Leicestershire – Apprenticeships EU Study Tour


01 / 07 / 2013

In March 2013, the Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland Workforce Team hosted visitors from 10 EU countries who had selected to join a study tour exploring how they recruit, train and develop support staff in the workforce. The project was structured to be of interest to those involved with adult work-based learning, apprenticeships and the use of qualifications to increase organisational competence.

The tour aimed to showcase:

  • working in partnership to provide pre-employment training
  • using the qualification credit framework to plan funded education pathways
  • engaging training providers to deliver flexible, quality accredited training
  • supporting apprentices to achieve success and gain employment
  • development of a qualified and competent workforce
  • clear progression routes from vocational to higher education.

The various stakeholders involved in the four day programme included acute providers of health care, charities involved in delivering health care, the National Apprenticeship Service and Further and Higher Education institutions.

Outcomes and shared learning

Of specific interest to all delegates was the National Apprenticeship Service, in particular the vacancy matching service. This service is not available in any other country and all delegates agreed this was a great resource for employers, training providersand also young people searching for apprenticeship opportunities.

In Austria, Germany and the Netherlands, apprenticeships are a very popular choice amongst young people, who are supported by their families and teachers to enter onto this pathway to employment. It was acknowledged that there are cultural challenges in the acceptance of apprenticeships as a valued progression route from compulsory education to employment and that it was important to work towards raising the profile of this valuable career pathway.

Common themes across represented countries were the challenges of recruiting young people into careers within health and social care and the gender bias towards women in particular job roles.

At the end of the study tour delegates gave feedback that the visit had provided an excellent opportunity for networking, sharing good practice, comparing different national systems and learning from European partners.

Further information and contact details

Ruth Auton r.auton@nhs.net

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