02 SES 05.5 PS, Interactive Poster Session in Session Room - NW 02
Among the objectives of the European Cooperation Strategy regards education and training “Education and Training 2020” (ET2020), undertaken by Spain together with other countries of the European Union and considered priority areas for the period between 2015 and 2010, they are highlighted those ones focused on reducing academic premature drop-out rates and improving the professional qualification of those who are destined to join into the labour market in which technologies are getting more and more prominence.
In this context, in order to guarantee the educational quality, it is necessary that all social sectors get involved in a correct developing of the training actions. Among those stakeholders, a key role is given to the representatives of the business, companies and labor sectors, in order to strengthen the link between educative and training systems with the working world by the collaboration of both of them (Eichhorst, 2015). Thus, it will be possible to build a prosperous and sustainable society able to promote its citizens’ employability (MECD, 2013).
The educational form which meets the requirements to make the link between training and work possible is Dual Vocational Training (Dual VT) (Martín, 2016; Delautre, 2014; Schmidt y Foster, 1997). Dual Vocational Training has been implemented in Spain in 2012, but it has a long history in European countries such as Germany and France (Hernández, 2012; Euler, 2013). This training form combines the teaching-learning process in two institutions, the educational one where the students carry out theoretical and practical activities and an institution, or company, in which they develop didactic-productive activities in a complementary way in alternation (Vega, 2005; Araya, 2008).
The purpose of the Dual Vocational Training is that curriculum contents are not only given with a theoretical way from the educational centre, but that the company offers a practical training which complements the one acquired at the educational institution, by collaborating in the theoretical and practical training of the student in this form (Molina, 2016). Thus, students will be able to reach a competence development level in a job that enables them to enter the working life (Hoeckel y Schwartz, 2010; Graf et al., 2014).
The training process is developed, therefore, in a model of alternation between the working activity in a company, in which is combined the realization of internships and training in the company, and the training activity, fundamentally theoretical, received in the framework of the Vocational Training system (Deissinger, 2015; CEDEFOP, 2014).
In the design and development of the formative programmes to the established the structure of the Dual VT, there are several agents involved: people responsible of the internships' coordination in the secondary education centers and the training coordinators in the companies, institutions and organizations in which internships are held, the company tutors (direct and active responsible for monitoring the training action in direct contact with the student in training), academic tutors from schools and students.
In this context, this paper presents the results reached, through a case study, on the development of Dual VT in an educational center in Asturias (Spain) in collaboration with a multinational company from the agro-food sector. The main aim has been to identify the training needs of the agents involved in the students training whithin the Dual VT form, in Asturias (Spain).
This study has been partially funded by a “Severo Ochoa” research scholarship (PA-17-PFBP16206) (Asturias – Spain).
In order to reach the objective a qualitative methodology has been used, because it is a perfect strategy to face the Dual VT analysis from a contextual description. This approach allows to guarantee maximum objectivity in the description and understanding of reality (Taylor y Bogdan, 1992; McMillan y Schumacher, 2007). Based on an exhaustive theoretical review of the topics underlying Dual Vocational Training and taking into account the current state of the art in the Principality of Asturias (Spain), a descriptive study has been conducted through discussion groups to know the reality of the Dual VT development level in the company through the point of view of the involved agents have about it. The work strategy has been concretized in a single case study (Stake, 2005), which considers the company as a unit of work analysis, and as informants, the agents involved: the students, the company tutors, the educational tutors and the technician-operator responsibles of the students’ monitoring process. The sample was formed by three students from a secondary public school. These students have completed their training of Dual VT in a food-processing company. Eight company tutors, responsible for the students follow-up, have also been part of the study, both in the company and in the secondary school. For data collection several discussion groups were held. One of them has been done with the students, another one with tutors and company operators and the last one with the secondary school tutors. An "ad hoc" protocol and a template for recording the information have been designed to obtain information. The template for the information recording has been reviewed and validated by expert judgment in methodology in order to ensure the reliability and validity of the investigation. The expert judgment has allowed to validate the proposed categories (profile of the informants, development of Dual VT, satisfaction and needs). This analysis has provided a concordance index of 89.06% for the proposed categories. After that, the data analysis phase has been developed. It was carried out in two basic steps: the treatment (processing and organization of the registered data) and the interpretation of data (Verd y Lozares, 2016). The process has been carried out through the transcription of the information, categorization and qualitative data analysis through the MAXQDA program (v.10) and the subsequent interpretation of the reached results, following the mandatory steps of the qualitative data analysis (Tójar, 2006; Miles y Huberman, 1994).
The information obtained allows presenting the results, highlighting points of agreement and discrepancies between the participants in discussion groups. The most significant results coinciding with the assessments of all the agents are as follows: all people argue that a good company tutor must to have communication skills, motivation and serve as the student's guide. They say there is not a specific training program to be a tutor, hindering the work of mentoring. Therefore, they request programs that will provide them tools to training students. The results show the need for coordination between educational center and company: all agents consider that channels of fluid communication should be opened so that the formative aspects and the student profile are better understood. About to the agents satisfaction, they indicate positive aspects about program development, student's learning and tasks carried out by the tutors. Regarding the discrepancies, we highlight the following topics: Students say they do not hold meetings with company tutor, except for the reception and at the end of the Work Center Training. However, tutors point out they have a meeting with students to know their evolution every fortnight. People responsible for the students' training are disagree with the students regarding the satisfaction with the tutor tasks and with the organization of the developed activities by students. The results allow us to conclude that it is necessary to obtain more information from agents, the organizational structure of the dual VT must to be improved, it is necessary to activate collaborative actions between the institutions involved, and to improve tutors training (academic and company) in topics like: communication strategies, to adapt plans to individual characteristics, coordination school-company, to improve the skills training for students, and the assessment process of the students' competence levels in order to increase the quality of dual VT programs.
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