Luxembourg (Picture from Wikimedia)In 2008, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg reformed its training and education system to facilitate the integration of young people into social and economic life through better qualifications.

The aim is to prevent exclusion from the school system and lower the drop-out rate at schools and its consequences. The results of this reform are already being felt. In 2003, the drop-out level from school was 17.2%. By 2009-2010 it had dropped to 9%

The reformed system focuses on 3 main strategies:

  • A skill-based approach: vocational education and training (VET) has moved from an education principally based on the content of school subjects to an education centred on developing the skills (knowledge, know-how, personal skills) required in a working situation.
  • A modular system: each vocational course is structured in units which can be capitalised (partial qualifications). This new organisation means horizontal mobility and links can be formed between different courses. It also means pupils can re-sit exams if they fail a module without having to retake the whole year.
  • A closer partnership between school education and training in the workplace to adapt the classes to the demands of real work situations.


The Education system in Luxembourg – 2014


Education System in Luxembourg (© Onisep / Elise Veteau)




The vocational pathway in Luxembourg


Secondary education

The dual system is an important feature of VET at secondary level, with strong links between school- and work-based learning. The 2008 VET reform strengthened links to the labour market and introduced a competence based, modular approach.

At the end of their 6th year of primary studies, pupils can choose between 2 pathways:

  • Secondary education which leads to higher and university education.
  • Technical secondary education which prepares pupils for a career and encompasses 3 different streams:
    – the technical stream for certain careers in health and social affairs, validated by a technical studies diploma (Diplôme de fin d’études techniques),
    – the technician training stream, leading to the technician diploma (Diplôme de technicien),
    – the vocational stream leading to the certificate of vocational capability (certificat de capacité professionnelle – CCP) or the diploma of vocational competence (diplôme d’aptitude professionnelle – DAP)

Training in the workplace is covered by 2 options:

  • apprenticeship contracts with training in the enterprise and classes at a technical high school.
  • work placements, where most of the training takes place at school with a 12-week traineeship in an enterprise.

To give students better chances in the labour market, the education ministry will expand the apprenticeship offer in vocational and technician programmes.


Higher education

Vocational education courses are also available in higher education such as the higher technician certificate (brevet de technicien supérieur – BTS) or some courses at the University of Luxembourg.

The Master’s Certificate (brevet de maîtrise) is a vocational qualification required to set up a business and train apprentices for a certain number of trades and crafts coming under the Chamber of Trades and Crafts.



The apprenticeship contract with training in an enterprise and education at the technical high school leads to the Diploma d’aptitude professionnel (DAP – diploma of vocational aptitude).

Learners have an opportunity to follow cross border apprenticeship to acquire qualifications that Luxembourg’s education system cannot offer; the number of learners is not always sufficient given the small size of the country.

Practical training in a company based in Luxembourg is combined with learning at school in one of the neighbouring countries.


Key figures

  •  Technical secondary education diplomas in 2013: technical secondary school-leaving diplomas 36%, technician diploma 23%, vocational certificates 41%. (Ministry of education – 2014)
  • In Luxembourg, Employment rates for 25-64 year-olds for all levels of education are above the OECD average (76%, compared to the OECD average of 73%). (OECD – 2016)

Last update : 19/06/2018


The Education system in Luxembourg on Eurypedia

EURES (European Job Mobility Portal) : Living and working in Luxembourg

Various trades and corresponding training courses (descriptions, videos…)

An initiative geared towards young people backed by the ministries, schools and enterprises « Girls’ Day / Boys’ Day » to discover unusual jobs and professions

The Trades and Crafts Chamber of Luxembourg: brochure presenting various trades and crafts

Information on apprenticeships in trades and crafts.

Chamber of Commerce/Luxembourg School of Commerce: information on apprenticeships and brochures on business and industrial trades