Parents International joined the European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) in May 2018. After some negotiations with the European Commission, we have made a pledge on promoting vocational education (VET) and especially apprenticeships, parental engagement in these forms of education, but to also bring the parents voice to improving quality of supply in the field.
We have committed to work on topics related to 21st century education, and quality vocational education and training that should always be a desirable first choice for young people with positive guidance provided by their parents. We work on the basis of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child that gives the sole responsibility of education to the parents of children under 18, so our commitment also includes supporting parents of minors to make the right career choices for their children in VET.
We are committed to work on the promotion and implementation of the guidelines for parental engagement, working with people that developed it and is now the core of our team.
Bearing the above in mind Parents International will
- develop, pilot and offer a practical training on the implementation of the Parental Engagement Guidelines in VET and Apprenticeships published in the first months of 2018;
- develop and make contact methodology available for VET and apprenticeship providers to ensure getting parents on board at the enrolment stage in order to build a basis for parental engagement;
- collect and share testimonials from parents of VET students and apprentices and people who changed from academic to VET pathways in order to highlight the benefits of such pathways.
Organisations of parents and those working with parents in Europe are more supportive when it comes to VET as opposed to the huge lobby power of universities. However, their level of support largely depends on the quality and the image of VET provision. They are supporters of VET and apprenticeships as they are the employers and employees apart from being parents. At the same time, parents have a crucial role as decision makers when choosing initial career paths for children, giving guidance and counselling.
The involvement of Parents International in EAfA provides a possibility for networking among parents, researchers and professionals working with parents, sharing information, inspiring practices and feeding back experiences via its wide membership and partnership.
Parents International will also disseminate information, inspiring practice, research data on VET and apprenticeships, and also to participate in related research and projects.
It will also be an added value for EAfA to learn about and from inspiring practices in the field of VET and apprenticeships from other continents.