On 5 July 2017, at the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts, the first Apprenticeship Partnership Formation Workshop was held. The workshop was held within the Erasmus + Get involved in EP4A: European Partnerships for Apprenticeships project, with the aim to increase awareness and establish a policy dialogue which would encourage more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to get involved in apprenticeships.
According to the Croatian Employment Service data, the current number of unemployed people in Croatia is 206.000, 28 % of which are young unemployed people. According to EU research, apprenticeship is the model of education which contributes the most to better employability of young people. In line with that, the aim of this project is to promote apprenticeships by building partnerships between relevant stakeholders in vocational education and training (VET). The stakeholders in this project are ministries and agencies, chambers, SMEs, VET schools and social partners.
Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts with this workshop, as well as with other project activities, continues its work on improving the quality of VET by encouraging participation of all stakeholders in all phases of planning, implementation and quality assurance in VET, Mirela Franović, EP4A project manager has pointed out.
The workshop was attended by numerous participants from various institutions. Representatives from ministries, agencies, VET schools and SMEs, which have actively been involved in this project, were addressed by the state secretary from the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, Mr Mario Antonić, who expressed his support to this project. As Antonić emphasised, quality VET in line with labour market needs is a priority for the Croatian Government. He also added that the legal framework in this area should be applicable and match the needs of stakeholders.
At the workshop, EP4A project was presented, with the accent on Needs Analysis Report, as well as recent events in the area of VET in Croatia, especially the changes in the unified model of education. Participants of the workshop determined key strengths of apprenticeships as well as challenges, suggested potential solutions and defined roles and responsibilities of partnership stakeholders.
In conclusion, the importance of communication among all stakeholders was pointed out, in order to ensure quality VET, especially apprenticeships. The second Apprenticeship Partnership Formation Workshop will be held in October 2017.