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European Alliance for Apprenticeships

The BIBB actively supports other (European) countries in the (continuing) development process of their vocational education and training systems. The BIBB participates in this respect in different calls for tender for project funding, e.g. in the context of central Erasmus+ Plus calls for tender.

The BIBB is currently involved in different projects under Key Action 3 “Support for policy reform”. Under this, grants are provided "for a wide variety of actions aimed at stimulating innovative policy development, policy dialogue and implementation, and the exchange of knowledge in the fields of education, training and youth.”

The funded projects are located within the two initiatives “National Authorities for Apprenticeships” and “Supporting policy reforms - pioneering initiatives”.

Background: The European Alliance for Apprenticeships

The European Alliance for Apprenticeships brings together important stakeholders in order to promote EU vocational education and training programmes and initiatives. It is part of the Education and Training 2020 (ET 2020) programme that provides the strategic framework for European co-operation in the field of education and vocational training up until 2020.

The three main fields of action of the European Alliance for Apprenticeships are:

  1. reform of apprenticeship systems;
  2. promoting the benefits of apprenticeships;
  3. smart use of funding and resources.

The alliance aims at combating youth unemployment by improving the quality of vocational education and training as well as the number of apprenticeship placements throughout the EU and by bringing about a change of attitude regarding apprenticeships. In particular, the most successful vocational education and training systems in the EU are to be identified and suitable solutions for each Member State are to be implemented.

Erasmus+ Programme 'National Authorities for Apprenticeships'

This is where the Erasmus+ Programme 'National Authorities for Apprenticeships' steps in. It aims to support the EU Member States in the introduction or modernisation of vocational education and training for apprentices. The national authorities responsible for vocational education and training were invited to submit project proposals for the support of ongoing or planned reforms in their respective countries. The condition was that at least one European partner with a proven vocational education and training system or comparable reform process in place should contribute its experience and capacities to the respective project.

Possible activities included feasibility studies, the development, implementation and evaluation of reforms and the organisation of events and training courses.

The call for proposals was part of Key Action 3 "Support for Policy Reform" under the Erasmus+ Programme, covering any type of activity aimed at stimulating innovative policy development, policy dialogue and implementation, and the exchange of knowledge in the fields of education, training and youth.

Projects involving the BIBB

Ten projects were selected as a result of the call and now will receive EU funding for two years. The BIBB is involved in the following five projects:

The project term is two years (01 October 2014 to 30 September 2016).

Programme 'Supporting policy reforms — pioneering initiatives'

In 2015, a further initiative was launched which once again allowed project proposals relating to two different areas to be submitted, in this case “General and vocational education” and “Young people”.

This initiative pursues two main goals. The first aim is for knowledge of target groups, learning, teaching, training and of the circumstances of youth work to be generated and imparted. Secondly, the objective is to identify effective methods and instruments which are able to assist with the development of strategies and conclusions of relevance to policy decision makers at all levels in general and vocational education and in youth work.

For this reason, the spectrum of measures eligible for funding in this round of project applications is more broadly defined than in the previous year. Possible measures eligible for funding include research activities, training schemes, policy recommendations, workshops, conferences/seminars, exchange/mobility, specific tests and evaluation of innovative approaches at grass roots level and learning resources.

36 projects will be conducted within the scope of this funding (32 in the field of general and vocational education and 4 in the area of youth work). BIBB is involved in the project “New models of work-based learning”. Alongside BIBB, institutions from Slovenia (lead management of the project), Latvia, Bulgaria and Finland are also participating.

The project term is 36 months (01.11.2015 – 30.04.2018).