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Partnerships for Work Based Learning

“Creating VET business partnerships for WBL” is one of the Erasmus+ projects that Wisamar Bildungsgesellschaft in Leipzig is involved in. The project aims to develop partnerships between vocational schools and companies in North Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria to offer students of those vocational schools practical placements where they could experience work-based learning.

The vocational education in these countries is still rather theoretical and school-based and the students don’t have an opportunity to train and develop their skills and competences in a real-work environment. On the other hand, in Germany and the Netherlands, two other partner countries involved in the project, a dual system in vocational education is fully established. German and Dutch students spend a large part of their vocational education in their training companies and after finishing their education they often become regular employees of the company.

To share German experience with the dual system, Wisamar is organising training in Leipzig for representatives from each participating organisation that should take place in May 2021, due to the current situation possibly only online. Experts on the dual system will teach the participants how to establish business partnerships and how to train teachers from schools and mentors from the companies to organise practical placements for the students. The practical placements in North Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria will take place in summer 2021.

Also, together with its partners, Wisamar is creating an online platform that will be used by both the companies and the students. The platform will be a place where the vocational students can promote themselves in front of their future employers with their skills and competencies while the companies can evaluate the work-based learning of the students.

The partner organisation Dutch Foundation of Innovation Welfare 2 Work supports the project by a based learning guide for schools and companies and learning diaries for students. The other partners in this project are the Foundation “Nikola Kljusev” from North Macedonia, Institute of Entrepreneurship Development from Greece, Osmaniye Provincial Directorate of National Education from Turkey, and Horizont ProConsult ltd from Bulgaria. The project runs from October 2020 to March 2022.

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VET Digipals

International exchange “light”
To share VET learning experiences internationally and digitally with (student) colleagues abroad. Is that possible? And how do you get started?
It can easily be done via the VET DigiPals approach, in a few simple steps: 
Step 1. Find the learning experience you want to share
In this step you involve your (fellow) students as much as possible: together you look for a learning experience that you find interesting to share. This can really be anything: a product, an approach or technique, a part or ingredient, an instrument or tool.

Below we give some examples for inspiration:
Students from the 7th year of Childcare at a Flemish school are given the assignment to develop a kamishibay (Japanese storytelling theater), with an accompanying story bag. They present the development process and the results digitally and in French to fellow students in a French-speaking school.
Students from the last year of “Marketing” from a school in Barcelona work out a marketing plan in digital collaboration with and for a Flemish VET-school, involving the students of the school.
Apprentices from the “Traiteur” course from a school in Northern France convert a regional recipe into a dish and share it digitally with Flemish apprentices.
Welders from a school in Rome digitally show how they restore antique metalwork to apprentice welders from a Flemish school who are mainly active in shipbuilding and repair. Then it is the turn of the Flemish welders to share one of their specific arts with the welders from Rome.
Step 2: Briefly introduce your idea to us
You can quickly pass on your idea to us via an online form. In this form we ask for some contact details, the preferred language in which you want to share your idea, and ask the following question: “Which part of your training process do you want to share and with whom (teachers, students, …)? Do you already know how? ”
You can find this form here. Please use Google translate to translate the form. Your answers can be in your native language.
Step 3: We will contact you to support you in the further development of your idea, and to look for a partner school together with you.
We will find out, among other things, how to internationalize the sharing of the learning experience, and support you in looking for and consulting with a foreign partner. In this way a concrete planning is established.
Step 4: Do!
You organize the digital learning sharing experience, together with the foreign partner. We are happy to be there as support and to learn from your experience.
Step 5. You participate in a short evaluation of the experience
We do a short survey of your experience, to learn more from this and to take that knowledge with us in the further development of the VET DigiPals concept.
Interested? Convinced? Fill out the online form or contact for more information.
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“Experience differently” CALL 2020

The GO! Next Level X students in care and educator-counselor do an internship in the Martha Flora nursing home in Maastricht, the Netherlands.
They accompany and care for care recipients and organise activities independently, guided by a mentor.
They keep an internship journal and a blog. The students visit a Dutch school with the same curriculum. Teachers learn from the differences in approach, pupils gain insight into the work field. They get more self-confidence and learn to take responsibility.

