Presentation on theme: "Apprenticeship supply in the EU - Findings from a comparative survey -"— Presentation transcript:
1 Apprenticeship supply in the EU - Findings from a comparative survey - Christiane WestphalEuropean CommissionDG Employment, Social Affairs and InclusionMeeting of the Advisory Committee for Vocational TrainingBrussels 29 June 2012Provide an overview of apprenticeship schemes in the EU Member States, with a focus on recent developmentsDiscuss the effectiveness of these schemes in raising employability and facilitating labour market transitions and geographical mobility of apprentices in the EU.Identify possible current and/or future effects of the economic crisis on such schemes.Provide recommendations for improving the functioning and performance of apprenticeship schemes and for increasing the availability of apprenticeship places.Identify how and to what extent countries without a strong apprenticeship tradition can benefit from introducing these schemes in the national VET systems.There is not a single and commonly accepted definition of apprenticeship.Apprenticeship-type schemes are understood as those forms of Initial Vocational Education and Training (IVET) that formally combine and alternate company based training (periods of practical work experience at a workplace) with school based education (periods of theoretical/practical education followed in a school or training centre), and whose successful completion leads to nationally recognised initial VET certification degrees.Specificities:Not explicit reference to the existence of a contractual relationship between the employer and the apprentice (in this sense, wider definition than Cedefop’s).The approach is close to definition of alternance training (by Cedefop)Eurostat also working on an operational definition (without the contractual requisite).
2 Policy context: youth unemployment crisis EU youth unemployment over 22 %= 5.5 million unemployed aged under 25Nearly 1/3 of low skilled youth on the labour market are unemployedOver 7.5 million young people not in education or training or employment (NEET)
3 EU Youth Opportunities Initiative Priorities:- preventing early-school leaving- developing skills that are relevant to the labour market- helping gain first work experience/trainingapprenticeships and traineeships- helping access the labour market and get a jobDelivery:European Semester, Structural Funds, EU actions
4 Good arguments for apprenticeships… Combine theory imparted at schools with practical training in real work situations (enterprises)Facilitate rapid school-work transitions for young peopleAlso used (by individuals or enterprises) as a tool for LLLFacilitate identification of skill shortages and influence of companies on the VET training supply => linkage between productive system and training systemProvide “recruitment”, “productive” and “new Knowledge” benefits for enterprisesAlthough with some critical elements:Less clear benefits for students in the long runFree ridersTransferability of skills
5 Where do we stand?VET often not regarded as valuable option, but: increasing importance attributed to workplace-based trainingConstant definition dilemmaStrong differences in apprenticeship-type schemesDifferent intensity of workplace trainingDifferent roles and relationships amongst parties involved
6 Some aggregate figures (2009) EU-27: approximately a total of 3.7 million students in apprenticeship in the strict senseAnother 5.7 million students attend other apprenticeship-type schemes (i.e. mainly school-based VET training with compulsory work-based training)Together, EU businesses supplied company training positions for a total of 9.4 million students= apprenticeship-type students represent approximately 85.2% of total secondary VET students and 40.5% of total secondary students in the EU-27.In the EU-27 approximately a total of 3.7 million students involved in apprenticeship studies in a strict sense (2009 data)Another 5.7 million students attend other apprenticeship-type schemes (i.e. mainly school-based VET training with compulsory work-based training).All in all, the Member States supplied company training positions for a total of 9.4 million students in total.These figures mean that apprenticeship-type students represent approximately 85.2% of total secondary VET students and 40.5% of total secondary students in the EU-27.The countries with the highest numbers of VET students following apprenticeship-type schemes are the largest countries, e.g. Germany, Italy, France, etc.In countries such as Germany or Denmark, the majority of the VET students attend apprenticeship schemes in a strict sense (Dual System
7 Insufficient vocational pathways VET studies not equally important and attractive in all EU Member StatesSome Member States (DK, NL, DE), very positive perception about VET studies VET as 'backbones of society and the economy', Key institutional ingredient sustaining the competitive strength and competitiveness of the economy.Other MS where VET studies are less popular or have a poorer image amongst the general population and prospective students (EE, FR, PL, ES, SK, UK), Public initiatives to promote the vocational studies, including strengthening the workplace learning dimension (examples in EE, FR, UK).
