Some jobs spring immediately to mind when 'skilled crafts' are mentioned: designer, jeweller, book-binder, potter, weaver, glassworker, for instance. Yet craft work is present in many more areas of economic and social life than you might first think. Clusters of craft work are present in the foodstuffs, health, personal care, mechanical, civil engineering, completion and communication sectors, and in many others.
A wide range of training courses as well as apprenticeships with a master craftsperson and mentoring enable young people and people wanting to make a career change to join a sector that is hugely dynamic in the Grand Duchy.
The Grand Duchy offers a wide range of training courses
In 2019, the skilled crafts sector was the leading employer in the Grand Duchy, providing 21% of all employment. That means it plays an important role in combating unemployment and offers real career prospects. In this context, it is essential that there should be a suitable educational framework for acquiring not only technical and manual skills but also the skills needed to run a business.
In recent years, the Grand Duchy has developed a number of training courses for a vast number of careers in the skilled crafts sector.
There are three levels of training.
Courses for gaining an initial qualification in the skilled crafts sector
- The Vocational Capacity Certificate (Certificat de Capacité Professionnelle - CCP).
- The Vocational Aptitude Diploma (Diplôme d'Aptitude Professionnelle - DAP).
- The Technician's Diploma (Diplôme de Technicien - DT).
The DAP is the standard qualification ensuring craft work of quality carried out according to professional rules and best practices. Training courses leading to two new qualifications were added in 2018. As for the CCP, it enables less skilled people to follow basic training and get a job. The DT is available for a limited number of trades; it may provide an alternative route or an addition to the DAP training.
The key word in this level of training is apprenticeship. Apprentices attend a general training course at a technical secondary school (lycée technique) and receive practical training under the guidance of an employer in a duly recognised and qualified training company.
In 2019, the number of apprentices registered with the Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts (Chambre des Métiers) reached 1,764, making the skilled crafts sector the leading training body in the Grand Duchy.
The apprenticeship scheme is also the way for adults to acquire a professional qualification.
Training courses for future entrepreneurs and heads of craft businesses
- The Master Craftsman's Certificate (Brevet de Maîtrise - BdM).
Given the importance of the skilled crafts sector for the creation of jobs in the Grand Duchy, it is essential to ensure the renewal of the economic fabric. It's the creation of new businesses and the transfer or take-over of businesses already in existence that ensures the sustainability of the sector.
The Master Craftsman's Certificate (BdM) is the standard at this level. The training course provides the theoretical, practical and educational skills needed for creating and running a business, and for training others and passing on skills. In the Grand Duchy about thirty BdM courses are available in various fields; 15 new courses will be added by 2025.
"The Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts is working on expanding the range of higher education courses by adding an ad hoc offer of courses leading to a BTS or a Bachelor's or Master's degree as part of cross-border collaboration." Key figures for the skilled crafts sector in 2019. Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts.
- The Higher Technician Certificate (Brevet de Technicien Supérieur - BTS).
- The Bachelor's degree.
- The Master's degree.
The Higher Technician Certificate (BTS) is a short higher education course lasting two years that is in keeping with the sector's professional development process. In 2020, there are as many as 30 BTS qualifications, obtained by initial training and by the validation of non-formal and informal training. It should be noted that this training is considered higher education from the professional point of view, even though in the Grand Duchy it is still classified in Level 5 of the Luxembourg Qualifications Framework, as is the Master Craftsman's Certificate.
Beyond this level, the studies leading to a Bachelor's or Master's degree are not always directly linked to jobs in the skilled crafts sector, but businesses in the sector also employ people with university qualifications, such as accountants, legal experts, engineers, etc.