Vocational education and training connecting higher education and rural companies (Connect-VET)

Vocational education and training (VET) has a unique position between more theoretical higher education and practice. It is typically an operator, who could have the skills both to understand the research information and implement it to the practice. Especially in rural areas the VET’s role has also changed from the traditional educator to important regional expert organization and developer. VET is an important link to the expertise especially for small and micro companies to whom it is often the only expert organization available.

This change has set new challenges to VET. They are required to form sustainable links to both research and enterprise life. These links are vital in order to accumulate the needed knowledge base for VET staff to act as regional experts and convey this knowledge their students. However, these connections lack in many VET organisations. This calls for new working methods and co-operation models on how to link fluently the higher education and research and rural companies’ needs to VET activities and via this improve the expertise of VET staff, meet better the worklife’s needs in education and respond better to VET sector’s role as regional expert.

This problematic forms a background for Connect-VET project. The main aim of the project was to support and impact on improvements in quality and innovation in VET systems, institutions and practices by systematically increasing and strengthening the co-operation between VET, rural micro enterprises and high education and research (HE/R).

The project focused on transferring and further developing organisational innovations in VET sector. The existing good practices for SME-VET-HE/R co-operation were collected together, complemented by the models/tools developed by previous initiatives, and modified to cover the whole micro enterprises- VET- HE/R knowledge chain. Selected models were piloted in 5 countries and based on the pilots long term co-operation plans to ensure the continuation of the co-operation were made. In each country the aim was to form “a trinity” VET-SMEs-HE/R to carry out the piloting.

As the results there is this multimedia toolkit to support and establish this kind of co-operation, please feel free to explore!

Documented piloted models for VET-micro company-HE/R cooperation
5 started co-operation initiatives
Guidelines for establishing long term cooperation

Lifelong Learning Programme

This project has been supported by the Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-2013, within the framework of the Leonardo da Vinci sub-programme.

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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