Vet@Work meeting on 19 – 21.9.2018
The kickoff meeting was held in Hereford, UK in mid September. The meeting lasted for 2½ days and all partners except Medulla participated with 1 or 2 participants. Rosie Boulanger from Hereford & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and Charlotte Thomas from the University of Wolverhampton took part in the meeting. Rosie’s role was to represent the views of the employers in UK and Charlotte was present in order to educate us on what to take into consideration when setting up qualitative and transparent collaborations between education providers and labour market.
The kickoff meeting focused on setting the frames on the intellectual output, the VET@work online manual and what all should be included in the manual. We discussed and analyzed what kind of collaboration models we want to incorporate in the manual. We also presented what kind of best practices we plan to introduce to the partner team during the project meetings (1 in each country) and why we have selected these.
During the meeting we also worked in small workshops. During the workshops we analyzed e.g. how to involve employees in pedagogical collaborations, how to maintain good and qualitative collaborations and how to ensure that the collaborations are genuine and transparent. Another small workshop focused on clarifying the aims of the 5 different parties (VET provider, teachers, student, work mentor and employer) in VET and work collaborations. We also discussed how we can simplify the process of starting pedagogical collaborations.
We are also aware in order to create qualitative collaborations that work we need to change the way teaches and workers look at teaching and mentoring. When changing attitudes and existing procedure you always face obstacles and challenges. This is why we wanted to anticipate what kind of obstacles/challenges the new way of teaching and mentoring might result in and one of the workshops focused on this.
After each workshop we got together and discussed and challenged each others ways of thinking. We felt that it is important to challenge each other to think outside the box in order to develop something new and innovative.
Study Visiting Arctic Circle
During the meeting we also visited Arctic Circle which is a company that works closely with the a local VET provider. The employer of the Arctic Circle introduced us to how she collaborates with the VET provider, why she does it and why VET and work should collaborate when it comes to educating youngsters and adults studying in VET. During the visit we also got to interview some of her employees and students doing internships at her company. The way Arctic Circle and the local VET provider collaborates will be in the VET@work manual as one of the best practice cases for VET and work collaborations.
The first meeting was hard work but fun at the same time. It was rewarding to see how we managed to narrow the gap between the employers and the teachers. To narrow the gap between employers and teachers is something we intend to achieve within the project and we noticed that already after the first meeting held during the 1st month of a 36 month long project we managed to get closer and agree that we all want to provide Europe with skilled workers who possess traits that the employers are looking for.
– Tanja Halttunen, project manager