Project name: Apprentice Track – Management Tools for Meaningful Apprenticeships
Duration: from September 1, 2017 to August 31, 2020
Budget: 223.812,00 €
Apprenticeships at PHE level provide students with opportunities to build up new skills and knowledge both on and off the job, while providing companies a reliable way to evaluate and shape potential future hires, while at the same time benefiting from new perspectives which can only be offered by students straight out of education. However, despite their clear advantages, apprenticeship systems are extremely challenging to manage.
The learning needs of students and the needs of specific enterprises are extremely difficult to match. Organizing a successful apprenticeship programme requires an educational institution to analyze the learning needs of each student, analyze the needs of enterprises, and then negotiate mutually beneficial arrangements for each party. It also requires the institution to monitor and evaluate these apprenticeships, to ensure these needs have actually been addressed…and it requires an institution to do this on a scale of hundreds or even thousands of students.
It is clear that robust, structured communication channels with both enterprises and students, defined management systems and clear evaluation protocols are necessary to manage such a complex process. However, most educational institutions need to figure out how to do this on their own, with no set of commonly agreed standards and procedures for apprenticeship management.
Improper or ad-hoc management of the apprenticeships commonly leads to a situation where instead of providing a supervised learning experience by qualified mentors, students are simply required to attend poorly matched.
When they are of high quality, apprenticeships promote a smoother transition from education to work for young people, giving them a good start to their working careers.
However, apprenticeships in Europe today face the following problems:
- we don’t have a way of measuring whether the objectives of apprenticeships are actually achieved
- not all apprenticeships offer the same value-added to students
- apprenticeships can be too complex for institutions and enterprises to manage, and communication is difficult
- there is no comparable measurement system for quality and for outcomes
- it is difficult to match interests of students and of the world of work
- transversal skill acquisition is still a problem
- we don’t control apprenticeships process
- the role of mentors is not clear
- lack of connections between companies and institutions
- linking learning outcomes with apprentices and validation
- lack of quality controls
As a consequence:
- goals of PHE are not met
- students can be unsatisfied
- students don’t take apprenticeships seriously
- apprenticeships give no benefit to students
- low motivation & bad reputation, and no value added for companies
- apprenticeships are less valued part of studies
- apprenticeships become a formality not a learning experience
- mentors are hard to recruit
WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE?
The link to the project is HERE:
As a consortium we represent professional higher educational institutions, who send their students on apprenticeship experiences. As such, we have a vested interest in ensuring a uniformly high quality experience for every student who secures a placement. (we are responsible)
We will do this by creating:
- Monitoring and measurement system for apprenticeships
- Technology roadmap for apprenticeship management
- Course on apprenticeship management
By this we will:
- Create a tool for helping companies easier to understand learning competences under framework of business skills
- Give students a better understanding of their positions and more opportunities for improvement
- Gather data on results and volume of apprenticeships, etc.
- Strengthen understanding and meaning for international mobility of placements
- Help with continuous improvement within PHE institutions
- Present apprenticeships as a meaningful learning experience
- Provide proof of learning outcomes
- Influence increased motivation for students
- Promote the benefits (to companies, students, social benefits)
- Support digital transformation in PHE institutions (to be also environmentally friendly)
- Improve connections with business chambers, and through them the companies
- Present learning outcomes at the core of apprenticeship experiences
In consortuim cooperates 6 institutions from 5 countries: Skupnost VSŠ (Slovenia), EŠ Celje (Slovenia), EURASHE (Belgium), Veleučilište VERN (Croatia), CASPHE (Czech Republic), KIC Malta (Malta).