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Services For Apprenticeships
Start date: Oct 1, 2016, End date: Sep 30, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

SMes often struggle to provide apprenticeship opportunities. Some of the most common reasons include: a lack of training infrastructure and personnel to supervise apprentices, as well as insufficient expertise and capacity to manage complex rules, employment law and administrative requirements. Nevertheless, SMEs are well placed to offer high quality apprenticeships, if the right conditions are met and the right support available. The success of policy initiatives for apprenticeships and youth employability also depends largely on more SMEs being involved in providing placements. Traditionally, to meet these challenges, governments are focusing more on targeted support (like financial incentives) and on enabling measures for SMEs to be involved in apprenticeships (like infrastructure support). This is however less effective if a business does not have internally the experience and expertise to manage the overall process. As such, SMEs need a more supportive approach that bigger businesses looking at bridging the gap in their knowledge around apprenticeships processes. The design and provision of such support is the final objective of the SERFA project. The project aims to:-Better understand barriers faced by SMEs when engaging with apprenticeship schemes and offer vacancies;-Identify the SMEs needs to overcome those barriers;-Support businesses in identifying their potential to offer apprenticeships vacancies and the associated benefits;-Co-design with SMEs, the services, tools and products helping remove the barriers and support SMEs in offering more apprenticeships;-Promote the value of apprenticeships in SMEs involving SME employing apprentices.It will create the conditions and services enabling to offer an increased support to SMEs to engage with apprenticeships in the future, using a consistent approach. As a result, SMEs will provide an increased number of apprenticeships vacancies and support the EU objective of reducing youth unemployment.

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