Discussions pointed to a necessary reflection in the Catalan local context on the competences that VET teachers and trainers have had to develop in recent years and the ones they should develop in the future as one of the main agents of change and improvement of quality in VET.
Participants were VET teachers, trainers and principals as well as providers of vocational training, including companies.
Cedefop’s expert Dr Irene Psifidou was an invited keynote speaker and presented the preliminary findings of Cedefop’s ongoing feasibility study for surveying principals, teachers, learners and in-company trainers in initial vocational education and training in six European countries including Spain.
Dr Psifidou presented the existing research gaps in Europe on the professional development (PD) of VET practitioners and the challenges they are facing. There is a knowledge gap concerning how they perceive their skills, competences and PD opportunities. Furthermore, there is no comparative analysis at European level available on the different pathways of becoming a VET teacher, in-company trainer, or school principal. Data on these topics can inform discussions at EU and MS level on VET reforms and making VET attractive for teachers and in-company trainers, also given that some countries experience VET teacher shortages.
She explained that we observe a growing demand from our stakeholders related to the need for VET teachers and trainers to be better equipped to respond to the accelerated transformations of societies and changing learning objectives and in line with students’ needs. For obvious reasons, the Covid-19 has reinforced this policy need.
For this reason, Cedefop’s feasibility study will explore the possibility to carry out a pan-European survey to reach a better understanding of how VET teachers, in-company trainers and school principals perceive the opportunities for their (continuous) professional development and whether they feel this sufficiently equipped them with the competences needed to confront today’s and tomorrow’s challenges in VET. In this context, VET learners’ expectations will also be investigated to gather their view on how to improve schools’ ability in this regard.
Dr. Psifidou referred to the systematic work of Cedefop for supporting VET providers and policy makers in Europe to provide excellent and inclusive VET and informed participants on the VET toolkit for tackling early leaving which among its resources has important Spanish and Catalan initiatives and good practices including the OrientaFP, who is the initiator of this event.
The programme of the conference is available here.