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An internship in a practice enterprise

There have been major changes in the labour market in the past year and the practice enterprise has not missed the boat as a business-oriented,
didactic solution. COFEP has adapted to the changing circumstances and the needs of the contemporary education and training landscape and creates, together with the schools involved, a tailor-made solution, both online and offline. It is therefore possible to organize a practice enterprise (partly) from home or in a classroom setting.

COFEP offers a full alternative to internships: a practice enterprise with tasks and assignments according to the objectives of the internship and the training.
A Practice Enterprise is a trainee-run company that operates as a real business. It silhouettes a real enterprise’s business procedures, products and services. A Practice Enterprise resembles a real company in its form, organisation and function.
We provide schools with a full order book, an active mailbox and a network with other practice enterprises to put administrative, commercial, financial and logistical profiles to work. The school or training centre provides an internship supervisor or mentor who does the day-to-day follow-up of the students, gives them feedback and eventually evaluates them, just like an external internship. COFEP takes care of the training and support of the supervisor.

Within COFEP, the Belgian network of practice enterprises is promoted. The practice enterprise is a learning company within a simulated economy, ranging from retail businesses to wholesale businesses, from marketing companies to transport companies, from  contact centres to accounting firms. 

The trainees are prepared for the real business world by putting them to work in practice enterprises. Their entrepreneurship is stimulated by immersing them in a business reality with ERP business processes and national and international collaborations. Worldwide, there are more than 7 000 virtual companies run by trainees from secondary education, higher education and adult education. 

A traditional internship in a real company was particularly hard to come by this autumn. Thanks to COFEP’s practice enterprises, schools were able to create challenging workplaces for all their students. They learned a wide variety of things on the job, from processing orders in ERP software to negotiating in a foreign language with native speakers. The trainees are given a wide variety of tasks to handle and take responsibility for their own virtual company.

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Midterm meeting for Networks and Partnerships of VET Providers

Last 23 February 2021, at midterm in the implementation of the project activities, the EACEA has invited all the coordinators of the selected Networks and Partnerships of VET Providers to meet and share good practices and information about the new programme.

In particular, the participants have been invited to discuss the following three questions:

  • How did you establish and/or reinforce VET providers’ networks and ensure their sustainability?
  • What activities took place to enhance cooperation for VET quality and attractiveness?
  • How are you meeting the challenges linked to COVID-19? What technical or content-related support would you need from the EACEA and / or the EC?

We are glad to notify our members that ENNE has been listed by the officers of the EACEA as one of the best practices in enhancing the quality and attractiveness of VET, with a special mention of the MOOC and the Role Model interviews! We have explained that our strategy is based on the valorisation of the activities carried out by the members of our networks, who have the chance to share them through multiple communication channels and scale them up within the framework of capacity building and internationalization activities.

Moreover, the midterm online meeting has been very useful to learn about some preliminary information on the characteristics and the tentative schedule of the new Erasmus+ programme 2021-2022. The VET sector will have a key role in linking the education and active labour policies and initiatives of the Commission with a vision that relies on:

  • Equipping young people and adults with the skills to manage the recovery and the just transitions to the green and digital economy, and to thrive in the evolving labour market cycles;
  • Fostering inclusiveness and equal opportunities and contributes to achieving resilience, social fairness and prosperity;
  • Promoting European vocational education and training systems in an international context so that they are recognised as a worldwide reference of excellence.

