Widespread youth unemployment represents a social paradox: while many youth are looking for work, many employers cannot find workers with the skills they need. This type of skills mismatch is being accentuated significantly by the transformational changes buffeting the world of work - technological innovation, shifts in the organization of work through platform-based economies. Traditional school-based vocational education and training systems face growing challenges to be more flexible and responsive in ensuring that young people are better equipped with the skills to take on new jobs today and in the future. Against this background, quality apprenticeships and other work-based learning programmes are critical to meeting the challenge of the future world of work.
The E-Discussion aims to examine the role of quality apprenticeships, and other work-based learning programmes, as part of the solution to the challenge of youth unemployment and preparing the workforce for the fast changing skills demands of the labour market.
Among the questions to be discussed over the coming two weeks are:
1. How do apprenticeships benefit various stakeholders such as employers, trade unions, governments and apprentices? Are there any institutions in your country that collect and disseminate evidence about the benefits of apprenticeships?
2. In view of rapid changes in labour market contributing to an increase in skills mismatches, how important is the role of apprenticeships in aligning skills supply to the future of work?
3. In your country, is there a clear, common understanding of the differences between apprenticeships, internships, traineeships, learnerships and other forms of work-based learning?
4. Despite widely accepted benefits, why do many countries have difficulties in establishing, scaling up and sustaining high- quality apprenticeships? What specific challenges are faced in implementing and expanding apprenticeships in your country?
5. What innovations are needed to make apprenticeships more attractive for youth and employers respectively, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)?
6. What strategies could be used to ensure better gender equality and disability inclusion in apprenticeships?