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Tender: Study on Policy Developments and Practices of Apprenticeships in selected EU Member States and World Competing Regions

Ireland, 27 July 2016


This tender is organised in two lots. The general aim of this contract is three-fold:

  1. To provide an analytical overview of apprenticeship (and related policy developments) in the manufacturing sector in at least five selected EU Member States and two world competing regions. To review changes to the current systems in response to labour market shifts, changes in employment, career and mobility patterns and technological and structural change. Particular emphasis should be placed on the impact of new technologies and the need for a high skilled and adaptable workforce in advanced manufacturing sector. 

  2. To investigate country specific issues affecting supply of and participation in apprenticeships in the manufacturing sector, with special attention to advanced manufacturing and high tech industries. This includes the investigation of common challenges and barriers to the implementation and the development of current apprenticeship systems across the selected countries. It also includes an assessment of the relative training and skill needs across the sectors of the economy, the transferability of skills and competences across firms, sectors, regions and supply chains and possible impacts on productivity.

  3. To further investigate apprenticeship systems in the high tech manufacturing sector at company or industrial district/regional cluster level through case study research. This will be done with a view to establishing the extent to which company practices deviate from the current apprenticeship frameworks in each country and identifying elements of good practice in the (re-)design of apprenticeship systems in the context of new developments in manufacturing and the adaptation of such systems for future skill needs and challenges in the manufacturing sector and for efficient adjustment to structural change more generally.

Objectives 1 and 2 will be investigated in Lot 1 while objective 3 is part of Lot 2.

While term apprenticeships differ from country to country, in a nutshell the EU level apprenticeship is“1. Formal vocational education and training programmes; 2. Combining company-based training with school-based education; 3. Leading to a nationally recognised qualification”This encompasses programmes aimed at promoting transitions of young people from school to labour market as well as instruments to support employability of adults (people already in the labour market) and lifelong learning in terms of upskilling, re-skilling on the basis of the new skill demands triggered by technological developments.

The investigation will be carried out on the same set of Member States and world competing regions. The selection of countries is part of this tender. An alternative and more open definition of apprenticeship system can guide the selection of EU countries and world competing regions. A tentative selection of EU countries may include Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and France. Candidate world competing regions for inclusion are Australia and the US. The relevance of the specific apprenticeship systems for the manufacturing sector is however central in the country selection.

While the review of policy developments will be done at country and, where relevant, regional level, the case studies will investigate experiences of apprenticeship systems implemented either at the company level or in the frame of business agglomerations like industrial districts or regional clusters. However, the case studies to be investigated should refer to the same countries covered in the analytical overview of policy developments.

Tenderers should be in a position to submit tenders for both lots. Eurofound reserves the right to award one single contract for both lots which are the subject of this tender.

The descriptions of the two lots are as follows:

  • Lot 1 - Analytical review of apprenticeships in the manufacturing sector in selected EU Member States and world competing regions.

  • Lot 2 - Adapting apprenticeship programmes to structural change and changing demands in the manufacturing sector - Case study examples.


Submission Deadline: 4 August 2016

Also view the ECN Procurement Notice (accessible by ECN Executive Members - Login to View)

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