Introduction to the project WBL-Q


Within a fast changing economy and society the role and contribution of a well working work based learning (WBL) system in European countries as core part of the VET systems is a crucial issue. Only with modern and high quality work based learning processes and systems the knowledge, skills and competences of future staff can be developed, adapted or maintained. The WBL sector, however, still has room for improvement as it is established in a crucial and in fact difficult interface between the world of education and the world of work. Several studies and reports come to the conclusion that this interface is still not working perfectly and the different backgrounds, values, aims and thinking in both worlds makes it for sure not easier to develop quality and future proveness of work based learning in Europe's VET systems.

With our WBL-Q project we will be developing a business driven instrument for self evaluation of quality in work based learning on company level as crucial contribution to the promotion of work based learning in all forms. This self evaluation tool will be based on credible, measurable and widely accepted criteria and take into account the different business realities underlying WBL processes in companies. This means that the self evaluation tool will be considering different company sizes, business sectors, WBL traditions in countries etc. to be highly relevant for different backgrounds and a broad variety of businesses. The self evaluation tool will allow WBL responsibles to assess their WBL processes against general quality criteria, to run through a benchmarking assessment to be able to deduct clear and step by step improvement potentials for work based learning activities in the company. Moreover and as a second step the self evaluation tool will additionally contain a stress test tool element which will put the companies' WBL system into a future proof test against upcoming trends and developments in WBL but also on the labour market (e.g. shortage of skilled workforce, labour migration etc.) and in society (ageing of population and demographic developments etc.) and so allow the WBL responsible persons to assess how future proof their WBL system in the company is and if necessary deduct mid term and long term improvent or adaptation steps. In addition to this the WBL-Q project and its results will clearly contribute to a general quality development in VET (with WBL being a core part of the VET systems) and provide a significant contribution to the improvement of quality and efficiency of education now and in future. Beyond this, the WBL-Q project will also act as an interpreter between the world of education and the world of work who both have different backgrounds, values, aims, needs and "languages" which is an overall challenge for development. WBL-Q provides a significant contribution to these priorities and aims.

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