Celebrating great pre-apprenticeship programmes this EU Vocational Skills Week

7 November 2018

It’s European Vocational Skills Week this week, a good time to reflect on our knowledge exchange event on Tuesday 30 October 2018. This event was a fundamental stage in a project we are delivering with the support of JP Morgan, Sharing best practice in the design and delivery of pre-apprenticeship programmes across Europe.

On the day, we were joined by 30 representatives of pre-apprenticeship programmes from 10 countries across Europe. The event provided a platform for knowledge exchange amongst participants with four productive and insightful discussions:

  • What are the most effective ways of engaging employers in pre-apprenticeships?
  • Embedding basic, vocational and social skills in pre-apprenticeships.
  • Which partners should be involved in designing and delivering pre-apprenticeships?
  • How can mentoring and personalised support lead to inclusive pre-apprenticeships?

Throughout the discussions, it became clear that providers face similar challenges, irrespective of how long they had been delivering their pre-apprenticeship programmes, or indeed which part of Europe they are delivered in. Notably, there is still work to be done to stimulate positive perceptions and recognition of vocational education and training as a valuable entry route to the labour market – which is often seen as a second choice for young people when compared to academic pathways.

Regardless of the challenges being faced by participants, there was a clear, strong commitment by everyone to providing inclusive and effective pathways to apprenticeships and the wider labour market for young people from diverse, and sometimes disadvantaged backgrounds.

Over the next few months we will use the key messages from this event, along with our wider research, to inform the development of a suite of interactive resources. These resources will be used by pre-apprenticeship providers from across Europe, to help develop their programmes in line with best practice.

By identifying best practice in the design and delivery of pre-apprenticeship programmes, facilitating the exchange of knowledge and providing practical resources, we hope that this project will drive further progress in securing the delivery of high quality, inclusive pre-apprenticeship programmes across Europe.

This European Vocational Skills Week we should celebrate the great pre-apprenticeship programmes that successfully prepare young people for interesting and challenging careers, as well as active engagement in society.

Visit our project page for more information on how you can get involved or contact Nicola Aylward, Head of Learning for Young People.

#DiscoverYourTalent #EUVocationalSkills

Seana Friel, Learning and Work Institute