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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisation of vocational secondary education


6.Secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education

6.4Organisation of vocational secondary education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Types of institutions

According to Luxembourg's legislation, vocational education and training is based on a partnership between the State, the professional employers' chambers and the professional wage earners' chambers which are the bearers of the training (National Education Code [Code de l'éducation nationale], coordinated text of the law of 19 December 2008, Chapter I, Art. 3, p. 863).

This partnership simultaneously concerns the analysis of needs, the orientation and definition of the proposed professions and trades, the offer and organisation of training, and the certification and validation of acquired experience.

Legislation differentiates between 4 types of professional training:

  1. Basic vocational training (mainly practical) is ensured, -depending on the learner's age and competence level-, either in the same way as initial vocational training or in the context of adult education and training. Its objective is to prepare learners to integrating initial VET or to gain access to employment; basic VET is based on the acquisition of modules
  2. Initial vocational education and training (general, theoretical and practical) is provided partly in lycées of general secondary education (ESG) and partly (for the practical training and internship in a professional environment) with a coach accredited by the professional employers' and employees' chambers, which are responsible for the trade or profession concerned.
  3. Continuing professional training (intended to supplement professional skills in order to better fit them to the needs of the profession, respectively to obtain a professional promotion) is managed as part of adult education, as well as
  4. Professional retraining (aimed at a change in professional activity).

Concerning continuing vocational training and professional retraining with a view to reorientation, these are managed as part of adult education.

Initial vocational education delivered by general secondary education lycées (ESG; enseignement secondaire général), starts at the upper ESG grades, i. e. as from the 4th year of ESG (see Eurydice article - 6.1 - Organisation of general secondary education).

In school year 2021/22, there were 23 912 students enrolled in general secondary public lycées and 3 260 in private schools (MENJE, 2022. Les chiffres de la rentrée 2022/23).

Geographical accessibility

Lycées providing VET are included in the mapping of educational provision (Carte de l'offre scolaire), which comes as part of the public website MySchool (Meng Schoul). The selection can be made through different criteria, such as the target certificates, geographical location, establishments and specific projects.

For more information, see Eurydice article 6.1 - Organisation of general secondary education

Admission requirements and choice of school

The admission requirements and the choice of school at the beginning of lower secondary education correspond to the conditions described in article 6.1 on the organisation of general secondary education.

The three lower years in ESG give learners the opportunity to find out the VET pathway best suited to their abilities and expectations. At the end of the 3rd year the class council makes a decision on their possible choices.

Enrolment in full-time initial instruction

After having successfully finished their 3 first ESG years, and having been allowed by their guidance decision to pursue in full-time vocational education, the learners have to enrol at a ESG lycée of their choice during the yearly enrolment days (around 15 July). They need to provide following documents:

  • Registration form (from the school's secretariat)
  • Reports from the 3rd year of secondary school
  • Guidance opinion issued by the class council at the end of the 3rd year.

The class council's guidance opinion is a binding decision. It specifies which possible VET tracks the learner may chose.

Admission criteria vary according to the training route planned (see MENJE, 2022. Que faire après la 5e de l'enseignement secondaire général?, page 14).

Enrolment in vocational education under apprenticeship contract

To enrol for a first year in DAP or CCP pathways under apprenticeship contract, the learner has to obtain the necessary documents from the employment agency (ADEM-OP) and/or the school's guidance service (SePAS).

The employment agency's guidance service (ADEM-OP) provides the documents allowing the learner to register at a vocational lycée.

Registration can only be performed once a contract with the employer has been concluded.

The choice of the establishment is made according to the geographical proximity of the lycée offering the target profession's educational pathway (see above: geographical accessibility).

Age levels and grouping of students

ESG secondary education caters pupils from the age of 12 years onwards. Vocational education and training starts at the 4th grade of general secondary education. The study programme lasts between 6 and 7 years depending on the path chosen (for the full synoptic table, see: 2.3).

Presentation of the Luxembourg public school system and more specifically of general secondary education.

(Source: MENJE, 2022. The public school system in Luxembourg 2022/23)

In the upper cycle of general secondary education (pupils aged 15-17 to 19), pupils can learn a profession and obtain a certificate or diploma, or a post-secondary school diploma giving access to higher education.

Pathways of vocational secondary education

The technician’s pathway and the vocational pathway make up Luxembourg's vocational education and training (formation professionnelle):

  • Technician’s pathway (grades 4T to 1T, with an additional year for health professions) lasts 4 years and leads to a technician’s diploma (DT; diplôme de technicien) providing access to higher technical studies
  • Vocational pathway (1st, 2nd and 3rd years in DAP/CCP pathways) has a standard duration of 3 years and leads to a vocational aptitude diploma (DAP; diplôme d’aptitude profesionnelle) granting job market access as qualified worker or a certificate of vocational ability (CCP; certificat de capacité professionnelle).

Grouping of students

In general, classes are split up if the student population exceeds 29 students per class. However, the total average number of pupils per class is usually lower. For some disciplines, the syllabus foresees a maximum of 18 students.

Organisation of the school year

The school year in vocational education is distributed more or less in the same way as in classic and general secondary education. Due to the modular structure of learning in VET (see Eurydice article 6.5 - Teaching and learning in vocational secondary education), programmes are organised by semesters.

Organisation of the school day and week

The number of lessons per subject is defined by grand-ducal regulation on proposal of the syllabus commissions. In general, the syllabus foresees around 30 to 32 tuition periods in full-time initial education.

All syllabuses can be downloaded from the ministry's website.

VET education offers a wide array of professions and pathway choices. Learning is organised in various ways following the type of profession and the kind of schooling.

The time grid below gives but an example of a subject distribution in initial VET of 4th grade full-time education in the administrative and commercial section, pathway of the Technician's diploma (DT). In the subsequent years, the learners will have other modules added, when they will have finished off the more basic modules.

Example of a timetable for a vocational training course in general secondary education in the school year 2021/22.

(Source: Portal Education, Vocational training - Timetable 2022/23, p. 18-21)