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There is strong evidence that work-based learning helps to equip young people with the skills that improve their employability and ease the transition from school to work. Work-based learning has been a priority of the European Commission and it has called upon governments, social partners and education and training providers to promote apprenticeships and other forms of work-based learning.
Teachers within metalwork & construction have had concerns when it comes to working safety during work-based learning. It had come to their attention that some small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) that receive students for work-based learning tend to ignore health & safety (H&S) standards and regulations. The teachers find it difficult to address issues of poor work safety with the employers/work mentors as they don’t want to be considered as too interfering and jeopardize future cooperation. They also feel that they lack the know-how on to address the issue in a professional and correct manner.
Employers of SMEs have raised concerns that they don’t know their responsibilities and tasks when it comes to working safety during work-based learning. This makes them worried and (sometimes) unwilling to host (international) students during work-based learning.
WorkSafe intends to clarify and make the division of tasks when it comes to work safety during work-based learning more transparent and thus increase the number of companies willing and prepared to host metalwork and construction students. The project partners of WorkSafe have developed tools and templates etc. that will encourage and improve the cooperation between the VET providers and companies hosting students during work placements. WorkSafe has thus provided teachers and employers/work mentors with tools that will encourage them and employers of SME’s to provide students with safe and qualitative learning experiences in companies.