The first policy learning forum (PLF) on apprenticeships is linked to the thematic country reviews on apprenticeships (TCRs), which Cedefop launched in 2014. With the TCRs Cedefop supports cooperation at European level among Member States, and interacts with individual countries that wish to develop quality apprenticeships, in line with EU policies. To date there have been three rounds of TCRs:
- the first round included Malta and Lithuania, and was concluded in 2015;
- the second round, with Greece, Italy and Slovenia, was concluded in mid-2017;
- the third round is in progress; it includes Cyprus and Croatia, and kicked off in early 2017. In this round, Cedefop is piloting a lighter version of the TCRs on apprenticeships (flash TCRs) in Belgium (French-speaking Community) and Sweden.
Cedefop’s PLFs are an opportunity for countries to generate knowledge and build consensus around shared problems. The 2017 PLF on apprenticeships addresses the countries that are either involved at different stages of a TCR/flash TCR on apprenticeships, or have expressed an interest to participate in a future round. Stakeholders and national experts directly involved in the TCR exercises have been invited to contribute to the PLF, which will take place in Cedefop (Thessaloniki, Greece) on 7 and 8 September 2017.
Participants will have an opportunity to:
- discuss how the TCR countries have used/will use the knowledge generated by the TCR to devise domestic policies: the five countries from the first two rounds that have completed the TCR exercise (MT, LT, EL, IT, SI) will play a prominent role in these discussions;
- reflect on several shared problems, and formulate knowledge-based solutions;
- Take part in an exercise on apprenticeship cost-benefit analysis.
- Discussions are expected to result in:
- advice on how the TCRs should/could formulate solutions and policy recommendations in an environment where knowledge/expertise on policy issues but may be politically contested, despite being a critical resource in policy-making;
- consensus building around shared problems;
- better understanding of the divergences and convergences between labour market and education and training actors (regarding communication, policy expectations, etc.).