Title Work Based Learning in Industrial Engineering
Project Number LLP/LdV/TOI/2013/IRL - 507
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
The Work Based Learning in Industrial Engineering project was an EU funded action designed to facilitate closer cooperation between VET and the world of work.
The development of employees’ skills and competences has become the key driver of economic growth in the developed world. It is widely recognised that it is mainly through enhancing people’s skill and competences that future competitive advantage will emerge. Consequently companies need to be able to identify precise areas where they have, or can build, distinctive competences that will enable them to compete effectively. Nowadays, through the use of the European Qualification Framework (EQF), and other tools it is possible to accredit such skills and competences - even if they (the skills and competences) have been achieved through in-formal or non-formal learning.
The partnership has developed a Work-based learning model focused on industrial engineering – WBL-IE model, which has been pilot tested in all the partner countries. As a result of the “piloting process” a six step approach to WBL has been produced and deployed by the partners.
This project was designed to foster closer cooperation between the worlds of VET providers and industry, and has focused on adapting previous projects titled "Continuing Engineering Education as Work Based Learning" - (CEE as WBL), and Industrial Engineering Standards in Europe (IESE)into an education model that will bring the learning process directly into the workplace. The model is called Work Based Learning in Industrial Engineering (WBL-IE) and its main objective is to create a sustainable framework for learning in a working environment. The project has adapted a pedagogy for Work Based Learning developed by Aalborg University into a sustainable model (WBL-IE model) which has been pilot tested in 5 SME's across the partnership countries. The model has been designed to provide "tailor made" VET courses specific to the needs of the individual organization, while also incorporating the processes and procedures specified by National and European frameworks of qualifications. The consortium believes this aspect of the project is very important because the "learner" must be recognised and where relevant accredited for the work based training he/she receives.
The primary finding from the pilot and evaluation process was that the process actually works and is flexible enough to be adapted to most practical training programmes. The most difficult aspect of the WBL-IE process was identifying the Facilitator type needed and training organization staff in facilitation techniques and also in educational frameworks - it is necessary for the facilitator to be able to identify learning outcomes in the staff being trained on the job. It was identified, especially for the delivery steps of the process that both learner and internal facilitator need to have a basic understand of modern pedagogical methods and structures, such as learning outcomes, learning to learn etc. These aspects a very important when it comes to the accreditation and certification of learning that has taken place in the workplace.
The majority of the partners elected to continue this collaboration and further develop the WBL-IE model into a commercial offering. A business network called EuroBEN has been set-up to maintain this collaboration and the Irish partner has already delivered a second WBL-IE programme in a similar organization as a commercial enterprise.
The WBL-IE project had three objectives
1)To adapt and test a pedagogical approach which will train SME personnel to facilitate WBL (Work Based Learning) on an ongoing and sustainable basis. This will allow the SME to facilitate its own tailor made work based education programmes on a day to day basis.
2) Adapt and test training manuals and processes that incorporate the existing "transparency tools" and guidelines as proscribed by the EQAVET and other quality assurance systems. This will ensure the quality of the training being delivered and provide the student / learner with a transparent accreditation which will assist in his mobility, both nationally and internationally. 3) Develop a systematic and sustainable approach to the provision of WBL with a process for evaluating the results against conventional delivery pedagogical delivery methods.
Objective one was achieved by adapting the Aalborg approach to a six step process that can be used as a guide when deploying Work Based Learning in SME's. The six step process is described in the WBL Operations Guide and is available in the Files section of this database. The adaptation and testing of the training manual was achieved by pilot testing the process steps described in the WBL Operations Guide in a number of SME,s in the partnership countries. The results of the pilot project were incorporated in to the WBL Operations Guide and the WBL Facilitator Training programme.
Objective 3 was achieved by structuring any training needs identified in the initial steps of the WBL-IE process into a training programme that is mapped to the EQF and has observable learning outcomes. This aspect of the process was particularly tested in the Irish pilot programme where facilitator and learners were trained and accredited in Basic Industrial Engineering skills.
The overall conclusion of the partners is that this WBL-IE model is usable and sustainable in a practical work environment and will be an effective tool in addressing the skills mismatch still prevalent in European industry.
Recognition, transparency, certification
Transportation and Storage
Accommodation and Food Service Activities
material for open learning
open and distance learning
Results in WBL-IE Project
1. Project and Quality Manual
2. WBL Operations Guide
3. WBL Facilitator Training programme
4. EuroBEN network http://www.euro-ben.org/content/about