Practices and Evolutions in Apprenticeship Training Policies in Europe

Broughton A, Newton B, Lazazzara A, Stettes O, Jacquemet S, Isken J, Lehugeur T, Masingue B | Panorama 319A | Entreprise et Personnel | Feb 2014

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In early 2014 unemployment among young people in the euro zone was at 24.1%. Greece, Spain, and Italy were among the countries most affected.

The NEET statistics, which principally concern the proportions of young people not in employment, education or training, were even more alarming.

Italy and the United Kingdom were suffering from a marginalisation of the young and there was an urgent need for European countries to improve access to employment and promote employability among these young people. To achieve this required supporting them in the transition from school to the labour market.

Dual education has already proved its effectiveness in a number of countries in Europe. Since European countries have different education systems and governmental structures, their training practices differ. This panorama compares apprenticeship training in five European countries: Switzerland, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Italy.

Referred to as 'The Key to Success' in Switzerland and 'The Reference Model' in Germany, can apprenticeship training as it is practiced in these examples be exported and implemented in the same way?

Is apprenticeship training a solution which may be applied in all European countries? Can it solve the problem of access to employment and the employability of young people? Does it address the problem of recruitment in companies? What are the conditions for success? Who are the stakeholders and decision-makers in apprenticeship training?

The study provides an analysis of the historical background, context and policies concerning apprenticeship training. It includes case studies from the five countries mentioned above, and conducts a prospective analysis. 

The study's objective was to identify the common aspects, differences, and key success factors of training policies and practices in a sample of European countries to help them become more widely known, accepted, and implemented. Ultimately the aim is to ensure that apprenticeship training should be the privileged means for helping young people find stable employment.