Working conditions and professional needs of teachers in Work-Based Learning are not sufficiently addressed in Europe


ETUCE member organisation report that in several countries, teachers and trainers in Work-Based Learning (WBL) play an essential role: for example, they find companies for apprentices, participate in the assessment of the apprenticeship, and can monitor the learning of the apprentice. However, according to the recent report by the European Commission on Teachers and trainers in work-based learning/apprenticeships, until now, specific role and working context of the diverse types of teachers and trainers active in WBL have not been well defined in the legal frameworks.

The study initiated by the European Commission’s ET2020 Working Group on Vocational Education and Training (VET), presents a comprehensive overview of governance and professionalisation arrangements in place for professionals involved in WBL, including the cooperation between schools and companies. It highlights a vast diversity of the job profiles of teachers and trainers in WLB and synthesises the various teaching competences defined for professionals in WLB.

The study also analyses topics related to teachers and trainers in WLB in the governance frameworks. It shows that most of the legal frameworks deal with teachers’ working conditions, legal status and recruitment procedures, while very few cover identification of teachers’ needs and mobility of teachers in WLB. The report also notes that trainers who work in companies are less covered in VET governance frameworks than teachers in VET institutions, especially in terms of working conditions. Moreover, the crucial importance of constant continuous professional development for teachers and trainers in VET and WLB to be able to keep up with the pace of technological change is also missing in most of the legal frameworks, according to the study.

ETUCE welcomes the report as it points out many challenges faced by teachers and trainers in VET and WBL which are also identified in the ETUCE policy paper on Vocational Education and Training in Europe. ETUCE especially supports the conclusion of the report calling for more studies on professionals involved in WBL and for correcting the existing legal frameworks to reflect the specific role of these professionals in education and their professional needs. Another crucial point rightly raised by the study is a need for stronger cooperation between VET institutions and companies on improving the quality of teaching in VET and WBL and for involvement of all relevant stakeholders in VET governance.