Earlier this year, the project partners undertook a context study to map the situation of work-based learning and apprenticeships in each of their countries. The study is used as a starting point to build a common understanding between partners, organise peer learning activities and plan the upcoming activities of the project.

Below you will find the main findings and conclusions from the partners’ local reports.

England:

There is nothing similar in the UK that we could find to the Eduwork.Net proposal within hospitality, in particular for SMEs. Some larger chains such as Pret a Manger, Premier Inn and Hilton Worldwide run internal and very successful schemes but these are not open to hospitality as a larger whole. Participants felt that the Eduwork.Net concept tackles failure rates in apprenticeships by having a representative within the hospitality organisation who will be able to represent the learner, the employer and speak to the VET about the needs of the business and the learner.

The Eduwork.Net concept will also enable success in other ways. Having an ambassador who is in the role will be beneficial to the employer and learner as it will mean that employers will have more empathy for the young person due to a likely lower age difference. Another suggestion that has proved to work well in other projects such as PanOut London, is that employers visit schools to introduce hospitality to young people. What came out very clearly in our findings is that the lows of the hospitality industry must be discussed (e.g. long hours, low wages) as well as the highs (fast career progression, international opportunities, good pay in senior roles, diversity of roles etc).

The Eduwork.Net concept will be a gateway in which we will be able to build stories. As Eduwork.Net develops, it will start creating alumni who have been through the process and will be able to share their experience and success with young people, employers and VET practitioners. This will inspire young people, their parents, employers and VET practitioners through the use of tools, support and real-life success stories. We found from the results of our interviews and research that all participants were genuinely positive about the Eduwork.Net concept, and there was an overriding belief that it is needed. It bridges the gap between what hospitality sector employers are looking for in young people and what young people are looking for in employers.

Ireland:

The City of Dublin Education and Training Board (CDETB) is the largest of the sixteen Education and Training Boards (ETBs) in Ireland. ETBs provide Further Education and Training (FET) which is known as VET throughout Europe.

The apprenticeships programmes are being expanded in Ireland and are classified in two categories: first the so called “pre 2016” Apprenticeships in Construction (Plumbing, Electrical, Brick Laying, Motor Mechanic, Heavy Vehicle Mechanics and Aircraft Mechanics). Second, the 2016+ Apprenticeships (Auctioneering and Property Services, Accounting Technician, Commi Chef, Software Developer, Computer Networking and Hairdressing). Both categories have in average a duration period between 2-4 years.

Both categories of Apprenticeships are characterized by the supervision appointed to each apprentice to guide them in the academic and professional progress. For each apprentice a mentor is assigned, both in the college/centre and in the company where he is located. This collaborative approach to on-the-job assessment, between college-based staff and workplace mentors is a feature of this programme.

The Irish expectation by developing such programmes are that the students would have the opportunity to develop their interpersonal, personal and practical skills in the work place and for certain awards they must have the opportunity to demonstrate skills required for the relevant vocational areas. From the other side, the student’s expectation is based on the hope that a placement will give them some insight and experience of specific vocational work areas, support their skill development and help them to make contacts for possible future employment.

Italy:

The current Italian social-economic situation is positive for the implementation of work-based learning programmes. Principal research shows that the innovation increases with the size of businesses and with the number employees. In Italy among innovative businesses, 85% have more than 250 employees, but the percentage drops to 45% in small businesses, from 10 to 49 employees. It is known that innovative businesses need skilled employees, that are able to manage new technologies and new production processes. In general terms, in Italy there are three important measure in WBL: Apprenticeship (under 25 years old), VET path (within the dual system) and internship/work experiences.

Independently of the WBL program, there is a payment compensation to the apprentice during the training period. The payment must be defined as a percentage of the contractual framework level and in relation to the year of attendance of the training course for the acquisition of the relevant qualification. In the first year the remuneration must be not less than 45% (due to the contractual level), not less than 55% in the second year, not less than 65% in the third year, and not less than 70% in the fourth year.

Besides the economic benefits, the element that motivates companies is also the sensibility to the training of internal resources and the success of the experience. Training institutions are engaged in the creation of a “culture of apprenticeship” like an instrument for skills development and socialization at work. Through the observations made by the training center the skills, individual characteristics and the individual needs emerge that permit to design individualized courses.

Spain:

In Spain, the Vocational Education and Training (VET) programmes are under the responsibility of the national education and employment entities. The General Council for Vocational Training is the national government advisory body on VET policy; it comprises representatives of national and regional public authorities as well as the social partners (enterprises and trade unions). Stakeholders are involved in designing and updating VET qualifications in line with labour market needs. They develop occupational standards in all sectors of the economy, which make up the national register (CNCP) and are used as reference for designing and updating VET programmes and qualifications.

The term used for “apprenticeship” in Spain is “dual vocational education and training”. It is defined in legislation as “training actions and initiatives, combining employment and training, that aim at workers’ professional qualification in a regime that alternates work activity in a company and vocational education and training delivered by the education system or the employment system”, i.e. respectively the Ministry of Education (central o region departments) or the Ministry of Employment (central o region departments).

To be successful in the implementation of such programmes, it implies a strong involvement between the company, the government and the social partners (public and the private sector), willingness of the private sector to accept quality control of its education and training activities a fundamental Vocational Education and Training Act which regulates the roles of the stakeholders and a strong cooperation between secondary school and companies.

Greece:

In a rapidly changing world, many workers` skills are mismatched to their jobs. The Greek skill system was generally ill-equipped and struggled to meet even the most mode levels of skills demand. The latest years the attainment, to the Greek VET system, has increased but there are concerns that the education and training system, is not sufficiently align with labour market needs. And the Greek Vet system is characterized by low attractiveness and remains, until 2020, relatively poorly placed to meet current labour challenges.

Now the new policies have changed Apprenticeship. They focus on hi-tech skills needs. The rapid technological changes are the main reason for this change. There is a legislative framework on apprenticeships to make Apprenticeship more attractive on the employers’ side. We live in a world of work in transformation. We can adopt and build new learning methods. We can thrive together in this new world.

The overall picture of the working-based learning in Greece is that after they complete their studies, students have two possibilities. Either they can choose a VET program (apprenticeship or internship) or they can find a new job placement on their own. The main goal is to offer a specialized working experience to graduates to contradict the cultural fact that employers generally do not accept the process of hiring and training a person from the ground.

Both VET Institutes and Vocational upper Secondary Schools (EPAL) they can both participate in apprenticeship and/or in internship. Due to expert advises, this policy would help the Greek Economy and would aim at bringing together the worlds of employment and education to establish a new era on how employability could attract more jobs in the labour market. SME’s are the biggest percent of the labour market in Greece.

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