“Apprenticeships are key to VET!”Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility
With this inspiring sentence, Commissioner Thyssen opened the Joint European Parliament and European Commission Conference ‘Mobility of Apprentices in Europe – A contribution to youth employment and competitiveness of business,’ that took place on Thursday 21 and Friday 22 in Brussels, combined with an European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) meeting.
The conference was hosted by MEP Jean Arthuis, the driver behind the long-term mobility of apprentices in Europe pilot project by the European Parliament that inspired the ErasmusPRO initiative, and gathered practitioners and policy makers involved in promoting mobility in the VET sector. A very interesting exchange of experiences with mobile apprentices and with project consortia took place on Thursday morning: they highlighted some of the main obstacles and challenges for long-term mobility (legal systems, financing, lack of trust from companies, bureaucracy, etc.), and offered proposals for solutions (preparation before the mobility takes place, synergies with other programmes such as ESF, promotion to companies, including EQF level 5, etc.).
Facts, data and trends about VET mobility in Europe were presented by representatives from the European Commission (Dana-Carmen Bachmann, Head of Unit, DG EMPL, and Michael Teusch, Head of Unit, DG EAC) and Cedefop (Ramona Carmen David Craescu). Also, a study commissioned by the Commission and produced by ICF analysing VET mobility in Europe from March 2018 to March 2019 was shared with the event’s participants. The day was closed by Joost Korte (Director General, DG EMPL) and Viviane Hoffmann (Deputy Director General, DG EAC).
The European Alliance for Apprenticeships and its contribution to mobility of apprenticeships was at the heart of the conference on Friday. Dana-Carmen Bachmann highlighted the important achievements that have been delivered by EAfA, counting at present with members from 36 countries, 282 pledges and more than 906,000 offers. Ms. Bachmann mentioned EARLALL as a strategic member to gather the views and practices from regional authorities in promoting mobility and providing apprentices with support services.