Funded by Erasmus+ program, TRAPP (TRaining for APPrentices) is a cooperation project for innovation and exchange of good practices (Key Action 2) that is reaching its conclusion.
For more than 2 years, TRAPP partners have been developing innovative tools and solutions to facilitate, secure and promote long-term mobility of apprentices in Europe.
Tested during the implementation of 5 pilot mobilities of 5 to 8 weeks, these solutions provide answers to the main obstacles to long-term mobility of apprentices, encountered by European mobility coordinators and vocational training centres.
Why was this necessary?
The European mobility of apprentices is a phenomenon that has been developing for about fifteen years. Many arrangements allowing financial, administrative, legal and collaborative support have been implemented to contribute to this trend. However, the number of apprentices who experience international mobility during their training remains very limited and the duration of their staying abroad is often very short (2 or 3 weeks).
This is mainly due to the lack of a single model of apprenticeship which is valid for all EU countries but also to the general reluctance of company owners to engage their apprentices in international mobilities: the longer the experience abroad, the more difficult it is to convince a company to let the apprentice go. Also, there is a lack of consensus on how to integrate this period of time in the educational pathway of the student and how to recognize the learning outcomes of international mobility, without extending learners’ education and training pathways, whenever possible.
That is why it appeared fundamental to work for the establishment of a legislative and organizational framework to facilitate Erasmus Pro mobility during training periods and enhance their quality and recognition, providing a better experience for VET learners.
6 partners from 4 different countries gathered in the TRAPP consortium to explore the different obstacles to the long term mobility of apprentices and propose innovative solutions, tools and good practices to support its development.
The project brought together a variety of actors in the VET arena, including:
- In France: The Chamber of Craft of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Lyon – Rhône (CMA AURA), the Rectorat de l’Académie de Lyon (Lyon’s local education authority) and SEPR (VET school)
- In Italy: Uniser (mobility provider)
- In Finland: OMNIA (VET school)
- In Germany: Bildungswerk der Hessischen Wirtschaft e.V. (BWHW) (training centre for integration into the world of work)
TRAPP activities have been developed within 4 main areas:
- Legal framework
- Human resources
- Educational framework
- Assessment / certification
Activities also included the organization of a pilot phase of cross-mobilities between TRAPP project’s partners: a company A and a company B exchanged an apprentice with the same level of competence during the same period of time in the hairdressing and car mechanic sector, with the aim to implement the results achieved and confirm the ability to reproduce the project Europe wide.
What are the results?
In two-years of work, TRAPP partners have developed several innovative tools and solutions in the aforementioned areas, which were organized in 4 Intellectual Outputs:
IO 1 – Clarifying and securing the legal framework for the apprentices abroad
- A report clarifying the administrative and legal aspects to be considered to secure apprentices during a long-term mobility, enriched with practical examples and recommendations from the experience of TRAPP partners.
- A toolkit with the templates of the legal documents used to set up pilot mobilities within the framework of TRAPP.
IO2 – Ensuring an equivalent presence in human resources
- A methodological guide to understand what cross-mobilities are, as solutions to ensure HR equivalence in companies and how to organize them, enriched with practical examples and recommendations from TRAPP experience.
- A toolkit to facilitate the recruitment of apprentices and companies and to promote good collaboration between in-company trainers, teachers and apprentices during the time of the mobility.
IO 3 – Guaranteeing the continuity of the apprentice’s educational path during the mobility
- A steps-by-steps pedagogical guide to ensure a coherent educational program thanks to the implementation of a Learning Agreement in line with the apprentice’s curriculum.
- Useful templates to easily implement and replicate the different steps for new mobilities.
- A collection of digital tools to allow remote learning of theoretical subjects while being abroad.
IO 4 – Valorization of the professional skills acquired during a mobility
A report including:
- Information on the dimensions to consider for the recognition and assessment of skills.
- Information and examples of European and national assessment and valorization tools and methodologies used for TRAPP pilot mobilities.
- And additional resources experimented with TRAPP to improve the recognition of the skills acquired abroad.
Finally, the methodologies and tools developed under each IO were tested through the implementation of 5 pilot mobilities. The final guides and deliverables of the project have been enriched with comments and recommendations, which reflect the experience gathered by each partner following the testing phase.
These solutions provide concrete answers to the main obstacles to long-term mobility of apprentices encountered by European mobility coordinators and vocational training centres and aim to be a reference point in the continuous path to facilitate, secure and promote the long-term mobility of vocational training in apprenticeship and post-apprenticeship.