Though Luxembourg vocational school graduates easily find work due to high demand for craftspeople in the country, this type of education often is still seen in a negative light by the general public. For the teachers’ unions, this is mainly due to the approach the education sector has to this type of training.
“Orientation to vocational training has long been considered a ‘guidance through failure’ and the craft profession as a ‘default choice’,” they say in a joint press release, hoping to see vocational training valued again.
A reform to fix a shortage
There are not enough artisans in Luxembourg to meet existing demand and further work that will come with the country’s demographic, economic and sustainable development. In a recent interview with Delano, Chamber of artisans director Tom Wirion had shared that in the next months 1,700 craftspeople needed to be recruited. The mentality in the education sector--where he said students were placed in vocational training if they failed school--doesn’t help attract more.
For the SEW and AMELUX groups, valorising the training undertaken could bring positive change. In their statement, they ask that the entire training structure be reformed, putting the emphasis on three key points.
Better on paper
For SEW and AMELUX, the master craftsman exam should be brought up in the Luxembourg qualification framework to become equivalent with a bachelor’s degree. Lastly, technicians should be taught in the general secondary education system again, so that vocational schools can focus on the reform of trades diplomas and certificates.
The ministry should also add a 4th year to the basic vocational aptitude diploma (DAP) and restructure the programme for the diploma. More technically complex trainings should only be accessible after completing the 9th grade of general secondary education. Additional evaluations should take place mid-course to make sure the students have sufficient aptitudes, say the unions.
In a conversation with Delano at the start of the school year, education minister Claude Meisch (DP) had said that the issue surrounding the popularity of crafts training lay more with the public opinion on these careers and the distance between the world of craftspeople and children and youths. Through artisan fairs where students come in contact with these career paths, the minister hopes to create bridges. For the unions, it is clear that only a complete reform of the system will be enough to change the public opinion on vocational training.