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Seven Questions about Apprenticeships

Answers from International Experience

image of Seven Questions about Apprenticeships

After a period of relative neglect in many countries, apprenticeships and other forms of work-based learning are experiencing a revival. Their effectiveness in easing school-to-work transitions and serving the economy is increasingly recognised. However, engaging individuals, employers, social partners and education and training systems in such learning remains a significant challenge. In light of this, Seven Questions about Apprenticeships draws out policy messages on how to design and implement high-quality apprenticeships, using material from the OECD project Work-based Learning in Vocational Education and Training.

It presents answers to seven questions commonly asked by governments and practitioners seeking to either introduce or reform apprenticeship systems for young people and/or older workers. Can apprenticeships provide a useful contribution in every country? Should employers receive financial incentives for providing apprenticeships? What is the right wage for apprentices, and how long should an apprenticeship last? How can we ensure a good learning experience at work? How can apprenticeships be made to work for youth at risk? And how to attract potential apprentices?

The study establishes principles of effective practice by building on new analytical work and examples of effective practice from around the world.

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How to make apprenticeships work for youth at risk?

This chapter focuses on youth at risk: young people who are unemployed (often called NEET or not in education employment or training) or at risk of such an outcome. It identifies some of the common additional barriers facing such youth, including: weaker literacy, numeracy and general education; lack of work experience; and lack of relevant social networks and soft skills. The chapter critically reviews a number of policy interventions that might serve to increase the likelihood of employers offering apprenticeships to youth at risk, including financial subsidies, apprenticeship duration, preparatory programmes, and personalised support over the programme of training.

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