9th November 2017

GE/European Alliance for Apprenticeship: Developing quality entry-level opportunities for youth in Europe

According to the report  by EAfA European Alliance for Apprenticeships - Assessment of progress and planning the future, in terms of the type of activities countries are implementing, 21 countries (European countries and Turkey) have been undertaking initiatives to stimulate and/or strengthen partnerships between education and training providers and employers. An example is the national project Pospolu in the Czech Republic, launched by the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the Czech Confederation of Industry and Trade and implemented in 2012-2015. The project mapped the current situation of cooperation between schools and employers, and proposed effective models of cooperation between employers and schools based on this evidence. The models were piloted in 26 partnerships between schools and employers, which included a total of around 1,550 students. More.  In 2015, the Ministry published recommendations and model contracts for concluding the contractual relationship between employers and secondary school students or higher vocational school students. (Source: OECD Economic Surveys: Czech Republic 2016)  













The most common type of activities being used to improve the image of apprenticeships include - campaigns and public events to disseminate the achievement of apprentices (67%and 49% respectively). Around one third of respondents (36%) report implementing  European Alliance for Apprenticeships - Assessment of progress and planning the future - ‘other activities’ aimed at improving the image of apprenticeships. The following bullet points provide an example of the different type of activities used:

- Joint actions with social partners,
- Organising conferences with international speakers,
- Visits to VET schools and companies
- Improving the exchange of information
- Production of a ’toolbox’ of possible measures
- Guidelines for companies on how to cooperate with schools in the Czech Republic 


The infographic below by the Czech Statistical Office shows the trend in technical education in the country:


















GE employs over 100,000 people in Europe across 1,000+ locations, 144 manufacturing sites and 50+ industry research centres across the continent. From Europe GE exports over $11 billion of great technologies, products and services to markets across the globe. Attracting and retaining talent is key to the company’s growth and development as a digital industrial in the region. This is one of the reasons why GE is participating in initiatives to support and grow quality entry level opportunities for young talent in Europe through internships and apprenticeships.

In 2015 GE became part of the European Alliance for Apprenticeship. Through the Alliance, GE pledged to create 3,000 internships annually across Europe and set a target of filling 30% of its own entry-level positions with interns and apprentices beginning in 2016.  GE also subscribed to the European Pact for Youth, with whom they share a target of creating 10,000 Business-Education Partnerships as well as 100,000 quality traineeships, apprenticeships and entry-level jobs by 2017.  By investing $2.7 million and partnering with the Institute of International Education, they were able to develop a Scholar-Leaders Programme, which seeks to develop the next generation of student leaders in Europe.

GE has provided leadership training through scholarship and summer seminars to 514 students in Central and Eastern Europe – namely Hungary, Romania, Poland and the Czech Republic.  Participants are selected from 5 different universities in each country, and the scholarship programme has now reached its tenth year, with hours of program volunteering totalling well above 4,000.

Source: GE

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic