Think EuropeanSpeaking at two events in Brussels and Turin, Cedefop Director James Calleja urged vocational education and training (VET) stakeholders to ‘think European, but act locally’.

In his intervention at a conference on apprenticeship mobility organised by the Labour Market Observatory of the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Parliament on 2 June in Brussels, Mr Calleja listed five key issues that countries can address to promote mobility in apprenticeship programmes:

close the gap between education and training institutions and businesses through a structured dialogue and joint activities;
harmonise apprenticeship programmes between countries through a framework model which could be applied in all Member States;
provide substantial funding to vocational training and apprenticeship programmes from various European sources, notably the youth employment initiative, the youth guarantee, the investment plan to promote jobs and growth and structural funds besides Erasmus+;
a strong political commitment to promote work-based learning and apprenticeships through the recognition of qualifications acquired through apprenticeship programmes at national and European levels;
and Europe-wide campaigns to attract learners and employers to apprenticeships.

It is ironic, Mr Calleja said, that many employers consider mobility programmes for apprentices and non-graduates as costly and unjustified, but push graduates to work experience in a wide array of traditional professional sectors.

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