Community activities are developed according to its objectives:
- Consolidating the knowledge base on apprenticeships in Europe and supporting knowledge sharing about apprenticeship systems and schemes.
- Generating knowledge: identification of research themes, thematic focuses, comparative analyses on specific topics.
- Networking: direct access to national contacts for expertise on apprenticeships, peer learning opportunities.
In 2019, community experts engaged in the update of Cedefop European database of apprenticeship schemes. New country and scheme fiches are being published in 2019 and 2020 based on the experts' new or revised information on the apprenticeship system or scheme(s) of their expertise.
In 2020, community experts, under Cedefop's coordination, contributed to a synthesis report on how the coronavirus outbreak affected apprenticeships in the EU Member States, Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom, and what are the steps taken to address the emerging challenges (the 3rd version of the report was added in August 2020).
Moreover, the main 2020 activity for community experts focused on knowledge generation on two topics of their interest: (a) apprenticeship governance and (b) in-company training design and delivery. This activity is based on work carried out in 2019 by experts' preparatory working groups, under Cedefop's coordination.
As an outcome of the main 2020 activity, 21 short papers submitted by Community experts were included in the collective Cedefop publication on 'Apprenticeship governance and in-company training: where labour market and education meet' (published in September 2021).
The publication further documents Cedefop’s understanding that approaches to each topic may vary significantly between individual EU Member States. It also highlights that, even in cases of relative convergence, the fine details of how an apprenticeship scheme is designed and governed can make a significant difference to its relevance and quality, at least in stakeholders’ perceptions. Policy-making should take note of such details and their interconnections to understand how reforms can be better targeted and more effective and efficient.
In 2022, the collective publication Built to last: apprenticeship vision, purpose, and resilience in times of crisis presented short papers drafted by Community experts on these topics. To complement the country-specific angle, Cedefop developed a comparative, cross-scheme and cross-country analysis and shared its reflections.
Examining the challenges and responses of apprenticeships related to the 2008 financial crisis, followed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the publication shows how apprenticeship systems and schemes across Europe are and can become more resilient in times of crisis. It also examines how relevant stakeholders views on the purpose and their overall vision for apprenticeships in their countries have changed in the light of these events, along with trends such as the green and digital transitions.
As part of the 2022 core activity of Cedefop’s community of apprenticeship experts, Community members explored how apprenticeships adjust to the green transition. Evidence from 16 EU MS and UK-Scotland extends from bottom-up grassroot initiatives led by teachers, companies and apprentices, to technical adjustments to curricula/qualifications and stronger link of apprenticeships with higher-level (sectoral) strategies related to the green transition. The first batches of articles on the topic are available online (2023).