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Invitation: Apprenticeships in Austria and the UK

24. April 2015

Which way forward for Businesses and Policy Makers?

Martin Eichtinger, Ambassador of the Republic of Austria to the United Kingdom, London
Alison Wolf
, Sir Roy Griffiths Professor of Public Sector Management at King’s College London
Johannes Kopf
, Director of the Public Employment Service Austria (AMS) 
Thomas Mayr
, Director of ibw Austria, a vocational education and training research and development institute 
Ralph Sälzer
, Managing Director of Liebherr Sunderland Works Ltd


Thursday, 21 May, 17:00-18:00 pm
Followed by a cocktail

Residence of the Austrian Ambassador
18 Belgrave Square, LONDON SW1X 8PX 

Please confirm your attendance   by 8 May 2015.


Apprenticeships offer great opportunities for young people and businesses alike. Austria and the UK have profited from apprenticeship schemes and there seems to be strong political will to maintain and foster them. However, critical questions remain: 

  • Do apprenticeships meet the actual needs of the changing economy and the labour market?
  • Is there sufficient qualitative exchange between policy makers, businesses and educational institutions?
  • How can the image of apprenticeships be enhanced?
  • Which standards should they be based on?
  • How can the quality of apprenticeships be evaluated? 
  • What are best practice models in the British and Austrian systems and how can they learn from each other?

These and other questions will be discussed by our panellists:


Alison Wolf (Baroness Wolf of Dulwich) is the Sir Roy Griffiths Professor of Public Sector Management at King’s College London, and she sits as a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords. She specialises in the relationship between education and the labour market. She has a particular interest in training and skills policy, universities, and the medical workforce. The latter is particularly appropriate to the Chair she holds, established in memory of an influential government adviser on medical management. Alison's latest book is The XX Factor: How Working Women Are Creating A New Society (Profile Books 2013).

Johannes Kopf is a member of the board of directors at the Public Employment Service Austria (AMS) since 2006. From 2003 to 2006 he worked as a labour market expert in the Cabinet of Mr. Bartenstein, Minister for economics and labour and was member of the supervisory board of the AMS. Before joining the Cabinet he was a labour market expert at the Federation of Austrian Industries, deputy member of the supervisory board of the AMS and worked on several projects concerning educational policy issues. In 2001 and 2002 he was nominated as the Austrian employer’s negotiator concerning part-time and temporary agency work within the scope of the European social dialogue.

Thomas Mayr is the director of ibw Austria, a vocational education and training research and development institute affiliated with the Austrian Economic Chamber and the Federation of Austrian Industry.  ibw Austria supports vocational education and training policy making and implementation in Austria, most notably in the field of apprenticeship training. Further thematic areas which Thomas Mayr is involved in include the development of qualification frameworks and EU education policy. 

Ralph Sälzer is the German born Managing Director of Liebherr Sunderland Works Ltd which he joined in 2002. He is passionate about the apprenticeship and skills agenda and holds several voluntary posts including membership of the EEF Regional Advisory Board and Sunderland Economic Leadership Board. He is a Governor of Sunderland College and is active within the Church of England. In recognition of his contribution to the skills agenda in Sunderland in 2013 he has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Sunderland University.

PRO EUROPE is an initiative of the Austrian Embassy in London for discussing European affairs. Its mission is to provide an informal platform for connecting international scholarly and political expertise on European issues relevant to the UK and other European countries, and to discuss international perspectives through scholarship and engagement with practitioners and decision-makers on why governments should be assertive about Europe.