An extra mile for work-based learning in Albania
Work-based learning (WBL) is the educational strategy that provides students with real-life work experiences where they can apply academic and technical skills and develop their employability. What is essential for making WBL an effective strategy in a national scale is having in place a system that regulates the roles and responsibilities of the 3 parties involve: schools, businesses and students.
Following the success cases of Switzerland, Austria and Germany, whose economy and working culture is built on WBL and apprenticeships, efforts have been initiated by international donors and projects to consolidate WBL in Albania. Since the beginning of the year, KulturKontakt Austria and ETF have started a process, whose objective is to help the Government of Albania create an enabling environment for effective apprenticeships. To this aim, VET and employment stakeholders gathered on October 24th to discuss on how to regulate this important process.
With its successful apprenticeship model implemented in 5 regions of Albania, ‘Skills for Jobs’ S4J is also contributing to the development of the national work-based learning system in Albania. The project’s experience and expertise is benefiting the national dialogue about the structure and instruments necessary for a functional practical training system in the country.
While any stakeholders brought in the issues from the vocational education providers’ point of view, ‘Skills for Jobs’ S4J had the opportunity to voice the feedback and concerns of over 140 private sector companies who support VET schools with apprenticeships for students. Since the project works closely with the private sector companies, it is well-aware of the businesses’ struggles and success in offering apprenticeships.
This particular point of view gave rise to a very constructive discussion, emphasizing the importance of considering the voice of businesses, their challenges, and the regulation of legislation gaps into making WBL a functional process. A functional WBL framework will also help the private sector companies, participating in VET as a joint provider, understand better the importance of their role in preparing young professionals for the future.