Work-based learning (WBL) models and strategies are crucial for increasing youth employment opportunities and the enterprises competitiveness in the global market. In fact, European countries have been increasingly recognizing the enterprises’ role as a privilege context for youth workers’ initial training and WBL models as a strategy for identification and recruitment of qualified workers. Thus, it is essential for Europe to invest in the transfer and implementation of WBL models and strategies to its VET systems and by this way promote a high-quality VET offer, ensuring that knowledge, skills and competences acquired during the period of training are relevant to labour market needs.
Composed by a set of learning models, including the apprenticeship model, WBL can be described as the process of acquiring knowledge and skills by participating in a training context, which combines training in a VET provider with training at the company (COM (2016), 10.6.2016). Due to these characteristics, the implementation of apprenticeship models calls for the active involvement of different stakeholders from VET, social and economic fields. This means that the interaction, communication and cooperation between these stakeholders is particularly relevant for the success and quality of the apprenticeships. A special attention should be given to the VET-business cooperation and communication, guaranteeing the high quality of the apprenticeships offers, reducing the gap between the competences developed during the training and the skills needs of the labour market.