Getting Involved

Your opinions and feedback are very important to us. You may be someone who has previously been on a vocational training programme or perhaps someone who is currently part way through their training and education.

At OWLS our aim is to help ensure that when you start working in your chosen career you will find that the training you have received is directly relevant to your employment and working environment. We want to hear about your opinions on what can help training providers to achieve this. You may have a really positive experience or you may have been disappointed in some of the training that you have received in the past. We want to understand your experiences and learn from them.

We know that people engage with vocational training at all ages and throughout their lives. We have tried, through our partners, to include learners of all ages and from all different sectors. It's important for us to have a wide variety of learners working with us to help us achieve our goal – a new way of reviewing vocational training and education so that training really does work in the workplace!

We'd very much value your input so please register here and share your thoughts and ideas as the OWLS project progresses.

At OWLS we’re trying to take a fresh look at vocational education and training. We’re aware that there are new European Standards for VET which include 10 indicators. These top level indicators are very abstract and don’t mean much to us as trainers and teachers on the ground. However all of the OWLS partners are passionate about improving the training that we deliver and want to make it more effective and more practical for the workplace and for the employer.

As trainers and teachers we are traditionally very much focussed on the learning environment and the interaction between teacher and learner. In this project we will be very much outcomes focussed. How can we as trainers improve our own performance so that the learning outcomes we help create are directly relevant to our learners’ performance at work?

We realise that this will not be easy! However we believe that by involving other colleagues, employers and experienced experts we might just be able to develop a new way of quality assurance which is evidence based but also very practical for us all to use.

If you’d like to join in the fun, share your experience and help us to make a difference please register here. The more trainers and teachers who get involved the better our own outcomes will be.

Over the next 3 years the OWLS project is striving to develop a new quality assurance system to support effective vocational education and training (VET) in Europe. We want to bridge the divide between European Quality Assurance Reference Framework (See EQAVET website) and a practical tool for teachers and trainers to use in their organisation to help improve quality. Our focus is primarily Indicator number 6 which deals with utilisation of learning outcomes in the workplace.

We want to shift the emphasis of quality assurance away from the classroom and into the workplace – creating an outcomes focussed approach to quality assurance of VET. It is our hope that our system will be applied to a range of organisations, sectors and levels of education in Europe and that system will help us to benchmark performance.

If you are a specialist, academic, policy maker, quality inspector, training funder or other type of stakeholder that is interested in this aspect of VET please register with us. There is no charge for joining in and we would very much value your opinion and feedback. We will keep you updated on our progress and there will be plenty of opportunity to get more involved if you wish in the months to come, especially through our on line learning community and social networks.

From our previous work the OWLS partners know that there can be a serious gap between the vocational education and training (VET) that someone receives and how useful it turns out to be when they are at work. We also understand that, particularly during these economically challenging times, employers can’t afford to waste money on ineffective training.

We want to help change how training and education are monitored and evaluated so that people who undertake VET can actually do their jobs more effectively and efficiently. We want to involve employers to develop this new approach – we believe that in turn this approach could help improve your business performance in an increasingly competitive world.

As training providers we are also under pressure from our funders to demonstrate that our training is effective and that it really does make a difference to our learners. We believe that by learners, trainers and employers working together to help develop this new approach to quality assurance we will be able to better understand each other’s perspectives, to improve communication between the stakeholders and come up with a new system that really works for everyone.

We realise that this is a challenge even in the 3 years allotted for our project. The OWLS partners need more employers on board to help us make a difference and to bring about real change on the ground. We’d very much value your input as the project progresses through our discussion forums and through our pilot sites later on in the project. If you’d like to get involved or simply keep tabs on how we’re progressing please register here – its free to join.

Regardless of how our training organisations are funded we are very much aware of the increasing pressure on training organisations to demonstrate their effectiveness, especially their value for money. All of the OWLS partners are training organisations – our partnership includes universities, technical schools, colleges and private training companies. We are all interested in blended learning and how we can make our training and support more effective. We are particularly interested in being able to demonstrate how our VET is directly relevant and applicable in the workplace. In other words we are focussing our efforts on the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework’s Indicator Number 6 (Utilisation of learning outcomes in the workplace).

If you are interested in helping your organisation to improve its performance and to demonstrate how your vocational training programmes really do help people perform better in the workplace please register your interest in our project. We very much hope that you will be interested in receiving information about our progress over the next 3 years and perhaps also enjoy getting involved in our on line learning community if you wish.

Last modified: Thursday, 1 March 2012, 1:53 PM