Making apprenticeships more attractive to enterprises and, in particular, to SMEs

As has been mentioned throughout this Toolkit, enterprises of all sizes are key stakeholders in apprenticeship systems and programmes. Public authorities may launch ambitious apprenticeship strategies, but these strategies cannot be achieved without the support of businesses or other organizations.

To address this issue, it is recommended that the following specific measures are implemented to encourage enterprises, and in particular SMEs, to become involved in apprenticeships:

  • organizing campaigns and events to promote the benefits of quality apprenticeships for enterprises
  • providing incentives, both financial and non-financial, to enterprises, especially SMEs
  • setting up a national, sectoral, regional and/or local service to match enterprises with would-be apprentices
  • encouraging the establishment or strengthening of sectoral or other bodies that can undertake skills anticipation exercises and/or aggregate SMEs’ training needs
  • encouraging the establishment or appointment of intermediaries, such as chambers of commerce or GTOs, that can advise and support SMEs and/or develop partnerships for them with local VET institutions
  • providing flexible training programmes for those responsible for mentoring apprentices in companies
  • developing an information service for disseminating ideas and experiences of what works in making quality apprenticeships more attractive to enterprises and, in particular, to SMEs
  • providing the flexibility to adapt a part of the national training standard to the specific requirement of an enterprise.