The programme will still be structured on the three Key Actions that have been established with the passage from the LLP to Erasmus+ in 2020, but several new features have been adopted especially in KA1 and KA2. The international mobility of VET staff and students (KA1) will be accessible either through an accreditation system, with annual calls and long-term mobility strategies, or through the application or short-term projects, which will have a duration limited to 18 months and could involve a maximum of 30 participants in each project. In terms of possible activities to be carried out during the mobility, the participation in structured training courses will be eligible also for VET teachers (giving them the same opportunities as their colleagues in school and adult education) and VET students, besides travelling for short-term or long-term learning mobility, will have also the chance to take part in skills competitions such as hackathons, international contests and fairs.

In the field of transnational cooperation between VET organisations (KA2), the new programme will be offering three types of funding opportunities: one still managed at the national level by the different Erasmus+ National Agencies, which will include a small-scale partnerships scheme, especially targeted to newcomers, and a cooperation partnerships call addressed to more experienced institutions. The EACEA will be responsible for the promotion, management and evaluation of two other frameworks: partnerships for excellence, aimed at supporting the establishment of the so-called CoVE (Centres of Vocational Excellence) and the brand new Erasmus+ Teacher Academies, and partnerships for innovation that will be realized thanks to different calls for Alliances for Innovation and Forward-Looking Projects. 

All the ENNE Networks coordinators are looking forward to supporting their members in becoming active players in the field of EU cooperation and taking advantage of these different financing opportunities!

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Making our schools 2030-proof

The project focuses on “innovative learning environments including 21st century skills” and “evaluation to-be“.

The new strategic plan 2030 of GO! is being rolled out. Our school group wants to offer children and young people “roots and wings”, to become the leading learning community, custom for all, a mirror and building block of society.
We will obtain necessary expertise through job-shadowing and training. We will create expert groups on both themes to provide an added value to this project.



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Fraternisation in education!

This Erasmus project provides international internships for VET students from GO! Eeklo, Maldegem and Zelzate.
Via the fraternal towns of Zelzate, we find suitable internships and host families.
The enthusiasm of the foreign towns and schools leads to close cooperation with our students and awakens the European feeling in the participants.

We ensure the qualitative formation of independent, lifelong learning European citizens and equipped for a multicultural and multilingual work environment.



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The Work Based Learning continues!

The challenges of this peculiar period continue, but the learning of our learners from Vocational Education and Training cannot stop.
The school COOPETAPE has reported, in its social media pages, the success of two internships of the vocational course of Graphic Arts.

The learner Vítor Casal is currently doing his internship at ID3 Design e Publicidade, and the feedback could not be better: “this new internship partnership has been strengthened by the excellent dedication of our student…” “the student is always the first to arrive at the company…”,”…always ready to help and learn…”.

The other success story is the learner Fátima Vieira, who is doing an internship at the company STAMP Agência de Publicidade. The experience has been very enriching for both sides: the student reports that “I am really enjoying this job very much…” and the company considers that these internships are an added value for the training of future graphic arts technicians.

Despite the pandemic we are living, everyone is respecting the safety recommendations of the Portuguese General Health Directorate so that it is possible to enrich the training of young people in safety.


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Training through Virtual Reality: Project for competence development in public transport

Our German network partner VET training centre of the Leipzig public transport company (LAB)  coordinates the Erasmus+ project “Competence+: A Blended Learning Programme for Competence Development Beyond Pure Professional Skills”.

The aim of the project is to create an advanced training platform that both trainees and employees in public transport can use to further their education in the areas of sustainability, conflict and stress management, and moral courage. For this purpose, a course concept is being created that includes both eLearning and classroom training. A special feature of Competence+ is that virtual reality scenarios are created that enable learners to directly apply and test their newly acquired competences and skills.

The project also includes an application manual for instructors and trainers who want to use or adapt Competence+ themselves. Together with the transport operators Reus Mobilitat (Spain) and Straeto (Iceland), LAB (Germany) will bring the direct public transport perspective to the project, while Wisamar (Germany), DomSpain (Spain), Virsabi (Denmark) and StandoutEducation (Cyprus) will contribute their expertise in vocational training projects. The project runs from November 2020 to April 2023.

News about the project on Facebook: @CompetencePlusEU