Recent studies carried out by the European Training Foundation (ETF) and Cedefop point out that WBL provides important benefits, by increasing employability and smoother school to work transition, by reducing skill shortages and gaps, and by reducing youth unemployment, increasing entrepreneurship and innovation and fostering social inclusion.
But we have to bear in mind that WBL in formal VET is a broad concept with different interpretations in different Member States and different stages of development. The study “Teachers and trainers in work-based learning/apprenticehips. Mapping of models and practices” (Final report. Request for Services VT/2015/075 In the Context of EAC-47-2014-4) found 56 profiles across the EU that were active in work-based learning: 30 profiles refer to teaching professionals in VET institutions (VET teachers, tutors and trainers) and another 26 profiles exist for trainers in companies, labour market training institutions and employers’ organisations. There is also fragmented information on the diversity of types of teachers and trainers active in WBL (such as titles, functions and roles), their working contexts, their employment status, how they are initially trained, their teacher/trainer qualification, how they entered the profession, and how they professionally develop themselves during their career.
At the same time, as work-based learning is becoming more and more prominent in VET in Europe, more emphasis is placed on the cooperation and continuous dialogue between different learning venues, but this cooperation is differently organised and is highly dependent on the tradition in the country. For instance, cooperation between VET institutions and companies is required by law in Germany and Austria, while in Spain and Greece is required by sectoral or institutional arrangements and is defined on a case-by-case basis in Italy. Furthermore, there is no regulation on how cooperation is implemented.
The Riga Conclusions stress that there is an increased need to promote work based learning in all its forms (apprenticeship included) by involving social partners, companies, chambers and VET providers, as well as by stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship.
That is why we propose a partnership composed by 2 chambers of commerce, 1 public administration in the education field, 3 VET schools, 1 association, 1 NGO and 2 companies from 6 European Union countries (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Germany and Greece) and Turkey.
The main goal of the project is fostering a closer engagement in WBL by promoting a better understanding of:
· The role of the different professionals involved in the implementation of the WBL
· The practices implemented to strengthen cooperation between teachers and trainers to improve the quality of VET, its responsiveness to the labour market needs and ensuring learners high quality learning experiences
· The practices implemented to empower women in WBL
Our target groups are:
– Teaching and training professionals involved or willing to be involved in WBL schemes
– Business men/women involved or willing to be involved in WBL schemes
– Business organizations involved or willing to be involved in WBL schemes
– VET providers involved or willing to be involved in WBL schemes
– Social partners involved or willing to be involved in WBL schemes
– Education policy makers
Main deliverables planned in this project are:
1. Inventory on job profiles of professionals in WBL
2. Inventory on legal frameworks regulating professionals in WBL
3. Inventory on successful cooperation structures between teachers and trainers.
4. Inventory on successful experiences to boost participation of women in WBL
5. Guide on new cooperation paths
6. Final e-publication
7. An e-platform for experience exchange amongst stakeholders.