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:EuroCommerce and UNI Europa
Country:European Union
Start Year:2015

Laila Castaldo, Policy Officer

Ilaria Savoini, Senior Adviser Social Affairs

Types of organisation:Social partners

In their work programme for 2014-2015, the above mentioned social partners for the commerce sector have put particular emphasis on the integration of young people in the commerce labour market as well as on addressing skills mismatch between the skills of employees and the needs of companies.

Both EuroCommerce and UNI Europa are aware of the fact that quality apprenticeships can support access to labour market and contribute to improve skills of employees.

Therefore, they encourage their members to:

  • Raise awareness about the European Alliance for Apprenticeships and campaign to work towards more quality, accessible and fair apprenticeships
  • Improve the cooperation with VET bodies and other relevant educational institutions and youth organisations in the design and effective implementation of efficient apprenticeships programmes in the various sub sectors of commerce (retail, wholesale, international trade, e-commerce…)
  • Gather and disseminate best practice in dual learning systems from across Europe and share them with VET providers, schools, authorities at all levels, companies, employer’s organisations, chambers of commerce, trade unions and youth organisations.
  • Increase the cooperation with national authorities, social partners at all relevant levels, VET providers and others to identify ways of strengthening the quality, supply and image of apprenticeships in the commerce sector
  • Promote the participation of social partners according to national practices and standards in designing training plans
  • Promote quality apprenticeships which include e.g. the following elements:

- Good quality training in the workplace, with in-company mentors trained for this purpose. With this aim, the company allows enough time, room and means/resources to the tutor/mentor, so that he may give adequate support/guidance to the apprentice according to his qualification profile.
- The apprentice practices (under guidance of the tutor/mentor) company daily activities, according to his ability.
- Apprentices should have the opportunity to discuss regularly   their progress and competencies with their mentor/tutor, and the apprenticeships should be transparent regarding both the organization of the training and its assessment. Equal opportunities to succeed should be assured.
- A strong training component, with a major focus on learning provided in the workplace
- High quality and safe working environments

  • Ensure that apprenticeship schemes recognise knowledge, skills and competences acquired though non-formal and informal learning and offer qualifications in line with the National qualifications frameworks (NFQ)
  • Link apprenticeship systems with other EU initiatives such as the Youth guarantee to increase synergies and impact on the younger generation;
Area of action: Supply
Area of action: Quality
Area of action: Image

Social partners, commerce companies of all dimensions and sub-sectors, education providers, skills councils at all relevant levels, EU, national, regional and local authorities and bodies, youth organisations.

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