RETHINKING VET FOR INCLUSIVE EXCELLENCE

In the daily global challenges of educational and training activities, the importance to help students, mainly young Persons, to develop a personal resilience is paramount. Entrepreneurial, digital skills, and creative thinking are only some of the key competencies required in today’s, and the future, labour market as highlighted in recent EU policy documents, including the EU Skills Agenda in 2016.

As mentioned in the Skills Agenda, an ageing population will impact on European economic growth, increasing the need for higher productivity and higher skills (CEDEFOP, 2016). Global competition is dramatically affecting local markets and the sustainability of many enterprises. Technology is changing habits, consumption, production and ways of working (industry 4.0, internet of things): the future jobs of 65% of children starting their primary school today do not yet exist and will provide goods or services which are not yet requested (WEF, 2016). Innovation has become one of the key drivers for the future sustainability of both society as a whole and people’s daily life (Chatzichristou, 2017).

Skills are the keystone for the future. The need to rethink VET has come:

  • Overcoming current dichotomies between theory and applied training, HVET and academic systems, formal vs. informal or non-formal training. Professional competences, literacy and numeracy and soft skills are all crucial.
  • Incentivising a lifelong learning attitude in students and adults, promoting more flexible pathways. “One-size-fits-all” training can be neither effective nor sufficient for a whole lifetime career.
  • Strengthening stakeholder engagement, in terms of business-education relationships for internships, apprenticeships, training needs assessment and for promoting “educational pacts”, is crucial to creating quality training for Learners. Stakeholders should include parents, voluntary organisations and institutions, to drive a cultural shift in the perception of VET.

Making VET the first choice for young people is a must.

Vocational education is faced with the challenge to fulfil its mission adequately, and also to contribute to a sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe. Excellence, within the EfVET community, continues to drive change especially when dealing with Inclusion: sharing Members’ experience in tackling the issue of ‘early leavers’; addressing the needs of those with learning difficulties; meeting the needs of migrant communities and promoting equally and diversity within VET are some of the issues facing us today. The real excellence concerns the discovery of the human and professional value of people, notwithstanding their problems and disabilities, leaving no one behind.

Workshops

1. School-Enterprise Model

The “school-enterprise” workshop aims at gathering providers whose training approach is based on students producing real products for real customers in the same training environment. In this approach, school and job are no more two separated moments of training, on the contrary their integration boosts both the quality of numeracy and literacy young people learn, and the professional skills they need to acquire. A real experience of work, with the support of tutors in the Training environment, has a significant effect on students in consolidating their soft skills and developing an entrepreneurial mindset.
The workshop will offer the possibility to compare different approaches in terms of teaching methods, curriculum design methods and organizational models; main findings will focus on outlining some policy implications for the consolidation of this model at European level as an opportunity to an effective school-job integration.

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Raimo Sivonen

Moderator

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Paolo Nardi

Rapporteur

2. Strategies for Internationalisation of VET colleges

This workshop gives managers input and reflection with regard to strategies for internationalization of VET colleges in Europe.
Is it possible to develop a strategy, which overarch and integrate international considerations into college policies and educational programmes?
Often VET colleges benefits from Erasmus mobilities for staff and student and as partners in a Strategic partnership projects. How to implement the outcomes from this kind of project activities into the core deliveries, and rethink internalization as a tool for benchmarking, growth and masterclasses.
As an example, Technical Education Copenhagen (TEC is a multicultural Vocational Training College with close ties to a labor market under a growing Globalization.
TEC presents its own strategy for internationalization and International Policy and discuss with the participants of this workshop; how can the colleges improve the strategies for internationalization and drawing on good practices among the participants.

3. HVET and Higher Apprenticeships 

The aim of the workshop is to show that there are opportunities for the providers of VET to be involved structurally in the provision of qualifications at level 5. This can be done by looking for cooperation with providers of higher education or/and business academies (being part of the world of work). But also, if the institution does not already do it, a provider of VET can offer qualifications at level 5 under the current name Higher VET.
One of the most relevant formats for this type of qualifications is the use of Work-based Learning i.e. apprenticeships in dual education.
But in order to have a clear structure for all target groups and to establish the position of the VET provider in a formal sense, a real change in the system is necessary. In this session we will make a number of proposals during the session, to hear from the participants where the opportunities are, and issues that need to be addressed.

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Hans Daale

Moderator

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Nacho Camacho

Rapporteur

4. Industry and Innovation 4.0

How to proceed with digitalisation in smart Work environments? Technologies and Industry 4.0 is no longer a future trend. For many Companies, it is now a key part of business strategies and research agenda. Companies and VET institutions are combining advanced connectivity & advanced automation, 3D print, cloud computing, computer powered Skills need analysis and the implementation of educational structures in the context of colleges to transform their business. Companies are cooperating more with partners in the higher education sector to train the next generation of skilled workers. But VET must not leave this field to the Higher Education. Therefore, we will engage in dialogue with experts from VET practice and research to how the requirements can be satisfied in VET.

5. Management and Leadership Skills

The workshop aims at offering a platform to discuss and share experiences on the changing roles of leaders and managers in VET organisations.

Leading a VET organisation is a challenging task – especially when the managers have to envision, plan and adapt for the future in an increasingly uncertain environment. There are external forces that require new and updated skills from the managers. The work environment and VET policies are changing, the VET funding is reduced in many countries, there are increased expectations for even closer links with companies and industry and the demand to keep up-to-date and use the latest technologies in VET are all requirements in today’s VET. In order to be able to act in a very complex environment, the VET managers require strategic leadership skills, change leadership skills, people-focused management skills as well as future-casting and development skills.

Join the workshop and share your own experiences and get peer support from your colleagues from all over Europe.

6. VET for Social Inclusion & Labour Market Integration

Every person has the right to participate. The UN Convention (Article 24) states that everyone must have equal access to VET and lifelong learning. Equity is at the core of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically aiming to eliminate gender disparities and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the most vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, immigrants, indigenous peoples and young people in vulnerable situations (e.g. NEETs).

Education and training as well as labour market integration are considered as one of the most important factors supporting inclusion and integration. Giving VET a vital role facilitating and supporting effective access to education and labour market. To support this process it is important to better understand the different approaches applied at national /regional and local levels as well as identifying and sharing good practices and successful measures across Europe.

Join the workshop and bring along for sharing your good practices and ideas on how VET can further contribute to social inclusion and labour market integration of youth at risk and low skilled adults.

Target Groups

VET teachers, college managers and trainers
Association of education institutions
National and International Chambers
National Agencies
VET stakeholders
EU institutions
Minister of Education and Culture

Our objectives are:

Industry and Innovation 4.0
HVET and Higher Apprenticeships
Inclusive VET
Digitalisation