Transition to the labour market or into further education and training

The issue: How to facilitate a smooth transition to the labour market or into further education and training

The primary goal of apprenticeships is to facilitate apprentices’ smooth transition to the labour market and enable them to access decent employment. While many apprenticeship graduates are hired by the enterprise in which they completed their training, some of them may search for jobs in other enterprises, plan to start their own business or pursue further education and training. Therefore, support for apprenticeship graduates should be provided by various entities, such as employment services, in relation to job search, CV writing and job interview skills. Graduates seeking to start their own businesses also need to develop entrepreneurial and management skills, including how to formulate business ideas and access business development services, both financial and non-financial.

As some apprenticeship graduates may aspire to higher level qualifications, countries should ensure that their formal education and training system provides effective pathways for progression from apprenticeship qualifications to higher education or further training. This has become especially relevant in view of the fast changes taking place in the world of work. The permeability between apprenticeships and other education and training systems is increasingly important as individuals need to reskill and upskill continuously throughout their working lives to adapt to the ongoing labour market transformations.

Mr Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, former Swiss President, speaking at the International Congress on Vocational and Professional Education and Training, referred to permeability as a key element of the success of the Swiss education system. He stated that permeability occurs in two directions: laterally, between the academic and vocational education paths, and from the bottom up, with opportunities for lifelong learning and promotion, and that no qualification leads to a dead end.