The European Commission adds the Basque Country to the European Alliance for Apprenticeships
• The Basque Country is the first European region to take part in this European Commission initiative. It is yet further European recognition of Basque Vocational Training (VT)
• It comes after the meetings that the Basque Government's Deputy Minister for VT held with senior representatives of the European Commission in October 2013
The Basque Country is the first European region to form part of the EAfA -European Alliance for Apprenticeships, one of the key initiatives of the European Commission, which seeks to foster the joint work of companies, stakeholders and institutions to drive vocational training and apprenticeships, and thus fight against unemployment. The alliance, coordinated jointly by the Directorate General for Education and Culture and the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission, is made up of business networks, chambers of commerce and European platforms in the spheres of training or employment. The Basque Country, a recent member, is the only and first European region to take part in the Alliance.
The invitation to join the Alliance came after the meetings and contacts that the Basque Government's Deputy Minister for VT, Jorge Arévalo, and the Director of Training and Apprenticeships, Ramón Martinez de Murguia, held last October with representatives of the aforementioned directorates, to present the Basque Vocational Training Strategy. The European institutions were pleasantly surprised with the Basque VT model, which they considered a benchmark for Europe. Brussels was particularly interested in the close relationship between VT centres and companies in the Basque Country, and the centre organisation model being developed, where the emphasis is on an efficient and flexible organisation, with a high response capacity to the changes that the companies and employment require. The European Commission is therefore closely following the results and evolution of the Basque VT Strategy. Proof of this is the opportunity for the Basque Country to take part in the Alliance or the Basque Country being uses as a European best practice for Vocational Training.
Recognition of Basque VT
Being part of the Alliance is further European recognition for the Basque Country for the European Vocational Training Strategy. The Basque Country's contribution to the Alliance is the specific facts and results of its experience, its knowledge of the situation on the ground and a regional dimension. In turn, it will be an opportunity for our region to take part in a major European initiative and take part in the joint actions offering new perspectives and opportunities for Basque Vocational Training. The Basque Country will learn out the systems running in other countries and will establish new relations, aimed at cooperation and student and teacher exchanges. The Basque Vocational Training Strategy is consolidated and is now part of leading European initiatives, with positive data and results.
The European Alliance for Apprenticeships was born of the belief that apprenticeships and training facilitate the transition from education to the labour force, and thus foster employability. Evidence shows that countries with a strong Vocational Training and Apprenticeship system have lower levels of youth unemployment. Its objectives include fostering the quality of apprenticeships, driving youth employment and reducing the disparity between job offer and demand.
Vitoria-Gasteiz, 5 March 2014