EU employers: For better apprenticeships, better policy needed
Today the European Commission has published its proposal for a Council Recommendation on an EU Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships. BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer commented: “It should be more attractive for employers to provide apprenticeship opportunities to young people. To meet this objective European policy efforts should be better coordinated. This would help us to put more effective apprenticeship systems in place. But there are two main challenges. One is for EU Member States and the national Social Partners to provide apprentices with the skills that are needed on the labour markets. The other challenge is that companies need to see a return on their investment in apprenticeships. Only the right framework conditions will allow companies to invest more”.
Across Europe, some apprenticeship systems are employment-based, whereas others are rooted in education and training and/or more school-based. Apprenticeship systems can also be demand-led, to varying degrees, depending on the extent to which employers’ skills needs are taken into account. This often relates to the role that employers and their organisations play as part of the apprenticeship system. Well-functioning apprenticeship systems are dependent upon enterprises being able to create training vacancies (and job opportunities) to take on learners.
“The reality on the ground is that each EU Member State has its own regulations and practices for the governance of apprenticeships. But at the same time, employers in Europe share the goal of raising the quality and effectiveness of this form of training. This is why we contributed to the design of an EU policy framework on apprenticeships, together with our social partners. Our aim is to have more and better apprenticeships in all EU countries. But we also have to respect the subsidiarity principle”, Beyrer added.