Focus on: Dual Education: A Bridge over Troubled Waters?

Briefing 15-10-2014

Work experience is highly valued by firms, and lack of such experience therefore constitutes a major obstacle for first-time jobseekers. Many young people are trapped in a vicious circle: they cannot find a first job, but they cannot get a job because they do not have any work experience. Apprenticeships are proven to have a large-scale impact on youth employment promotion, and are a major reason for the low levels of youth unemployment in some European countries. In both the Rethinking Education communication and the 2013 youth unemployment communication, the European Commission called on the Member States to step up their efforts in developing world-class vocational education and training to raise the quality of vocational skills, and in promoting work-based learning, including quality traineeships, apprenticeships and dual systems. Similarly, the European Parliament (EP), following a request by the Culture and Education Committee (CULT), published a study which examines the strengths and weaknesses of dual education and explores policy developments in the EU-28 in relation to the introduction and/or improvement of this type of learning.