Following on from the success of the first European apprenticeship conference in 2014, Cedefop’s second such event, on 9 and 10 November in Thessaloniki, will be a learning experience addressed to a wide range of stakeholders with a role in helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) increase their apprenticeship offer.

Participants will learn from:

  • success stories – how SMEs take the lead and set apprenticeship programmes;
  • national practices put in place by industry, social partners, public authorities, and other bodies that have a role in supporting SMEs;
  • messages brought forward by the employers’ representatives at European and national levels.

The keynote speaker will be British entrepreneur Jason Holt, CEO, Holts Group of companies, who has won awards and honours for his contribution to promoting apprenticeship. He is a leading SME employer that set up the UK’s sole provider of government-accredited training to the wider jewellery sector. Mr Holt is also Chairman of the Apprenticeship Stakeholder Board at the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The conference is an opportunity for participants to identify ideas that may be turned into cross-country partnerships, find partners, and understand how they may finance their ideas and turn them into reality.

The following funding opportunities will be presented:

Cedefop expert Ramona David, who organises the conference, said: ‘Small and medium-sized enterprises employ two thirds of the European workforce, but data show that they are more reluctant to engage in training apprentices than larger companies. The challenges they face are known, but ways to overcome them may be less so. The conference is an excellent occasion to discover opportunities and create partnerships to support SMEs in this endeavour.’

Follow the event live here.