In order to increase the supply of apprenticeship in small and medium-sized enterprises and to improve its quality, it is crucial to create a favourable environment that facilitates communication and links between secondary vocational schools and small and medium-sized enterprises.
It is important that all involved actors have an opportunity to express their mutual needs, expectations and to develop common strategies in order to get the maximum benefit from apprenticeship.
To this end, participatory workshops were organized through the project in all countries where relevant target groups representatives (mainly VET and SMEs) and other relevant actors expressed their needs, expectations and concerns. This approach, which relies on capacity building in terms of networking and increasing the quality of apprenticeship by establishing a database in each country for managing the appropriate phase and creating a tutoring system, contributes to support the SMEs' engagement in apprenticeship.
The SMEB project database is envisaged as a flexible and free tool that can be easily updated, improved and revised and that will give all actors a clear picture of the situation regarding the demand for apprenticeship in the targeted areas, highlighting the opportunities offered and sought by the various actors. It facilitates contacts between small and medium-sized enterprises and schools, aimed at identifying the most appropriate matching and developing joint paths of apprenticeship.
The tool has been designed to meet the specific needs of the actors present in local areas, but its potential allows it to be adapted and implemented in national and international contexts.