Find out more about the frequently used terms in VET and WBL! Andragogy This is a theory put forward by Malcolm Knowles, who refers to methods, principles and assumptions about the approach to and  the characteristics of adult learners. Source: Term adapted by author Additional Reference : Assessment of Learning Outcomes Process of appraising knowledge, know-how, skills and/or competences of an individual against predefined criteria (learning expectations, measurement of learning outcomes). Assessment is typically followed by certification. Source:  Cedefop (2014). Terminology of European education and training policy: a selection of 130 terms. Additional References : Apprenticeship an apprenticeship is a job with training to industry standards. It should be in a recognised occupation, involve a substantial programme of on and off-the-job training Source : CEDEFOP European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training Cedefop is one of the EU’s decentralised agencies. Founded (1) in 1975 and based in Greece since 1995, Cedefop supports development of European vocational education and training (VET) policies and contributes to their implementation. The agency is helping the European Commission, EU Member States and the social partners to develop the right European VET policies. Source : Additional References :   CEFR … Read more

Conducting WBL Mentoring

I have been asked to be a Mentor. It has become a worldwide practice for an employer to assign a mentor to employees who are new or less experienced, in order to bring out their best potential. This in return will translate into a more efficient employee, and even higher profits for the employer and the company they are running. Thus it is in the employers’ interest to assign mentoring duties to an individual who will bring out the best of those individuals being mentored.   Mentors are not chosen at random, and if one has been assigned mentoring duties, it is a sign of the employers trust in the individual to perform such a duty within the workplace. Having been chosen to mentor, also indirectly implies that they are now responsible for the improvement of the staff members assigned as mentees. It is the Mentors responsibility to  Thus as a Mentor these are the basic questions to ask in order to identify details regarding the: Who? Where? What? Why? How? of mentoring.   Planning Ahead Mentoring is a serious process of professional development an individual goes through within a company, and it is the Mentors’ responsibility to achieve the … Read more

Employees abroad: All you need to know!

An internship in another European country holds benefits for all involved parties: the sending organisation, the receiving organisation and the intern. Besides organising a learning opportunity directly between two companies, there is the option to apply for funding via a mobility project funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.   Everyone knows that university students use Erasmus to study abroad for a semester – but your apprentices can do this too!  

Compare WBL Quality Standards

How do you make sure Vocational Education and Training (VET) is corresponding with European Standards? What if there was a framework to help you with that? It has become more and more important for EU Member States and their VET-providers to implement comparable quality assurance frameworks in VET. The “European Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training” (EQAVET) offers you as employer or HR manager a framework to help you document, develop, monitor, evaluate and improve the effectiveness of your VET services and quality management systems. In short, the EQAVET framework supports you in improving your Quality Assurance policies and making them comparable to European Standards. The main goal of EQAVET is to improve the transparency, consistency and transferability of VET providers all over Europe. The framework contains a quality assurance cycle that has been constructed on certain quality criteria, descriptors and indicators that can be used in quality management. The quality assurance cycle consists of four phases: planning, implementation, evaluation and practices. EQAVET is a voluntary tool that can be implemented gradually, based on national legislation and practices. How does it benefit learners? Implementing the framework helps to improve the employability and mobility of learners because it aims to … Read more

Communication using digital tools

“You’re talking about a younger generation, Generation Y, whose interpersonal communication skills are different from Generation X. The younger generation is more comfortable saying something through a digital mechanism than even face to face.” Erik Qualman   This quote highlights the importance and increasing need to use digital communication in all facets of life, including education and work-based learning. The way young people learn has significantly changed in the last decade, mainly through the ubiquity of ICT.  Generation Y have been using digital tools for their learning since early childhood. These changes in education largely influence their preferred methods to communicate, search for information, but also as a way to test and assess their knowledge. At the same time, digital communication tools and channels also represent effective and flexible ways for online communication between different stakeholders. Considering the fast-paced environment of companies and increasing workload of their employees (including mentors/coaches/instructors involved in WBL on daily basis), using digital communication tools to communicate with WBL students and support their learning by using these tools offers new possibilities that has proven to be effective and time-efficient. Although, face to face interaction remains important and somewhat inevitable, the application of digital communication tools … Read more

