This report details Cedefop’s first cross-nation study of apprenticeships in the European Union. The point of departure for the study is what countries define and offer as apprenticeship training. It then applies a purposive approach to identifying the changes that apprenticeships are undergoing in practice, based on their design characteristics.
Largely based on data collected in 2016, the study includes mapping of apprenticeship schemes with a stable/valid legal basis at system level, or mainstream schemes, in the EU Member States, Iceland and Norway; it identifies and analyses the different purposes and functions associated with the schemes, and investigates whether and how they differ in terms of organisation. This report indicates the fundamental differences among apprenticeships in Europe that account for the absence of a shared understanding of the concept of apprenticeship. The design of apprenticeship schemes seems to respond to two different and evolving purposes and functions of apprenticeship, the analysis of which may bring new insights into EU- and national-level policy debates.