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Support for small and medium sized enterprises engaging in apprenticeships: apprenticeship coaches for SMEs
Start date: Oct 1, 2016, End date: Sep 30, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

AC4SME is a large scale European project implemented by Chambers of Commerce & Industry (hereafter ‘Chambers’ or CCIs) in 12 Erasmus+ countries (AT, BE, BG, CY, CZ, ES, FR, IT, LV, RO, RS, TR) and under the coordination of EUROCHAMBRES, the association of European Chambers of Commerce & Industry. It is a response to the observation that small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are less likely to take on apprentices than larger companies, whereas they represent two-thirds of private sector employment in Europe. The main obstacles encountered by SMEs to offer apprenticeship placements may be a lack of time and human resources, too scarce knowledge of the legislation and administrative requirements and of the benefits of taking on apprentices.The final aim of the AC4SME project is to involve a growing number of SMEs in apprenticeship.A network of skilled apprenticeship support coaches for SMEs would impact positively the motivation and chances that SMEs have to engage in apprenticeship by providing advice to make the company ready for training apprentices. AC4SME aims at developing and training such a network of SME apprenticeship coaches in the CCIs, providing them with adequate tools to support SMEs in offering quality apprenticeship placements. The project relies on an exchange of knowledge between Chambers that play a pivotal role in the involvement of SMEs in apprenticeship schemes as part of well-established VET systems and Chambers in other countries where SME involvement in apprenticeship schemes is under-developed or has scope for improvement.Activities:- Identify SMEs’ needs through a series of focus groups in 11 Erasmus+ countries - Train 26 apprenticeship coaches for SMEs in 10 Erasmus+ countries - Develop of a tool box for apprenticeship coaches and a set of tools for in-company trainers - Raise awareness and offer direct support to SMEs - Evaluate the support experience - Disseminate project results and recommendations
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