The Central Union of Chambers of Greece (KEEE) designed the project Upgrade and expansion of apprenticeships – Apprenticeship partnerships, contributing to the institutionalisation of apprenticeship in Greece as a key means of connecting VET with the labour market and fighting youth unemployment. It aims to encourage companies to offer apprenticeship placements and support the implementation of the work-placed part of apprenticeship programmes.
Apprenticeship partnerships are included in, and funded by, the Operational development programme education and lifelong learning (2014-20). The project is implemented by the KEEE in cooperation with the labour ministry. The main objectives are to create partnerships between all stakeholders, provide comprehensive support to apprentices, and support, enhance and monitor the quality and effectiveness of apprenticeship programmes.
The project consists of two main sets of actions:
- attracting, selecting and cooperating with companies in carrying out apprenticeships, as well as recording the apprenticeship positions they offer;
- initial and continuing training of in-company trainers and business consulting services.
The project is running in all Greek regions in cooperation with upper secondary and post-secondary institutions which implement apprenticeship programmes: apprenticeship classes offered by vocational schools (EPAL), institutes of vocational training (IEK), and apprenticeship programmes offered by schools (EPAS) supervised by the public employment service (OAED).
The project also includes a separate section of actions which focus on creating business clusters to promote apprenticeship. Apprenticeship clusters can create an attractive and functional framework for apprenticeships to take important steps within businesses, at the initiative of the business world.
The expected results are:
- raising companies’ awareness of apprenticeship;
- developing quality apprenticeship programmes in cooperation with the business world;
- reducing youth unemployment;
- upgrading the organisational capacity of companies to welcome apprentices and provide effective apprenticeships.
Conditions for enterprises participation
All private companies in the country, regardless of size and legal identity, can offer apprenticeship placements. Participating companies should:
- implement on-the-job training following a defined programme, which, in combination with the learning programme in the education institute, leads to a certification in a specific speciality;
- apply the principles of the National quality framework for vocational education, training and apprenticeship;
- have the appropriate facilities, means and equipment for on-the-job training in the specific speciality;
- ensure that the existing provisions on health and safety at work are met;
- have an experienced trainer who will effectively carry out on-the-job training, monitor trainee's progress and give feedback to the teacher responsible at the apprentice’s education institute;
- keep a record of all the means (electronic and printed) used to monitor the implementation of the apprenticeship programme, such as the monthly employment bulletin, the student learning diary, etc);
- sign an apprenticeship agreement with the learner and the education institute, which states the start and end time of the apprenticeship, as well as the obligations of both the employer and the apprentice.