The idea of joint training was first proposed in Q-Placements project with the aim to strengthen communication and cooperation between VET schools and enterprises in organization of apprenticeships. A joint training program was developed with focus on skills of communication and cooperation of WBL tutors. After completion of Q-Placements project, in Latvia Baltic Bright developed a WBL tutor training initiative in cooperation with the German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce. German chamber offered the training content which is used for German in-company tutors and Baltic Bright contributed the idea of joint training and the content with focus on communication and cooperation skills.
The TTT4WBL project develops further the tandem approach basing on results of needs analysis regarding WBL tutor training in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. An example model (prototype) of tandem training was elaborated and discussed during the Baltic Train-the-Trainer workshop (Riga, October 2-5, 2017) and national training programs were prepared basing on it.
Three national joint training programs for WBL tutors based on prior research and analysis have been developed. They are based on an existing joint training programme in Latvia, but adopted to national contexts considering findings from needs analyses, good practices in partner countries, lessons learned from the study visit to Finland and the joint Baltic Train-the-Trainer workshop. All programs have been piloted during the 1st phase of field trials at national workshops and have been reviewed and improved before the 2nd and 3rd phase of trainings taking into account feedback from participants, trainers‘ self and peer evaluation, and proposals received from researchers.
The TTT4WBL training programme is developed for 16 hours and project partners could decide how to plan their training sessions. All workshops were moderated by 2 lead trainers.
The tandem trainings were organised in three phases – the pilot phase (November 2017 – January 2018), the 2nd round (March 2018 – June 2018) and the 3rd round (August 2018 – January 2019) of field trials. Altogether 50 tandem trainings were organized. The total number of trained WBL tutors is 820 (Latvia – 300, Lithuania – 312, and Estonia – 208) involving around 80 VET Schools and 250 companies across most regions of the three Baltic countries.
During the field trials, quantitative and qualitative research data was collected through surveys and group interviews to study the impact of tandem training on tutor competences and the quality of WBL. Basing on participants’ feedback and researchers’ proposals the tandem training programme was reviewed and improved after each round of national trainings. After the trainings more than 70% of all participants said that their knowledge and skills as WBL tutors had improved.
The Baltic WBL tutors common competence profile – roots and future prospects
TTT4WBL project enabled Baltic countries to join the forces and agree on basic requirements for competences of WBL tutors. The required competences will be reflected in a common Baltic competence profile for WBL tutors.
The existence of Baltic WBL tutors’ competence profile will serve as a basis for similar contents of WBL tutors’ training programs across Baltics and will guide VET and company managers in WBL staff development.
Similar approaches and quality standards across Baltic region will encourage more VET mobilities within the region and will raise the quality of Baltic exchanges of VET students and WBL tutors.
TTT4WBL project has fostered peer learning among 3 Baltic countries in several areas related to work-based learning (WBL). Peer learning and benchmarking have taken place through following activities:
- Discussions focussed on comparing WBL systems and their development, motivation mechanisms for companies; these discussions continue at every partners’ meeting.
- Discussions about WBL tutor training approaches and experience so far in each of the 3 countries. Potential lead trainers from 3 Baltic countries made a study visit to Finland to learn about the Finnish VET system and approaches to workplace tutor training.
- Work on designing national training programs for Tandem training: Latvia offered their program as a benchmark for Estonia and Lithuania. Latvian program was presented at workshops in Estonia and Lithuania and a train-the-trainer event for lead trainers from 3 countries was held in Riga.
There were events especially dedicated to peer learning during and after training activities in 3 countries. Lead trainers visited and observed tutor trainings in 2 neighbouring countries and provided their feedbacks. After completing tandem trainings, a workshop of trainers was organized to analyse and compare the experiences, hear feedbacks from researchers and continue the work on “Baltic WBL Tutor’s Competence Profile”.