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As announced by Commissioner Schmit at the European Vocational Skills Week, the European Commission (DG EMPL) and the ILO are co-organising a High-level conference on apprenticeships on 15-16 March 2021. The objective of the conference is to commemorate the three years since the adoption of the Council Recommendation on a European Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships while contributing to the work led by the ILO on developing an international labour standard on apprenticeships, which will be discussed by constituents of ILO member States during the 110th session of the International Labour Conference in 2022. This event will be a European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) meeting, with EAfA members, with speakers and invitees brought by the ILO. It will be organised in online allowing a very broad audience.
The EU Council Recommendation aims at increasing the employability and personal development of apprentices and contributing towards a highly skilled and qualified workforce responsive to labour market needs. Quality apprenticeships also help encourage active citizenship and social inclusion by integrating people of different social backgrounds into the labour market. The framework sets out 14 criteria in relation to working and learning conditions as well as to framework conditions. It provides a common understanding among Member States and it will support their efforts to reform and modernise apprenticeship systems that provide an excellent learning and career pathway.
The conference will be an opportunity to announce the preliminary findings of the European Commission’s forthcoming report on the implementation of the Framework, to be adopted by May 2021. It will also allow for discussions on certain aspects of the renewed European Alliance for Apprenticeships, such as:
- The role of national apprenticeship coalitions in promoting national reforms;
- The need to better involve social partners in the development and management of apprenticeship schemes;
- The importance of ensuring that the voice of apprentices is heard.
The conference will serve as an important occasion to take stock of national apprenticeship reforms in the EU and ILO Member States, as well as to share good practices and lessons learned.