Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 14/09/2021

Quality and effective apprenticeships: Commission takes stock of Member States' progress

The European Commission has published a report taking stock of how EU Member States are putting into practice the European Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships.

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Key findings

Three years into the implementation of the 2018 Council Recommendation on a European Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships, the Commission report shows that the 7 criteria on learning and working conditions are in place in the majority of Member States, while further progress is needed in implementing the 7 criteria on framework conditions.

The report confirms that the Framework continues to be relevant and up to date, and that it remains a key instrument to enhance the quality and effectiveness of apprenticeships across the EU.

The report also indicates that the Framework supports Member States in an incremental, continuous improvement of their apprenticeship schemes, including on those criteria that were already partially in place in 2018.

The report includes country fiches with an assessment of the situation and progress in each Member State.

Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, said: “Quality apprenticeships can make such a difference in helping people get into the labour market. They provide people with real work experience and skills, becoming the fast track to employment. They are a bridge to jobs. I encourage all Member States to keep working hard to bring to life the European Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships so we give people the skills they need to secure quality employment.” 


Apprenticeships are an effective form of work-based learning in vocational education and training that ease the transition from education and training into work. In order to ensure that apprenticeships and beneficial for both the apprentices and the employers, EU Member States agreed on a European Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships (EFQEA) in 2018.

The Council Recommendation on EFQEA defines 14 quality criteria – 7 on learning and working conditions, and further 7 on framework conditions.

The Commission continues supporting Member States in the implementation of the Framework and more broadly the wider apprenticeship community in enhancing the supply, quality and image of apprenticeships, as well as the mobility of apprentices, also through the European Alliance for Apprenticeships as well as the Apprenticeship Support Services.

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