The launch event gathered around 200 participants representing public authorities, employer and employee organisations, employment services, business, chambers of commerce, industry and crafts, VET providers, youth organisations and current and former apprentices.
The event included speeches by the German Minister for Education and Research, Ms Wanka, the Lithuanian Minister for Social Security and Labour, Ms Pabedinskienė and the Chairman and CEO of Telecom Italia, Mr Bernabè. In a coffee table discussion representatives of Siemens and Nestle explained the importance of apprenticeships to their business, and the Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Zaragoza, Spain, explained how SMEs can also deliver this type of training. Other speakers underlined the importance of high quality apprenticeship training and the benefits of working closely together with social partners to achieve this.
As highlighted in the video message by President Barroso "the key to make this initiative a success is to work across different policy areas, gather all stakeholders and join our forces to achieve the best outcomes for young people." Among the first steps in gathering stakeholders together, the European Commission, the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Social Partners signed a joint declaration(218 kB)
outlining the ways in which they will support the Alliance.
In addition, a considerable number of organisations showed their support by signing pledges. For instance, Nestlé made a pledge to increase the number of high quality apprenticeships and traineeships by 50%, the European Youth Forum and Microsoft made a pledge to help companies ensure and increase the quality of their apprenticeships and Eurochambres made a pledge to facilitate bilateral cooperation between chambers of commerce and industry to support the delivery of quality apprenticeships.