The Supported Apprenticeship Scheme (SAS) Project aims to pilot an innovative and improved supported apprenticeship scheme for young persons with disabilities (PwD) to enable them to transition and integrate smoothly into the labour market. The transition from education to employment is an important part of any young person’s life but the process is far more complicated and difficult for young PwDs. Young PwDs are more likely to be discriminated against and hence, excluded from the labour market. Despite the national and European legislative arsenal in force and some progress made, the unemployment and inactivity rates of PwD are still considerably high when compared to the rest of the workforce.

The SAS Project will pilot this innovative scheme in five countries (Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain) and aims to:

  • Secure the transition from education to employment for young persons with disabilities by means of an apprenticeship;
  • Change the attitude and mindset of professionals and empower young persons with disabilities who are at the very heart of the scheme;
  • Raise awareness of the network of actors and especially, vocational integration counsellors, on this particular scheme.

This Supported Apprenticeship Scheme is an extension and remodel of a pilot scheme that was successfully rolled out in France by a member of EPR, LADAPT, a French national association that provides services to PwDs. LADAPT has captured the methodology of this scheme in a handbook or “Referential”, and following the evaluation of the pilot of the scheme, found that the process ensured a smoother transition into employment for young PwDs, enabled them to have more secure careers and helped to prevent contract breaches. Unlike other common VETs, apprenticeships or similar schemes, this Referential takes into account and works with the whole ecosystem around the apprentice, covering the professional, educational and personal spheres. Vocational Integration Counsellors (VICs) work in collaboration with the young PwDs in a person centred way to identify and approach: apprentice training centres/schools, trainers, specialised employment organisations, appropriate support person in the company, the employer, public administrative process (financial and administrative process) etc.

This approach for supported apprenticeships developed by LADAPT will be adapted to the national context of five countries in Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Norway and Spain. A network of “actors” will be identified and trained (in particular for the VIC) in order to increase buy in and take up of the methodology for the implementation of supported apprenticeship. The project’s partners, including EPR, are:

The project aims to research and develop an in-depth report analysing and comparing information on supported apprenticeship schemes for PwDs in seven countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Italy, Norway and Spain). This analysis will be used to develop a training module on the project’s methodology for supported apprenticeships and piloted to train 3 or 4 Vocational Integration Counsellors (VICs) and 6 or 7 apprentices from each partner in Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Norway and Spain.

EPR will co-ordinate the roll-out phase of the pilot, including the elaboration of the policy recommendations to local, national and European policy makers and other relevant stakeholders. The findings and lessons learnt from the pilot will be evaluated and published in a final report with policy recommendations.

Contact

SAS project coordinators and persons of contact are Mathias Maucher, Senior Project and Programme Officer at EPR, mmaucher@epr.eu, and Panita Ball, Projects and Events Officer at EPR, pball@epr.eu.

Social Media

Follow SAS on LinkedIn here.