Vorarlberg Apprenticeship Ambassadors

The apprenticeship ambassadors are young people who are in the middle of their own apprenticeship. They tell students at school about their job, their career and how they got there. They have sufficient personal and professional qualifications, report credibly and authentically about their training and try to arouse interest and motivate students to take up dual training.




The project was initiated in 2018 as part of the strategy process Dis.Kurs.Zukunft of the Vorarlberg Chamber of Commerce and launched in 2019 in cooperation with the organization Bifo (Beratung für Bildung und Beruf) with the aim of further strengthening Vorarlberg as the "Land of Apprenticeships".

Every year, numerous students are faced with the difficult decision of how to proceed with their education. Although schools and families are usually on hand to offer advice and support and there are a variety of information platforms, many young people lack knowledge about the numerous options available to shape their future and make good decisions about their future career path.

Who would be better suited to awaken students' interest in and impart knowledge about dual vocational training than the apprentices themselves? They are only slightly older than the students (at eye level), are in the middle of their apprenticeship, work in a wide variety of companies and industries, and attend vocational schools. Messages from young people to young people are better received than any image brochure or arguments from adults.




- Authentic and direct insights into apprenticeship training

- Direct contact with real working life

- Interest is aroused

- Motivation for the choice of education and perspectives

Apprenticeship ambassadors:

- Qualification and strengthening of their personal skills

- Pleasure and commitment

- Receive training and a certificate


- Vocational orientation lessons positively charged and meaningfully supplemented



The initiative is aimed at students in the 3rd and 4th grade of secondary school (13/14 years old).

The young people who take on the task of apprenticeship ambassadors are in the second year of their apprenticeship. They are trained for their mission and given time off by their company.

They receive two days of coaching and training with communication experts. They reflect on their own career paths, develop ideas for the content of their assignments at the schools, and learn tips and tricks about the choice of education. The ambassadors train presentation, moderation and communication skills and independently develop their own school presentation. They learn to communicate their knowledge with joy and commitment in order to arouse the curiosity of the students.

Procedure of the school lessons:

Secondary schools book the apprenticeship ambassadors for an assignment as part of career orientation lessons. During 2 school hours (90 min), the students receive first-hand information about the process and the importance of dual training (apprenticeship) as well as authentic insights into the working world.

Three apprenticeship ambassadors from three different professions talk about their personal story, their job and their apprenticeship, as well as the opportunities available after graduation. Afterwards, the students can ask questions.

Live Talks: Bringing Training into the Classroom via the Screen

The apprenticeship ambassador format can also be implemented online. In studio discussions, three apprenticeship ambassadors give insights into their everyday lives during training. Afterwards, an expert provides the students with information about career guidance programs in companies, tips on how to contact companies, and an overview of secondary schools and apprenticeships. The students have the opportunity to ask questions via chat.



The Apprenticeship Ambassadors project was launched in 2019 after an extensive pilot phase and is now being successfully implemented at all secondary schools in Vorarlberg. So far, 30 ambassadors from 20 different professions have been trained for their task by the apprenticeship office of the Vorarlberg Chamber of Commerce WKO and the organization Bifo. On average, they each have three assignments in the schools per semester. They come from sectors such as industry, trade and crafts, commerce, tourism and transport and traffic.

The WKO is responsible for liaising with the training companies, the trainers and the trainees, and BIFO with all secondary schools in the country.



The Apprenticeship Ambassadors project works on several levels and receives a lot of positive feedback. The schools, teachers and students appreciate the initiative as a valuable contribution to career orientation, the companies as a presentation opportunity and further development of their trainees. The participating trainees are encouraged by the positive feedback in their meaningful task and their actions.

The offer combines very well with the vocational orientation lessons of the schools. For students, these are additional exciting impulses for their choice of education and career, which they gladly accept. The high level of interest among the students is particularly evident in the exchange and question-and-answer sessions.

The fact that "real" apprentices report on their jobs, careers and the path to them makes the project exciting and young people curious, and thus makes a significant contribution to increasing the attractiveness of dual training.

Lessons learned: We have learned that we need to recruit new ambassadors in good time, as some leave again and again due to the end of their apprenticeship. We have also learned that we have to sell the format to the schools proactively, i.e. we have to convince the schools of the format. It is important to have direct contact with the career guidance coordinators at the schools.

In the near future, we would like to create short videos of each ambassador and expand the live talks with BIFO. We are constantly working to optimize the initiative. We are also planning a cross-border exchange with the ambassadors from Baden-Württemberg (Germany).


Short video (in German): 56sec, WKO; Bifo


Contact details:

Wirtschaftskammer Vorarlberg

Bildung und Lehre

Bahnhofstraße 24, 6850 Dornbirn, Österreich

T. +43 5522 305 1155

E. lehre@wkv.at



Link (in German)