Modular training programmes contribute to enhance the accessibility and attractiveness of vocational education and training (VET) as well as to promote its flexibility.
An increasing number of EU Members States are attempting to introduce modular vocational training with a view to adjusting the organisation and contents of VET to best satisfy the learners’ needs. The modular programmes existing in these countries are innovative and easily conform to the changing demands of the economy.
Inspired by the good practice of European countries, the Vilnius Builders Training Centre in cooperation with several Lithuanian VET providers (Alytus and Siauliai VET centres and Vilnius College for Technologies and Design) have promoted and implemented the project “Development of European modular training programmes for decorator/builder and their adjustment in Lithuanian and European VET institutions/ DEMOP”. It is funded by the Leonardo da Vinci lifelong learning programme of the European Commission. The profession of decorator/builder was not chosen at random: in Lithuania it is one of the most popular VET programmes, delivered in 40 out of 70 VET institutions. Thus, the program developed will enable to test and evaluate the advantages of modular training in more than 50 % of Lithuanian VET providers.
Seven EU countries took part in the project: Finland, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Romania, Scotland, and Spain. The project partnership transferred the best practice of modular VET from Scotland, and with the input of all international partners, performed a needs analysis, developed a European modular training programme for decorator/builder with the associated credit system, and presented examples of methodological teaching material showing how the programme could be used in EU VET institutions for initial and continuous vocational training.
The modular training program developed (in Finnish, German, Greek, English, Lithuanian, Romanian, and Spanish) consists of a general description of the program and the following modules:
1. Introduction into the profession of a decorator/painter;
2. Manual plastering;
3. Mechanised plastering;
4. Painting of buildings;
5. Wallpaper hanging;
6. Tiling of vertical and horizontal surfaces;
7. Mounting of plaster-panels;
8. Insulation with thermo-panels;
9. Mounting of decorative panels and linear decorative elements;
10. Introduction into the labour market.
The modules developed have been successfully tested in the institutions of project partners and will be further integrated in their curricula. A number of Lithuanian and European VET providers, higher education institutions as well as social partners have already expressed their interest in the project outcomes. The training modules are flexible and up-to-date, with a good balance between gaining knowledge and applying it in practical situations, which enhances the attractiveness of VET system and practices.
The programme is also a step towards the implementation of the European credit system for vocational education and training (ECVET) as the volume of all the modules is estimated in credit points. This new curriculum can be rolled out to improve the quality of teaching programmes in the construction sector throughout European VET institutions. In Lithuania, the outcomes of the DEMOP project may be used as a model and serve to avoid mistakes while developing national modular training system for VET and other modular programmes.