Effective practices for VET in Europe

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Vocational Education and Training (VET) regularly attracts about half of secondary school students in Europe. It is also a key provider of opportunities for lifelong learning. European cooperation has a long history in this sector, going back to the Treaty of Rome in 1957, and developments in education have opened the door to more mobility and knowledge transfer. Check out these four great projects by and for European teachers!

e-VET: Empowering VET Teachers

e-VET_project

More European mobility means more cultural diversity in the classroom, which teachers and trainers are not always equipped to specifically address. The e-VET project aims to develop teachers’ capacity to better integrate and support migrant students. Its online diagnostic tool assesses newly qualified VET teachers and identifies areas of improvement, posing 25 questions on:

  • Ethics and professionalism in the work environment
  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving abilities
  • Managing a multicultural environment

On the same platform, VET teachers can follow online courses and discover interactive training scenarios and project-based learning activities for their classrooms. The first course is currently available in English, Bulgarian, Italian, Polish and Spanish, with more languages on the way.

e-VET is an ongoing Erasmus+ project that was launched in 2019. Its partners include public and private institutions from Bulgaria, Italy, Poland and Spain.

Evaluation of Work-Based Learning Outcomes

L.O.W.E. project

Work-based learning (WBL) seemed to lack a dedicated quality assurance framework until the L.O.W.E. project came along. Its primary goal was the validation and recognition processes of learning outcomes in WBL. As a starting point, the project made use of EQAVET, the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for Vocational Education and Training, which supports the evaluation and improvement of quality management.

The project’s main output is the WBL Toolkit, available in English, Finnish, Greek and Italian. The toolkit was structured around the EQAVET quality cycle of planning, implementation, evaluation and review. It was piloted in multiple countries with over 750 students and subsequently finetuned. After its implementation, there was a marked improvement in WBL school teachers’ skills, while company tutors were better able to monitor learning objectives and to cooperate with VET providers. The Italian Ministry of Education has expressed interest in the L.O.W.E. model for the evaluation of WBL in its national school system.

LOWE is an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership that ran from 2017 to 2019 and engaged five countries: Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy and Sweden. It has been labelled a good practice example.

Professional Growth and Flexibility in the Labour Market

Different fields of study received attention and support in the Erasmus+ learning mobility programme Professional Growth and Flexibility in the Labour Market, which benefited a total of 30 students and their teachers. With the help of their international partners, students got the chance to lay floors, design the seating plan for a particular space, reconstruct historical parts of buildings, install renewable energy devices, diagnose simulated errors in heating systems, and more. These were tasks they couldn’t undertake in their own workrooms, for material, spatial and financial reasons.

Learning by working increased these students’ motivation and employability, which was all the more important because many of them came from difficult family backgrounds. Students also learned to communicate and cooperate with colleagues of different nationalities, in some cases by working in actual companies. Teachers likewise gained new skills and knowledge by observing their colleagues.

The project ran from 2018 to 2019 with the involvement of six countries: Austria, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain. It has been labelled a good practice example.

Serving and Cooking: My Hobby, My Job

My hobby My job eTwining project

Vocational students in the food service and catering industry received valuable experience and motivation through the eTwinning project Serving and Cooking: My Hobby, My Job. They shared national recipes with one another, exchanged ideas about the qualities of a good waiter, discussed how to deal with guests, decorated tables and explained their choices in videos like this one. In doing so, they learned about different countries’ conventions for their future profession, improved their English skills, and opened their minds to different cultures.

The project ran from 2017 to 2018 and engaged schools from Italy, Poland and Spain. It has been awarded the eTwinning Quality Label.

To discover ongoing and past EU-funded projects in school education, please go to the Erasmus+ Project Results Platform.