On 10 March 2020, EFEE participated in a webinar on the representation of apprentices in VET organized by the European Alliance for Apprenticeships. The webinar centred around a study conducted by two researchers from the European Apprentice Network (EAN), Ilona Murphy and Patricia Vale.
The main objectives of the study were threefold: (1) to map apprentices across EU Member States and their representation structures at national and regional levels, (2) to make suggestions for bettering representation on national and European level, and finally (3) to draw conclusions and make suggestions for bettering the EAN. The study identified and mapped 68 representative bodies for apprentices. These bodies were split into three sections, more specifically direct representation, indirect representation and consultation through wider bodies. They found that apprentice representation varied greatly across Europe, from multiple direct representative bodies in countries such as Denmark to no apparent representation being found in countries such as Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta and Poland. The study also found a number of barriers to representation in numerous European countries, examples of which range from membership fees and legal barriers such as age and status to a lack of apprentices in general.
Recommendations given by the researchers included: (1) expanding the knowledge on apprentice participation, (2) overcoming the barriers to apprentice representation, and (3) ensuring apprentices’ voices have an impact on the governance of apprenticeships. All of these recommendations were to be followed at both the national and European levels with specific more pointed recommendations being given for both.
©Featured Image: By DG EMPL