How can SMEs increase their offer of apprenticeships? Representatives from 28 countries met in Thessaloniki, on the 9th and 10th of November, to exchange views and experiences on engaging SMEs in apprenticeships.
The conference, in plenary and at the thematic roundtables, were hosted by CEDEFOP, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.
The discussions revolved around the potential benefits that apprenticeships can bring to SMEs, how their number could be increased, but also the system of apprenticeships is defined and perceived within SME-settings.
The participants identified challenges, such as early drop-out’s of the apprenticeship system, as well as possibilities for cooperation between SMEs and large-size businesses, for instance through a European network for promotion of apprenticeships, or by welcoming in-company trainers. The conference was concluded with a voting session, selecting the best ideas for cross-border cooperation. In the coming weeks and months, these will form the basis for developing new European projects.
The conference videos and supporting documents have been made available by CEDEFOP, on their website.