EU Apprentices

Apprentices in Europe are considered young students not workers and have a similar status to university pathway students because of this. Their rights are protected through the Youth Guarantee Scheme which ensures a parity in support for each student throughout the EU.

The EU supports the Erasmus+ scheme across Europe. Between 2014-20 it is projected to spend EUR 14.774 billion of which 1billion euros are earmarked for projects in the UK.

What is the Erasmus plus scheme?

Erasmus+ (Erasmus Plus) is a programme combining all the EU’s current schemes for education, training, youth and sport, which began in January 2014, and supports traineeships (work placements or study periods abroad) for students currently enrolled in vocational education and training (VET). 

These opportunities are also open to company-based apprentices and to recent graduates who are hosted either in a workplace or in another VET institution with periods of work-based learning as part of their studies. 

Traineeships can last for between 2 weeks and 12 months, and for traineeships lasting over 19 days, access to Online Linguistic Support will help them learn the language used at their workplace or in their studies. 

Outcomes for the EU

As a result of this investment in Vocational Learning the impacts have been seen to be;

  • EU-wide Youth unemployment has decreased from a peak of 24% in 2013 to 14% in 2019.
  • In Austria; 40% of young people now choose Apprenticeships as their way into work. “We know 94% of all apprenticeship graduates are being employed at the level of skilled labour or above.” (Mahr, from IBW, 2018)
  • The agreed UK withdrawal agreement (under May) includes a commitment to the next Erasmus+ phase until 2027. A no-deal Brexit removes certainty on this.
  • If we remain in the EU we will continue to be part of this established, well funded and engaged scheme and the benefits it brings students and employers.

Judith says; ‘It is a no Brainer! Remaining in the EU, we win certainty for industry, engagement with employers, and a set of training standards signed up to by all countries involved. This gives our Apprentices the certainty of experiencing the same level of training and funding, no matter in which country they work.’

Do you know someone on an Apprenticeship scheme or who works with apprentices? Sign up to find out about our trip for apprentices to Brussels!