A Cedefop delegation, headed by Director James Calleja, presented the results of the thematic country review (TCR) on apprenticeships in Slovenia at an international conference, in Ljubliana on 28 September.

Speaking at the event on ‘Apprenticeship – from opportunities to implementation’, Mr Calleja welcomed the pilot project that has started the implementation of apprenticeship in Slovenia as of the 2017/18 school year.

He pointed out the importance of good planning of student learning in a school and a company and of social partner cooperation. Mr Calleja stressed that ‘each country needs to find its own solutions to the challenges and not copy other countries’, and Cedefop’s TCRs help them to do so. European initiatives must be contextualised if they are expected to have an impact on people’s lives.’

The Cedefop motto ‘think European, act local’ is indicative of the agency’s philosophy. According to the Cedefop Director, the TCRs are an example of this approach ‘which is expected to empower Member States and social partners in implementing European initiatives and recommendations that support employability of young and older learners and workers.’ 

In her welcoming speech to representatives of all main stakeholders who took part, Slovenian Education Minister Maja Makovec Brenčič noted that the key focus is on learners, on how young people are prepared for their lives.

Apprenticeship ensures a faster transition to the labour market and all actors need to cooperate and create a good supportive environment for learners. The pilot project should become a system and lead to a continuous dialogue and improvement for the benefit of young people and employers, added Ms Makovec Brenčič.

Cedefop experts Irina Jemeljanova and Slava Pevec Grm presented the main findings of the TCR. Cedefop suggests that Slovenian stakeholders continue the dialogue and agree on a clear vision for apprenticeship that all stakeholders and beneficiaries would adopt.

Following this, other steps can also be taken, such as improving communication, cooperation and coordination among stakeholders comprising authorities, trade unions and employers; ensuring competent mentors in companies, improving career guidance and counselling; motivating providers and learners; developing clear guidelines to providers of vocational education and training (VET) on how to implement apprenticeship programmes.

The pilot project helps to support an efficient implementation model for apprenticeship that would combine financial and non-financial support sustainable in the long run.

CPI, the Slovenian Institute for VET, gave an overview of the pilot project while speakers from Austria, Denmark and Switzerland shared their experience of apprenticeship programmes.

Cedefop support appreciated

Image copyright: Ministry of Education, Science and Sports of Slovenia

The Cedefop delegation also had a separate meeting with Minister Makovec Brenčič and State Secretary Andreja Barle-Lakota on 29 September.

Ms Makovec Brenčič expressed her appreciation of Cedefop’s support to Member States in areas they specifically need to improve and of the excellent work on the TCR in Slovenia. The discussion focused on how Cedefop could further assist Slovenia in the area of skills anticipation and governance, and apprenticeships.