Apprentices learn the skills needed for a specific job by combining the learning in business with the learning in a vocational school or training centre (alternate learning or "dual system"). Their periods of training are usually long term, they normally receive a wage or allowance, and they usually have a fixed contract with the employer.
However, when it comes to mobility stays abroad, apprenticeships pose a number of additional challenges compared to school-based training – particularly when the training is for long periods.
A Working Group was set up by the European Commission at the beginning of 2009 in order to develop and propose concrete ideas on how to adapt the present and future LLP Leonardo da Vinci Programme to support the mobility of apprentices and persons in alternate vocational training.
The European Parliament allocated in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009 a specific budget for preparatory actions to foster the mobility of apprentices.
The project "EuroApprenticeship" with the objective to create a sustainable network of operators and competent bodies supported by a web-based platform in the area of mobility for apprentices is currently being carried out. The website was publicly launched 9 November 2010, at the Conference 15 years of Leonardo.
A test phase for implementing individual applications for mobility in apprenticeships was carried out 2008-2009 involving three countries: Finland, Malta and Poland. Read more .
12 pilot projects were carried out 2006-2008 to test and validate the findings of the studies and to develop concrete tools to support mobility of the target group. Read more .
Three studies were carried out between 2005-2007 with the aim to get a comprehensive understanding of the barriers preventing higher mobility of apprentices and other young people in initial VET:
Move-it: a study on overcoming obstacles to mobility for apprentices and young people in initial vocational education and training: in the state of the art in Member States and solutions to obstacles.
Reflector: focused on the relation between the European credit transfer system for VET (ECVET) and the different systems of certification in the Member States.
Connexion: focused on the relations between ECVET and the offer of initial VET, apprenticeship included.
Find documents from the ‘Apprentices: Paths of European Mobility’ conference, Bordeaux 2008.