Steps and tips: Social inclusion

  • Each enterprise, in consultation with workers’ organizations, may develop a strategy for inclusiveness that is in line with national policies as well as its own vision. The strategy may include the following aspects:
    • setting targets for increasing the participation of disadvantaged or under-represented groups
    • sensitizing and training staff, particularly those responsible for apprenticeship recruitment, supervision and mentoring, about the importance and benefits of promoting inclusiveness, paying special attention to women, persons with disabilities, migrants and other vulnerable groups
    • offering additional support and mentorship to apprentices who are at risk of dropping out
    • providing targeted guidance services, in cooperation with organizations that represent or support disadvantaged or under-represented groups, both before and during an apprenticeship
    • strengthening outreach activities to prospective apprentices from disadvantaged or under-represented groups organized by career guidance counsellors, education providers, enterprises and employers’ and workers’ organizations.
  • Enterprises should ensure effective induction of young persons in the workplace and take measures to prevent discrimination and harassment at work.
  • The appropriate regulatory body should assess the inclusiveness of apprenticeships and take corrective measures, if needed.


  • To ensure inclusiveness in apprenticeships, a combination of approaches is required at macro, meso and micro levels. While practitioners can take action at the micro or meso levels, policy-makers need to promote an enabling environment at the macro level, through developing effective policies and incentivizing enterprises to ensure inclusiveness. These issues are discussed further in chapter 10 of Toolkit 1.
  • To raise awareness of the importance and benefits of inclusiveness in apprenticeships, case studies on successful apprentices from disadvantaged backgrounds should be promoted.
  • The following measures can help to promote social inclusion in apprenticeships:
    • Pre-apprenticeship programmes, designed to accommodate a wide range of learners from diverse educational and social backgrounds, provide them with the full range of competencies needed to move on to a regular apprenticeship Some examples are given in Table 7.1 in chapter 7.
    • Support measures during an apprenticeship, designed to ensure that apprentices who struggle at various stages of an apprenticeship receive targeted assistance, allowing them to complete their programme successfully.