About 40% of young Austrians accept an apprenticeship at the end of compulsory education (at 15 years of age). This figure has been stable since the 1950s.  In 2011, the Apprenticeship, Skills, Children and Apprenticeship Act came into force in 2009 (ASCLA 2009). A new legal form of learning has been introduced; an apprenticeship contract under which the apprentice works for an employer under the terms set by ASCLA 2009 and the 2012 Apprenticeship Regulations. An apprenticeship contract has the status of a service contract, which means that an apprentice employed under an apprenticeship contract is only entitled to the legal protection afforded to ordinary workers, but who does not have enhanced protection against dismissal. Apprenticeships in Austria are organised in an alternating training system: the in-house training of apprentices is supplemented by the obligation to have a vocational school for apprentices (Berufsschule).  It lasts from two to four years – the duration varies between the 250 teaching professions recognized by law. Some employers seem to treat learning rather casually – they can take one, then realize they can`t bear the costs, and they decide to lay them off. Then they discover that they have stumbled into some sort of legal minefield. This may be either a written statement of employment data or a written document in the form of an employment contract or letter of commitment. For all new apprentices starting their training, an apprenticeship contract is required at the beginning of the apprenticeship. Like an apprenticeship contract, approved English apprenticeship contracts have the status of a service contract, which means that an apprentice employed under an apprenticeship contract is only entitled to legal protection of the work. This agreement must be signed by the apprentice and the employer at the beginning of the apprenticeship.
A laid-off apprentice may receive a higher salary than other workers in the same situation. Indeed, such a distinction reflects not only the shortfall in the apprenticeship contract, but also possible future income that they cannot make now. In addition to a safety net, group training organizations (OTGs) provide other benefits, such as additional support to the employer and apprentice by an industrial advisor who regularly visits to ensure that the intern meets his or her work and training obligations with his or her employer.