02 SES 02 C, Educational Research: Work-Based Learning Policy Developments
Apprenticeships, especially the dual apprenticeship currently are widely recognised and recommended as a potentially effective measure to tackle the problems of structural unemployment and skill mismatches (Saniter, Tutlys, 2012; Euler, 2013; Chisvert, Marhuenda, 2013). Accordingly many policies and recommendations to implement or develop apprenticeships in countries without or with only marginal traditions in this approach have been started, like the “European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA)“ (EU 2013), jointly coordinated by DG Education and Culture and DG Employment. But experience shows that projects, that aim at implementing the whole dual system fail (cp. Euler 2013, p.11 ff.), besides structures of economy and mentalities is another important reason for this observation, that dual apprenticeships like the German or the Austrian VET-regimes are holistic, long-term (usually 3 years) educational pathways, deeply rooted in corporatist traditions. An iterative approach of fostering work-based learning (WBL) could be to start with developing, implementing and recognising WBL-based internships of some weeks or month within the existing national VET-regimes, where our understanding of WBL is “learning in real work processes without permanent supervision by a trainer or teacher”. But even this bottom-up approach is strongly depending on several dimensions, beside others the preconditions of the national VET-regime in the “importing” country, the target group of learners and the sector.
To learn more about potential success-factors of policy learning did we execute a row of projects, each devoted to one of the three dimensions named:
Elements like the juridical framework or the involvement of stakeholders like trade unions or employers organisations differ strongly between national VET-systems; we analysed in the project DEVAPPRENT in detail the preconditions of Lithuania and compared them with the answers given by countries with other, better established, VET-systems.
Many stakeholders argue, that WBL might or should be a fruitful approach for learners, who have problems in acquiring theoretical knowledge or fail in school-based systems. We developed and tested in the project APPRENTSOD learning units including social-pedagogic recommendations for the integration of socially disadvantaged youth via WBL in Italy, Spain, Lithuania and Germany.
Experiences from countries with established apprenticeship pathways like Germany reveal that success of apprenticeships strongly depends on the sector, e.g. in terms of drop-out ratios, smooth co-operation of the learning venues etc. We aim at using the high potential of WBL in the industrial shoe sector to implement in-company learning in the school-based VET-systems of Portugal and Spain within the project DualTrain.
Chisvert, M.J.; Marhuenda, F.La formación profesional en Europa: Respuestas diferentes en contextos diversos. Formación profesional y desempleo juvenil. pp. 1 - 10. (España): Area de Innovación y Desarrollo, 2013. EU (2013) http://ec.europa.eu/education/policy/vocational-policy/alliance_en.htm (28.01.2015) Euler, D. (2013) Germany's dual vocational training system: a model for other countries? Gütersloh: Bertelsmann Stiftung Saniter A., Tūtlys V. (eds.) (2012) Implementation and development of apprenticeship in the vocational education and training system of Lithuania. Kaunas: Vytautas Magnus University
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