The Thematic working group on professional development of trainers in VET met in Brussels on 7 February to:
- share information on the latest developments in education and training as relates to trainers in VET at the European level;
- reflect how they contribute to and impact the work of the group;
- discuss the findings and outcome of the peer learning activity in Alkmaar, Netherlands (19-20 September 2012);
- prepare for the peer learning activities planned for 2013.
The role of professionals with teaching/training functions has received a lot of political attention in the latest political documents on education and training, namely:
- Rethinking education: investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes (Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions);
- Vocational education and training for better skills, growth and jobs (accompanying document);
- Supporting the Teaching Professions for Better Learning Outcomes (accompanying document).
The group pointed out that the role of trainers in VET and, especially, in enterprise will increase as the focus on developing skills for growth, innovation and employability and on workplace and work-based learning strengthens. In some countries, the discussions on trainer competences take place in a wider context of competences and qualifications of learners and workplace learning.
The main outcomes of the peer learning activity, ‘In-company trainers: competence requirements, certification and validation’ were briefly presented and discussed. A lot of work has been done in some countries to define competences that trainers in VET need today, set up trainer qualifications and mechanisms to have their competences validated and recognised.
During the forthcoming peer learning activities in 2013, the group will continue to explore effective ways to ensure that trainers, especially those working in enterprises, have opportunities to acquire, develop and update competences that they need to support lifelong learning, innovation and growth in the companies. Specificities of training in small and medium-sized enterprises will also be examined.
Thematic working groups under the open method of coordination work to provide evidence for policy-making at EU level and to support education and training reforms in the Member States. The Thematic working group on professional development of trainers in VET (set by the European Commission in cooperation with Cedefop) works to formulate guiding principles on trainer competences and continuing professional development.