In 2014, Cedefop will support cooperation at European level and among Member States to foster the development of apprenticeship-type work-based learning, Cedefop senior expert Loukas Zahilas told a Greek EU Presidency event in Athens.

The one-day event on 14 February gathered European and local experts to discuss ‘the institution of apprenticeship as a means of achieving the EU youth guarantee aim: the role and cooperation framework of all the stakeholders involved.’

In his opening speech, Greek Education Minister Constantinos Arvanitopoulos said that his government’s aim is to ‘make vocational education and training first choice and not just an afterthought as it has been up to now.’ He added that in Greece ‘only 7% of new entrants in the labour market have made the transition from an apprenticeship to a job. Our aim is for that proportion to be closer to 30% in 2020.’

Mr Zahilas stressed that work-based learning makes a difference in getting a job. He added that Cedefop is working to help develop the system on a European level through the European alliance for apprenticeships and the implementation of the youth guarantee schemes, the technical working group on vocational education and training (VET), help with the establishment of bilateral apprenticeship alliances, analysis of systems of governance and financing of apprenticeship in Europe and a workshop on work-based learning in continuing VET.

When it comes to supporting Greece, Mr Zahilas said that Cedefop is involved in the Hellenic qualifications framework (HQF) development, participates in conferences, workshops and events, is about to publish a short description of the Greek VET system, acts as a source of labour market intelligence and works with the Municipality of its host city, Thessaloniki, on a VET-related project.