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WBL in the VET Sector – What do the findings of the recent EC study tell us?  

This week’s post on the WBL VET sector developments is prepared by our WEXHE partner ENQA.

We wish you a pleasant reading!


Earlier this month, the European Commission published the results of a study, called “Teachers and trainers in work-based learning/apprenticeships”, which aimed to provide the Education and Training 2020 Working Group on VET (2016-2018) with findings on three key areas:

(1) governance arrangements in place for professionals involved in work-based learning (WBL);

(2) professionalisation arrangements for those professionals;

(3) in what way cooperation between schools and companies is arranged, focusing on the quality of the professionals involved.


While the WEXHE alliance focuses mainly on the higher education sector, this study – which concerns the VET sector – nonetheless provides valuable insight for all educators interested in implementing successful WBL programmes (which, as defined by the European Commission, include apprenticeships, school-based VET with on-the-job training, and work-based learning in school). Among the key findings, the study has noted that cooperation arrangements and continuous dialogue between learning venues is an essential component of well-functioning WBL programmes, with cooperation between HEI-based teachers and workplace-based trainers contributing to a better quality system.


The quality of WBL can be enhanced with the implementation of initiatives such as regular meetings of school principals with companies, social partners, teachers, and trainers to discuss professional subjects, curricula requirements, or the implementation of specific training modules. While it is understood that institutions and companies are jointly responsible for WBL, teachers and trainers could enhance each other’s skill development with improved exchange between the world of education and the world of work and by sharing responsibility for the acquisition of pedagogical, didactical, and theoretical knowledge, skills, and competences and technical, occupation-specific competences.

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August 2, 2017

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