While the jobs recovery is underway in many countries, persistently high rates of youth unemployment remain a significant labour market challenge. In response, there has been increasing interest in apprenticeships both as a route into employment and also in raising the skill levels of the workforce. Apprenticeships and other work-based training opportunities are valuable training pathways for improving the transition from school to work. At the local level, apprenticeship programmes can contribute to regional development objectives and provide local employers with the skilled workforce they require to remain competitive and create jobs.

G20 Employment and Labour Ministers have highlighted the importance of developing quality apprenticeship programmes, which can provide businesses with the skilled workers they need to succeed in a rapid changing global marketplace. Broadening the availability of apprenticeship programmes requires collaboration and co-ordination between a range of stakeholders at the local level, including the private sector, civil society, the third sector, as well as young people themselves.

Many OECD countries have a long tradition of apprenticeship programmes, which actively engage employers in their design, development and delivery, and many non-OECD countries are looking to replicate such schemes. However, these countries face a number of implementation issues, including poor perceptions of vocational education and training, a fragmented training landscape, and few incentives to encourage participation.

This joint publication by the OECD LEED programme and the ILO explores implementation examples of employer engagement in apprenticeship programmes through nine case studies. It draws from local experiences, including interviews with local employment offices, training institutions, economic development organisations as well as chambers of commerce and trade unions. We hope that this publication will provide policy makers and social partners with specific learnings to remove barriers to engaging employers in apprenticeship programmes, broaden access to training opportunities and improve the economic development and labour market performance of local areas.


Lamia Kamal-Chaoui

Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Local Development and Tourism

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development


Azita Berar-Awad

Director, Employment Policy Department

International Labour Organization