Reflections on professionalisation of educators that develop skills in adults in the work environment
In the beginning of October in Thessaloniki, Greece the third meeting of the Profi-Train international project was held and the SIAE experts participated as project partners. The project is basically intended for consideration and evaluation of methods and options of professionalisation of educators, who teach skills at the workplace. There is a problem all over Europe in providing professional growth of experts, who devote themselves to working with vulnerable groups, especially those that cooperate with companies at workplaces. There are specific products planned within the project for testing and evaluating of the concept of training and human resources professional development. It will be composed of three parts: a Guide for independent learning, thematic modules for educator training and some kind of European guide for various stakeholders, which will emphasize the importance and describe different ways of fundamental skills training of employees in the workplace. The SIAE associates are, among other things, responsible for the conceptual design and coordination of creating training modules for educators.
As it turned out already at the first two meetings of the international group of experts working on the project, despite the differences in the development of the countries and their economies, it is virtually everywhere across Europe possible to detect a similar problem: the inclusion of poor and low skilled employees in the VET is low, and the risks for their unemployment are high. Current professional debates more and more put these employees as an internal potential of companies, which will become an extremely important source of ensuring competitiveness, at the centre of attention also in the developed countries, such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A cooperation with the companies and the possibility of on-the-job training for educators is now becoming a key as well as strategically important. The practice shows that in order for the strategies to be effective for continuing the education of poor educated and low skilled employees, the learning programmes must be professionally designed and the educators’ approaches truly innovative. The project’s ambition is also to identify and develop transferable and flexible ways of professional training of teachers for their comprehensive professional development.
At the third meeting of experts, the partners presented the emerging Manual for self-study. It will be completed and ready to be tested in practice in spring. The composition of the Manual is interesting: it will actually provide a holistic view also for the beginner in this field, and each chapter contains practical examples, didactic suggestions and various experiences from quite different European working environments. The added value of this Guide will be a short presentation of the relevant conceptual and theoretical principles, which ensure the reader with independent studies. The reader will be able to find quality resources in the listed literature, on the basis of which he will be able to deepen his knowledge regarding individual questions. The ambition of the project partners is for this not to be only one of the many tutorials, but the fundamental source for deepening and exploring this rather specific field.
At the meeting, Slovenian experts presented their contribution to the Manual. It’s about the implementation, since we are preparing a chapter on implementation of training for the development of skills at the workplace. This chapter is equipped with didactic and methodical aspects, while special attention is intended for providing a knowledge transfer, which in this context is a particularly sensitive point. The chapter is dedicated to the reflection on what the educators must learn in order to ensure a transfer of a truly good quality. It also discusses the question on what kind of professional development there must be in order for an educator to see this work as a chance for growth and development, and not as a professional strain in the impossible and difficult circumstances pushing him towards the burnout.
The next meeting of the partners will be held in Ljubljana in May 2019.
Dr Petra Javrh (firstname.lastname@example.org), SIAE