Stakeholders and national experts directly involved in Cedefop’s thematic country reviews (TCRs) on apprenticeships will take part in the first policy learning forum on apprenticeships on 7 and 8 September in Thessaloniki.

Cedefop launched the TCRs in 2014 to support cooperation among Member States at European level and to interact with individual countries wishing to develop quality apprenticeships in line with EU policies.

There have been three rounds of TCRs:

  • the first round, in Malta and Lithuania, was concluded in 2015;
  • the second, in Greece, Italy and Slovenia, was concluded in mid-2017;
  • the third kicked off in early 2017 in Cyprus and Croatia. As part of this round, Cedefop is piloting a light version called flash TCRs in Belgium (French-speaking Community) and Sweden.

Cedefop’s policy learning forums are an opportunity for countries to generate knowledge and promote consensus-building around shared problems.

Participants in the apprenticeship forum will:

  • Discuss how their countries have used/will use the knowledge generated by the TCR to devise domestic policies, with the five countries in the first and second waves taking a leading role;
  • Reflect on 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/policy recommendations, taking into account that knowledge/expertise on policy issues is a critical resource in policy-making but may be politically contested;
  • Consensus-building around shared problems;
  • Better understanding of the divergent and convergent points (e.g. communication, policy expectations, etc.) between labour market and education and training actors.

The event is part of the European vocational skills week 2017 of which Cedefop is a partner.