Apprenticeship Contract in Colombia

The agglomerate compendium of norms in labor matters, every day has more resources and special tools to contribute to the state and professional progress. Through the apprenticeship contract, it is possible to expand the possibility of accessing previous labor practice and field of action in the matter, linking students from SENA, universities or educational institutions with their training practices.

The distinction of this contract specialty is that the law establishes that any company can comply with the hiring of apprentices, with the exception that this hiring is not always voluntary for an organization or employer, except in cases in which it is a legal obligation for companies (those with at least 15 employees) to comply.

The responsibility for setting up the obligation of this regulation falls on SENA, which is the entity in charge of specifying the apprenticeship quota and, consequently, developing jointly with the companies, the pertinent procedures and processes for the respective compliance with the Law.

The apprenticeship contracts will allow the opportunity to last 2 continuous or discontinuous years of this practice. The interesting thing about this legal figure is that its objective is to validate the student’s experience with respect to the theoretical and academic knowledge acquired during the development of the educational program and study, following the channels and bases provided for the academic load, so that the design of the referred practice must be governed according to the curriculum approved by the corresponding authorities, that is, endorsed by the Ministry of Education and/or the Secretariat of Education. An important aspect to highlight is that the remuneration of the apprenticeship contract is considered a compensation, it is not considered a salary or wage, since the economic recognition is by the sponsoring company and this in turn contains a rule in order to determine the value according to the phase in which the apprenticeship is, that is, if it is in the teaching phase or in the practical phase, taking as a basis for the teaching phase the recognition of 50% of the minimum wage and 75% of the minimum wage in the practical phase.

It is therefore necessary to clarify that the apprenticeship contract does not constitute an employment relationship as a contract, nor is its compensation considered a salary and therefore does not give rise to the right to demand social benefits.

Now, this provision includes technicalities and formal establishments that must be resolved with the respective legal rigor in order to comply with the required obligation and avoid penalties and legal damages for non-observance, aspects such as determining the obligation of affiliation to social security, maternity leave, vacations, suspension of the contract, among others.

López & James invites you to learn more about this matter and confirms its willingness to provide this service with the highest standards of expertise so that it can guide and execute the contracting guidelines through a wide experience and the best quality in the process. Remember, Gestiones Empresariales López & James through its Advisory and Consulting Services in Legal matters, especially in Labor Law, can solve all your concerns in this regard. Likewise, we can provide specialized advice in the areas of Corporate Law, Civil Law, Immigration Law, Tax Law, Intellectual Property Law and Family Law. We have professionals around the world, mainly in Latin America and Asia, but also in countries such as England, Spain and the United States, which allows us to support you in any location through all the services we can offer to you or your company.

Likewise, we are also ready to support you in any other area that requires our expertise, in financial, human resources, administrative or foreign trade and BPO services, since our team of consultants is always ready to listen to you through its virtual channels, at any time, through the emails, or by calling our landline in Bogotá (601) 7498261 For more information, visit and our social networks on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About the author:

Daniela Álvarez, lawyer from Universidad Santa María in Venezuela and a Specialist in Law and Business from Universidad de la Sabana, she is part of the legal team of Gestiones Empresariales López & James Latam and specializes in the areas of civil, commercial, business, immigration and legal and pre-legal collection.