Some 20 per cent of the Austrian teenagers choose to complete compulsory education by attending the pre-vocational year [Polytechnischer Lehrgang]. This possibility is mainly used by those 14 to 15 year-olds who intend to enter apprenticeship training. The purpose of the pre-vocational year is to qualify them for transition to apprenticeship training or continuing education; special attention is being paid to the individual pupil's interests, abilities and skills.
A variety of practice-oriented lessons and teaching methods based on the idea of learning by doing used for compulsory and technical subjects do not only provide pupils with basic skills, qualifications and know-how but also promote their individual abilities and their willingness to study.
At the same time, the pre-vocational year offers visits to companies and part-time vocational schools for apprentices as well as practical training sessions in workshops. All this aims at preparing pupils for their future career.
Furthermore, there are a number of fields of specialization (compulsory electives) corresponding to the main professional fields which aim at imparting basic professional qualifications:
Each pupil has to choose one field of specialization out of the offered range. For the compulsory subjects German, English and mathematics, pupils are taught in streams and in accordance with their specialization. All pupils receive practical and career-related instruction on the use of personal computers.
With a certain degree of autonomy granted to schools (see above), the individual curricula may be modified and adapted to the individual pupils' interests and to the needs and requirements of the regional areas. Pre-vocational education is organized on a nationwide basis. Depending on the local situation, pre-vocational education is either organized on an independent basis or on the same premises as the lower secondary school.
Most graduates of the pre-vocational year choose to continue their training by serving an apprenticeship training although there are also free to proceed to a technical and vocational school or college or to transfer to a secondary academic school.
Geändert am 23.02.2007