From 2010 - 2013, as part of an initiative to support the quality of initial VET arrangements in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), the Federal Institute for Vocational Training and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supported ten pilot projects. The objective of the initiative was to develop and test approaches to quality improvement; and practical instruments and procedures which enterprises can use to ensure, evaluate and improve the quality of their job related vocational training processes.
One of the pilot projects, the Berlin iVET Quality in Training Network (BAQ) designed and implemented a quality concept which can be used by training staff in Berlin’s SMEs and by enterprise-based trainers in general. The pilot project has developed and tested a set of quality standards including a range of instruments for training in SMEs. The outcomes of the pilot projects have been shared widely across Germany. The quality approach will be implemented in more SMEs in 2014/2015.
To develop their approach to quality BAQ worked closely with the companies to understand their needs, the pressures and constraints they faced, and how they wanted initial VET to improve. These discussions involved managing directors, training supervisors, skilled workers with the task of training, trainees and the part time vocational schools. The discussions led to the development of a shared mission statement which focused on the quality of company-based initial VET. This mission statement is used as a marketing device to recruit apprentices and as a baseline for developing additional quality activities. The development of the mission statement involved members of staff who were in charge of the company-based initial VET and trainees in their second and third year of qualification.
Together they discussed and agreed new approaches to:
- the companies’ initial VET offer (e.g. the need for special support for high and low performing apprentices);
- the qualifications of the company-based training staff;
- the requirements and resources that were needed to support the learning process;
- identifying the most appropriate department and sections of the company to provide learning opportunities at each stage of the apprentices’ programme;
- scheduling the learning process in order that is was defined according to the learning content and the trainee’s progression;
- identifying and introducing extra learning units to meet the specific skills and competence needed by the companies;
- the responsibilities and activities of the mentors and tutors who guide, support and counsel the trainee were documented;
- the role of apprentices in the regulation of the IVET process were confirmed and recorded;
- schedules were agreed for collecting comments on the effectiveness of the learning objectives and apprentices’ results.
For more information on this case study contact:
Employer/VET provider: Federal Institute for Vocational Training (BIBB)
e-mail: [email protected]