Connecting VET and the world of work

VETWORK is a EU network to strengthen collaboration between VET providers and the world of work. It was approved within the Leonardo da Vinci Programme in October 2012. Although the project is expected to last for three years, the objective is to create a dynamic network which can keep collaborating in the future.
VETWORK aims to offer a larger initiative where different actors involved in VET, employment and territorial strategies can work together in a sustainable perspective to ensure a strong impact to their common actions, in line with the priorities and strategic objectives of the Bruges Communiqué for new skills for new jobs and as a necessary condition for sustainability of project outcomes and results at two levels:
1) The governance level through stakeholders’ systematic collaboration (e.g.: identification of new skills for learners, VET and in-company trainers, definition of agreed quality criteria and processes, etc.) and;
2) The implementation level to maximise effectiveness and impact of mixed/blended VET/workplace training paths. To do so, the project implies three main components: research, development and networking. The focus area of the project will be the area of training integrating Work Based Learning (WBL) and VET providers training and support services.

VETWORK – The innovating elements

The main innovating elements featuring VETOWRK are:
●    The provision of a benchmarking system and tool (validated by educational institutions and companies) measuring the effectiveness of integration between VET, in-company training and WBL.
●    The provision of practical guidelines and policy recommendations jointly developed with the direct beneficiaries to support the training sector; educational institutions, companies and decision makers in effectively improving the levels of integration, with positive effects on individual empowerment and mobility of learners, as well as on VET attractiveness and innovation closer to the world of work.

VETWORK – The specific objectives:

●    To provide a set of success stories of integration between VET and the world of work focusing combined VET/workplace training for young people and adults. Such good practices shall 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);
●    To design, develop and test a benchmarking system matching the micro-meso needs of companies, employers and VET providers (measuring effectiveness in reducing the implementation gap and assisting them in strategy redefinition for performance improvement) and the macro-needs of European VET as expressed in the Bruges Communiqué (methodological and organisational innovation, excellence, quality assurance, assessment and certification of formal and informal learning, mobility);
●    To launch a consensus building exercise involving networks representing relevant stakeholders in VET and the world of work on challenges and recommendations for the innovation of European VET (representatives of social partners, enterprises, education and training providers, trainers, employment services, public authorities, research organisations, learners) who will contribute through thematic discussions on: methodological and organisational innovation, excellence, quality assurance, assessment and certification of formal and informal learning, mobility;
●    To maintain and make sustainable an on-line Learning Community where VET providers, companies, employers and relevant stakeholders can virtually meet and exchange practices and experiences in a bench learning perspective;
●    To provide of a set of recommendations to policy and decision makers for VET innovation in a more integrated perspective between VET and the world of work addressing the policy as well as the implementation dimension;
●    To work out a set of guidelines addressing VET providers and companies/ employers for integrated VET/workplace planning, implementation, assessment and certification practice.