The five-year collaboration between the education ministries and other stakeholders in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia seeking common approaches to work-based learning (WBL) and WBL tutor training is bearing fruit.
Since the launch of the Baltic alliance for apprenticeships during the Latvian Presidency of the EU Council in 2015, aimed at raising the overall competitiveness of the Baltic labour force in vocational education and training (VET), the collaboration has been supported with two EU Erasmus+ programme projects addressing the priorities of the Riga conclusions. The WBL-Balt project contributed to joint conceptual approaches towards WBL in the Baltics and the TTT4WBL policy experimentation project, led by the Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia, tested the tandem training approach for WBL tutors, based on the premise that joint training of VET institution and company tutors yield better results. The latter project resulted in more than 800 WBL tutors trained according to a common tandem training methodology across three countries.
The Baltic education ministries have agreed a common competence profile for WBL tutors, including core knowledge, skills and competences for working with apprentices. The profile serves as a guiding frame for developing training programmes in each Baltic State in compliance with existing traditions and legal frameworks. Common training approaches and quality requirements for WBL tutors enable mobility of WBL students and tutors, one of the objectives of the Baltic alliance for apprenticeships.
The outcomes have been shared in international forums, including the Education and training 2020 working group on VET, Cedefop policy learning forums, the Central Asia education platform and the Eastern partnership. In addition, a recent meeting of the 2012 Berlin Memorandum countries, represented by government partners from Germany, Greece, Italy and Portugal, acknowledged the achievements of the Baltic cooperation in the implementation of a common tandem training approach that can serve as an example for cooperation of other countries with similar historical, educational and cultural traditions.