Apprenticeship Toolbox – An online toolbox for dual education and training approaches in Europe

How are vocational education and training systems organised in countries with mainly dual educa-tion and training? What are the roles and responsibilities of the different stakeholders? What measures are taken to ensure the appeal and excellence of dual education and training in these systems?

These and other issues have been addressed over a two year period (01/10/2014 – 30/09/2016) by the Erasmus Plus project “Policy learning and support to promoting apprenticeship systems and VET policy experimentation under the European Alliance for Apprenticeship”. Guided by the peer-to-peer learning approach, agencies with responsibility for dual education and training from Austria, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany and Luxembourg joined forces under Danish leadership. BIBB Division 1.1 was involved under the leadership of the BMBF.

The result is an online toolbox which examines and explains, in English, all aspects of dual education and training in those countries participating in the project. This is because there is no standardised approach to dual education and training in Europe. The role of stakeholders, the importance of legislation, the status of trainees and the funding system, amongst other things, demonstrate the variety of ways in which VET policy decision-makers are able to structure approaches to dual education and training. The project enabled project partners to learn from one another and was also directed at interested third parties as part of national and international conferences.

The partners prepared synthesis reports on the main features and framework conditions of dual education and training in their country as the basic content of the toolbox. At three country workshops in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, specific themes were explored together with external experts, and the materials worked on for the toolbox were presented, analysed and further developed. The BIBB organised two focus groups with national and international vocational education and training experts in order to test the relevance and applicability of the toolbox.

The project was concluded with a European seminar jointly organised with the EU Commission’s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. Almost 100 participants from across the EU, including the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the European Commission and Cedefop, convened at the seminar in Brussels on the 14th of September 2016. The toolbox was presented to the public for the first time at the seminar. The seminar was also used as a platform to support the European Alliance for Apprenticeships.

The Apprenticeship Toolbox

The ‘Apprenticeship Toolbox’ is mainly targeted at decision-makers in EU member states who are reforming the vocational education and training system in their country and are seeking to introduce dual structures. The toolbox offers users the following options:

  • The topic-based approach is guided by the main features of dual education and training systems and enables systems to be compared by topic. Key materials — e.g. covering the statutory basis — are available both on the topic pages as well as in a collection of materials.
  • Users are able to find out about the national framework conditions of dual education and training in the countries via the country links. Country reports providing a synthesis of the main features and the framework conditions of dual education and training in each partner country are also available to download.