Context: There are different practices and experiences of work-based learning (WBL) and training of trainers (ToT) in the member states of the EU. Moreover, work is changing; new skills are demanded and have to be acquired related to the application of Industry4.0 technologies (AI, cyber-physical-systems, VR, Big Data etc.). The main aim of the Erasmus+ Project “STEP -UP Supporting Tutors Educational Profile” is improving continuing professional development of in-company trainers and tutors engaged in WBL practices in this changing work environment.
Approach: In first part of the study (IO1) comparison of the relevant aspects of the VET systems of the countries Spain, Germany, Italy and Lithuania. Analysis of the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of the existing institutional mechanisms and apparent good practices in WBL and methodological approaches for supporting on support of WBL tutors and trainers working in digitalized work processes competence development in the involved countries. The roles of trainers and their competence requirements were researched by applying content analysis of the different competence profiles and occupational standards.
Findings: The study revealed: In all four countries work-based learning (WBL) is seen as a promising approach of closing the gap between school-based VET-programmes and labour market needs. However, 3 in 4 countries are still developing their approaches on WBL in form of an established dual system. There are differences regarding the involvement of stakeholders, funding schemes and quality standards.
Conclusion: The main structure of WBL was identified. Establishing a sustainable dual system, anchored quality standards, legislation and funding are still goals to achieve. Regarding the role of teachers and trainers the study points out that there is still the need of enhancing technical and pedagogical competences as well as innovative approaches for the training of trainers and tutors. This will be subject of part two of the study: developing ToT modules enhancing teachers and trainers’ competences in the field of pedagogy and digitalization.