In an effort to battle the economic and social crisis that has tormented Greece in the last decade, the Greek Ministry of Education drew up a detailed Strategic Plan for VET in 2016 with a view to upgrading and expanding the secondary vocational education and training as a response to the need for economic recovery as well as paving the way to reducing youth unemployment.
By Law 4386/2016, the “Post-Secondary Year - Apprenticeship Class” for EPAL graduates was established. In 2017 the Directorate for Vocational Education in the Ministry of Education has taken over the responsibility to supervise and implement the new apprenticeship scheme. In March 2018, a new Department “EPAL Apprenticeship and Work based learning” has been set up in order to co-ordinate the apprenticeship scheme. The Department is responsible for linking Vocational Education students with the labour market, ensuring the quality of education and training by providing regulation for the Post-Secondary Vocational Education Apprenticeship Class. Among others the Department coordinates and monitors the apprenticeship programme, cooperates with stakeholders in order to find positions for apprentices, collects and maintains statistical data regarding the program, designs and implements curricula for the Post-Secondary Vocational Education Apprenticeship Class.
Furthermore, according to Greek laws the Ministry of Education and its competent bodies (IEP, EOPPEP, ESPA Strategic Structure – Education Sector) have to co-operate with the Ministry of Labour and the Manpower Employment Organization (OAED) as far as apprenticeship issues are concerned.
Given the expansion of VET and apprenticeship provision through various schemes at various levels, in the national strategic framework regarding the expansion of VET system, coordination of VET governance, including apprenticeships, is promoted through the establishment of the National Committee and the Technical Committee for VET. In particular, according to the law 4485/2017 (article 79):
- the purpose of the National Committee for VET is the coordination and monitoring of the implementation of the actions for upgrading of Vocational Education and training, including apprenticeships, as well as the support to the initiatives by the Ministries of Education and Labour on major issues of their competence related to the implementation of these actions.
- the Purpose of the Technical Committee for VET is to support the work of the National Committee for VET, to monitor the implementation of the National Strategic Framework for the upgrading of Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeship and to make proposals/ submissions to the National Committee, concerning matters related to apprenticeship. The Technical Committee of VET, for the implementation of its competences, as appropriate:
- Considers the Development Priorities of the country on a national, regional and local level
- Takes into account the suggestions of the Regional Committees of VET, any apprenticeships associations, the social partners and other stakeholders,
- Considers the outputs of the Labour Market Needs Analysis Mechanism of the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity
The National and the Technical Committee consist of Ministry and national institutions representatives and covers all VET, including apprenticeships.
For apprenticeships in particular, the National Apprenticeship Coordinating Body was also established aiming to improve the institutional framework for apprenticeship and the design, implementation and evaluation of apprenticeship schemes. It includes social partners, employers' and employees' organizations and local authorities - in addition to the representatives of the Ministry of Education representatives of the Ministry of Labor and OAED.