Interview with the responsible of Portuguese partner – Proandi

What do you find interesting in your activity?

“With the active participation in the HostVet Project – Improvement of the management of local hosting VET organizations in touristic sector, it is being possible for Proandi and those involved in the training process, to incorporate good practices and new work methodologies, not only in VET, as well as in the promotion and dynamization of activities in the field of tourism.

We have involved the entire training community and agents in the region with the participation in transnational meetings, through testimonies of their participation in mobility projects (entrepreneurs, entities, trainees and staff), in the participation of the instruments created during the project ( Ealth and Safety Good Practice Guide for Host & Sending entities, HOSTVET PROJECT: Improvement of the management of local hosting VET Organizations in touristic sector), as well as answering questionnaires and actively participating in the project.

Project has been an asset to the awareness and integration of enterprises and entities in the mobility process, as well as its participation in the integration of trainees in internships under the Erasmus+ Programme.”

After the implementation of the Hostvet project what you think could be interested to implement for KA1 activities?

“Partners that are part of the project have been actively working on the development of the activities proposed in the application, also adding new activities depending on the pandemic context and its evolution. In this sense, project had to accompany and adapt to the lived context. We are already implementing and adopting the “Ealth and Safety Good Practice Guide for Host & Sending entities, since September 2020 in incoming and outgoing mobilities. We have improved our instruments for monitoring and evaluating mobilities and  we have created new partnerships and met new partners with whom we will work on this and other projects.”

Do you think are the results of this project useful to involve the companies in your VET activities?

“Project results are the foundation for the involvement of enterprise in VET activities, since the “guidelines to be shared with enterprises and entities, in order to improve the organization and management of internship and apprenticeship projects in international mobility” will allow enterprise to learn about the entire process required to carry out mobility: from the selection, preparation and orientation of participants, to the formalization of mobility. A set of documents, platforms, certificates, monitoring/follow-up and evaluation instruments, communication between all those involved, insurance, among others are used.

Enterprise will be better prepared and informed of the requirements and instruments necessary for mobility to be a process in which the participant and the enterprises achieve their goals and results.”

Which results do you think to use for your activity related to the results of Hostvet project?

“Transnational mobility for learning purposes has always been a crucial issue in European policy. Therefore, the European institutions permanently emphasize in their directives, strategies and recommendations on the importance of studying and training in the abroad for personal and professional growth, for the acquisition of sectoral and transversal knowledge, for the acquisition of skills, aptitudes and to facilitate employability in the European labor market. In addition to the positive consequences that mobility has in the long term on participants, organizations and professionals involved, the final impacts must also be felt in the education and VET systems, and youth support systems in the participating countries, thus encouraging, political reforms and attracting new resources and mobility opportunities in Europe and beyond.

With the participation in the HOSTVET project, good practices and methodologies related to the implementation and management of European mobility projects are being incorporated, namely: skills of tutors, staff, mentors and trainees; personal, social, professional and intercultural development; ICT tools in European projects; quality in mobility projects; evaluation, dissemination and exploitation of results; activity involving enterprises and entities in mobility; results sharing activities at national, regional, local and international levels.”

How do you think the Commission can improve the quality of VET activities?

“One of the main activities carried out by the Commission was the development of a common quality assurance framework (CQAF), inviting the Member States to promote the CQAF voluntarily and in conjunction with interested parts. Based on an inventory of quality assurance systems in the EU and with intention to support Member States’ VET reform, the CQAF is a and systematic approach to quality assurance. By reflecting key quality assurance issues, the framework offers better understanding of similarities and differences at national, regional, local and sectoral approaches to ensure and improve the quality of VET provision.

Many national VET systems in Europe are undergoing modernization and transformation towards more effective management. This is characterized by a change in management both at systems and at provider level away from input steering and control and towards output orientation and recognition of achievements. Quality assurance is used to steer this transformation and accreditation is a complementing tool, allowing assessment of compliance with (nationally) agreed standards and regular examination of progress achieved.

Thus, accreditation is primarily understood as an assessment tool, which is applied not by the VET provider himself but externally by a body officially recognized for this task. While policy frameworks for quality are the driving forces behind the VET improvement, with their role to define the objectives, criteria and standards to be pursued, accreditation procedures must determine whether vocational training programs are implemented in accordance with those objectives, criteria and standards.

Continue to inform and promote European VET systems as a common European education and training, which is recognized as a world reference for professional apprentices/trainees, with companies, citizens and authorities. Demystify the “second chance” culture in relation to VET courses. Demonstrate that these courses, these young people who attend them, the trainers/teachers and the teams and entities that provide them are capable and working to create, develop and enhance the skills needed for the job market. These courses deserve everyone’s recognition, because the young people who attend them have interests, abilities and motivation to learn and excel on a daily basis and successfully complete their courses. In these courses, the degree of employability is high, since the practical component is very high and “demands” the trainees to be adaptable and develop new skills. Exchange about activities and events that could be implemented to make VET more attractive. Learning from strong experience in Vocational Education and Training of others participating organizations and countries that can help to deepen and expand their collaboration. Learning about their context and the way they work.”

Since we are going out the covid times do you think that virtual mobilities can be useful for implementation of professional skills of VET students involved in WBL activities ?

“In the wake of the recent pandemic, the need for innovation in VET systems is greater than ever. Innovation in teaching and learning is crucial, at individual, institutional and international levels. Future-oriented ideas that respond to the main European priorities and have the potential to be integrated and to contribute to the improvement of education and VET systems, as well as to produce a substantial innovative effect in terms of methods and practices in all types of learning contexts and active participation for European social cohesion are essential.

In view of our experience, we have verified there is much to be done in order to be able to carry out virtual mobility in the face of very practical courses that require the presence of trainees in places/companies to properly perform their work and develop and increase their skills, as are in the case of courses in restaurant/bar, cooking/pastry, hairdressing, aesthetics, among others.

Projects to work together to promote innovative learning approaches and methods and provide digital skills for teaching and training are critical. Increase technological skills related to VR (Virtual Reality) applications and skills to facilitate trainees’ access to WBL and promoting VR in the context of mobility as a means of promoting participant accomplish and ensuring equity and inclusion in all Vocational Education and Training (VET) environments. Raise awareness and knowledge of VET teachers/trainers and tutors about the best VR apps available that can be used to facilitate the learning process of trainees to allow them to access WBL smoothly (focus groups and tool collection of existing VR). Develop training for trainers/tutors with the knowledge, skills and abilities to train VR technology programs into their own trainings for training and training for their own trainings for WBL.The VR involvement of processes in their integration.”

After this project do you think to continue and how the VET activities for your organization?

“We will continue to develop the activities of the HOSTEVET project at Proandi and in the mobilities that we carry out and that we welcome. We will disseminate them to everyone on our social networks, on our website and the project website, in the activities we carry out with the community and other events. The instruments created and the good practices will be incorporated and, whenever necessary, we will introduce improvements. This project, in our opinion, was an excellent opportunity for a new application with the development of new activities and challenges in terms of management, monitoring, evaluation and involvement of companies and entities, as well as virtual mobility.”

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