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Supporting SMEs on apprenticeships


On 26-27 June 2014, the ET2020 Working Group on VET met at the 'Campus des Métiers et de l'Entreprise' outside Paris to study and discuss ways to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage in apprenticeships. Building on the discussions, a policy guidance framework will be developed.


Within the Education and Training 2020 (ET 2020) strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training, a new working group on vocational education and training initiated its work in March 2014. Throughout 2014 and 2015, the working group will focus on how to strengthen supply of quality apprenticeships, with the aim of facilitating young people's transition into the labour market, and providing skills that are relevant for the labour market.

SMEs are much less involved in apprenticeship than larger companies. Due to their smaller size, they have limited administrative and financial resources and need more support to get involved. The working group focused its discussions on financial and non-financial incentives, institutional arrangements and infrastructure support, and support to in-company trainers. 

Cooperation - key to success 

In addition to studying the French system, the working group looked into examples from across Europe. In France, the strong cooperation between the chambers, training centres and companies is seen as key to successful apprenticeships, while inter-company training networks have been particularly successful in mobilising micro-companies in Germany. The demand-driven Austrian system has also shown success, while Italy show-cased good experience with Leonoarda da Vinci funded mobility projects.

The meeting in Paris was organised in cooperation with l'Assemblée permanente des chambres de métiers et de l'artisanat (APCMA), a member of UEAPME.


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