Project background

Tackling labour force skill mismatches and increasing the employability of young people are common challenges across many European countries, including Croatia, the UK, Slovakia & Serbia. There is strong evidence that work-based learning, particularly apprenticeship helps to equip young people with the skills that can improve their employability and ease the transition from school to work. Expansion of apprenticeships is therefore one of Europe’s top priorities in the period 2015-2020.

Yet, many SMEs are reluctant to recruit apprentices due to various factors, incl. internal shortfalls, burdensome or incomplete regulatory frameworks and inadequate awareness of the real benefits of work-based learning (WBL) for companies. All project countries have recently launched policy reforms aiming at further promoting apprenticeship programmes in line with the policy objectives of EU 2020, ET2020, the Bruges Communique and the ‘’Riga Conclusions’’, incl. related national target commitments.

The EP4A project aims to promote apprenticeships by building partnerships between intermediary bodies, companies, VET providers, public authorities and social partners in project countries.