Contact Seminar "Work-based Learning in VET in Europe: Exchanging ideas, developing projects" - Event Documentation

01.-03.12.2014, Berlin

In December 2014 around 70 participants from Germany, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Slovakia and Latvia met at a contact seminar in Berlin. The seminar aimed at initiating partnerships within Erasmus+ which deal with “work-based learning”. The NA at BIBB organized the seminar together with the national agencies of the participating countries.

Work-based learning (WBL) is a popular topic at the moment. But what exactly does “work-based learning“ mean? Eleonora Perotti (CIAPE) discussed this question in the opening presentation. In a following presentation, Claudia Schreier (GOVET) informed the participants about the political situation in the field of vocational education and training (VET) and about reforms within the framework of bilateral cooperation.

a woman holding a presentation
Ulrike Engels, NA at BIBB, answering questions about Erasmus+ ©NA at BIBB

In December 2012, Germany and the six other countries mentioned above signed a memorandum of cooperation in Berlin, to modernize European VET systems. WBL is a central element, with a special focus on the dual system.

Presentations and group work

Day two included more practical work for the participants. After Ulrike Engels (NA at BIBB) presented the program Erasmus+, Valentina Maria Grazia Violi from the Italian National Agency ISFOL explained needs and gaps and potential topics for WBL projects. At the same time, she introduced the network NetWBL coordinated by the NA at BIBB, which aims to make LLP products visible and supports VET reforms in order to implement WBL.

Developing projects

Beside the presentations, it was mainly the participants themselves who became active. They worked intensively in groups on developing project ideas. According to their area of interest, seven working groups were offered:

  • Integrating WBL into curriculum development
  • Involvement of social partners
  • Attractiveness of VET
  • Involvement and support of SMEs
  • Cooperation of schools and companies
  • Qualification of staff in WBL
  • Mobility to strengthen WBL

The staff of the participating NAs supported the participants by answering their questions.

group work at a table
Participants doing group work. ©NA at BIBB

Possibilities to network

The seminar also offered the possibility to network in an informal atmosphere. For instance, at the “European Fair” the participants brought information about their institutions, such as vocational schools, education providers, social partners, and public authorities. Beyond that, they shared culinary specialties from their home regions.

The seminar was hosted by Tamsin Rose. In total, 13 project ideas were developed during the seminar and many new contacts were made.