The Thematic working group on professional development of VET trainers had its first peer learning event in the Horizon College Alkmaar (the Netherlands) on 19-20 September 2012.
The participants reflected on the competences that in-company trainers need to fulfil their changing roles in the context of lifelong learning. They also analysed competence requirements for trainers, tutors or mentors in apprenticeship-type vocational training schemes in initial training and for skilled workers who train employees in companies as continuing vocational training. The participant shared examples of relevant policies and initiatives from their countries.
In the host country, the Netherlands, practical trainers responsible for training students/apprentices in companies are expected to have didactic skills such as being able to instruct, guide, motivate and assess students/apprentices. This is ensured by the centres of expertise that operate in economic sectors. The Centre of Expertise for trade and commerce presented its competence profile of a practical trainer
To enhance the status, qualifications and core competences of and to improve professional development opportunities for in-company trainers, national and sector-based initiatives have recently evolved in many countries. Some countries (Cyprus, Greece, Romania and the UK) worked to define a profile and create regulations or standards; others (Austria and the UK) have comprehensive initial training programmes for VET trainers. Some others have established accreditation systems for training providers that set out competence requirements for the training staff (Romania).
As a result of the discussions a rich amount of information has been unfolded. The participants concluded that a lot of work has been done in some countries and it should serve as good foundation for developing guiding principles and approaches to the requirements and development of trainers’ competences that the group will formulate by 2014.
The Thematic working group is set by the European Commission in cooperation with Cedefop to contribute to achieving the strategic objectives set out in the Bruges Communique (2010).