Cedefop held the second policy learning forum (PLF), 'Unlocking the potential of learning at the workplace by, and for, teachers and trainers in VET'.
Teachers and trainers in vocational education and training (VET) work in the context of innovation, globalisation, rapid technological and societal changes that set challenges to education and training systems across Europe and globally.
The Riga conclusions (2015) called for systematic approaches to and opportunities for initial and continuing professional development of VET teachers and trainers, the European Framework for Quality and effective apprenticeships (2018) and the Teachers and Trainers Matter: How to support them in high-performance apprenticeships and work-based learning. 12 Policy pointers (2018) took forward the importance of teachers and trainers’ competences to ensure quality learning experiences.
During the first PLF that took place in 2016, the participants discussed how to establish systemic approach to professional development of VET teachers and trainers and highlighted:
- their role as agents of trust in ‘crossing the barriers’ between the world of education and the world of work;
- the need to keep their level of professionalism up-to-date and in the lifelong learning perspective;
- balance between regulation and motivation to cooperate;
- the role of school leaders, employers and trade unions in supporting teachers and trainers and
- the impact of digital technologies
The second PLF invited the participants to discuss the ways how to build stronger bridges between the school and the workplace so that teachers and trainers benefit in their professional development and better support learners in innovative and effective ways.
The participants discussed the following:
- school leadership: their role in supporting teachers and learners and support to leaders;
- innovative approaches to professional development of teachers and trainers, including use of the potential of digital technologies and learning in industry;
- partnerships and cooperation of stakeholders and teachers and trainers for quality of learning and fostering exchange between teachers as experts in teaching and learning and trainers as experts in occupation;
- creating collaborative cultures and practices in schools and with the workplace; teachers and trainers as agents of trust between the school and the workplace;
- strategic approaches and use of research to support teachers, trainers and policy-makers;
- equipping teachers and trainers for modern pedagogical approaches, innovation and digitalisation, for working with learning-outcome-based standards, curricula and assessment, for supporting learners in various aspects, e.g. career guidance.
The participants exchanged and shared their experiences in policy and practice on the topic; established contacts and networking; and explored possible directions for further policy learning and policy implementation.
The policy learning forum brought together the participants from national, regional and local authorities, social partners, teacher professional associations, parents' and apprentices' associations.