Apprenticeship programmes are a distinctive characteristic of quality in vocational education and training. This is the view of the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP, Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional) which organised the conference Valuing apprenticeship on 9 November 2016, in Ovar at the facilities of Toyota Caetano Portugal, S.A
The Secretary of State for Employment, Miguel Cabrita acknowledged the valuable contributions members of the Partners' Network of Excellence for Apprenticeship, particularly their continuing collaboration in receiving and integrating apprentices and the availability of their training facilities for practical training in a real labour context: Durit - Metalurgia Portuguesa do Tungsténio, Lda; Famoldes (GLN Group); Delta Group Cafés; Grupo Pestana S.A. - Hotelagos; Grupo Salvador Caetano (SGPS) SA; ID Logistics; SCMITT+SOHN Lifts; and Volkswagen Autoeuropa.market.
Apprenticeship programmes are under the responsibility of IEFP, which has been in place for more than 30 years and covers the country. The programmes offer many benefits and have considerably boosted the employability of young people in a wide range of sectors. They allow learners to complete secondary education and receive a professional certification that entitles them to be immediately integrated into the labour market once they graduate. The programmes also seek to answer the needs of enterprises for skilled labour workers.
With an average duration of three years, apprenticeship programmes have a strong practical component, taught and performed in a normal work situation and accounting for 40% of the programme length. They have the support of IEFP partner institutions, such as those recognised at the Ovar conference.