Apprenticeship schemes prove to be particularly effective in bringing young people from education and training into work since it provides the combination of technical and soft skills that employers are looking for.  

On October 5, 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal aiming to improve the conditions and outcomes of apprenticeships for young people across the EU, in the hope that it will facilitate their job search later.  

The proposal called a European Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships, aimed at increasing the employability and personal development of apprentices while contributing towards a highly skilled and qualified workforce responsive to the labour market needs.  

The proposal identifies 14 key criteria, most of which have been grey areas so far, like written contracts, learning outcomes, pay and safety conditions, and learning outcomes for the apprentices, as well as support for companies and involvement of social partners.  

The proposal is part of the 2016 New Skills Agenda for Europe, which is aiming to improve the quality and relevance of skills formation. The initiative also contributes to the realisation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, and is linked to the Education and Training 2020 Strategic Framework and to the 2016 Communication on Investing in Europe’s Youth, in which the Commission announced its intention to propose a Quality Framework for Apprenticeships.  

The Commission will support the implementation of the criteria through relevant EU funding.