At the invitation of the Minister of Education and Science Prof. Dr Dainius Pavalkis, Cedefop will be conducting an in-depth review of the apprenticeship schemes in Lithuania between now and the second quarter of 2015.

The review aims at providing the Lithuanian government with a roadmap of quality apprenticeships, which can be implemented in the coming years to combat youth unemployment, attract more young and old learners to vocational training and work-based learning and increase skills and competences for employability.

Other successful apprenticeship systems will be looked into in order to design a system that fits the social, political, economic and cultural contexts of Lithuanian learners and businesses. Further scope of the review will be to investigate the current apprenticeship curriculum, which should lead to formally recognised qualifications, referenced to the Lithuanian qualifications framework. This is to ensure that the timescale of the proposed apprenticeship programmes will allow apprentices to develop relevant occupational competences to today’s and tomorrow’s labour markets. Another envisaged goal will be to highlight government investment in simulated work environments, which prepare young and older learners for real working life.

The Lithuania country review will look into the overall government policy to promote youth employment in the context of lifelong learning and an analysis of policy formulation and policy design will be undertaken. Furthermore, the review will lay the mechanisms for policy delivery by vocational education and training institutions and businesses in collaboration with the Lithuanian Qualifications and Vocational Education and Training Development Centre.

A working group will be set up composed of representatives from ministries responsible for education, employment, social issues, development of human resources, experts from Cedefop and Lithuanian VET community, including businesses and employee representatives. Experts Antonio Ranieri and Irina Jemeljanova will be leading the project on behalf of Cedefop.

At the official launch in Vilnius on 29 May, Minister Pavalkis said that he is hoping this review will enable the Lithuanian government to promote the link between the world of education and training and the world of employment. Cedefop Director James Calleja stressed the need for greater collaboration between the education and the employment sectors to ensure the skills and competences of the workforce are relevant to a dynamic labour market. He argued that this review, together with a parallel exercise which will be undertaken with Malta, will contribute to strengthening the European alliance for apprenticeships.