Learning Courses to improve employability and to enhance social and professional inclusion

Short summary

A Learning course enables obtaining a school and professional certification (level 4). It is intended for applicants still under 25 years old, having the 9th grade completed, but without secondary education. The Learning courses allow obtaining a school and professional certification, favouring their insertion in the work market, enhanced by a strong training component carried out in a real context of work, but also allowing higher-level studies.

The Learning courses follow the principle of DUAL training, combining theoretical and practical training with practical training periods in real work context within partner companies.

Context of good practice

The apprenticeship courses are initial vocational training courses aimed at young people, privileging their insertion in the labour market and allowing the continuation of studies, which are governed by the following guiding principles:

Intervention with young people in transition to work and those already in the labour market without secondary or equivalent qualifications, to improve employability and social and professional inclusion levels;

Recognition of the formative potential of the work situation, through a greater appreciation of the intervention and the formative contribution of the companies, assuming them as true training spaces, generators of learning progression;

Alternation regime understood as the interaction between theoretical and practical training and the contexts in which they take place, and practical training, carried out in the alternating support entities, is distributed progressively throughout the course.

Apprenticeship courses are intended for young people who must meet the following conditions cumulatively at the start of training:

  • Age below 25 years;
  • 9th grade, without completion of upper secondary education.

They can participate in the development of the Learning Courses, in addition to the IEFP Network Centres (including the Participated Management Vocational Training Centres),entities such as EDUGEP, which has been selected through principles of competition and transparency, such as 

  • Meeting regularly incorporated and duly registered;
  • Have a regular situation regarding taxes, social security contributions and refunds under Institute for Employment and Vocational Training funding;
  • Are certified within the scope of the training entity certification system;
  • They have not been convicted of violating child labour legislation and discrimination at work and employment, including on grounds of gender, as well as for unlawful dismissal of pregnant women, women who have recently given birth or breastfeeding;
  • They have not been convicted in criminal proceedings of a judgment which has the force of res judicature for facts involving the financial availability of the Structural Funds;
  • Have facilities and equipment suitable for the professional exits to which they apply.

Before the commencement of the actions, and to carry out a technical-pedagogical accreditation visit, the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training contacts the entity that obtained the highest score within each professional career following the application process. These mandatory visits are intended to evaluate/validate, on the spot, the information contained in the form that the entity completed in the application form.

When selected to develop the Learning Courses, EDUGEP assumes the following responsibilities within the coordination of the training processes:

  • Plan, organize and develop the training actions;
  • To guarantee the technical-pedagogical quality of the training;
  • To admit trainees, in compliance with the defined norms;
  • Establish the teaching teams, under the legal requirements required for each training component, providing the necessary information about the learning courses and the institutional context in which they take place;
  • Provide trainees with access to benefits and social facilities compatible with the action taken;
  • Respect and enforce hygiene, health and safety at work;
  • Monitor the training activities carried out by the official entities.

And the following duties:

Subject to verification, audit and evaluation actions by the following entities, providing all elements related, directly or indirectly, with the development of the financed actions:

Institute for Employment and Vocational Training, I.P.

Ministry of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security

Human Capital Operational Program (PO CH)

Audit and control entities under the European Social Fund

to base expenditure on stringent criteria of reasonableness, taking into account, in particular, the ratio of expenditure to training, market prices and value for money;

use one cost centre per course, which enables the cost items to be individualized according to the balance request items;

Identify the imputation key to the cost centre in the case of common costs;

Keep the training accounts up to date and in no case be more than 45 days late;

To develop the programmed training concerning the applicable legal norms, the conditions of approval of the action and the possible granting of support;

Communicate, in writing, to the structures of Institute for Employment and Vocational Training, whenever problems occur that affect the operation of actions;

provide, at any time, all information requested of them concerning the implementation of the actions concerning pedagogical, administrative and financial aspects;

To record and maintain permanently updated the records in the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training Management System (SGFOR),ensuring the quality of the recorded information;

Make available to the Centre or Regional Delegation of Institute for Employment and Vocational Training with whom it articulates, in digital support, the manuals / bibliographic list to support the development of Training Units of the different training components, as well as the evaluation tests applied in the course(s) of learning attributed to it;

Comply with the training contract signed with the trainees;

Not requiring the trainee tasks not included in the objectives of the course;

Conveniently disclose to all trainees the respective regime of rights and duties;

To place in the places where the actions take place the logos contained in the point Information and publicity of the supports of this Regulation.

The groups should be constituted according to the available conditions, in terms of spaces and equipment, which guarantee the quality of the training, and should usually have 20 trainees.

Training activities should be organized according to the schedule set between 8:00 and 20:00 hours, with a daily workload of 6 to 7 hours corresponding to a weekly workload of 30 to 35 hours and last for about 18-20 months.

Not only EDUGEP gets funds to develop these courses but also the trainees do get a subsidy for meals and transportation.

Main characteristics of the challenge, description of the target group

These courses exist to reinforce the qualification of young people between 15 and 25 years old holding a certificate of 9th-grade completion either for them to get a job or to pursuit studies. 


Step-by-step description of main activities from beginning to end, and conclusions:

1. Preparation: identifying the problem and outlining resolution (necessary tools, etc.) 

EDUGEP has a considerable network of partners, including the schools it works with to identify young people who can benefit from these courses, get in touch with them and enrol them in these dual certification courses.

2. Description of main activities; the approach used (necessary tools, timeframe, etc.)

During the course development, care is taken to combine the various components of the curriculum to maintain the interest of the students, namely the interval of classes with experience in the work context, i.e. supervised professional internship, to integrate theory in practice and promote other skills needed in the labour market, such as responsibility, commitment and professional pride.

3. Useful competencies of a problem-solving team to reach main aim (necessary tools, etc.)

Highly qualified staff not only in the curriculum areas, but with the social and human skills to deal with this trainee profile, many of them with a track record of school failure, which requires a great resilience from the trainer to deal with gaps learners' epistemological aspects and lack of some socio-affective skills.

4. What is the estimated timeframe of implementation? Is this a quick solution or a long-term investment? When is it recommended to be carried out?

These courses are about 18-20 months long and are part of a national policy aimed at providing more and better school education and vocational training to a considerable part of the young population at risk of social exclusion for which is not expected to end in a short time, quite the opposite if we consider the migration flows from our globalized world.

5. How is this a systems change? 

Systematic change is, in fact, the result of those activities being provided within the scope of a national educational policy.

Impact of measures taken

EDUGEP has recently invested in providing this training offer and the courses under development will not be completed until the middle of next year, so success rates are not yet available.  Computer Systems Technician, Communication, Marketing, Public Relations and Advertising Technician and Computer Systems Technician, attended by 15, 20 and 20 students respectively.

Lessons learned

Due to the profile of the trainees, associated with multiple needs, lack of family support and poverty, the pressure to drop out without completing the course is very great.

Resources needed

To successfully implement these courses, highly qualified staff, entrepreneurship and funds from the state are needed.

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Target group of good practice:

School leaders & Teacher educators




António Gonçalves (head of institution)



Institution Website:


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