Promoting best practice in pre-apprenticeships across Europe

We are delighted to be working in partnership with J.P. Morgan to support organisations to design and deliver inclusive and high-quality pre-apprenticeship programmes that provide a pathway to apprenticeships for young people.

Pre-apprenticeships are programmes targeted at young people aged 16-24, where at least one of the stated aims is progression to an apprenticeship. Across Europe, some programmes are explicitly called ‘pre-apprenticeships’ whilst others have specific brand names. Programmes typically prepare young people for apprenticeships by providing a combination of vocational training and hands-on experience, however, the components vary by individual programme.

This exciting project builds on our previous work with J.P. Morgan to develop a suite of practical resources and tools to support providers to design and deliver their own pre-apprenticeship programmes. The resources include:

  • an interactive guide for providers to design and deliver pre-apprenticeship programmes
  • We also have 5 short films which act as learning modules and showcase different elements of best practice
  • Top tips for providers of pre-apprenticeships
  • Detailed research findings report of best practice in design and delivery of pre-apprenticeships
  • Summary report of best practice in design and delivery of pre-apprenticeships
  • This short article explores some key features of online provision which could help to support engagement and motivation on pre-apprenticeship programmes throughout the pandemic.

Get involved!

The most effective pre-apprenticeship programmes are tailored to meet the needs of individual young people, many of whom are disadvantaged and experience significant barriers to employment. They provide a range of high-quality learning, hands on experience and support, and a direct pathway to apprenticeships, giving young people access to real opportunities in their local labour market.

The first stage of our work is to gain up to date insight into how pre-apprenticeship programmes are being delivered across Europe. We want to know ‘what works’ and to understand how and why particular types of delivery make a difference in helping young people on their journey to an apprenticeship.

We’re keen to hear about all effective pre-apprenticeship programmes, but within this we have a specific interest in how providers are:

  • Focussing on the development of digital skills in pre-apprenticeships.
  • Supporting ‘soft’ or ‘transversal’ skills development.
  • Using blended learning approaches to secure good outcomes for young people.
  • Developing ‘learn to learn’ approaches, which enable young people to become resilient, motivated and prepared to adapt to a changing labour market.

Tell us about your programme by responding to our short survey here.


Over the next two years, we will build our knowledge of, and share best practice through a range of accessible outputs, resources and events; supporting innovation and learning between providers and wider stakeholders across Europe and beyond.

We will work with a selection of pre-apprenticeship providers to:

  • Develop short films which showcase good practice
  • Create resources to further support the design and delivery of programmes
  • Deliver a programme of cross-European peer learning activity
  • Host a series of knowledge exchange activities, including events and a webinar series

Benefits of taking part

This project is a great opportunity to showcase your pre-apprenticeship provision, learn about best practice from other organisations, and to build new relationships with organisations delivering pre-apprenticeship programmes across Europe.

You will:

  • Contribute to the evidence base on the design and delivery of pre-apprenticeships by responding to our call for evidence.
  • Help shape the development of resources to help organisations across Europe improve the design and delivery of pre-apprenticeship programmes.
  • Gain access to a series of knowledge exchange opportunities including events and a webinar programme.
  • Build new relationships with organisations delivering pre-apprenticeship programmes from across Europe and beyond.

Keep in touch!

We will be engaging with pre-apprenticeship providers for the next two years to deliver this exciting programme of work.

If you are interested in this opportunity and would like updates on the project, please contact Seana Friel.