Published: 30. December, 2016.

EP4A and European initiatives

The project will be implemented in accordance with relevant European initiatives such as European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) and Youth Guarantee. 

European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA)

The European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) is a unique platform which brings together governments with other key stakeholders, like businesses, social partners, chambers, vocational education and training (VET) providers, regions, youth representatives or think tanks

The common goal is to strengthen the quality, supply and image of apprenticeships in Europe.

The Alliance was launched in July 2013 with a joint declaration by the European Social Partners (ETUC, BusinessEurope, UEAPME and CEEP), the European Commission and the Presidency of the Council of the EU. This was followed by a Council Declaration by EU countries Although managed by the Commission, the success of EAfA lies with the implementation of national commitments and the commitment of partners, notably through pledges by stakeholders.

Apprenticeships as one successful form of work-based learning ease the transition from education and training to work, and evidence suggests that countries with a strong vocational education and training and apprenticeship system have lower levels of youth unemployment.

Apprenticeships formally combine and alternate company-based training with school-based education and lead to a nationally recognised qualification upon successful completion. Most often there is a contractual relationship between the employer and the apprentice, with the apprentice being paid for his/her work.

The EAfA promotes youth employment and supports the aims of the Youth Guarantee, while reducing the disparity between skills supply and demand on the labour market.



 Youth Guarantee

The Youth Guarantee is a new approach to tackling youth unemployment which ensures that all young people under 25

– whether registered with employment services or not – get a good-quality, concrete offer within 4 months of them leaving formal education or becoming unemployed.

The good-quality offer should be for a job, apprenticeship, traineeship, or continued education and be adapted to each individual need and situation.

EU countries endorsed the principle of the Youth Guarantee in April 2013 (Council Recommendation).

Developing and delivering a Youth Guarantee scheme requires strong cooperation between all the key stakeholders: public authorities, employment services, career guidance providers, education & training institutions, youth support services, business, employers, trade unions, etc.

Early intervention and activation are crucial and, in many cases, reforms are needed, such as improving vocational education and training systems. The European Commission has helped each EU country to develop its own national Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan and start implementation.

The Commission also facilitates the sharing of best practices between governments, in particular through the European Employment Strategy Mutual Learning Programme.