For the student: Apprenticeship training

An apprenticeship is a fixed-term employment contract, in which an employer trains its employee – a new one or a current one. An apprenticeship student works at least 25 hours a week. Of the apprenticeship training, at least 80% takes place in the workplace and the remaining 20% in an educational institution, online or remotely.

By selecting apprenticeship training, you will be trained while working, receive a salary and accrue work experience. Through an apprenticeship, you can also get additional training and complete individual qualification modules. All those aged 15 and over can study through an apprenticeship. Through an apprenticeship, you will complete second degree vocational qualifications, which give you the same eligibility for further studies as a vocational college and an upper secondary school and the same qualifications as a vocational college. There are more than 160 qualification options.


The parties of the apprenticeship are:

  • Student
  • Employer
  • Educational institution
  • Apprenticeship operator

For the apprenticeship, you must have a job. In the workplace, you are guided by a workplace trainer, who can be, for example, your supervisor or colleague.

The apprenticeship typically includes theoretical studies for 1–4 days per month, which you can complete in an educational institution, online or remotely.

The apprenticeship operator executes the contractual arrangements of the apprenticeship and is responsible for creating the curriculum together with other parties.


Approximately 80% or more of the studies take place in the workplace. Even though you are practicing new skills, you are not a trainee or an assistant but an apprenticeship student and an equal member of the work community, who receives a salary for his or her work.

The work tasks correspond to the vocational skills requirements of the fundamentals of the qualification you have completed. Skills acquired through work are shown in competence-based examinations.

You will complete the rest of the qualification, i.e. approximately 20%, by studying for 1–4 days per month in an educational institution, online or remotely. The theoretical education for you is procured and paid for by your apprenticeship office or centre.


The apprenticeship can last from couple of weeks to 36 months. It depends whether you study a whole degree or a part of it.  Completing the upper secondary qualification takes approximately 2–3 years, completing the vocational and specialist vocational qualification approximately 1–1.5 years. The student’s goals and possible previously acquired vocational skills affect the duration of the studies.


As an apprenticeship student, you will receive a salary that is, at the very least, in accordance with the collective labour agreement, agreed upon with the employer. If the field does not have a collective labour agreement, you are entitled to a reasonable salary.

The theoretical education (the 20% of the studies completed outside the workplace) is included in the working hours. The employer decides whether he or she pays you a salary for the time spent on theoretical studies. You will receive social benefits related to studies if the employer does not pay you a salary for the time spent on theoretical studies.

As an apprenticeship student, you are entitled to social benefits related to studies in accordance with your situation. The benefits include a per diem allowance, family allowance, travel allowance and accommodation allowance.

If the theoretical education or competence-based examinations cause a loss of income, you can apply for a per diem allowance or a family allowance in arrears. The apprenticeship student bills his or her own apprenticeship operator for the benefits.

The apprenticeship student in an employment relationship is an employee and therefore not eligible for student discounts or KELA’s social benefits for students. For more information on benefits and financial matters, contact your region’s apprenticeship operator.


Many apprenticeship offices and centres organize information events, in which you will hear more about the apprenticeship and can ask about everything related to the apprenticeship. Check the dates for the infos on the pages of your region’s apprenticeship office.