Growing Apprenticeship Partnerships for SMEs
Start date: Sep 1, 2016,
End date: Aug 31, 2018
SMEs often lack an appreciation of the long-term benefits of apprenticeships despite many supporting intermediary organisations. In the EU, there is no single definition of what an apprenticeship is, which acts as a barrier to take up and confusion of where to go to ensure the most suitable candidates. One consequence is a low availability of placements and low take up. SMEs are less engaged with apprenticeships programmes because of high costs and concern about return on investment. Campaigns promoting the benefits of apprenticeships can remove the barriers to SME involvement in offering apprenticeships. We aim to increase the capacity of intermediary organisations to support and facilitate growth in the supply of apprenticeships in SMEs by addressing barriers in three member states. SME GAP combines partner organisations from a local authority, an NGO and a university as each country has a different success and type of intervention for supporting apprenticeships: the project will achieve the overall objective of closing the gaps that exist in the three regions that hold back SMEs from participating fully in apprenticeship programmes. We aim to find solutions at the European level to add significant value and increase attractiveness.Project outcomes will lead to an improvement in the effectiveness of campaigns, quality of provision and an increase in the take-up of apprenticeships by SMEs: - the identification and improvement of stakeholder groups to steer and coordinate awareness campaigns to avoid conflicting messages - promotional activities to support the effectiveness of intermediary organisations in engaging SMEs - peer learning through peer reviews to boost improvements in the quality of delivery and message - a best practice guide, toolkit and barometer to help SMEs recruit - policy documents for regional, national and EU policy makers - ongoing awareness and attractiveness campaigns, promotion through established and new SME engagement channels.
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