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Integrated strategy Initiative for Strengthening the supply of APPrenticeships in TEXtile sector
Start date: Oct 1, 2016, End date: Sep 30, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

With 1.6 million employees, representing 5% of total manufacturing employment, 173 000 businesses and a turnover of around EUR 165 billion, the European Textiles and Clothing (T&C) Industry is a key manufacturing Industry in the European Union. Its contribution to employment and value added in the European economy is considerable. On average EU T&C companies employ slightly more than 10 employees in the textile part of the value chain to 8 employees per enterprise in the manufacturing of apparel. Very small companies with less than 20 employees per firm represent 92% of the T&C companies, employ 31,5% of the workforce and contribute for 24,4% of the value added of this industry. This makes the T&C Industry one of the key Industries representatives in Small and Medium enterprises.Over many years the sector can only result from more technological innovation and better skills of a qualified labour force. The average age of the workforce in the EU Fashion and Textile Sector is far too high and attracting and training new young talent will be essential if companies are to grow and respond to the increasing demand from international markets. Additionally, most EU countries have a high level of youth unemployment. To address this challenge, SMEs need to build their capacities to develop and deliver attractive programmes to prepare young people for entry to the labour market and to secure their future skills base. The majority of the apprenticeship learning happens on the job in the workplace. However, the ability to design and manage jobs and work processes in ways that embed and enhance learning opportunities calls for a degree expertise that is not likely to be present in the majority of SMEs. Working with young people towards successful completion of an apprenticeship programme requires a level of time and patience along with particular support and mentoring skills in the employing company that, most likely will need to be developed and supported.
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