EAfA brought together businesses, public authorities, vocational education and training, chambers, youth representatives, providers alongside other key actors to promote apprenticeship initiatives across Europe. The companies have pledged to create 140,000 apprenticeships and training opportunities for Europe’s youth, while the European Commission said it is committed to strengthening the quality, supply and image of apprenticeships. Apprenticeships represent a crucial way to make sure youth employment increases, especially since youth unemployment (15-24 years old) is now at 22 per cent. There are five million young people without a job and 7.5 million NEETs (neither in employment nor in education or training).
EAfA works to promote the benefits of apprenticeships, reform apprenticeship systems and encourage a smart use of both funding and resources. The project was first launched in 2013 and even though it is managed by the European Commission, its success lies with the implementation of national reforms and partners’ commitment.
Apprenticeships offer learners a shorter way to employment, better skills, work experience, as well as pay and independence. However, learners are not the only ones who benefit from these initiatives; companies can boost their reputation by opening their doors to young people, welcome new ideas and innovation and have the chance to instil the type of skills they seek. At the same time, the European society will have a lower percentage of youth unemployment, young people’s skills will be in line with labour market needs and education will be better connected with work.
Twenty-four E.U. Member States have made individual commitments and nearly 50 pledges are from youth organisations, VET providers, chambers, social partners, and companies. Adecco will provide 5,000 young people with work-based training until 2017 at the main firm or at one of their partner companies, AXA has pledged to offer work opportunities to 20,000 people until 2018 [10,000 paid apprenticeships or traineeships and 10,000 permanent and fixed-term employment contracts] and BMW will expand vocational training internationally. Capita will offer over 500 apprenticeships in 2015, while will Safran welcome at least 2,000 apprenticeships a year. CSR Europe will give the opportunity to 50,000 young people to benefit from quality training until 2017.
For young people who are interested in paid internships abroad, the summer of 2015 has plenty of opportunities. Goldman Sachs offers summer internships to those interested in financial markets in locations such as Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, Africa and across Europe, while KONE [international leader in the escalator and elevator industry] offers internships in business, IT, law, engineering and other disciplines in a number of countries via its International Trainee Program, which offers a salary and covers round-trip travel expenses.
Deloitte has a Global Internship Program in China, Italy, Brazil, South Africa, Sweden, Spain or Turkey and LÓreal is looking for interns in operations in France, retail in Sweden or Italy, marketing in Brazil or Dubai and finance in Hungary and research in Switzerland. The cosmetics and beauty company is also offering a Global Opportunity Program, which encourages students and young graduates to intern in various countries across the globe. Other organisations and companies offering summer internships are the World Bank and KPMG.