The external factors that had an impact on apprenticeship and the relevant design and delivery responses were discussed at a joint Cedefop and OECD joint symposium in Paris on the 7th of October.  The new research carried out by international researchers is exploring the next steps for apprenticeship provision. The symposium brought together over 100 policymakers, practitioners, and researchers from around the world to consider the Cedefop and OECD research which is exploring the next steps for apprenticeship provision.  

Apprenticeship provision has a long history of enabling the transitions for young people from education into sustained skilled employment. In the past years, governments across Europe and the OECD have invested a lot of resources in improving apprenticeship provision, introducing and reforming apprenticeships to reach more learners, both young people and increasingly adults. 

The symposium organised the contributions on how apprenticeship provision is changing or would need to change in response to external megatrends, such as socio-demographic and socio-economic changes, new technologies and labour market changes, new forms of work organisation, trends in education and training.

The research aims to present how apprentices can seem attractive to learners, to employers and society, providing apprentices with soft skills demanded by employers while contributing to societal and economic well-being. However, the countries developing apprenticeship within some very different policy approaches and peer-learning opportunities are strong.

Cedefop Executive Director Mr Jürgen Siebel said that in recent years we had apprenticeship renaissance at the policy level. But right now, it’s time to reflect with evidence-based research, on the impact of megatrends on apprenticeship.

Mr Antonio Ranieri, Cedefop Head of Learning and employability department, said that we attach to different goals to apprenticeship and many purposes for one policy instrument. The employment function prevails in most European countries.

During the first session Mr Philipp Grollmann, Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training and Mr Jorg Markowitsch presented 3 scenarios for future apprenticeships:

  • Fake (low-value qualification and a screening mechanism for low skilled jobs, short-term perspective)
  • Brand (high-tech work process and long-term human capital investment)
  • Label (long-term and variety of logics in specific actors involved)

Regina Flake, The German Economic Institute, said that “9 out of 10 companies use digital technologies channels and services and need cooperation and relation between companies and vocational schools”. 

The final panel concluded on a very interesting note and thought on an apprenticeship with OECD and CEDEFOP “Key themes being effective learner and employer focus, quality, digitalization, benchmarking, inclusion and collaborative partnerships”.

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