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WBL, or when theory and practice go hand in hand

Four trainers from the Fundación Laboral de la Construcción carried out a mobility within the European project TransToWork, to be trained in the Work Based Learning model.


Last November the European project TransToWork, hosted in the Italian city of Bologna a mobility of 16 coordinators, tutors and teachers of Vocational Training (VET) from the construction industry, coming from Spain, Italy, Lithuania and Romania, to carry out a specialized Training of Trainers in Work-Based Learning (WBL).

The workers of the Labour Foundation: Luis Miguel Morilla Orozco (Andalusia), Cristina Rodríguez González (Cantabria), Diego Hernández Martín (Castilla-La Mancha) and Olaya Queiruga Santamaría (Galicia) were the Spanish representatives who attended this course for teachers, with the aim of analysing tools and sharing good practices to make the apprenticeship period more effective in the work of young people in vocational training.

Project, report and mobile application

During the week of 19-23 November, teachers were thoroughly acquainted with the TransToWork project and the first report on "Establishing a Work-Based Learning Model in Vocational Training".

In addition, the beta version of a platform and mobile application on which the members of the European consortium are working was released, aimed at teachers who are managing student internships in companies, either cycle or professional certificates. Once this project has been completed, the TransToWork app will be available to the training centres of the partnership, from where the tool can be managed.

Luis Miguel Morilla, technical architect and trainer of the Fundación Laboral de la Construcción of Andalucía, highlights these first results of the project: "I find the development of the platform and the mobile application for communication between students, company tutors and tutors of the training centre very interesting. It can be a very useful way to get to know the daily life of the students in the workplace. In addition, it could become a very useful tool, as long as the companies are made aware of its usefulness and, above all, the company tutors". However, he points out that in this forum, the 16 trainers have shared the perception that "company tutors have little time to complete the relevant documentation of trainees in their workplaces".

Interrelation between all the agents taking part in the training

Diego Hernández Martín, an industrial technical engineer and teacher-tutor at the Fundación Laboral de la Construcción of Castilla-La Mancha, who assures that the course for trainers based on the WBL model of the TransToWork project "as a pilot experience is very interesting in order to be able to promote a learning methodology in company internships, which allows all the people involved in the students' internships to be related".

In addition, he adds that this methodology can provide "a structured way of working and a tool for monitoring students in internships in companies, through the mobile application -App- that facilitates the involvement of all agents involved in the training of students".

After this experience, Olaya Queiruga Santamaría, with a degree in Pedagogy and a university master's degree in Training Processes, works for the training of technicians in Education and Vocational Training (VET) from the Fundación Laboral de la Construcción of Galicia. She has returned from this professional journey with an approach and a challenge: "It is important to continue working to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and impact of vocational training for employment, regardless of the type of training we are talking about. For this reason, it seems to me very important and necessary to continue developing proposals for the follow-up and improvement of training in our sector and to bet on training through and for work, responding to the needs arising in each context".

Exchange of national and international experiences

Luis Miguel Morilla also highlights the "pleasant and enriching" possibility that this European mobility has given them "for the information that they have been able to extract from the experiences of colleagues from other countries, and even to know the reality of ours in different territories, with respect to training in the construction sector". And as Diego Hernandez adds "to share how the different countries work and their level of involvement by administrations, companies, institutions and students.

For his part, Queiruga knew about the TransToWork project, since he usually consults the Projects Section of the Fundación Laboral website: "I like to see what we do, where and what the results are, and this initiative seemed very interesting to me; in fact, the central point of the project cannot attract me more, since my doctoral thesis is very related".

Morilla also knew about the initiative, as did other international projects of the Fundación Laboral, but acknowledges that: "I had no idea of its magnitude or of the results I was pursuing. It seemed to me to be focused on one of the problems that exist in internships in students' companies".

The three of them, together with Cristina Rodríguez González, PhD in Physical Sciences, trainer in work centres and manager of advanced training cycles in renewable energies of the Fundación Laboral de la Construcción of Cantabria, assure that the experience has been very positive, profitable and interesting.

For the past year and until November 2019, the Fundación Laboral has been a partner in this initiative to promote work-based learning in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AIC) industry and the transition of young people to employment, which is coordinated by the Istituto Professionale Edile (Italy) and in which Vilniaus Statybinink Rengimo Centras (Lithuania), Ires Emilia Romagna and Centro Ricerche Documentazione Studi Economico-Sociali -CDS- (Italy) and Cluj-Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Romania) also collaborate.

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