Work-based learning in Vocational Education and Training (henceforth VET) provides important benefits, by increasing employability and smoother school to work transition. It contributes to reducing skill shortages and gaps, reduces youth unemployment, increases entrepreneurship and innovation and finally has the potential to foster social inclusion. In view of these potential benefits, European VET ministers underlined the increasing need to promote Work Based Learning (henceforth, WBL) in all its forms and the need to introduce systematic approaches to and opportunities for initial and continuous professional development of VET teachers, trainers and mentors in both school and work based settings across the EU in the Riga conclusions (2015).
Existing policy reviews, studies and literature present fragmented information on the diversity of types of teachers and trainers active in WBL (such as titles, functions and roles), their working contexts, their employment status, how they are initially trained, their teacher/trainer qualification, how they entered the profession, and how they professionally develop themselves during their career. The ET2020 working group on VET in the period 2014-2015 (focussing on WBL and Apprenticeships) identified the legal framework and governance framework related to teachers and trainers as an important aspect of quality apprenticeship systems. However, a systematic analysis of existing governance frameworks and professional practices in Member States in WBL is currently lacking.
The aim of the study was to provide the ET 2020 Working Group on VET (2016-2018) with findings on three key areas:
1) governance arrangements in place for professionals involved in WBL;
2) professionalisation arrangements for those professionals; and finally,
3) in what way cooperation between schools and companies is arranged, focusing on the quality of the professionals involved.