ERASMUS + Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Start: 01-10-2018 - End: 31-03-2021
Project Reference: 2018-1-MK01-KA202-047097
EU Grant: 194022 EUR


There is around 25 million people were unemployed throughout the European Union. The youth unemployment rate (for 15-24 year olds) is worse than the EU average. Apprenticeships cannot solve the problems of youth unemployment, but they can bridge the gap between school and the labour market. There are various activities that can be undertaken in order to bridge the gap such as: ensuring that VET programmes correspond to the needs of the labour market; contributions to the development of professional qualifications; advising on the content of training, both in training institutions and at the workplace; improving terms and conditions for apprentices, particularly possible wages; providing guidance for apprentices via chambers representatives; improved system for monitoring the quality of work-based training; deciding on the funding arrangements for work-based training by means of bilateral training funds.

Apprenticeships have traditionally been designed to serve intermediate technical occupations. However, over the last 50 years there has been a gradual ‘hollowing out’ of mid-skilled jobs, with more jobs created either in high-skilled professional occupations (such as management consulting), or low-skilled service sector occupations (such as retail and hotels). Many people work in low-wage sectors, accounting for big portion of all employment. Many of these sectors do not have the same need or commitment to train their workforce.

Upon the privatization of the large companies from the past the SEE region exhibits a growing trend of establishing micro and SMEs. This has marked rise of new job market flexible working large growth in self-employment at the lower end of the labour market. More and more people shift away from ‘career jobs’ with large employers which lend themselves well to the sort of employer-led. These new processes have made the transition from school to work that much more complicated. Due to this, the apprenticeship schemes/systems need to reflect the reality and become more attractive for students to engage in them.

According to the European Commission various forms of apprenticeship practices have shown that countries with strong, attractive VET systems and especially those with well-established apprenticeship systems and strong work-based learning tend to perform better in terms of facilitating the transition from school to work and keeping youth unemployment down. Improving the supply and quality of apprenticeships is therefore an important part of the youth employment strategy.

The consortium will contribute towards the Agenda 2020 and EU's targets: early school-leaving rate below 10% & more young people in higher education or equivalent VET education (at least 40%), as well as to have at least 20 million fewer people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion by 2020. To the point, the project is in line with the agenda's concrete actions aiming at, among other things, improving flexibility and security in the labour market, equipping people with the right skills for the jobs of today and tomorrow and improving the conditions for job creation.

Target group: The project is foreseen to be implemented in close communication and coordination with involvement of various social partners and appropriate intermediary bodies such as chambers of commerce, association of employers, industry and crafts, professional organizations, sectoral organizations with established apprenticeship systems, public bodies (national employment agency, regional development centers etc.). However, as final beneficiaries and target groups the consortium sees the student support centers at universities, VET schools and the students (secondary and tertiary level) themselves. Common problems for hiring apprenticeships are the lack of training infrastructure and personnel to supervise apprentices, as well as insufficient expertise and capacity to manage complex rules, employment law and administrative requirements.

The overall objective is to facilitate the uptake of high quality jobs, apprenticeships and traineeships positions in SEE countries

Specific Objective 1: To facilitate exchanges of good practices, the development of networks and discussion platforms between education providers and the private sector to boost employability of learners.

Specific Objective 2: Support transnational cooperation and public-private partnerships to adapt the existing education provision in order to meet the emerging needs of employers and reflects new trends and developments in the labour market related to youth needs.

Specific Objective 3: Enable and encourage, through utilization of ICT tools and platforms, job seekers and businesses, particularly SMEs in order to find and offer apprenticeships and jobs in various industry.

Specific Objective 4: Enhance policy development related to apprenticeship through improving apprenticeships' standards and policies based on transnational cooperation and EU best practice.





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