As part of the project, WP2 “Establishment of the Excellence National Networks” the ENNE project consortium conducted 5 focus groups in each partner country in order to guarantee a real exchange between VET organisations who have a solid experience in the implementation of VET European programmes and VET organisation who have poor or no experience. Moreover, this activity aimed to identify best practices in the field of VET and to recruit new members to the network.
In Bulgaria, the analysis was conducted in the beginning of July 2020 and more than 30 participants took part in the research – some of them joined the certain online focus groups and others shared their opinion through an online questionnaire. ECQ team managed to organize a total 5 focus groups with representatives of VET schools in different business sectors. During the online discussions, all of the participants expressed their belief in the effectiveness and functionality of VET service. As main strength is seen the opportunity for the students to develop skills, needed in the real work environment. Furthermore, the VET facilitates the effective transition from education to employment, encourages the good professional realization and stimulates the development of communication skills and teamwork competences. It was really engaging to observe how the VET representatives shared positive experience of successfully implemented mobility projects and exchanged ideas. Not all of the participants in the focus group had experience in mobility projects so it was beneficial to get informed about some good practices. Some barriers of the enhancement of VET service were also mentioned – the members in the focus groups pointed out the unsatisfactory actions of the business organizations. According to the participants, the companies should participate in the admission and training process of students and should also involve them in the working process. In this way the young professionals will acquire a better overview of their future job tasks. The unattractive image of VET in Bulgaria was pointed out as another main challenge.
At the end of the discussions the participants were asked to share some ideas for improving the quality of VET service. The following proposals were mentioned: development of clear mechanisms and state policy measures; determining the number of students in certain disciplines; determining different levels of professional qualification depending on the level of the students.