Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion


The European Alliance for Apprenticeships is a multi-stakeholder initiative steered by the European Commission. The originator of the pledge is solely responsible for implementing the actions outlined in the pledge.

Author:I.F.O.A. - Istituto Formazione Operatori Aziendali
Type of organisation:Education and training providers
Start date:01/01/2016
Contact person(s):


Ms Lusenti Francesca, Head of Employment Services Unit.  lusenti@ifoa.it

Mr Luca Boetti, head of EU projects Unit.  boetti@ifoa.it





Presentation of the member:

IFOA was born in the early 1970s, by initiative of the Chamber of Commerce of Reggio Emilia.

Since 1994, with the regional and national Chambers entering its board, IFOA stands out as a training and consultancy centre of the Italian Chambers of Commerce.

IFOA is a not-for-profit private body appointed since 1999 as a national VET centre by the Italian Ministry of Labour, with 14 sites all over Italy and 150 Full-Time Equivalent staff. We train over 11.000 students every year, with a placement rate over 72% at a national level.

Standing out as one of the leading private training centers in Italy, IFOA delivers traditional and b-learning post-diploma (EQF 5) and post-graduate (EQF 6 and 7) programmes for young unemployed, as well as lifelong training, consultancy and technical assistance to individuals, businesses and public bodies. Training courses and services are certified according to UNI EN ISO 9001:2008.

Since 1993, IFOA has been working in EU projects on curricula development, competences definition, assessment and recognition, lifelong learning, active employment policies, mobility, ICT, etc.. IFOA is also head office of ULIXES, a EEIG involving training agencies, colleges, business schools, Chambers of Commerce in 10 EU member States.

IFOA’s goal is to design and deliver professional training services, to develop research, experimentation and technical assistance, to perform guidance, recruitment and work placement activities. Our beneficiaries are individuals, companies, associations, public bodies, whom we reach through a close link to the local, regional, national and international setting.

Our mission is to improve and transfer professional skills, in order to support individuals in their personal development, to reinforce the human capital and the competitiveness of businesses and economic system.

IFOA is active in apprenticeship since year 2000, cooperating yearly with over 16.000 companies, especially SME, training and placing some 6.000 apprentices (aged 18-29) per year.

We provide consultancy and assistance to companies, especially SME, for internal training of apprentices, as well as on-the-job training on transversal and professional skills, and company tutors training: in that way, we support companies in the correct implementation of their apprenticeship contracts on the training side (duration, timing, competences, etc.). Our commitment is also to support companies in acquiring themselves tools for a sound training management, and to ensure a proper assessment and certification of training.


Description of the Pledge:

Experience acquired in these years brought IFOA to develop a own methodology, complete with tools and procedures, compliant with the quality system set by the UNI EN ISO 9001:2008 standard: this allows a precise control of training activities performed by the apprentice, in the classroom and in the company. More, IFOA built a sound network of relationship and co-operation with institutions and relevant businesses. For example, IFOA closely co-operates with Adapt (http://adapt.it) - Association for international and comparative studies in the field of labour law and industrial relations - a non-profit organisation founded in 2000 by Prof. Marco Biagi (a famous Italian jurist, professor of labour law and industrial relations at University of Modena, assassinated by members of the New Red Brigades outside his home in Bologna in 2002). IFOA and Adapt have been working together since 2012, thus permitting a continuous updating on regulations and a deep understanding and awareness on feasibility of actions for apprentices.

IFOA’s intent is to share practices, tools and processes through meetings and conferences, who will see on stage stakeholders from companies and institutions linked to the labour market in Italy and in Europe.

We commit therefore to undertake the following:

  • IFOA will carry out its regular activities for training and placement of apprentices and supporting companies;
  • Adapt will monitor correctness and coherence of training delivered by IFOA. After a qualitative assessment, will issue to IFOA a certification, stating compliance with national regulations and the ISO standard, and coherence between services proposed to companies and services actually delivered;
  • IFOA will monitor companies employing apprentices, assessing compliance with regulations, procedures, and proper training/shadowing of apprentices. Companies succeeding in keeping requisites indicated by IFOA will be appointed, on their turn, with a certificate of compliance with regulations and training procedures, a kind of badge/label acknowledging the “virtuous” usage of apprenticeship contracts. This will publicly recognise company commitment to make apprenticeship contracts the main contracts for entering the labour market, fundamental for young people to start their working lives;
  • Along the way, IFOA and Adapt will meet Italian and European companies and institutions, to share tools and intermediate outcomes, and fine tune process development.

Among requisites to be fulfilled will be:

  • availability of a company tutor, with a contract level equal or higher than the apprentice (at the end of its training period);
  • company tutor’s previous work experience;
  • identification and description of learning outcomes, i.e. skills to be acquired through apprenticeship training;
  • regular keeping of daily recordings of training by the tutor and the apprentice, stating activities and skills training focusses on;
  • assessment grids, to check achievement of goals and of competences necessary to make the apprentice independent in his job;
  • completion of training in the apprenticeship reference year/period.


Through years, IFOA developed a set of regular procedures and tools, permitting a proper training design and a precise monitoring of training activities. Using such methods does not imply a standardization of apprenticeship pathways: the training programme is built by IFOA case by case, after meeting and discussing with the apprentice and the company, and is tailor-made individually, to favour achievement of skills necessary to each trainee.

Pledged to improve the quality of apprenticeships
Pledged to enhance the image of apprenticeships

IFOA can rely upon a strong network, including the Chambers of Commerce, Region Emilia Romagna and its PES. More, IFOA will involve ADAPT as first partner in this initiative. Its purpose is to encourage and implement a new approach to academic research, by establishing

ongoing relationships with other universities and advanced studies institutes, and promoting academic and scientific exchange programmes with enterprises, institutions, foundations and associations. ADAPT has a strong international orientation, promotes a School for Higher Training in Industrial relations and Employment, targeted to placement and integration among school, university and the labour market, act itself as an employment agency, performs studies, research and technical assistance activities.

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