Baltic seminar for Vocational Education Development in Riga

On the 23rd of January – a day before the final conference of the TTT4WBL project, a Baltic seminar was held at Riga Art and Media School. The seminar was opened by Rūta Gintaute-Marihina, head of the Department for Vocational and Adult Education at the Latvian Ministry of Education and Science. She gave a presentation on transnational cooperation contributing to the quality and prestige of VET. Further Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian representatives reflected on the implementation process of the TTT4WBL project, its results and impact. So the lead trainer Vita Žunda (Baltic Bright) presented shortly the tandem training approach and emphasized that it helps to create a common understanding of the WBL process and standards and to build partnerships between VET schools and companies. The TTT4WBL project has fostered peer learning among the Baltic states by getting to know the VET systems and approaches to WBL in other countries.

In a similar vein, Ilze Buligina from the Latvian Ministry of Education and Science presented the Baltic Alliance for Apprenticeships (BAfA) that was established in 2015 with the aim to enhance the Baltic policy dialogue in VET and to serve as a platform for joint developments and projects in response to national and EU VET priorities. Two Erasmus+ projects have been implemented in the BAfA framework (the WBL-Balt and the TTT4WBL project) thus enhancing Baltic cooperation in VET. The TTT4WBL project particularly has had a significant policy impact on national and Baltic level, e.g., with the development of a common competence profile of the WBL tutors in the Baltics and initiated discussions at top policy level for a formalised status of the Baltic WBL tutors’ competence profile.  

The next presentations showed some more good practice examples for Baltic cooperation and development of VET. Egita Proveja from the German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce presented

the ERASMUS+  project  “Skills for Baltic Wood Industry – European Quality in Vocational Education and Training” which aims at creating a sector skills alliance and developing European quality VET program to improve the skills of labour force in wood processing sector in Baltic States. Jānis Rubulis from Riga Technical University talked about Baltic cooperation on environment and sustainable development (Platform of Vocational Excellence – Water), he stressed the need to develop interdisciplinary VET programmes in these areas and to establish a close cooperation with employers.

Later in the afternoon the seminar participants discussed in smaller working groups on the further development of Baltic cooperation in vocational education. The Baltic seminar for Vocational Education Development in Riga was attended by all TTT4WBL project partners and numerous representatives of VET schools, national educational authorities and employers from Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania.