Within the Get involved in EP4A: European Partnerships for Apprenticeships project, a Country Report and a Needs Analysis Report for Croatia were made.
Both are based on the Methodology Guidelines which were prepared by partners from the Regional Development Agency Senec Pezinok from Slovakia. In the Country Report, labour market situation, economic sectors and vocational education and training (VET) were described, with the emphasis on the apprenticeship system in Croatia and its specific characteristics. Additionally, legal framework, management structure, training content and learning outcomes, company support, quality assurance, work and teaching conditions were described. At the end of the report, main bottlenecks and challenges for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) engaging in apprenticeships were listed, as well as key strengths and recommendations which would ensure more active involvement of SMEs in apprenticeship schemes.
Together with the Country Report, a Needs Analysis Report was produced.
Needs analysis report was made on the basis of 759 filled questionnaires, 250 conducted interviews and one focus group meeting with 5 SMEs representatives. SMEs Questionnaire analysis showed that over 96 % of respondents knew what apprenticeship is, 58 % already participated in apprenticeship schemes and 81,4 % would take on an apprentice. When asked what motivates them the most when taking on an apprentice, 72 % claims that is the opportunity to employ a qualified worker tailored to the employer’s company. Finally, over 60 % of respondents give the highest marks to the importance of support for the apprenticeship scheme for the future of labour market, which shows that a large number of respondents recognizes the importance of their involvement in vocational education and training (VET).
Interviews were focused on three main topics: general awareness about apprenticeship, the main obstacles to participation, motivation to participate and how it could be enhanced. Interviews confirmed that the biggest motivation for employers engaging in apprenticeships is the possibility to train qualified workers. Large number of respondents claims that they would benefit from financial support through incentives to procure material and equipment necessary to train apprentices, incentives for occupational safety and compensation for damage to devices caused by students.
Focus Group Meeting once again confirmed results from the Questionnaires and Interviews. It also gave SMEs representatives the chance to discuss their problems and propose possible solutions. One of the problems that was pointed out was the responsibility that employers take on with taking on an apprentice, which is why they find further work on the partnerships between all stakeholders in vocational education and training (VET) to be especially important.
Complete reports can be found on: http://supportapprenticeships.eu/en/downloads/