Apprenticeships are a path to consider for every young talent, from all backgrounds. This is one of the messages that the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) National Network France, launched today in Paris, will bring to the future – and current – workforce in France.
Whether it’s learning to become a top chef or training as an IT troubleshooter, starting a career as a banker or getting a solid education as a sales-professional, apprenticeships can transform the prospects of young people everywhere. In Countries where the model operates well, CEOs of multinational companies and SMEs alike benefit of the training and experience she or he need to get their foot on the career ladder.
It is no secret that in too many countries young people struggle to find their way into a job after school, and that companies are hunting high and low for skilled, talented workers.
Apprenticeships are a path to give companies the skills and talent they need to prosper in an ever-changing world of work.
Governments around the world are slowly but surely realising that apprenticeships have the power to bridge the gap between the traditional education system and the workplace, and they are starting to create the appropriate frameworks for apprenticeships to bloom.
This year only has seen a flurry of initiatives. Early in the year, the GAN National Networks Malawi and Tanzania were launched. In April, the UK introduced the apprenticeship tax to support investment in work-based training for young people. In June, The King of the Belgians visited Switzerland to gain first-hand insights into the successful Swiss apprenticeship system. Before the Summer, US President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order to expand apprenticeships to give young people more affordable choices in education and better opportunities in the workplace. And now France has put the reform of the apprenticeship system on the list of priorities for the next months to come.
As the Chair of the GAN, I am thrilled to see this focus at policy level. Experience shows that for the system to work, certain preconditions must be met. One of them: businesses, alongside training institutions, must embrace their role and engage along government in a cooperative way. Another important key to success: parents and young people must realize and seize the opportunities apprenticeships offer to access a well-crafted career path, filled with opportunities to build upon. This mindset is particularly important in France, where many misconceptions still prevail.
The GAN National Network France will benefit from the know-how of strong partners invested in making work-based training solutions work, in France and via the GAN International family.
This is much needed, as in France, nearly one in four people under 25 remain unemployed. In Germany and Switzerland, where work-based learning is part of the labour market culture, youth unemployment rates are well below ten percent and youth employment participation rates are among the highest. This must be France’s target.
Since starting in 2013, GAN has touched the lives of millions of young people globally, from Malawi to Mexico, Argentina to Indonesia.
Today already, GAN is spearheading the “Apprenticeship Movement” across the world, and I am proud that the Adecco Group is part of the private sector partners leading the charge. In France alone, the set-up of the National Network is supported by the pledge of Adecco Groupe France to train 10,000 apprentices by 2020.
GAN is now working towards the ambitious goal of 20x20x20: the network of companies and international organisations will create 20 million opportunities for young people with 20 companies by the year 2020. It is time to join the movement!