By exchanging ideas and experience on apprenticeships and work-based learning, Nordic countries including the Faroe Islands and Åland, can learn from one another. A priority initiative during Swedish presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2013, ‘Learning at work - quality of work-based learning in Nordic countries (2013-15)’ aims to ease transition from education to work.
The project is part of the overall sustainable Nordic welfare programme led by the National Agency for Education in Sweden. It aims to meet the challenges Nordic countries face when securing apprenticeships and internships:
- ensuring quality of work-based learning;
- attracting new groups of students to the vocational pathway;
- reducing dropouts and increasing numbers of students completing secondary education;
- supporting young people establish themselves on the labour market;
- strengthening cooperation between the workplace and the education sector.
In November 2013, the first of eight so-called meeting places (seminars) was held in Sweden with about 100 participants. In 2014, meeting places will be organised in Norway, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Åland while Finland's and Denmark's turn will come in 2015.
Among participants were schools, regional and national organisations, social partners and national authorities. Participants were given up-to-date information on training and learning at the workplace in Sweden. Some examples of the themes discussed:
- current policy issues concerning work-based learning;
- quality auditing of upper secondary apprenticeship training;
- strategies for developing work-based learning;
- interaction with the world of work – national vocational education and training boards;
- developing alternative VET pathways. ·
The project will result in a final report which might inspire Nordic countries in their continual development of work-based learning. The experience presented in this report will be disseminated at conferences and in publications.