Title Mandatory training in practice firms at vocational education institutions
Project Number LLP-LDV-TOI-2011-LT-0090
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text Students learning enterprise oriented specialities at VET schools face difficulties when are sent to real enterprise company to practice their skills. Not every company wants a student to access confidential information (accounts, personal staff data etc.). Students do not have possibility to practice their skills sufficiently. The way out is mandatory learning at business practice firm (PF). PFs do not exchange real goods or real money but silhouettes all business procedures and functions. The principle function of a PF is to allow students to work in simulation practice firms using all documentation, systems and protocols needed to run a business. Students at PF receive first hand experience of what it is like to trade, as well as actively learning business processes such as how to run a sales department/office, organise personnel functions, operate accounts, stock control and administrative systems. In this dynamic environment students gain positive outcomes and key skills.
Most of VET pupils in the end of their programme lack practical ability to apply theory to practice, team work, communication and planning skills. VET leaving pupils face difficulties in finding job, lack of enterprise competencies and feel uncertain about further professional life. Having an opportunity to apply theory instantly to the practice could be the solution of this problem.
The main aim of the project is guidelines and recommendations for VET institutions and Lithuanian Ministry of Science and Education to introduce mandatory training in Practice firms (PFs) in Lithuanian VET.
Objectives of the project were: refer to Austrian and Bulgarian experience in order to apply their expertise to lay down fundaments of introducing mandatory training in PF in Lithuanian VET institutions; in cooperation with partners creation of guidelines and recommendations including integral system of methodology used at business PF for students' and trainers' development and measurements for quality standards of mandatory training.
The consortium of project was formed of institutions based in Austria and Bulgaria - the European countries where mandatory training at PF in VET has been introduced several years ago and Lithuania - where it is highly aimed. All partner institutions are central offices of PF, coordinate business PF activities, ensure that quality standards are reached, provide training for PF trainers, work closely with Science and Education Ministries in their countries and can make impact on decisions made on national level.
The main expectation of the project was that PFs would get a status of mandatory training at VET institutions was achieved – PFs in several VET schools got such status. 3 VET schools changed their programs and training in PF is mandatory subject in some programmes: 1. Vilnius tourism and business school – Trade companies manager assistant programme; 2. Smalininkai technologies and business school – Trade companies manager assistant teaching progamme; 3. Kaunas food and trade training center – Small business organization teaching programme. So Lithuanian VET system has examples of PFs as mandatory training.
Description The project activities were carried out in 3 main stages: national surveys and comparative analysis of collected database on current situation in PF at VET schools in Austria, Bulgaria and Lithuania were collected; Three types of guidelines were prepared - for general public, for PF trainers and for decision makers. Guidelines were tested in PFs, corrected and applied in further PF development activities.
Information and Communication
program or curricula
During the first stage of the project the survey has been carried out in order to analyse the current situation in BG, LT and AT practice firms. In the survey participated PF trainees, PF trainers, School with PF principals, representatives from national central offices that are responsible for PF operating in their countries and the representatives from Science and Education Ministries from each country. The outcomes from each country can be found on www.buct.org - Bulgaria, http://www.sl.viko.lt/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2&Itemid=4 - Lithuania and http://www.act.at/page.asp?id=662 - Austria
The comparative analysis of all countries surveys is available on the above mentioned websites.