The fight against youth unemployment is a top priority for the European Commission. Good quality apprenticeships help young people to acquire the skills and key competences necessary to be successful on the labour market. Today more than forty companies and other organisations have joined the European Alliance for Apprenticeships, coordinated by the European Commission,and committed toproviding more and better apprenticeships for young people. The companies will make a total of 140 000 apprenticeships and training opportunities available to young people. The European Commission is committed to strengthening the supply, quality and image of apprenticeships.
EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen commented: "I warmly welcome the new partners joining the European Alliance for Apprenticeships today. Helping Europe’s young people to access quality jobs is at the top of my priorities. Together we will create new opportunities for young people to learn the skills and gain the experience needed in the labour market. I look forward to seeing even more companies and other organisations following this example in the future."
The new pledges were signed in Riga during a meeting of Ministers in charge of vocational education and training, the European social partners and the Commission, organised by the Latvian Presidency. Some of the main business pledges are:
- Adecco will provide 5,000 young people with work-based training till 2017, either at the main firm or at one of their partner companies.
- AXA will offer work opportunities to 20,000 young people till 2018 including 10,000 permanent and fixed term employment contracts and 10,000 paid apprenticeships or traineeships.
- BMW will expand vocational training internationally, including through a tailor-made dual education programme providing practical training in Germany and a qualification in Spain. BMW will welcome 1,500 new apprentices every year.
- Safran will develop apprenticeships in its European subsidiaries and promote international mobility schemes. Safran will welcome 2-3,000 apprentices per year.
- Capita will offer more than 500 apprenticeships for young people this year and work with other major employers to do the same, i.a. by recruiting and training 400 apprentices for the civil service and over 600 for banks.
- CSR Europe will support businesses within its network on the quality of their apprenticeship and internship schemes, thus giving the opportunity to 50,000 young people to benefit from quality training by the end of 2017.
Other companies joining the Alliance are Bertelsmann, Saica and Verallia Saint-Gobain.
European social partners have put forward new pledges in the construction, chemical, commerce, and the education sector. Five new pledges come from national teachers’ trade unions and one from a French trade union in the energy sector. Other key pledges come from the Scottish Government, the European Association of Regional and Local Authorities for Lifelong Learning, and the Bertelsmann Foundation think tank.
These new members join existing European Alliance for Apprenticeship members and governments.
The European Alliance for Apprenticeships was launched on 2 July 2013 in Leipzig (Germany) by a Joint Declaration between the EU Presidency, the Commission and the European social partners. This was followed by a Council Declaration and individual commitments on next steps to increase the quantity, quality and supply of apprenticeships by EU countries.
The Alliance brings together public authorities, chambers of commerce, industry and crafts, businesses, social partners, education and training providers, regions, youth and non-profit organisations, think tanks and research institutes in order to promote apprenticeship schemes and initiatives across Europe.
With Italy and the Czech Republic joining today, 26 EU Member States have already made national commitments. Today the Alliance also welcomed EFTA countries Norway and Switzerland, and candidate countries Albania, Montenegro and Turkey as its newest members.
In total, 84 pledges from companies and other partners have been made within the European Alliance for Apprenticeships since 2013.
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