Title Network to Support VET Trainers in Europe
Project Number 134128-LLP-1-2007-1-DE-LEONARDO-LNW
Project Type Networks
Country EU-Centralised Projects
The ‘Network to Support Trainers in Europe?
supports research and practice in training throughout Europe. It provides:
• Access to people and ideas about research and training practice;
• Practical materials and tools to support the professional development of trainers;
• A web-site with information and a communication platform for exchanging ideas.
Who is it for?
The Network is for all those interested in training and the support of trainers. This includes researchers, policy makers, managers and practitioners.
Why the Network to Support Trainers in Europe?
Research suggests that more people are increasingly becoming involved in providing training or support for learning as part of their jobs. This includes full-time teachers and trainers but also managers and skilled workers, coaches and e-learning developers, for example. In addition, European lifelong learning strategies and policies have redirected the focus towards trainers as key actors in the learning process.
However, little is known about the work of trainers and their needs to meet future training demands. We have only a limited understanding of how many people are involved in training, what their tasks involve and what training opportunities they have for doing this work, less still of how they receive professional support and development.
Whilst many organisations are seeking to provide training for trainers we are not sure of the most effective forms such support for trainers might take and how such support can be organised.
A European network can bring together and share research and ideas and can develop a pool of resources and expertise to help such development and inform policies and practice at different levels.
What exactly will the Network do?
• Provide an opportunity for exchanging experiences and knowledge though an easy to use web portal.
• Enable policy makers, managers and trainers to access ideas, materials and opportunities for professional development.
• Undertake a small-scale survey of the work of trainers and their professional support.
• Provide access to research and ideas through the organisation of workshops and on-line conferences.
• Enhance the quality of support for trainers by sharing effective practice.
• Stimulate new approaches to the training of trainers related to the concept of lifelong learning, knowledge sharing and peer learning.
• Encourage researchers and trainers to share information and materials based on practical experience.
• Bring together research and practice from different projects and initiatives throughout Europe.
How is the Network to Support Trainers in Europe organised?
Ten international partners are responsible for organising the Network with the Institute Technology and Education (ITB) of Bremen University, Germany being the network coordinator. It is planned to gradually extend to all the 32 European countries and beyond. There are about 150 members supporting the different network activities in various ways.
Summary The Network to Support Trainers in Europe is a direct result of two studies on trainers in VET that were commissioned by the European Commission in 2006. One major reason for the studies has been the fact that very little data and material is available on the situation, work and qualification of VET trainers as their field of activities is closely linked to informal, work-based learning, which is difficult to define and assess. At the same time has the promotion of a knowledge society and the developing impact of lifelong learning led to ever wider contexts and processes of learning, in which trainers take a new and increasingly important role. Recent research indicates a need for both initial and continuing training for trainers, linked to practice. Research also suggests that increased numbers of trainers who combine training responsibilities as part of their occupational profile. Against this situation, the EU has identified an urgent need to put programmes and actions in place, which on the one hand can generate more information on the situation of trainers, their training needs and future trends, and, on the other hand, can support the development of strategies and policies to meet actual and projected future needs. The network is a major initiative to meet both requirements. It is set out to compile and synthesise, but also generate data, information and materials on the situation, work and qualification needs of trainers in the 32 European countries (including associated member states). Thereby it places an emphasis on the development, practicability and accessibility of tools, methods and instruments, which can directly be applied by practitioners and programme managers. Concurrently, the network is fostering the political dialogue and exchange to identify strategies for improving the situation and qualification of trainers both at the national level, but also in a European perspective. It aims at combining information and content with a programmatic strategy and recommendations of how such a strategy can be put into practice at sectoral and national level as well as a European level. We believe that mutual exchange, learning and communication among experts and practitioners is the best way to achieve this goal. Thereby does the network combine an inclusive approach (reaching out to all 32 European countries and beyond) with innovative technology. The network’s platform will be organised as an advanced knowledge management system piloting innovative e-features for knowledge sharing and distribution. Apart from organising two major joint network activities, the network will also organise two e-conferences. With those media the network will introduce and pilot an innovative tool of exchange, communication and dissemination to an audience and target group typically not familiar with that kind of media. Thus, it involves an element of continuing e-based learning for the beneficiaries, who will be challenged to broaden and advance their e-competences. The network’s approach also supports self-initiated and self-directed learning.
The objective of the network is to establish a European perspective on the situation and future professional development of VET trainers by including as many stakeholders, experts and practitioners as possible representing the 32 European countries. Immediate objectives are:
i)generate data and information on the situation of trainers;
ii)provide an overview of materials and activities in the field of VET trainers across Europe and at national/regional level;
iii)inform European training policy, thereby linking the issues identified in the area of VET trainers with the European Qualification Framework and other initiatives at the European level;
iv)enhance the visibility of VET trainers;
v)develop a plan of action for programmes and policy priorities in the area;
vi)improve cooperation in the field of trainers between institutions and organisations including enterprises, social partners and other relevant bodies throughout Europe.
1)Establish a network/platform to create linkages and synergy effects of the different European, national and regional initiatives so far implemented in the area of VET trainers working in companies as well as in institutions. By creating a platform of knowledge management value will be added to those initiatives, ensuring the further dissemination and outreach of their results under a structured and effectively organised system. Materials, tools, outcomes, resources and contacts will be synthesised, structured and disseminated to a new and wider audience.
2)Provide a forum for mutual exchange emphasising the exchange of knowledge and experiences, good practices, tools and innovation in the area of VET trainers. The from of mutual exchange will effectively foster a ‘bottom-up approach’ by which practitioners and multipliers at regional, sectoral and company level will be actively involved in this process. Their involvement and shared experience that reflect the practical work of trainers makes a valuable contribution to the network. The network’s objective is to involve practitioners, experts and multipliers from the 32 European countries.
3)Introduce an innovative feature by piloting the implementation of two international e-conferences. The first conference addressed the 'Training of Trainers'. The topic for the second conference will focus on policy issues. In addition, the network will organise one international (face-to-face) conference towards the end of the project. The rationale for the e-conferences is outreach, inclusion and innovation, while for the final conference it is visibility and political impact. The network will produce and publish conference proceedings for all three conferences to inform EU policies in the area of VET trainers.
4)Carry out two joint network activities. While the first one had the objective to generate new data and information about the situation and professional development of VET trainers, the second joint network activity supports the development of a plan of actions and policy at the European level. The first initiative implemented a survey across 20 European countries.
Recognition, transparency, certification
Open and distance learning
Sectors Information and Communication
program or curricula
procedure for the analysis and prognosis of the vocational training requirement
transparency and certification
description of new occupation profiles
open and distance learning
material for open learning
1)Communication platform and portal at www.trainersineurope.org
2) Network newsletter
3) Project flyer in 10 languages
4)Working paper I: Survey Results (first network activity)
5) Wroking paper II: Policies and Programming (second network activity)
6) Assessment tool
7) Several discussion papers
8) 3 x Conference proceedings (from 2 on-line and one global conference)
9) Putting people into contact database