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European Alliance for Apprenticeships

What is it?

The European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA), jointly coordinated by DG Education and Culture and DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, aims to bring together public authorities, businesses, social partners, VET providers, youth representatives, and other key actors in order to promote apprenticeship schemes and initiatives across Europe.

There are three strands of action:

  1. reform of apprenticeship systems
  2. promote the benefits of apprenticeships
  3. smart use of funding and resources

Although managed by the European Commission, the success of the initiative lies with the commitment of its partners, notably through the network of ambassadors and pledges by stakeholders.

Why is it needed?

Apprenticeships and work-based learning ease the transition from education and training to work, and evidence suggests that countries with a strong VET and apprenticeship system have lower levels of youth unemployment than countries without such systems. EAfA, in boosting the quality and supply of apprenticeships, intends to promote youth employment, supporting the aims of the Youth Guarantee, while simultaneously reducing the disparity between skills and labour demand.

Companies that engage apprentices are likely to benefit from a net profit on their investment, either during the apprenticeship or soon after by employing a fully trained worker. At the same time, VET students and apprentices will be able to learn valuable workplace skills in a professional environment, ensuring a greater degree of future employability. In the long run, such schemes are likely to contribute to increased tax revenue, less welfare payments, and great levels of social inclusion for all.

What has been done so far?

EAfA has mobilised EU countries and stakeholders, supported the establishment of bilateral and national agreements, initiatives, and cooperation mechanisms, supported the reform of apprenticeship systems, and raised awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships, as well as contributing to the policy environment through studies and dialogue.

EAfA was launched in July 2013 with a first ever joint declarationpdf(213 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  by the European Social Partners (ETUC, BusinessEurope, UEAPME and CEEP), the European Commission and the Presidency of the Council of the EU. This was followed by a Council Declaration pdfby EU countries, and individual pledges by EU countries.

There are also a number of agreements on bilateral cooperation. Germany supports Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain on VET reform. Also, Romania works with Austria, Germany and Finland to set up quality apprenticeships. There are also bilateral agreements between other stakeholders such as chambers of commerce, industry and crafts.

How is it funded?

The aims of EAFA are supported through a variety of EU finding mechanisms, resources and networks:

Downloadable brochurepdf(2 Mb) Choose translations of the previous link  on funding opportunities.

Member States' commitments

Following the Council Declaration of 15 October 2013 pdfon the European Alliance for Apprenticeships, 21 EU countries have submitted concrete commitments on next steps to increase the quantity, quality and supply of apprenticeships.

All commitments will be published on this page.

Pledges

EAfA welcomes commitments and pledges by stakeholders across Europe willing to contribute to strengthening the supply, quality and/or attractiveness of apprenticeships.

Stakeholders interested in making a pledge should complete the Pledge application formdoc(38 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  and return it to the EAfA at: eafa@ec.europa.eu.

Our current commitments and pledges include:

Ambassadors

The Ambassadors are a network of business professionals ready and willing to share knowledge and experiences with small and medium sized business (SMEs) to support the establishment of quality apprenticeships across Europe.

To become an Ambassador, please complete the application formdoc(41 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  and return it to EAfA. To contact an Ambassador, please fill in the request formdoc(43 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  and return it to EAfA.

The list of ambassadors is available here:

CompanySectorCountry experienceLanguagesLevels
AequorAgriculture, Horticulture, Food Industry, Natural EnvironmentNetherlandsDutch,
English
German

I
II
III

Apprenticeships 4 EnglandAcross sectorsUnited KingdomEnglishI
II
III
Deutsche TelekomICT - TechnologyGermanyEnglish
German
I
II
emh groupSocial Housing

United Kingdom

EnglishI
II
III
Employment Pathways Community Interest CompanyAll sectors

England
Wales

EnglishI
II
III
GI GroupEmployment and recruitment, Retail and large-scale distribution, Metal industry, ManufacturingItaly
United Kingdom
Italian
English
I
II
III
KONEElevator industryItalyItalian
English
I
II
NestléFood industry: manufacturing, administration, sales, marketing, finance, engineering, research and developmentEU Member States
EFTA countries
EU candidate countries
All common
EU languages
I
PhilipsMetal, Processing and Manufacturing IndustryNetherlandsDutch
English
I
II
ProActive Training & Skills Services LtdArts, Digital & Creative Media, Hospitality & Catering, PublishingUnited Kingdom
Belgium
Netherlands
EnglishI
II
III
REPSOLENERGYSpainSpanish
English
I
SAPIT IndustryGermany
Switzerland
German
English
II
SiemensEnergy efficiency, Industrial productivity, Intelligent infrastructures, HealthcareAustria
Spain
United Kingdom
Hungary
Portugal
Germany
Many
EU languages
I
II
III
Skills CFABusiness Administration, Human resources, ManagementUnited Kingdom
France
Germany
English
German
I
II
III
SonaeRetailPortugalPortuguese
English
II
III
Telecom ItaliaTelecommunicationsItalyItalian
English
I
II

Levels of involvement. Level 1 refers to promotion, speeches and interviews. Level 2 refers to expert advice by email, phone or in the office. Level 3 refers to project advice in developing new apprenticeship programmes.

The Commission is not responsible for the work of the Ambassadors.