Apprenticeships for Lifelong Learners

During the EU Vocational Skills Week I got the chance to talk about how we promote apprenticeships for adult & lifelong learners in our Erasmus+ project ApprEnt.

Back in Helsinki

Passing Töölö lake during our walk towards Finlandia Hall, where the conference took place.

Finally, I was back in Finland after 8 years! What a feeling! Eight years ago, I worked for three months in the commercial section of the Austrian embassy in Helsinki. It was such a great learning experience, which has influenced my learning pathway since then.

It is a strange feeling being back again, stirring up also a lot of feelings. And it is also very exciting, because I was invited so present the ApprEnt project during a conference session by the European Alliance for Apprenticeships.


The European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) unites governments and key stakeholders with the aim of strengthening the quality, supply and overall image of apprenticeships across Europe, while also promoting the mobility of apprentices.

(European Commission)

My Presentation: Using Sketchnotes

I recorded my presentation in advance to get feedback from colleagues. Thank you to Robert, Carme, Stephanie, Lucila, Wolfgang and Kathrin for your thoughts!

On Oct 15 the ApprEnt project ended after 2 years of work and as a final step, I presented the project at the EU Vocational Skills Week. What an honour – thank you Carme and EUCEN for the chance!

In the video above you can watch my presentation. I decided to draw sketchnotes for the presentation, to make it a bit more interesting and easy to follow. Hope you like them!

Mentors: Facilitating Dialogue between 2 Worlds

Differences between the world of business and the world of higher education – they are often not aware how they can benefit from each other. And of course: Working together means negotiating.

Higher Education and Companies work quite differently, have different culture and speak a different language. During ApprEnt we identified the role of mentors as crucial for a dialgue between these two worlds. We developed a training concept for mentors in the workplace and mentors/tutors in higher education.

Together, they monitor and steer the learning pathway of the student. They have to work together to identify and establish meaningful learning opportunities. They input is also crucial for curriculum development, where both sides need to be included: the comany and the higher education institution.

Establishing a dialogue – not a one sided communication.

In the ApprEnt transversal comparison of case studies, you can take a closer look on who is usually dominant in curriculum development ( not difficult to guess :D)and which practice is already applied in Europe.

Taking Responsibility

Both sides are responsible to provide a high quality education to people: This is necessary, if we want to be able to face the challenges of tomorrow. It is not enough to be only trained to fulfill a certain, small tasks: It needs transversal skills.

ApprEnt Outcomes

During the project we have created a few useful tools to promote higher apprenticeships:

  • An advocacy pack with an overview of benefits for higher education, companies and students
  • Policy recommendations
  • A training concept for mentors
  • Case studies and a comparison of them

Enjoy our documents and feel free to reach out if you would like to talk about them or higher apprenticeships in general 🙂

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