European VET providers and their counterparts in the European Business Community are well aware of the drive to improve and extend the opportunities provided through Apprenticeships and Work Based Learning pathways, especially for young people seeking to enter the labour market of today and in to the future. Indeed many providers are working closely with local, regional and national businesses to extend these pathways to develop the skills necessary to meet the challenges within a global marketplace. In many Member States the shift toward Work Based Learning and Apprenticeships in particular are well developed and operating within a National framework in terms of skills development and curriculum design and delivery. Both VET Institutions and Businesses are working together to arm young people with the skills necessary to meet the needs of companies for a highly skilled workforce. However some are further ahead than others in terms of delivering such training within National frameworks. More can be done – a particular challenge is that of meeting the needs of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SME’s). It is a key focus of European VET policy to promote high quality skills through these pathways. Moreover the policy debate recognises that these pathways offer a valuable opportunity to address the perception of VET as a inferior route to success compared to the traditional academic pathway from school to University. These policy drivers alongside efforts by VET institutions to work closely in partnership with Business seek to change this perception to ensure VET is seen as a ‘first choice option for young people as they strive to succeed in the real world of work.

In the drive to promote high quality pathways through Apprenticeship and Work Based Learning two new initiatives have been developed to contribute to the tools necessary to ensure quality in such provision. Both are supported through the Erasmus Plus programme that has enabled the training programmes to be developed. It is hoped that all Stakeholders will find them useful additions to the toolkit of resources and training to support and assist their efforts at improving high quality Vocational Education and Training opportunities for all.

EAPPREN is a project that seeks to build the capacity of Intermediary Organisations such as Chambers of Commerce, business support agencies et al to contribute through support and advice to SME’s, in particular, to expanding business / education partnerships to ensure skills needs and gaps are met – they offer staff within Intermediary organisations the opportunity to undertake a training course, module in format, designed to raise their understanding of Apprenticeships and Work based learning so as to support SME’s and VET providers – acting as a bridge – in the development of such opportunities for skill development. This, alongside a training course directed at SME’s seeks to raise the awareness of the added value of working together in partnership with the VET sector.
Both courses are in e-learning format and can be accessed through www.eappren.eu
The materials and resources are in English and partner languages (Gr, Latvian,Bulgarian, Spanish) and can be adapted for use in any member state. In addition the project has developed a Matching tool to link young peoples interests to SME’s seeking to recruit under an Apprenticeship banner.
A final conference and workshop will take place in Patras in September 2018 where people can see the value added of the training packages. Details to follow.

CCI-Dobrich, our Bulgarian partner is launching EAPPREN at a series of events within the Bulgarian Presidency timeframe:
On 11-th of June in Sofia  will take place European Parliament of Enterprises, organised by the Bulgarian CCI and Eurochambres in the frame of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council. One of the modules is : Skills – forms of learning and practice.
On 12-th of June, also in Sofia, the project will be presented to the Presidents of the 31 Chambers in Bulgaria.

Along side EAPPREN is:

Promote WBL – this latter project has devised a training package to assist VET Teachers and Trainers involved in the delivery of Apprenticeship and Work Based Learning with the tools – curriculum design; assessment methodologies; and examples of good practice, drawn from several members states – to assist them to build high quality provision for young people. In addition to the resources and examples of good practice in methodologies, it also seeks to stimulate interest in this pathway to ensure young people gain the necessary skills and competences to make their experience second to none in terms of skills development Follow us on www.promotewbl.eu

For more information on both the above please view www.efvet.org / projects and we will happily direct you to the training programmes.

In conclusion – both these initiatives are seen as important contributors to the support for the expansion of high quality Apprenticeships and Work Based Learning pathways and are seen as real opportunities to reinforce the European policy priorities for VET including contributing the work of there European Alliance for Apprenticeships in which EFVET itself is heavily involved.

Peter Hodgson
EfVET

 

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