The new Proposal on WBL calls on assessing Quality Assurance
On the 1st of July 2020 the Commission adopted a Proposal for a Council Recommendation on vocational education and training (VET) for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience.
According to a survey on the challenges and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on vocational education and training undertaken by the Commission in March-May 2020, VET system in Europe has been dramatically affected because, despite the adoption of digital learning solutions, practical training – e.g. work-based learning (WBL) and apprenticeships – has been suspended in most sectors.
Due to the relevant contribution of work-based learning programmes in supporting youth employment during the previous economic and financial crisis (e.g. Youth Guarantee initiative) and in ensuring labour market relevance of VET - with 60% of recent graduates from VET who declared to have benefitted from exposure to WBL -, the Commission further emphasized the strategic role of these programmes and therefore the need to improve its standards.
In particular, the present proposal will contribute to high quality offers of apprenticeships by ensuring their labour market relevance, digitalisation and environmental sustainability of VET and will also call for reinforced support for apprenticeships and the European Alliance for Apprenticeships to renew and boost commitment to quality and affective apprenticeships opportunities.
In this sense, the Bequal.app project confirms to be aligned to Commission’s intention to promote the use of self-assessment tools for work-based learning, through its view of developing two benchmarking tools – one for companies and one for education institutions, respectively.
The two benchmarking tools aim to support the development of Quality Assurance processes in vocational education and training and work-based organizations by offering several possibilities. Companies and educational institutions can register and use to the tools to identify strengths and weaknesses and improve their WBL’s offer by accessing through useful resources (e.g. good practices, articles, videos, documents and links related to quality in VET) or by sharing their own stories.
In addition to these two organisations, the tools also address policy makers and stakeholders who can find statistics, patterns, commonalities and differences in specific areas of interest to define policies about the Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training and work-based learning.
Currently, the national versions of the two benchmarking tools are under development in order to be accessible in English, Lithuanian, Italian, Croatian, German, Greek and Slovenian.
These benchmarking tools are going to be hosted on the BEQUAL Platform, which also hosts an additional benchmarking tool developed in the framework of the Erasmus+ BEQUAL project (2008) and expanded in the framework of the Erasmus+ projects BEQUAL+ (2011), EXPANDVET (2012) and BEQUAL.net (2014) and addressing Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training institutions.