and the World of Work
VETWORK is analysing a set of European success stories of integration between VET and the world of work. The project focuses on encouraging combined VET and workplace training for young people and adults. Such good practices will show innovative and creative elements and strategies to reduce the implementation gap existing between what is learnt through VET and what is applied (and needed) at the workplace, particularly in view of innovation processes, in line with the New Skills for New Jobs initiative.
The analysis covers continuous training and apprenticeship and relates both to sectors undergoing structural adjustments (such as automotive) and sectors in rapid evolution (such as ICT).
From a methodological point of view, both desk (review of web sites, literature and available documentation) and field research (interviews, focus groups with different categories of stakeholders involved ranging from designers of the initiative to implementers and target users) is under implementation.
The Benchmarking Tool
The VETWORK consortium has developed an on-line benchmarking tool that allows self-assessment and measurement of integration effectiveness between VET and the world of work. The tool helps VET providers to self-assess and to compare the extent and the concrete ways through which they collaborate with the world of work. The benchmarking tool contains questions organised in four categories (Input, Processes, Output/Outcomes and Context) and allows a positioning of the VET provider in order to keep in mind the nature, size and context of each organisation and to propose comparisons with the most adequate benchmarking partners.
By simply replying to the questions posed by the benchmarking tool, especially if the exercise is conducted collectively by a working team including the main management positions, the VET provider is stimulated to reflect on its performance as well as to recognise the weak areas that shall be addressed to enhance VET- Work integration. If the VET provider organisation decides to make its answers public, this contributes to the development of a database which allows to identify best performers in each criterion and indicator, and to propose inter-organisational project work and collaborative learning, locally as well as internationally.
The VETWORK benchmarking approach has been developed and validated in full cooperation with the most relevant categories of stakeholders, particularly in the occasion of the General Assemblies of EVTA and EVBB and of the five validation seminars held in Toulouse, Athens, Frankfurt, Vienna, and Zagreb.
It is conceived as an evolving instrument that is able to modify and enrich itself through the continuous contribution of stakeholders and users (the Stakeholders Round Table), both through face-to-face sessions and through on-line discussions.