8 Variety of systemsAll MS: schemes at upper secondary level where workplace training plays a significant role => apprenticeship-type schemesIn 24/27 MS: VET schemes which can be labeled as mainly company based (i.e. > 50% of training in companies) -> apprenticeship system in a strict sense.In 18/24 MS, company based apprenticeship coexists with other mainly school-based training schemesGreat variety of VT systems in the Member States.In all MS, schemes at upper secondary level where workplace training plays a significant role => apprenticeship-type schemes are well spread all over the European countries.In 24 of the MS, VET schemes which can be labeled as mainly company based (i.e. > 50% of training in companies) -> apprenticeship system in a strict sense.In 18 of these countries, company based apprenticeship coexists with other mainly school -based training schemes (tuition takes place at school most of the time, but there are significant components imparted at companies).In 3 countries, just this apprenticeship-type school based scheme existIn other 6 countries, the strict-sense work-based system is the only formula to follow an apprenticeship.In 13 countries apprenticeship-type schemes at tertiary level (ISCED 5B) have been identified.In several countries apprenticeship-type schemes relatively recent or reformed to make VT more flexible and closer to the needs of the production system
9 Country %work-based training% School based training and time distributionDenmark66%-90%10%-35%By blocks of 5-10 weeksEstonia66%33%Flexible arrangementsFrance2-3 weeks company/ 1 week VT centreGermany60%40%1-2 days/weekPoland4-6 summer weeks4-6 weeksWhole academic yearSlovak Republic>=60%<=40%Spain20%-30%70%-80%At the beginning of training cycleThe NetherlandsUnited Kingdom<=70%>=30%1 day/week
10 Are all actors involved? DKSKFRDEPOSLESNLUKState at central levelRegional/municipal authoritiesSocial PartnersVocational schoolsThe State at a central level, usually under the aegis of the Ministry of Education.Social partners (usually through a range of committees).In some countries (i.e. France, Germany, Slovak Republic, Spain), regional and municipal authorities also have a role in establishing and/or complementing existing standards.In other countries (i.e. Denmark, Estonia, Poland, Slovak Republic, Spain or The Netherlands), vocational schools also play a key role in the definition of curricula and educational profiles of apprenticeship-type students.
11 Who decides company participation ? Denmark: Trade committee of respective branchEstonia: Vocational schoolsFrance: ChambersGermany: Special bipartite VT committeePoland: Vocational schoolsSlovakia: Vocational Training InstitutionsSpain: Training centreNetherlands: 17 sector VET knowledge centresUnited Kingdom: Very few requisites for employersDenmark Application to the trade committee within the respective branch, formed by representatives of sector social partners, which assess the companyEstonia Vocational schools are also the main agents involved in the evaluation and monitoring of individual enterpriseFrance Companies willing to hire an apprentice must fill-in a form from the Chambers and fulfil the conditionsGermany Enterprises have to be examined and authorised by the “competent bodies” (i.e. chamber of commerce). Special bipartite VT committee.Poland Vocational schools play a key role in the final selection of the participating companies. Mutual agreement company-training centreSlovakia Enterprises sign a cooperation agreement with Vocational Training InstitutionsSpain Vocational schools play a key role in the final selection of the participating companies. Mutual agreement company-training centreThe Netherlands 17 sector VET knowledge centres are responsible for the official recognition of learning companiesUnited Kingdom Very few requisites for employers involved in apprenticeship training
12 Student/Company relationship Critical factors:Parties involvedContentsRemunerationExams and degreesMost countries: contract is only signed by the enterprise and the student/apprentice.Regulated by existing Labour Laws/Apprenticeship rules and/or collective agreements.Some countries: three-party contracts may exist (company, VT centre, student)Poland and Spain, contract or agreement signed between the training centre and the company/association. No employment contract: student status prevails.Enterprise-student contracts: start/duration, training/productive activities working conditions, remuneration…School-enterprise agreements: form/duration of placements, a training plan, evaluation processes.If there is a labour relationship: employers obliged to pay a wage (important differences among countries; normally collective agreements and minimum national wages considered).If there is not a work contract: students may receive some compensation (for travel, subsistence) or monetary gratification.Normally, apprenticeship students assessed both by the school and the employer.Company trainer's assessment refers to practical experience.In some countries, there are final exams (theoretical and practical).In some cases, also a very important role in evaluations and exams played by:Social partnersBusiness Chambers or sector representative organisationsSuccessful students get a nationally recognised degree, issued by:in most countries, by Public Authoritiesalso by the employer or professional associations
13 Some crisis effectsMore students interested in pursuing VET in some countriesDownward trend in the amount of apprenticeships and in-company training placements offered by enterprisesReduced public resources for promoting apprenticeship- type schemesUse of apprenticeship students as a kind of cheap labourIncreasing share of experienced unemployed professionals who try to find a job through an apprenticeshipIncreased number of students interested in pursuing VET in some countries (DK, EE, ES).Reason Negative youth employment situation.Downward trend in the amount of apprenticeships and in-company training placements offered by enterprises (DK, EE, FR, DE, ES, NL,UK)Economic crisis, uncertain economic climateReluctance of employers to take on apprenticesPublic expenditure pressures and reduced resources to the promotion of apprenticeship-type schemes (i.e. EE)side effects:Possible use of apprenticeship students as a kind of cheap labour.Increasing share of experienced unemployed professionals who try to find a job through an apprenticeship period.
14 Wide range of challenges… System designAccess and ProvisionInclusionNeed for improvement of the general image of VET, especially in some countries => apprenticeship can contributeBalance between school-based (mainly theoretical) and enterprise-based (mainly practical) trainingBalance between occupational skills and generals skills (maths, language, communication skills, foreign languages, etc) Importance of “learning how to learn” and long life employabilityBalance in the role of the different stakeholders:Companies, training centresEmployment contracts vs. training agreementsQuality standards of work-based training:Homogeneity amongst companiesHomogeneity amongst specialities/branchesInclusion challenges:How to avoid cheap labour situations? => regulation and control of working conditionsWhat to do with students with difficulties to obtain an apprenticeship place in a company (early school leavers, students with low academic skill,…)?What to do with expected demographic developments in Europe? Ageing and immigration (ethnic diversity issues)Gender aspects Predominance of one gender in many apprenticeship specialities