Try before you buy or why apprenticeship is one of the best ways to find new talents

Numerous studies show that small business are unable to find suitable employees, which limits their opportunities for growth and raise costs. At the same time, Professional higher institutions (hereafter-PHE) are not always suited to mass-market their students for placements, and to operate them at scale with large numbers of SMEs. Finally, Europe as a whole still suffers from relatively high unemployment – a phenomenon known as the skills gap. This means that the skills which the population currently hold, are not necessarily the skills employers need. is an initiative of the SAPS project funded by the Erasmus+ Support for Policy Reform programme, realised in collaboration among 10 members from different countries around the Europe, including Malta. The aims of the project are twofold: to help structure the apprenticeship practices between PHEIs and SMEs, and re-shape the image of apprenticeship for SME with a multi-lingual promotional campaign.

Recent surveys show, that apprentices bring fresh knowledge regarding the latest technical and scientific developments and, while being mentored to solve real problems in a real company, they put this knowledge into practice and transfer it to the staff. This often results in better products and services, improved brand image and increased profits – and therefore, long-term sustainability for the organization.

The project develops teaching & learning materials for SMEs, while at the same time improving the procedures of PHE institutions and providing a platform for PHEs and SMEs to communicate and be more open to establish apprenticeships schemes.

One example of the above materials is the set of four booklets “Easy Apprenticeships for Small Business” with brief relevant information and quick guidance for SMEs to start an apprenticeship scheme; another is the one-stop-shop that allows SMEs to find PHEs institutions in their region that can provide apprentices; and yet another is the “Apprenticeship Quality Toolkit“, which provides a hands-on, easy-to-use management tool for PHEIs and SMEs, to ensure the quality of the apprenticeships and a beneficial cooperation for all. The Toolkit follows a quality management system style approach and works in two directions: inside-in, by structuring the organisational processes for successful collaboration for apprenticeships delivery, and inside out, as a quality assurance tool for transparency.

Download the above materials and find out more about apprenticeships and how to boost your company by creating an apprenticeship scheme today, at