Best WBL Practices for SMES and large Companies/Multis

How can companies get involved in apprenticeship/WBL programs? How can they get a good apprentice/student? How can they help this student to become a qualified worker?Apprenticeship/WBL programs are set up differently across Europe. As an employer or HR manager to successfully involve in this process, we will give you some good general ideas which will help you.Attending an open day at schoolSchools can arrange an open day where the companies can introduce themselves to students. It is a very good idea to attend that kind of event. It will take your time, but you will be able to get in contact with the best candidates.  Companies’ open day The other idea is that the company can arrange an open day and invite students to visit and show them around. Students can get the idea of where and how they are going to work.   Attending education and professions fairIf there is something like that organized, it is a good idea to attend. You can see how other companies promote themselves, you can get a sense of which profession is the most interesting for future students and maybe that will give you some ideas on how to turn this trend around.It is good to … Read more

Communication between mentors and VET institutions

Communication elements and transactions The word “communication” is derived from Latin (communicare) in the sense of communicating, consulting, discussing. Through communication we exchange knowledge, information in experience, communicate, persuade, disseminate or control people who are different in one way or another. It is about processing information about mutual communication. The communication process is a process of an exchange of information, (in-formare= something put into shape, design that can give shape to something, clarification, etc.) the Communication refers to a process of transmitting information for the purpose of mutual communication. Communication process is a continuous and dynamic inter-action between sender and a receiver, and it is affected by many variables.   Elements of communication There are seven elements of communication process. They are as follows: Sender The sender is a person who intends to convey a message with the intention of passing information and ideas to another person. Ideas, Information This is the centrepiece of communication or the subject matter of the communication. This may be a thought, opinion, belief, view, feeling, orders, suggestion or advice. Encoding To convey a message which is rather theoretical and intangible, the message should be conveyed in the form of symbols (words, pictures, actions, and … Read more


Nowadays one of the biggest challenges the employers face is finding the qualified staff that possess the needed skills and knowledge to take on the difficult challenges of their job. As the labour market gets more and more competitive it gets harder to stand out to an employer between the hundreds of candidates applying for the same position with the same level of experience. This is where the portfolio plays an important role in the selection prose as it acts as the first impression the employer gets on the candidate as well as it is the first step in reviewing process to determine whether the candidate have demonstrated the necessary level of experience and knowledge. The portfolio is a formal way for the student to present their abilities, achievements and work experience to a prospective employer. Some of the key benefits of a portfolio are the ability to enable students to discover, document, and develop their skills, reinforce the integration of academic skills, reflect on work and goal setting, establish and strengthen their integrity and so on. A portfolio should consist of different documents that provide insight into the achievements of a student/apprentice during a practice/apprenticeship. These documents are: Learner’s … Read more

Case study – interpersonal skills in the workplace

During the first week on the job, the intern is preparing for the farmers market by making signage, packing materials, and learning about the produce being sold. At the first market, the intern is asked to help with cash sales, answer questions from customers about the farming practices, and suggest other products (eggs, honey, meat, cheese) can be purchased or meal ideas. The intern would consistently say that they “did not know” in response to questions from customers and eventually, stood back from the table and avoided making eye contact. As more and more customers relied on fewer staff members to answer questions and complete their purchases, a long line of customers grew. Eventually, people walked away from the table to visit other vendors. Some did not return. While this was going on, the intern stood back behind the other staff and started checking their phone. The supervisor asked the intern to take over the cash register. Unsure of all the prices, the intern would ask customers how much certain produce was as they processed their orders and charge them accordingly. At the end of the day, the cash flow did not equal the produce sold. The supervisor had a … Read more

Feedback Session

PART 1 Think about the situation you had to give a feedback to another person relevant to your workplace and position. Write a short article to demonstrate different strategies used to provide a constructive feedback. Once you have identified the situation and completed the article, proceed to the “giving feedback checklist” (Part 2). Complete the checklist following the instructions. Completing this part of the learning forward all the outputs of this exercise to your trainer for assessment and feedback. PART 2 Giving Feedback Checklist Complete the following checklist based on a recent experience of providing feedback to a colleague or peer.  Take time to consider if you would do it differently and what ways you might go about improving the way you give feedback.