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Focus on the role of « Mobility coordinator »

With two months to go before the European elections, before the end of the European Year of Skills, almost three years after the first General Assembly on the Mobility of Apprentices in Europe, and on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the creation of EAM, we were keen to organise an event in Brussels, in order to mark the path towards the European Apprenticeship and Vocational Training Area.

This enabled us to observe the progress that has been made and take stock of the final hurdles to be overcome. The European Committee of the Regions and the Commission gave us an enviable welcome. The 300 participants, who came from 28 countries, including 24 EU Member States, 3 candidate countries and, paradoxically since the Brexit, the United Kingdom, were able to debate the effectiveness and feasibility of the provisions set out in the proposal for a Council Recommendation ‘Europe on the Move’ and its annex on the mobility of apprentices.

In addition to the operational credibility of its content, this text proclaims a political ambition. It recognises the benefits of opening up vocational training courses internationally, enabling young people to acquire cross-disciplinary and linguistic skills, and sets the target of ensuring that at least 15% of work-linked training students will have benefited from a mobility experience by 2030, against 8% today.

The discussions highlighted the essential role played by mobility officers once the training centre has made mobility one of its educational priorities, and this role is assumed at all levels of the institution. Although their status varies from one country to another, whether full-time or part-time, recruited by the training centre or by local institutions, the need for professionalism is recognised across borders.

The MOBLT approach can only be enriched by confronting the practices implemented in the diversity of countries and regions. In charge of the ‘mobility community’ of the European Alliance for apprenticeship (EAfA) for the past year, we have decided to go and meet referents from all countries with a view to creating and running a network. At the same time, we want to identify mobility activators for the same purpose and offer them the opportunity to work together.

In conclusion to this second edition of the General Assembly on the mobility of apprentices in Europe, our assembly unanimously approved a ‘call for action’ motion asking the Council to adopt the Commission’s proposal by adding six decisive actions:
– A single European mobility apprentice status.
– Automatic mutual recognition of learning outcomes acquired during a period of apprenticeship abroad.
– A European vocational learner card.
– Promotion of apprenticeship mobility mentoring within companies.
– A European training path for “mobility coordinators.”
– Sustainable financial support for the Erasmus+ program

Self-confidence, creativity, agility, the ability to communicate and work as part of a team, an understanding of the world and its issues: these are the skills that a sufficiently long mobility experience – several months – develops in professional learners, not to mention a useful knowledge of the English language. This is obviously in the interests of young people, but also of companies and, more generally, of national economies at a time when Europe is experiencing a shortage of human resources. It is up to the public authorities to remove the obstacles as quickly as possible. It’s up to those involved not to wait; volunteers always find pragmatic solutions.

Obviously, the role of ‘Mobility coordinator’ is at the forefront.
Jean Arthuis

Call for action