Story so far

The Erasmus+ funded project ‘Increasing Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) engagement in Apprenticeships’ commenced on 1 September 2015 and will finish on 31 August 2018.

Gedling Borough Council is the lead partner for the international project working alongside:


Vereinigung fϋr Betriebliche Bildungsforschung e.V. IBBF (IBBF) a Research Institution for Further Infirm Education and Training


Canadian Apprenticeship Forum/Forum Canadian Sur L’Apprentissage (CAF-FCA) a pan-Canadian non-profit organisation that promotes apprenticeship training


Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI)


Zespol Szkol Lacznosci im. Mikolaja Kopernika w Pozaniu (Zsl) is a group of schools consisting of a junior secondary school and technical college


NGi (UK) Ltd a for profit business that works with employers to develop, improve and up-skill their workforce through vocational educational training (VET).


The first twelve months of the project focused on identifying barriers to SMEs engaging with apprenticeship in each partner country. When the barriers were compared partners identified the common problems that all countries face irrespective of differences in the apprenticeship delivery model.

The opportunity was taken for Bulgaria, Poland and Gedling to learn from best practice examples from German and Canadian partners where employer engagement and apprentice completion rates are at their highest.

The partner countries used the examples to formulate a two year pilot programme to help remove or reduce the identified SME barriers. The pilot programmes went live on 1 September 2016 and will finish on 31 August 2018. During this time the project will engage with 270 SMEs and secure 360 apprenticeship starts.

The project has included monthly partnership meetings and will deliver six transnational meetings; three peer reviews and will culminate in a dissemination event in June 2018.