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From Vocational Teacher to Learning Ambassador

Many fields of technology are experiencing a shortage of experts. Companies need both engineers and professionals who have a secondary level degree. To promote the attractiveness of technology sectors and meet the skills challenges of the future, we need cooperation between vocational education and training (VET) and companies.

What kind of cooperation do vocational teachers with companies have? What expectations do technology companies have for VET and teachers? We find answers to these questions in the NextSteps@TechVET project, which involves VET providers and companies from Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and the Netherlands.

The NextSteps@TechVET project aims to develop partnerships that promote Work-based Learning in VET and support professional development (especially career guidance skills) of people involved in the WBL process and the internationalization of VET. The three-year project started in 1.9.2020 and will last until 31.8.2023.

During the first two project years the project team has trained learning ambassadors to work at the interface between the educational institution and the world of work as student career guidance specialists who also maintain relationships with companies and train workplace instructors. The team has also created an extensive material bank in all project languages, English, Finnish, Dutch, Estonian and Latvian to develop the skills of both learning ambassadors and workplace trainers. This material bank features tips as well as self-assessment tools for both Learning Ambassadors as well as workplace trainers. During the spring of 2022 the project team came together in Estonia and designed the duties and competence requirements of a learning ambassador as a promoter of work-based learning. The model can be seen below.

Best practices for work-based learning support guide will be finalized based on these materials. Also based on the model and materials the team created Open Badge criteria for both Learning Ambassadors as well as Workplace Trainers during a Learning Teaching and Training event in Finland October 2022. These badges will be piloted during November and December 2022 after which they will be translated to partner languages and available for use during Spring 2023. The final results of the project will be published in August 2023. In the meantime, you can follow the progress of the project from the project website

For more information on the project contact: