On 15 March, the EPSCO Council adopted a recommendation on a framework for quality and effective apprenticeships which is said to help young people to enter the world of work.
The recommendation encourages the development of a highly skilled and qualified workforce which is responsive to the needs of the labour market. By applying common criteria for the quality and effectiveness of apprenticeships, member states will be better able to develop and promote their national apprenticeship schemes.
The recommendation foresees different criteria for learning and working conditions, including the following:
- a written agreement should be concluded to define the rights and obligations of the apprentice, the employer and, where appropriate, of the vocational education and training institution within a clear and consistent regulatory framework,
- there should be clear results leading to recognised qualifications,
- apprentices should be paid or otherwise compensated,
- apprentices should be entitled to social protection,
- career guidance, mentoring and learner support should be provided to apprentices both before and during the apprenticeship in order to ensure a successful outcome,
- pedagogical support should be provided to teachers, trainers and mentors, specially in micro-, small and medium-sized companies.
The framework is a follow up to the Council declaration on the ‘European Alliance for Apprenticeships’ of October 2013.
The Lifelong Learning Platform welcomes this recommendation, as it deems it goes in the right direction. LLLP hopes this will better frame apprenticeships in a quality and effective way, towards the goal of rendering apprenticeships mobility a true lifelong learning experience. Two of LLLP members, EARLALL and Freref, developed a joint position paper: read it here in English and in French!