilot project is subsidised by the ministries of education and economy and the European Social Fund, to provide funds for the training of mentors at companies, subsidise rewards for the apprentices and mentors at companies and secure funds for apprentice courses.
Also subsidised will be the employers' costs for the apprentice's lunch and travel allowance and the cost of safety equipment.
A total of EUR 2.7m is earmarked for the overhaul of the system of vocational education and training which includes the pilot project of apprenticeship, of which EUR 2.1m is EU funds.
Meanwhile, EUR 28.4m, including EUR 22.7m in EU funds, is allocated for the implementation of the practical training, including apprenticeship and incentives for employers.
The Education Ministry drew up the bill in coordination with the ministers of labour and economy.