More about the project
I - ABOUT THE CONTEXT: THE INCREASING IMPORTANCE OF LEARNING MOBILITY
In the last 15 years many initiatives have been undertaken at European level for developing mobility of young people. “Much has been achieved in the area of youth mobility since the 2001 Recommendation. However not all instruments and tools are used to the fullest extent possible and many obstacles remain” as recognised by the Council of the European Union in a recommendation on promoting the learning mobility of young people, adopted in June 2011 which forms part of the Europe 2020 flagship initiative Youth on the Move (OJ C 199, 07.07.2011).
The Council of the European Union recognises that learning mobility, i.e. transnational mobility for the purpose of acquiring new skills, is one of the fundamental ways in which individuals, particularly young people, can strengthen their future employability, as well as their personal development.
The recommendation encourages Member States to take appropriate steps in order to notably remove administrative and institutional obstacles which are still impeding progress in this area.
The working environment of SMEs and Skilled Craft Companies undergoes profound changes due notably to globalisation and technical progress such as the use of information and communication technologies. Professional and technical expertise is in itself no longer an assurance of survival and success. It must be accompanied by new mindsets geared towards more adaptability and new competences that allow both management and labour to cope with permanent changes and to interact with partners and competitors with diverse cultural backgrounds. One must possess social, intercultural and communication competences, be capable of creativity and innovative thinking, have sufficient ability for self-directed learning and last but not least have enough self-confidence and self-reliance to act in an unpredictable environment. Such competences cannot be taught by using school-based approach.
Placements abroad rightly fit as a new and valuable tool for better adapting European VET-systems to labour market needs. Transnational mobility in the context of VET is therefore considered as a meaningful didactic tool to foster competences of participants such as foreign language proficiency, intercultural and personal (broad, generic) competences. The use of placements abroad is now a regular feature of many national VET-systems, as well as the focus of the European programme Leonardo da Vinci and of various regional funding schemes.
Competent bodies and intermediate organisations have already developed, since years, activities aiming at increasing the number and the quality of European training pathways.
Among those organisations, Regional Authorities, Professional/Sectoral Organisations or Chambers of Skilled Crafts Companies have played a major role as they are involved in the implementation of training programmes for apprentices. The representatives of SMEs and Skilled Crafts Companies on the one hand, some regions and regional authorities on the other hand, recently made strong political decisions that aim at enhancing European pathways for apprentices and young people in alternated Initial VET systems. They are also committed on a concrete level by developing services and tools to support field players implementing mobility schemes.
II. THE ACTION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
In 2009 on the basis of an open call for proposals, the European Commission selected APCMA together with UEAPME1 and its members to be in charge of setting up a “network of mobility networks” and a web platform called Euroapprenticeship to support the mobility of apprentices. Its ultimate aim is to make placements abroad a realistic and feasible option for apprentices in all Member States of the European Union and even beyond.
More specifically, the EuroApprenticeship project aims at :
- supporting VET-providers in creating sustainable European partnerships,
- giving an added value to the companies through transnational mobility projects,
- implementing a coherent quality system,
- proposing appropriate methods and tools for the recognition of mobility periods as a recognized part of the domestic education and training (curriculum approach / added value approach),
- providing expertise on legal, financial, administrative and other practical issues,
- supporting “new comers” with identifying suitable and experienced host companies and training centres
- enhancing the role of intermediary organisation in motivating and supporting companies.
In order to achieve these objectives, the EuroApprenticeship Project is developing a network and a web-based collaborative platform. This work is based on already existing mobility projects, tools and networks that have been successfully implemented by the partners of the project or associated organisations during the last years, among others EURONAVER (www.euronaver.net), MOBIVET-REGIO Forum and peer learning activities, PRO MOBILITY Network, App-and-Go, Mobility-EU, SME-Master (more detailed information on those projects and networks is given in the Partner’s description part).
1- UEAPME is the European employers’ organisation representing the interests of European crafts, trades and SMEs