Work-Based Learning – 20 guiding principles

This document presents 20 guiding principles developed by the ET 2020 Working Group on Vocational Education and Training (WG on VET) in 2014-2015. These principles were developed during a series of meetings, in-depth country focus workshops and webinars.

The key purpose of the WG on VET is to respond to the objectives of ET 2020, Rethinking Education, and the Bruges Communiqué as well as the Riga conclusions of June 2015; notably the call to governments, social partners and VET providers to promote work- based learning in all its forms, with special attention to apprenticeships, and to make related policies more effective and more targeted to the labour market needs. The rationale is that promoting work-based learning, including apprenticeships, can help young people make a smoother transition from school to work, improve their employability and hence, contribute to reducing youth unemployment.

The guidance principles respond to four policy challenges that are important to address in the promotion of apprenticeships and other forms of work-based learning:

  • national governance and social partners’ involvement;
  • support for companies, in particular SMEs, offering apprenticeships;
  • attractiveness of apprenticeships and improved career guidance; and
  • quality assurance in work-based learning.

Work based learning (WBL), a key aspect of VET, is directly linked to its goal of helping learners acquire knowledge, skills and competences with direct relevance for the labour market. WBL can have different forms (e.g. school-based VET with on-the-job training or work-based learning in school including simulation), but this document focuses primarily on apprenticeships. Apprenticeships formally combine and alternate company-based training with school-based education, and lead to nationally recognised qualification upon successful completion. Most often, there is a contractual relationship between the employer and the apprentice, with the apprentice being paid for his/her work.

The 20 guiding principles complement each other by addressing various challenges at the national system level as well as the VET provider and company levels.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at  High-performance apprenticeships & work-based learning: 20 guiding principles



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