Expected impact

The project will have a major impact on the target group (SMEs) both in short and long term contributing to the increased attractiveness and supply of apprenticeships in all four countries.

Though primarily targeting SMEs with no or some experience in apprenticeships, project work will entail a multi-layered impact in an effort to ensure sustainability by means of including all major VET stakeholders.

More specifically, the project’s short-term impact on SMEs will entail the following elements:

  • Active engagement in policy dialogue and policy-making: The inclusion of SMEs in the building and works of structured social dialogue platforms such as the foreseen and established Apprenticeship Partnerships will provide for an increased “bottom-up” perspective which will be anchored on learning the lessons out of real experiences before embarking on large scale interventions, including regulatory changes, where deemed necessary;
  • Increased awareness of benefits of taking apprenticeships, related responsibilities and available incentives resulting from tailor-made and needs-responsive attractiveness campaigns and guidance toolkits;
  • Strengthened collaboration with other key VET stakeholders and increased understanding of respective roles and responsibilities of each key player e., the State, chambers, schools, VET providers, and trade unions, at national, regional and local levels: decision-making, implementation, advisory and control;
  • Better quality of WBL-related advisory and counselling services for SMEs as a consequence of strengthened capacities of their respective professional business support organisations such as chambers;
  • Recognition and award for companies that provide quality apprenticeships (“Trademark”);
  • Increased awareness of good European practice and knowledge transfer in the field of apprenticeships by means of exposure of SMEs management to peer learning on successful apprenticeship schemes and latest European initiatives and platforms.

The long term project impact is expected to lead to:

  • Increased supply of apprenticeships in all four countries resulting from effective policy-making decisions and concrete actions plans produced, incl. under the aegis of Apprenticeship Partnerships;
  • Increased social responsibility of SMEs by means of enhanced understanding and recognition of the importance of apprenticeships to a skilled labour force;
  • Strengthening of the WBL and apprenticeships systems in all four countries resulting in a better matching of skills as a result of in-house training, increased production, new knowledge and perspectives from apprentices;
  • Increased competitiveness of SMEs at national and European level as a result of enhanced quality and employability of future labour force due to anticipated better collaboration between schools and companies;
  • Enhanced standing and recognition of SMEs as a good employer, and more broadly among their clients, suppliers and other key stakeholders.

The presence of the public authorities, intermediary bodies, & VET providers with credibility -being partners with direct influence in policy making and implementing responsibilities – will play a crucial role in reaching a high impact for the project results and for ensuring project sustainability and long lasting impact. Project impact will also reach the European level via the sharing of products with EU level knowledge institutions such as CEDEFOP and ETF and apprenticeship networks such as EAfA.