Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

European Alliance for Apprenticeships

The European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) is a unique platform which brings together governments with other key stakeholders, like businesses, social partners, chambers, vocational education and training (VET) providers, regions, youth representatives or think tanks.

The common goal is to strengthen the quality, supply and image of apprenticeships in Europe, and more recently mobility of apprenticeships has also emerged as an important topic.

Moreover, the first on-line survey among stakeholders revealed the growing importance of mobility in apprenticeships.

The Alliance was launched in July 2013 with a joint declaration 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 by EU countries

Although managed by the Commission, the success of EAfA lies with the implementation of national commitments and the commitment of partners, notably through pledges by stakeholders.

Why is it needed?

Apprenticeships as one successful form of 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.

Apprenticeships formally combine and alternate company-based training with school-based education and lead to a nationally recognised qualification upon successful completion. Most often there is a contractual relationship between the employer and the apprentice, with the apprentice being paid for his/her work.

The EAfA promotes youth employment and supports the aims of the Youth Guarantee, while reducing the disparity between skills supply and demand on the labour market.

What are the benefits?

Companies providing apprenticeships 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 learn valuable workplace skills in a professional environment, ensuring a greater degree of future employability. It is a win-win scheme for all: the company, the learner and the society as a whole.

What has been done so far?

The Alliance has effectively mobilised EU Member States, but also EFTA and EU candidate countries and a large number of stakeholders to engage in quality apprenticeships. It has facilitated networking, cooperation and sharing of good practices and Cedefop and the European Training Foundation (ETF) have provided strategic expert support. The Alliance has equally contributed to raising awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships.

Please consider the document "High-performance apprenticeships & work-based learning: 20 guiding principles – 2015" as a key reference document available in English, French, German, Turkish and Armenian.

Join the Alliance!

The Alliance is a platform for sharing experiences and learning from best practices. You can also find partners, develop new ideas and initiatives, and access the latest news and tools on apprenticeships. Stakeholders interested in making a pledge should complete the pledge application form and return it by email. To find out more, have a look at the frequently asked questions or send an email if you wish to receive the EAfA Newsletter.

Register your concrete apprenticeship and training opportunities on the new Drop'pin website.

EAfA on social media

Share this page