On 20 January 2022, the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union organized a Ministerial Conference in Paris entitled: “New Erasmus+ generation: developing mobility for apprentices”. The aim of the Conference was to reflect on how to increase mobility opportunities offered to the apprentices in Europe. The event, which was also livestreamed, gathered French, Austrian, Croatian, Czech and Polish ministers for employment, European commissioners but also civil society organizations.
The Conference was introduced by Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for jobs and social rights who highlighted the: “real added value of the mobility of apprentices for the companies”. After that, some video testimonials from young apprentices who participated in a mobility in Europe and presented their experiences were showcased.
Jürgen Siebel, Executive Director at Cedefop, introduced the obstacles and needs to the mobility of apprentices in Europe: higher involvement of employers as senders and receivers of apprentices, the fear of employers to send apprentices abroad, the administrative burden for the companies and the language barrier among others. Unfortunately, long term mobility for apprentices remains very low and Mr. Siebel finished his presentation by saying: “to overcome these obstacles, we need to fix the rules and coordination issues”.
The first round-table of the Conference tackled the following question: “How to develop European partnerships and networks to increase mobility? » Labor ministers from France, Italy and Austria took part in the discussions with representatives from companies but also civil society organisations. Speakers discussed existing schemes, good practices and commitments to increase the opportunities for European mobility in learning and training.
The second round-table discussion tackled the supportive measures to encourage mobility. There, French, Czech and Polish Ministers along with Director of the Finnish Erasmus+ Agency exchanged views on mechanisms in place at national and European level to support mobility in the training and apprentices’ pathways.